US and Canada, citing intelligence, said they believed Iran shot down the aircraft with a surface-to-air missile, a conclusion supported by videos of the incident. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
Days after demanding official status in Iran’s investigation of the crash of a Ukraine International Airlines jet in Tehran, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday urged Iran to hand over the damaged black boxes to France. Trudeau said France has one of the few laboratories capable of properly examining them. "Iran does not have the level of technical expertise and mostly the equipment necessary to be able to analyse these damaged black boxes quickly," Trudeau said.
So, he said, "the right place to send those black boxes to get proper information from them and in a rapid way" is France, adding "that is what we're encouraging the Iranian authorities to agree to."
The plane, en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, at least 57 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians.
Iran had for several days denied that a missile caused the crash. But then the US and Canada, citing intelligence, said they believed Iran shot down the aircraft with a surface-to-air missile, a conclusion supported by videos of the incident.
It was days after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani revealed that missile caused the crash.
‘Regretting’ the crash, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had offered ‘condolences’ to the families of the victims. “Armed Forces’ internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane & death of 176 innocent people. Investigations continue to identify & prosecute this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake. #PS752 (sic),” Rouhani said on Twitter.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake. My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences,” he said in another tweet.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif termed the development as ‘sad day’. Using a heartbreak emoji, Zarif tweeted, “A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces: Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations.”
On Wednesday, Iran has arrested the person who videographed and posted online the clip of a missile striking the jet. Without proving much details about the arrest, the semi-official Fars news agency reported that the investigation will be presented to the public.