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Iran Denies Shooting Down Ukrainian Plane With Missile, Calls for Evidence

Several Iranian officials on Friday denied allegations that the regime shot down a Ukrainian International Airlines plane, killing all 176 people on board.

Ali Abedzadeh, head of Irans national aviation department, said that “what is obvious to us and we can say for sure is that no missile has hit the plane,” according to the state-run Tasnim News Agency. “The aircraft was flying for more than one and a half minutes after it caught fire,” he said.

He also rejected claims lodged by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and unnamed American officials who said that Iran likely shot the plane down with a missile, perhaps by accident.

“If U.S. politicians have received any data on the crash of the Ukrainian plane, they have to declare it to the world through ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization),” Abedzadeh remarked.

Debris is seen from an Ukrainian plane which crashed as authorities work at the scene in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. A Ukrainian airplane carrying 176 people crashed on Wednesday shortly after takeoff from Tehrans main airport, killing all onboard. (Ebrahim Noroozi / AP)

At the same time, another Iranian aviation official said the evaluation of the black boxes of the Boeing 737 that crashed near Tehran will start on Friday, according to the state-run IRNA news outlet. The black boxes contain the flight recorder and cockpit voice recorder.

That data will be transmitted and evaluated at a “suitable laboratory,” the report said. If that doesnt work, Irans Director-General of Accidents/Incidents for the Investigation Board of Iran Civil Aviation Organization Hassan Rezaiefar said Russia, France, Ukraine, or Canada can help download the information.

“We have intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence,” Trudeau told reporters on Thursday at a news conference. “The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. This may well have been unintentional.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News that he didnt rule out the possibility that mechanical failure downed the plane, which had more than 60 Canadian nationals on board.

“Its possible its mechanical failure, but well have to see if, in fact, its the case that there was something more insidious than this,” Pompeo said, according to a State Department transcript. But if Iran was involved, he stressed that “the American people should know that this would have been Iranian malfeasance that caused it.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also stressed that people should not speculate yet on what caused the crash.

“The missile theory is not ruled out, but it haRead More – Source

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