Canada and France to Join Tehran Plane Crash Investigation

A 10 member Canadian team and French investigation agency BEA is also taking part in the airline crash probe.

Updated10 Jan 2020, 12:36 PM IST
World
3 min read

Iran, alluding to "doubtful scenarios", on Thursday, 10 January, called on Canada to share intelligence Ottawa says suggests the Ukrainian airliner that crashed outside Tehran was mistakenly downed by an Iranian missile.

The Iranian government, in a statement, urged Canada to share its information after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said "multiple" intelligence sources indicate that Iran shot down the Boeing airliner after it took off from Tehran on Wednesday, killing all 176 on board, including 63 Canadians.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry also invited the US planemaker Boeing to “participate” in its enquiry into the crash.

Canada's theory was swiftly backed up by other Western leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who said mounting evidence supported an Iranian missile strike, which "may well have been unintentional".

US President Donald Trump indicated that Washington officials believe the Kiev-bound Boeing 737 was struck by one or more Iranian missiles before it ditched and exploded outside Tehran.

Flight PS752 went down just minutes after takeoff from Tehran airport in the dark early Wednesday, after Tehran launched ballistic missiles at American military targets in Iraq in retaliation for the January 3 US drone strike in Baghdad that killed a top Iranian general.

Tehran said it was prepared to allow experts from the countries who lost people in the crash to help with the enquiry.

The ill-fated plane was carrying 82 Iranians,11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three Britons, as well as the 63 Canadians.

Ukraine President Urges International Partners to Share Data on Crash

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, “The missile theory is not ruled out, but it has not been confirmed yet."

In a Facebook post, he reiterated his call "on all international partners" – the US, Britain and Canada in particular – to share data and evidence relevant to the crash. He also announced plans to discuss the investigation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later on Friday, 10 January.

Canadian and French Delegation to Join Investigation

The state-run IRNA news agency quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi as saying that Iran "has invited both Ukraine and the Boeing company to participate in the investigations.” He later said a 10-member Canadian delegation was heading to Iran to assist victims' families.

Iran had initially said it would not allow Boeing to take part in the probe, going against prevailing international norms on crash investigations. It later invited the US accident-investigating agency to take part in the investigation.

The French air accident investigation agency, known by the French acronym BEA, is also taking part in the probe. The plane’s engine was designed by CFM International, a joint company between French group Safran and US group GE Aviation.

The National Transportation Safety Board said late on Thursday that it would “evaluate its level of participation," but its role could be limited by US sanctions on Iran US officials have also expressed concern about sending employees to Iran because of the heightened tensions.

Under rules set by a United Nations aviation organization, the NTSB is entitled to participate because the crash involved a Boeing 737-800 jet that was designed and built in the US.

US Provides Ukraine Intelligence on crash

The Ukrainian Foreign Minister on Friday, 10 January, said the United States has shared important data on the airplane crash with Ukraine, reports AFP.

According to the Associated Press, US officials did not say what intelligence they had that pointed to an Iranian missile, believed to be fired by Russian Tor system, known to NATO as the SA-15.

But they acknowledged the existence of satellites and other sensors in the region, as well as the likelihood of communication interceptions and other similar intelligence.

Western countries may hesitate to share information on such a strike because it comes from highly classified sources.

(with inputs from AFP and Associated Press)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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Published: 10 Jan 2020, 03:28 AM IST
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