Aviation Authority: Ukrainian Plane Not Hit by Missile

Aviation Authority: Ukrainian Plane Not Hit by Missile Aviation Authority: Ukrainian Plane Not Hit by Missile

The Ukrainian Boeing 737-800, which went down near Tehran on Wednesday, was not struck by a missile, the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization stressed on Friday.
Ali Abedzadeh also said speculations on the tragic incident are merely “non-expert opinions” and the reason for the accident will be determined after the black box recordings are retrieved and analyzed, IRNA reported. 
He called on American and Canadian officials to disclose the information they claim they have on the cause of the crash via aviation authorities, in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s guidelines on safety investigations. 
The Ukrainian airliner bound for Kiev crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, killing all 176 passengers and crew members on board. 
The majority of victims were Iranians and Iranian-Canadians with dual passports and the remaining were from Germany, Britain, Ukraine and Sweden. 
“The airplane, considering the kind of crash and the pilot’s efforts to return it to Imam Khomeini airport, didn’t explode in the air. So, the allegation that it was hit by missiles is totally ruled out,” Abedzadeh also said in an interview with Press TV.



Western Allegations 

American and Canadian officials have suggested that the plane might have inadvertently been shut down by Iran's air defense systems that were on high alert following a missile attack on two Iraqi bases housing American troops in retaliation for the assassination of Martyr Major General Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, on the order of US President Donald Trump on Jan. 3.
Several American officials and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have alleged that intelligence from several sources might indicate that the plane was brought down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. 
In response, Abedzadeh said the patterns of the plane's debris on the ground and the fact that it took the aircraft 60-70 seconds to crash shows that the crash was not due to a missile attack.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said arrangements have been made with Canada’s Foreign Ministry and a Canadian team is on its way to Tehran to help investigate the disastrous incident. 
Mousavi emphasized that Iran will facilitate the process of investigation as much as possible and the results will be revealed to the public according to ICAO regulations and after coordination with the Ukrainian delegation and representatives from the plane maker Boeing. 
Abedzadeh noted that due to the presence of Swedes on the flight, we have invited them to participate in the investigation and that Iran will allow officials from the US, France, Canada, Sweden and Ukraine to be involved in the probe. 

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