Iran has formally invited the United States and Canada on Thursday night to Friday to participate in the investigation into the crash of a Ukrainian passenger aircraft near the Iranian capital Tehran, Reuters news agency writes Friday based on Iranian authorities.
The invitation was probably sent to the US because the crashed aircraft was produced by the American aircraft manufacturer Boeing. Tensions have risen sharply between Iran and the US recently after US President Donald Trump ordered the elimination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
It is not yet clear what the experts of the American transport safety board NTSB are allowed to do in Iran. The US has imposed many sanctions on Iran. A spokesperson for the NTSB refused to comment on the news to Reuters.
The Canadian government agency, the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board (TSB), also received an invitation from Iran to investigate where the aircraft crashed. There were many Canadians in the crashed plane.
In a statement, the TSB says that preparations are being made for the first visit. This is a wish from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: he wants Canada to make a “significant contribution” to the investigation into the crash.
The Boeing 737-800 from Ukraine International Airlines crashed in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, shortly after the aircraft had departed from the airport in Tehran. All 176 passengers, including 63 Canadians and four British, were killed.
According to Trudeau and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, there is evidence that the aircraft was shot down by Iranian anti-aircraft guns. Both speak of a “possibly unintentional” act. American intelligence services also came to that conclusion on Thursday.
Flight recorders to remain in Iran for the time being
Iran continues to hold on to a technical defect. Possibly an engine got overheated, after which the plane caught fire and crashed. Other conclusions are dismissed by the Iranian government as “psychological warfare”.
Black boxes with information about the flight of the crashed aircraft will remain in Iran for the time being, Trudeau said Thursday. Zelensky is said to have received permission to carry out his own investigation in Iran.