Iran has called for contributions from stakeholders to a probe into the crash of a Ukrainian airliner, which left all 176 people on board dead on Wednesday.
Ali Rabiei, the spokesman for the Iranian administration, made the call in a statement.
Stating international regulations, he said representatives from the civil aviation agency of the country where the crash has taken place (Iran), the civil aviation agency of the country which has issued the airworthiness certificate (Ukraine), the owner of the airliner (Ukraine International Airlines), the aircraft manufacturer (Boeing Co.), and the jet engine manufacturer (CFM International) can participate in the investigation process.
Recall that the plane in question (Boeing 737-800), which belongs to Ukraine International Airlines, crashed near Iran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport shortly after takeoff. The tragic incident happened amid escalated tensions between the United States and Iran.
Iran had on Tuesday night launched over a dozen ballistic missile strikes on Iraqi military bases housing US troops, in retaliation for the US killing of a high-ranking Iranian general, Quoseem in Baghdad last week.
According to US media, the US officials believe that the plane was mistakenly shot down by Iran. At the same time, Iranian authorities insisted that a technical failure was the cause, dismissing claims that a terrorist attack, explosion, or shooting at the plane may have caused the incident.
“Had it been the case, the plane must have exploded up in the air, but that has not happened, because the plane caught fire due to a technical failure. The problem first caused its communication and control systems to stop working and subsequently resulted in its crash,” Iranian Minister of Road and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami said on Thursday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that his country is ready to join in the investigation according to international law. The statement was made on Thursday-the day after a group of Ukrainian experts arrived in Iran. They would make an on-the-spot investigation at the plane crash site.
“We are making all the necessary efforts to find out the causes of this crash … Our goal is to find out the truth. This is the main thing,” Zelensky said.
Iran also called on Boeing to dispatch its representative to participate in the process of reading the black box data.
With Boeing expressing readiness to provide any necessary assistance, Iran also invited the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to take part in the investigation, which has also announced that it would join the probe into the crash and have designated an accredited representative.
“The NTSB continues to monitor the situation surrounding the crash and evaluate its level of participation in the investigation,” which will be led by Iran, the NTSB statement said.
” The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is in contact with the States involved and will assist them if called upon. Its leadership is stressing the importance of avoiding speculation into the cause of the tragedy pending the outcomes of the investigation,” a statement from the UN agency on Wednesday reads.
Four British citizens were among the victims. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK Government is working closely with Canada and its international partners, calling for a full and transparent investigation
“The UK continues to call on all sides urgently to deescalate to reduce tensions in the region,” Johnson said.
With 63 Canadians part of the victims, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government has intelligence indicating that an Iranian surface-to-air missile shot down the plane.
Canada’s Transportation Safety Board had also accepted the invitation of Iran’s accident investigation agency to work with other groups and organization already on site.