Canada urges Iran to comply, hand over black box from downed Ukrainian airliner
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Canadian government has called on Iran to hand over the black boxes from a downed Ukrainian airliner as the central government in Tehran refuses to cooperate with Ottawa’s request.
According to Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, he has stayed in contact with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif as investigations into the tragic accident continue.
Although it first denied any responsibility, Iran’s military admitted it had accidentally shot down the Ukrainian airliner that crashed shortly after taking off from an airport in Tehran, killing all 176 passengers. At least 57 Canadians were killed.
The incident occurred hours after Iran fired ballistic missiles on Iraqi bases that house American troops, in an operation widely publicized by Iranian media as Tehran’s “severe revenge” for the killing of Qasim Soleimani, a general of the Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force.
Champagne said on Sunday that Canada expects “Iran to proceed with transparency,” adding Ottawa demands “from Iran that the black boxes be sent to Kyiv or Paris.”
The black boxes on a plane, or flight recorders, are devices that document the input and output of an aircraft and facilitate the investigation of an accident or incident.
Hassan Rezaeifar, the official leading the investigation in Iran, said the flight recorders “are in Iranian hands” and Tehran has “no plans to send them out. Rezaeifar, however, did not rule out that the boxes could be sent to Ukraine or France. “We have made no decision yet.”
Canada has no diplomatic relations with Iran. Ottawa severed its ties with Tehran in September 2012, recalling its diplomats and closing its embassy.