Iran says it will still work with other countries on Ukrainian airliner crash investigation


Dubai (Reuters) – Iran’s civil aviation authority said on Tuesday it would keep working with other countries investigating the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane last month and it called on all parties to avoid politicizing the issue.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards shot down the airliner on Jan. 8, killing all 176 people onboard.

They later admitted they had done so by mistake while on high alert hours after they had fired at U.S. targets in retaliation for a U.S. strike that killed Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani.

On Monday, Tehran blamed Ukrainian authorities for leaking what it described as confidential evidence and said it would no longer share material with Ukraine from the investigation.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had said on Sunday that the leaked audio recording of an Iranian pilot talking to the control tower in Tehran showed that Iran knew immediately it had shot down the plane despite denying it for days.

Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization said in statement on Tuesday that it was not given any warning about missile activity in the hours before the Ukrainian airliner was shot down.

It said it would continue investigating the crash “and the cooperation with the countries involved in this accident will continue as before”.

“Of course the expectation from all parties is to avoid politicizing this accident and obstructing the technical and specialized investigation,” it said.

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