CAOI chief rules out possibility of missile hitting Ukrainian airliner

TEHRAN, Jan. 10 (MNA) – According to the head of Iran's Civil Aviation Organisation (CAOI) the cause of the Ukrainian plane crash near the capital Tehran that killed all 176 people aboard cannot be missiles.

"The plane turned right following a problem and was headed back to the airport at the moment of the crash," Ali Abedzadeh told reporters on Friday at a press conference.

He highlighted that any comment on the missile strike is out of context and not scientifically-backed and the reason behind the crash will be determined after analyzing the black box.

"We emphasize that if the statements of US and Canadian politicians are from the two countries' disaster investigation agencies, they should be announced through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)," he noted, adding, "like Iran, which released the initial crash report on its airline's Web site, the United States should also have the audacity to give the scientific backing of its findings to the world, according to the ICAO Annex structure."

Any information before analyzing the black box is not scientifically-based, Abedzadeh added.

He went on to say that the aircraft was flying for more than 1.5 minutes after catching fire and the crash site indicates that the pilot had decided to return.

He said Iran has the ability to read the black box and will get help from Ukrainians, adding that Iran is determined to analyze the data itself but has also invited teams from Ukraine, Boeing, and France for the investigation.

MNA/ 4821600

News Code 154392

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