Tehran asks Canada and U.S. to hand over data alleging Ukrainian plane was brought down by Iranian missile

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By The Canadian Press Fri., Jan. 10, 2020

TEHRAN, IRAN—Iran is calling on Canada and the United States to release information backing their allegations that a Ukrainian jetliner that crashed outside Tehran was brought down by an Iranian missile, killing all 176 people on board.

Ali Abedzadeh, the head of the Iran’s national aviation department, denied those allegations Friday in a news conference in Tehran.

“What is obvious for us, and what we can say with certainty, is that no missile hit the plane,” Abedzadeh said.

“If they are really sure, they should come and show their findings to the world” in accordance with international standards, he added.

The official’s comments come after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that intelligence from multiple sources indicates the Ukraine International Airlines flight was downed by an Iranian surface-to-air missile, echoing statements from Ukrainian officials and U.S. President Donald Trump earlier in the day.

Both Trudeau and Trump said a strike might have been unintentional.

The plane crash Wednesday morning claimed the lives of at least 63 Canadians. Trudeau has said 138 of the 176 passengers aboard the Kyiv-bound plane had a connecting flight to Canada. It happened hours after Iran launched a series of ballistic missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq to avenge the killing of its top general in an American airstrike last week.

Hassan Rezaeifar, the head of Iranian investigation team, said Friday that recovering data from the black box flight recorders could take more than a month and that the entire investigation could stretch into next year.