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Canada, allies push Iran to co-operate on Ukraine plane's black boxes

Last Updated Jan 21, 2020 at 8:23 am PDT

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 file photo debris at the scene where a Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran. Two U.S. officials said Thursday that it was “highly likely” that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile downed a Ukrainian jetliner late Tuesday, killing all 176 people on board. President Donald Trump is suggesting he believes Iran was responsible. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Canada, allies want Iran to move black boxes from PS752 to facility where flight data can be downloaded quickly

Iran admitted to shooting the plane with at least one missile before the airliner crashed shortly after takeoff

Ukrainian jetliner was carrying 176 people, including 57 Canadians when it went down near Tehran, killing all onboard

OTTAWA — Canada and its allies are pushing Iran to move the black boxes from the Ukrainian jetliner it shot down to a facility that can quickly download its crucial flight data.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says the request emerged from his conference call with representatives from Britain, Sweden, Afghanistan and Ukraine — countries that lost citizens in the crash of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752.

It was their first follow-up conversation since Champagne hosted counterparts from those countries in London last week as part of an effort to ensure Iran’s co-operation after its Revolutionary Guard shot down the passenger plane, killing all 176 aboard. Fifty-seven Canadians and 29 permanent residents of Canada were among those killed.

A summary of Champagne’s teleconference says Iran is co-operating with foreign experts in the investigation, but it also emphasizes the need for Iran to allow a thorough and credible international investigation.

The group of countries is calling on Iran to move the black boxes to a facility with the proper technology so their data can be downloaded and analyzed without delay.

On Sunday, Champagne wrote to his Iranian counterpart — two days after they met face to face in Oman — to stress Canada’s view that the black boxes should be sent quickly for analysis by experts in either France or Ukraine.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2020.