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Iran Will Issue 'Preliminary Report' On Ukrainian Plane Crash Saturday - Fars

Ukrainian plane, crash, Teheran, Iran

Iran will issue a "preliminary report" on the Ukrainian airliner crash on Saturday, Fars news agency close to Revolutionary Guards reported on Friday.

Quoting "an informed source" Fars said during the announcement of the preliminary results "foreign representatives" will also be present, but did not specify their nationalities.

Iran has come under criticism for not quickly involving all interested parties in the investigation of a Boeing 737-800 that crashed on the morning of January 8, hours after Iran carried out a missile attack on U.S. bases in Iraq.

Officials of the United States, Canada and Britain have said that it is "highly likely" that the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile, perhaps by error in the aftermath of the missile attack on the Iraqi military bases hosting American troops.

Ukrainian officials on Friday indicated that they are focusing on a missile attack or act of terrorism as possible causes of the plane crash that occurred within hours from Iran's missile attack on two military bases in Iraq but have pointed out that Iran is cooperating with the investigation.

The Ukrainian Foreign Minister had earlier said that Ukrainian investigators who are in Iran now had been given access to pieces of the crashed airliner and specialists were analyzing the videos that allegedly show an object or objects approaching an aircraft and an aircraft burning before crashing to the ground.

So far the investigation team had found no evidence of a terror attack in the fragments that have remained from the plane, Vadym Prystaiko said.

The Ukrainian foreign minister pointed out that the issue of where the black boxes of the Boeing 737 would be analyzed was still being discussed with the Iranian authorities but indicated that Ukraine prefers this to take place in Kiev.

Prystaiko said Ukraine will demand punishment of those responsible and compensation from Iran if it is proved that the plane had been shot down.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office said on January 10 that it was “too early on in the investigation to reveal specific details.”

Iranian authorities on Friday stressed that Iran has the capability of downloading the data from the black boxes of the plane but if damage makes it hard they will seek help.

They also insisted that speculations about a missile attack on the plane were baseless. "One thing is for certain, this airplane was not hit by a missile,"Ali Abedzadeh, head of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) said.

Iranian officials have also called on Canada to share any intelligence or evidence suggesting the missile theory.

Based on reporting by Reuters, DPA, and AFP