Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said Friday the United States had provided Kiev ‘important data’ pertaining to the Tehran plane crash, a day after Iran rejected Washington’s suspicions it had accidentally shot down the aircraft, reported AFP.
The foreign minister tweeted that he and the Ukrainian president met US representatives to discuss the Ukrainian airliner which had crashed outside Tehran a couple of days ago, killing all 176 on board.
“We have received important data [relating to the plane crash] which will be processed by our experts,” said Prystaiko in a tweet.
In an earlier tweet, the Ukrainian foreign minister revealed he had spoken to his Iranian counterpart and “agreed to coordinate further actions of our investigation groups closely to determine the cause of the terrible plane crash PS752.”
US media Thursday quoted unnamed American officials saying that Washington was suspicious that the Ukrainian plane was accidentally shot down by the Revolutionary Guards’ missiles as tensions between Tehran and Washington soared after Iran attacked two military bases in Iraq that housed American troops.
President Donald Trump had hinted towards the possibility, saying “something terrible had happened”.
“I have my suspicions,” he had said. “It was flying in a pretty rough neighbourhood and somebody could have made a mistake. Some people say it was mechanical.
“I personally don’t think that’s even a question.”
Analysts pointed to pictures shared widely online of the aircraft’s wrecked fuselage showing multiple apparent puncture holes consistent with a rocket that detonated just outside the plane, blasting shrapnel into it.
The head of Iran’s civil aviation organisation and deputy transport minister, Ali Abedzadeh, responded to the rumours on social media that the Revolutionary Guards had fired missiles at the aircraft by mistake. He said Tehran was in the process of retrieving information from the aircraft’s black box to ascertain the cause of the crash.
“But if more specialised work is required to extract and analyse the data, we can do it in France or another country,” he said.
Iranian authorities said there were indications the plane had turned back after facing problems. A team of Ukrainian experts flew in and joined the investigation on the ground on Thursday.