Iran has invited Boeing to take part in the investigation into a Ukrainian jetliner that crashed earlier this week at a time of soaring tensions between Washington and Tehran, killing all 176 people on board, The Associated Press reports, citing state media.
Iran invites Boeing to probe plane crash that killed 176
STEPANAKERT, JANUARY 10, ARTSAKHPRESS: The move came after Western leaders said the plane appeared to have been unintentionally hit by a surface-to-air missile near Tehran hours after Iran launched ballistic missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq to avenge the killing of its top general in an American airstrike. The ballistic missile attack on the bases caused no casualties, raising hopes that the standoff over the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani would end relatively peacefully. But Iran has sent mixed signals over whether its retaliation is complete. The state-run IRNA news agency quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying Iran “has invited both Ukraine and the Boeing company to participate in the investigations.” The spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, said it will also welcome experts from other countries’ whose citizens died in the crash. Iran had initially said it would not allow Boeing to take part in the probe, going against prevailing international norms on crash investigations. It later invited the U.S. accident-investigating agency to take part in the investigation. The National Transportation Safety Board said late Thursday that it would “evaluate its level of participation,” but its role could be limited by U.S. sanctions on Iran. U.S. officials have also expressed concern about sending employees to Iran because of the heightened tensions. Under rules set by a United Nations aviation organization, the NTSB is entitled to participate because the crash involved a Boeing 737-800 jet that was designed and built in the U.S. There was no immediate comment from Boeing.