0507 GMT February 25, 2020
Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Francois-Philippe Champagne said he had spoken with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on the subject.
“I repeated Canada’s position that the black boxes be sent as quickly as possible either to Ukraine or France so it can be done somewhere the expertise exists and it can be done in a transparent manner,” Champagne said on the sidelines of a government seminar in Winnipeg, AFP reported.
The Iranian Civil Aviation Organization said Sunday the country is trying to analyze the black boxes of the Ukrainian airliner.
“We are trying to read the black boxes here in Iran. Otherwise, our options are Ukraine and France, but no decision has been taken so far to send them to another country,” Hassan Rezaeifar, a director in charge of accident investigations at Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, told IRNA.
Canada and other nations who lost nationals have been calling on Iran for a thorough investigation and have said the flight data and voice recorders should be analyzed abroad.
All 176 on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight from Tehran to Kiev were killed when the Boeing 737-800 went down shortly after takeoff from Tehran on January 8, at a time when Iran was on high alert for a US attack.
Most of those on board were Iranians or dual nationals. Canada had 57 citizens on board. Nine of the Ukrainian citizens were crew members.
Champagne said that he judges Iran “not by their words, but by their actions.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had on Friday urged Iran to hand over the black boxes to France, saying it has one of the few laboratories capable of properly examining them.
Canada severed diplomatic ties and shuttered its embassy in Tehran in 2012.
Champagne had his first face-to-face meeting with Zarif in Oman at the end of last week.
Ukraine held a ceremony at Kiev’s Boryspil Airport on Sunday as the bodies of 11 citizens, including nine crew, were returned to Ukraine.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said on Monday that Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Mohammad Eslami, will convey President Hassan Rouhani’s message to the Ukrainian president.
Addressing the Monday press conference, Mousavi once again sympathized with the families of the victims of the air disaster.