Tehran has refused to hand over the data from the downed jet previously, but leaders have renewed its refusal to hand over the black boxes this morning, Arab News report. Officials from Canada, Ukraine, the US and the UK have stressed the need to examine the data from the flight in order to figure out exactly what happened. It comes after Iran admitted last week to shooting down Flight 757 just hours after it launched at dozen missiles at US military bases in Iraq.
The Iranian regime had initially denied shooting down the plane and killing all 176 passengers on board.
It admitted to firing the missile after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canadian and allied officials had credible intelligence of a strike.
Iranian authorities said the plane had been struck after it had been mistaken for a “cruise missile” during heightened tensions with the US.
Since then a major question surrounding the crash is how and why the missile was fired.
Yesterday Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has defened the country’s armed forces for mistakenly shooting down the plane.
He said the Revolutionary Guard – the elite unit responsible for the disaster – “maintained the security” of Iran.
The ayattollah tried to rally support as he led Friday prayers in Tehran for the first time since 2012.
He called or “national unity” and said Iran’s “enemies” – a clear refeence to Washington and its allied – had used the plane crash to overshadow the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike.
He said: “Our enemies were as happy about the plane crash as we were sad.
“[They were] happy that they had found something to question the Guard and the armed forces.”
Nationals from Iran, Canada, Sweden and the UK were killed in the plane crash, that was travelling to Kyiv from Tehran on January 8.
More to follow…