Iran on Friday refuted claims that the Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed near its capital Tehran, killing 176 people, was hit by a missile, saying that the cause behind the mishap would be determined only after opening the black box, state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
In a separate report, the agency quoted the head of Iran's Civil Aviation Organisation Accident Department, Hassan Razai, as saying that the country would begin inspecting the black box of the crashed airliner in a laboratory at the Mehrabad International Airport here.
The jet crashed on Wednesday near Tehran, shortly after taking off, killing all 176 people on board. The accident took place shortly after Iran carried out a missile attack on US bases in Iraq.
Tehran cited technical malfunction as the reason forthe plane crash, while the US, UK and Canadian officials have said they believe the Ukrainian aircraft was downed by a missile fired by Iran, possibly by mistake.
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