UN aviation agency asks Iran to expedite investigation of downed jet

ICAO, which is made up of diplomats from 36 countries, is a specialized agency of the United Nations that works to ensure safety in international air transport.

Activists protest against Iranian government in front of German Federal Foreign Office after a Ukrainian passenger plane crashed in Iran, in Berlin, Germany, January 13, 2020 (photo credit: HANNIBAL HANSCHKE/REUTERS)
Activists protest against Iranian government in front of German Federal Foreign Office after a Ukrainian passenger plane crashed in Iran, in Berlin, Germany, January 13, 2020
(photo credit: HANNIBAL HANSCHKE/REUTERS)
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on Friday asked Iran to expedite the investigation into the downing of a Ukrainian airliner in January.
The recommendation from ICAO comes nearly 10 months after a Ukraine International Airlines flight was shot down by an Iranian ground-to-air missile, killing all 176 people on board.
Tehran, which initially claimed the plane went down due to "technical problems," eventually acknowledged the event as a “disastrous mistake” made by forces who were on high alert during a confrontation with the United States.
"We have had several exchanges with the Iranian CAA in which we urged its authorities to expedite the accident investigation," ICAO council president Salvatore Sciacchitano said.
“It should also be recalled that a team composed of ICAO Secretariat experts was established immediately following the accident in order to support the investigation,” he emphasized, adding that “the Council had earlier endorsed the ‘Safer Skies’ initiative presented by Canada following the downing of flight PS752, and aimed at enhancing safety over hazardous or conflict zones.”
ICAO, which is made up of diplomats from 36 countries, is a specialized agency of the United Nations that works to ensure safety in international air transport.
In addition, Canada invited the Council State Representatives to join them at the first international "Safer Skies Forum" on conflict zones, which it is convening December 8-9, and where Sciacchitano will deliver the keynote remarks.