Iran Plane Crash Takes Dark Turn as Islamic Republic Refuses To Hand Over Black Boxes


Iran is now refusing to hand over the black
boxes from a Boeing 737 passenger jet that went down in the Islamic Republic, supporting
theories that the country was involved in the disaster. Ali Abedzadeh, the head of Iran’s civil
aviation agency, confirmed that the flight recorders would not be handed over to Boeing
or the United States, the Persian-language news agency Mehr News reported. “We will not give the black box to the manufacturer
and the Americans,” Abedzadeh announced Wednesday. The passenger plane, which was carrying 176
people, crashed with no survivors earlier the same day. The Ukrainian-owned 737 went down shortly
after takeoff. Without the plane’s black boxes, which record
vital information during flight, it might be impossible to confirm what exactly caused
the plane to fall from the sky. Although Iran insists the plane was downed
by mechanical issues, the crash came at a time of heightened tension following a U.S.
drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Iran’s launch of ballistic
missiles in response. Many have speculated that an anti-aircraft
gunner with an itchy trigger finger might be behind the deaths. Video of the crash shows the plane engulfed
in flames before finally slamming into the ground. Although it’s unclear what the cause of
the plane’s crash was, some speculated that it could be the fault of Iranian air defense
systems that may have mistaken a civil aircraft for an American warplane. The timing of the crash itself is highly suspect. News of the accident broke as the region reeled
from a salvo of Iranian missiles fired at two Iraqi airbases known to house U.S. troops. So far, there have been no confirmed casualties
as a result of the missile strikes. In an effort to prevent more deaths from any
possible misidentification, U.S. civil pilots have been instructed to steer clear of the
region. The Federal Aviation Administration issued
a set of flight restrictions aiming to keep civil aviation operators away from the airspace
over Iran, Iraq and surrounding areas. It remains to be seen if the 737 crash was
simply caused by a fatal mechanical flaw that came at the wrong time, or was the result
of a military blunder.

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