Stars and Stripes stripes.com 07 Jan, 2021 23:30 am

A year later, questions haunt Iran's downing of Ukrainian plane

A year later, questions haunt Iran's downing of Ukrainian plane
Officials in Canada, which was home to many of the passengers on board, and other affected countries have raised concerns about the lack of transparency and accountability in Iran's investigation of its own military, while grieving families allege harassment by Iranian authorities.

A year later, questions haunt Iran's downing of Ukrainian plane Rescue workers search the scene where a Ukrainian plane was shot down in Shahedshahr, southwest of Tehran, Iran, on Jan.EBRAHIM NOROOZI/AP DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — When Navaz Ebrahim learned that a Ukrainian plane had fallen from the sky near Iran's capital, she didn't realize her older sister was on the flight.The misalignment caused the operator to believe that the Ukrainian plane, climbing gradually to 8,000 feet as it departed from Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport, was instead a small, low-flying cruise-missile hurtling toward the city.Officials in Canada, which was home to many of the passengers on board, and other affected countries have raised concerns about the lack of transparency and accountability in Iran's investigation of its own military, while grieving families allege harassment by Iranian authorities.

From Edmonton, Canada, Javad Soleimani, whose wife was on the plane, said Iranian authorities repeatedly threatened him, calling to demand he take down his Instagram posts that blamed the Iranian government for funeral disruptions and harassment of outspoken relatives.Multiple families said the cellphones of their loved ones were either withheld or returned with memory chips removed, raising questions cited in the Canadian report about whether Iran had found evidence that passengers recorded videos or tried to call those on the ground in their final moments.

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