Iran ambassador claims country hasn’t cleared site of plane crash despite photo evidence
Iran’s ambassador to the UK called claims that his country has cleared debris from the Ukrainian plane crash site “absolutely absurd” — despite images showing front loaders hard at work there, according to a report.
“Plane accidents are a very technical issue. I cannot judge, you cannot judge, reporters on the ground cannot judge. Nobody can judge,” Hamid Baeidinejad told Sky News.
“A foreign minister or a prime minister cannot judge on this issue,” he said, as he reiterated the Islamic Republic’s contention that its missile did not shoot down the Boeing 737-800, killing all 176 people aboard.
Yellow front loaders were photographed hauling away what appeared to be wreckage, prompting fears that the heavy machines could destroy precious clues and remove critical parts that could shed light on what took the plane down.
The images have been verified by UK investigative website Bellingcat, whose work linked downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 to Russia back in 2014, according to the UK’s Sun.
An international inquiry into MH17 suggested that high-level Russian officials were directing separatists in eastern Ukraine linked to the attack. Russia has denied the findings.
Bellingcat investigator Giancarlo Fiorella said the experts verified the images of the loaders by geolocating the crash site.
“I found them to be really distressing because this is potentially the scene of a crime,” he told Channel4 News. “If this was a shoot-down event, you don’t want to disturb the crash site before a thorough investigation can be conducted and I’m not sure one had been conducted.”
An eyewitness also told CNN that all the large pieces of the wreckage have already been cleared, adding that looters also are on the scene, picking things up from the ground with no police or security officers around.
Normally, forensic workers from the major investigative agencies would be poring over the wreckage to study it in its original state before removing the debris to a secure location.
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