Germany Calls Iran to Reveal the Truth of Plane Crash

Germany's foreign minister Heiko Maas
Germany's foreign minister Heiko Maas

Iran should notsweep the causes of a Ukrainian airline crash near Tehran under thecarpet or it will risk worsening the climate of mistrust in the region andbeyond, Germany's foreign minister said in Friday.

Speaking on arrivalfor an emergency European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels todiscuss crises in Iran and Libya, Heiko Maas echoed the sentiments ofseveral ministers who demanded a full and transparent investigation intoWednesday's crash that killed all 176 people on board a Ukraine InternationalAirlines flight to Kiev from Tehran.

"It isimportant now that this is fully explained. There are positive signals Iran isinvolving other countries in clarifying what happened," Maas said.

"This cannotbe hidden under the table. If that were to happen then it would breed newmistrust and that is the last thing we need now."

Canada and others,citing intelligence findings, have said the plane was downed shortly aftertake-off by an Iranian missile, probably by mistake, at a time when Iran was onalert for a U.S. military response hours after firing missiles at U.S. targets inIraq. Iran has denied the Boeing 737-800 was brought down by a missile.

"It is indeedvery likely that the plane has been shot down by Iranian missiles," DutchForeign Minister Stef Blok told reporters. Asked whether Iran should besanctioned, Blok said: "It depends on the Iranian reaction (to the outcomeof independent analysis) on what should be the next steps."

Austrian ForeignMinister Peter Guschelbauer said the EU could "not turn a blind eye"if Iran had indeed shot down the plane.

The ministers wereexpected to issue a final statement calling for de-escalation between theUnited States and Iran, preserving the 2015 nuclear pact between Iran and worldpowers as well as outlining their call for a through investigation into theUkrainian jetliner crash, diplomats said. 

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