Live updates: Iran plane crash investigation

A plane’s so-called “black boxes” — the flight data and cockpit voice recorders — can provide crucial evidence about what happened before a crash.

After the black boxes from Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 plane were found, Ali Abedzadeh, the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Authority, told Iran’s semiofficial Mehr news agency that the US would not be involved at any stage of the investigation.

“We will not give the black box to the manufacturer [Boeing] or America,” he said.

Former FAA chief of staff Michael Goldfarb told CNN that move was not necessarily against protocol.

Under international rules, Iran would be the lead investigator of the crash and Ukraine should participate as the state of registry and state of operator of the aircraft.

But the US — where Boeing is designed and manufactured — is not required to be involved in investigations right off the bat, Goldfarb said.

If the black boxes are difficult to discern, if they’re damaged, the three best labs in the world are the British, the French and the NTSB in the US. It’s very common for those three entities to either be given the lead or called in,” he said.

But Goldfarb added there was no way the Iranians could refuse to work with Boeing and do justice to the investigation.

“They have to work with Boeing. Boeing has all the data, owns all the drawings and designs, they have the engineers, they know the plane.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called for “complete cooperation with any investigation into the cause of the crash,” saying that the US would continue to follow the incident closely and was prepared to offer Ukraine “all possible assistance.”