TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Iran considers so-called dual nationals aboard a Ukrainian plane that was shot down accidentally this month to be Iranian citizens, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday.
Iran does not recognize dual nationality. Many of the 176 people killed in the disaster were Iranians, but Canada claims 57 of them also held Canadian citizenship.
"We have informed Canada that Tehran considers dual nationals who were killed in the plane crash as Iranian citizens ... Iran is mourning their deaths,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told a weekly news conference here.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told reporters on Monday that his country would press Iran to hand over the black boxes from the crash at a meeting with a visiting Iranian delegation on Monday.
Ukraine would convey the message to visiting Minister of Roads and Urban Development Muhammad Eslami, that returning the black boxes would show that Iran wanted an unbiased investigation of the crash, Prystaiko said.
"His main task is to apologize and acknowledge what happened. We hope that we can go a little further than just political discussions and discuss practical problems. Among them in particular is the return of the black boxes,” Prystaiko said.
Iran had said on Sunday it was trying to analyze the black boxes from the airliner, denying an earlier report it would hand them to Ukraine. All 176 aboard the flight died.
Canada said there were still no firm plans for downloading the recorders. Ottawa and other capitals have called for the black boxes to be sent abroad.
The Iranian military has said it downed Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 in error amid U.S. threats of aggression against the Islamic Republic after Iran’s response to Washington’s assassination of General Qassem Soleimani.
Ukraine held a ceremony at Kiev’s Boryspil airport on Sunday as the bodies of 11 citizens, including nine crew, were returned to Ukraine.