Tehran denies, and US officials confirm: Iran shot down the Ukrainian plane

blank - Tehran denies, and US officials confirm: Iran shot down the Ukrainian plane
Reuters

US officials said Thursday that they are confident that the Iranian air defenses shot down the Ukrainian plane by mistake, which was denied by the Iranian authorities, considering them as “false rumors aimed at political.”

Reuters news agency quoted US officials as saying that they had concluded that the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile based on satellite data and government officials.

For its part, the civil aviation authority in Iran said that there was extensive research in the plane’s crash zone, and that there is nothing suspicious there.

The commission said that the joint fact-finding committee with Ukraine completely excludes the hypothesis of shooting down the plane with a missile, considering that what is reported on it is “just false rumors whose aim is political.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelinsky had said that he intended to contact his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, to discuss the investigation into the plane crash at dawn on Wednesday and to increase cooperation to establish the truth, while Canada asked to answer many questions related to the tragic crash.

In a photo message, Zielinski called on the international community, and in particular Canada, to join the investigation into the crash, saying that there is no doubt that Ukraine’s priority is to determine the causes of the crash, and he explained that the truth will surely be revealed, and for this matter a comprehensive and independent investigation will be conducted in accordance with international law, declaring that Ukrainian airlines will be prevented from flying in the airspace of Iran and Iraq until all causes of the crash are identified.

The 176 people were killed after the crash of the Ukrainian civilian plane after take-off minutes from the “Imam Khomeini” international airport in the capital, Tehran.

For his part, Ukrainian Security and Defense Council Secretary Alexei Danilov said that the experts of the Ukrainian investigation committee arrived in Iran, and the committee aims to obtain approvals to reach the place of the plane crash in Tehran on Wednesday.

Danilov added that the team wanted to unearth parts of a Russian “Tor” missile at the crash site.

“The Ukrainian side will investigate the published photos of parts of a Russian missile, and the effects of shrapnel on the fuselage,” Danilov was quoted by the agency “Interfax Ukraine” as saying.

Earlier in the day, the Iranian Civil Aviation Authority said that the preliminary report of the Ukrainian plane crash showed that it had encountered a technical problem before the crash.

The head of the commission, Ali Abedzadeh, announced that Iran would provide a copy of the reports to Ukraine, the United States, Sweden and Canada, because it requested to be informed of the results of the investigations.

He added that Tehran had asked all the countries involved in the accident to participate in the investigations, stressing that the witnesses’ statements indicated that a fire broke out on the plane before it collided with the ground.

According to Ukrainian sources, the victims of the accident were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukraine, 10 Swedes, three Germans and three Britons, all of whom were killed.

Inquiry and questions
In a context related to the tragic incident, a statement stated that the Canadian foreign minister had made rare contact with his Iranian counterpart to stress his country’s desire to investigate the Ukrainian plane crash.

“The minister stressed the need to quickly allow Canadian officials to enter Iran to provide consular services and help identify victims and participate in the crash investigation,” “Canada and the Canadians have many questions that will need to be answered,” according to the statement.

The two ministers spoke late yesterday, but the statement was issued today. Canada has not had diplomatic relations with Iran since 2012.

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