US, UK and Canadian officials say there is evidence to show that the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 10, 2020 Published on January 10, 2020

US media reports indicate that the Ukraine International Airlines plane that crashed in Tehran early on Wednesday was accidentally shot down by an Iranian missile, amid heightened tensions between Iran and the US, following the American assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and a retaliatory Iranian attack on an American base.


Officials from the US, the UK and Canada believe the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile. A few hours earlier, Iran had launched a missile attack against an American base in Iraq. The BBC reported that the Ukrainian plane may have been accidentally shot down by Iran’s air defence forces mistaking it for a US warplane.


Ukraine has now urged the US government to join a probe into the crash. The US’ National Transportation Safety Board was officially invited by the Ukrainian government to join the investigation of the crash. Ukraine has also urged other Western leaders to participate in the investigation.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, too,  has called for a full investigation of the crash.  Sixty-three of the plane’s 176 passengers, who all perished, were Canadian citizens. Though unintentional, multiple intelligence sources have indicated that the plane was shot down by Iranian surface-to-air missiles, Trudeau said.


The NTSB has agreed to participate in the investigation but its role is not clear given the US sanctions on Iran, according to a CNBC report. Since the Boeing 737-800NG jet was manufactured in the US, it can take part in the investigation under global rules, said the report.


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky’s official Twitter account had earlier sent out a Tweet providing an update on the probe. “President @ZelenskyyUa had calls with leaders of different countries, including PMs of UK, Canada, Sweden and President of Iran,” the Tweet said. “Ukraine is interested in the truth. We ask all our international partners to assist the investigation and provide any relevant evidence that they may have.”

Iran is ready to provide visa and other consular facilities to the officials investigating the matter, Farhad Parvaresh, Iran’s representative at the International Civil Aviation Organization, said, in a Reuters report.


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Published on January 10, 2020
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