United States to join probe of Ukrainian plane crash in Iran: agency
United States to join probe of Ukrainian plane crash in Iran: agency
An Iranian missile took down the Ukraine passenger jet, claim US officials
14 January, 2020, 14:09
President Trump said: "Somebody could have made a mistake".
The jet crashed on Wednesday near Tehran's shortly after takeoff, killing all 176 people on board. Most of the victims of the Ukrainian plane crash in Tehran are citizens of Iran (82) and Canada (63).
It is Iran's worst civil aviation disaster since 1988 when the United States military said it shot down an Iran Air plane over the Gulf by mistake, killing all 290 people on board.
Kiev has said its investigators wanted to search the crash site for any debris of a Russian-made missile used by Iran.
Earlier on Thursday a U.S. official, citing an extensive review of satellite data, said Washington had concluded with a high degree of certainty that anti-aircraft missiles brought the plane down.
Mousavi added that representatives from Ukraine and aircraft manufacturer Boeing had been invited to take part in the investigation.
Ali Abedzadeh, the head of the country's national aviation department, said it is "absolutely impossible" that the armed forces would shoot down a civilian aircraft.
That tragedy that came just hours after Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two airbases in Iraq housing US and coalition troops - in direct retaliation for the Trump administration's targeted killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani just days earlier.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he could not rule out a missile strike but this had not been confirmed. The assessment from USA officials came as Tehran released an initial report into the incident that said the pilots did not put out a call for help, but had been trying to return to the airport when the aircraft went down.
Iran has continued to insist the crash was the result of mechanical error and warned that the black box may have been "damaged".
An Iranian official denied a missile hit the plane and called on both the United States and Canada to release data backing their allegations.
He also denied that a missile caused the crash, calling such accusations "psychological warfare against Iran".
Ukraine said it was looking into a number of possible scenarios to explain the crash, including a missile strike, an in-flight collision and terrorism. It sent a team of experts to Iran on Thursday to help investigate on the ground.
Canada has also called for a full investigation into the crash: "We have intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence".
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