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Trudeau says Iranian missile brought down jet, Iran denies claims

  • Published at 11:53 am January 10th, 2020
Ukraine plane crash-iran
File Photo: Rescue teams work at the scene after a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 passengers crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in the Iranian capital Tehran early in the morning on January 8, 2020, killing everyone on board AFP

Iran, which has denied the Boeing 737-800 was downed by a missile, says it could take one or two months to extract information from the voice and flight data recorders

A Ukrainian airliner that crashed in Iran, killing all 176 people aboard, was likely brought down by an Iranian missile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday citing intelligence from Canadian and other sources that Iran vehemently denied.

The destruction of the airliner, which carried 63 Canadians, "may well have been unintentional," Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa.

"We have intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence. The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile," he said.

Iran said on Friday it wanted to download black box recordings itself from a Ukrainian airliner that crashed, killing all 176 people aboard, after Canada and others said the plane was brought down by an Iranian missile, probably by mistake.

Iran, which has denied the Boeing 737-800 was downed by a missile, said it could take one or two months to extract information from the voice and flight data recorders. It said it could ask Russia, Canada, France or Ukraine if it needed help.

Tehran also said the probe might take one or two years.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he could not rule out a missile strike but this had not been confirmed.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington was "ready to offer our support" to Ukraine's investigation.

Ukraine's investigators want to search the crash site for any debris of a Russian-made missile used by Iran.

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it had designated a representative to join the probe.

The Ukraine International Airlines flight to Kiev from Tehran crashed on Wednesday, when Iran was on alert for a US military response hours after firing missiles at US targets in Iraq. https://tmsnrt.rs/39MLwwx

The incident adds to international pressure on Iran, after months of tension with the United States and tit-for-tat military strikes. Washington killed an Iranian general last week in a drone attack in Iraq, prompting Tehran's missile launches.

In an outpouring of grief, Iranians and others shared images from the crash site on social media. One showed a single child's red shoe in the dirt.

Trudeau said his government would not rest until it had obtained closure, transparency, accountability and justice.

Earlier on Thursday, a US official, citing an extensive review of satellite data, said Washington had concluded with a high degree of certainty that anti-aircraft missiles brought down the plane. The official said the Boeing 737-800 had been tracked by Iranian radar.

The US government believes Iran shot down the plane by mistake, three US officials told Reuters.

The data showed the plane was airborne for two minutes after departing Tehran when the heat signatures of two surface-to-air missiles were detected, one of the officials said.

That was quickly followed by an explosion in the vicinity of the plane, the official said. Heat signature data then showed it on fire as it went down. Heat signatures are infrared emissions detected by US military satellites.

The New York Times said it had obtained and verified a video that appeared to show an Iranian missile hitting a plane near Tehran airport.

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