SHAHEDSHAHR, Iran (NBC) – Iran has denied western allegations that one of its own missiles downed a Ukrainian plane that crashed outside Tehran and called on the U.S. and Canada to share any information they have on the crash, which killed all 176 people on board.
Iran insists it did not accidentally, or intentionally, shoot down the Ukrainian passenger plane with anti-aircraft weapons as the country was on high alert, bracing for a possible American counterstrike hours after Iran fired missiles at bases in Iraq housing U.S. troops.
An Iranian official called that claim “illogical.” A news organization close to the government called the charge “psychological warfare” by the CIA to distract from Iran’s missile attack. But U.S. intelligence sources say satellite imagery and communications intercepts confirm Iran did shoot down the plane likely by mistake.
President Donald Trump said, “It was flying at a pretty rough neighborhood, and somebody could’ve made a mistake. Some people say it was mechanical. I, personally, don’t think that’s even a question, personally.”
Canada had 63 citizens on board and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is going one step further. “We have intelligence from multiple sources including our allies and our own intelligence,” he said. “The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.”
Ukrainian Airlines flight 752 left Tehran at 6:12 am headed for Kyiv. U.S. sources say two minutes later, two Russian-made missiles were fired at the plane. Seconds later, there was a mid-air explosion and the plane came crashing to the ground.
Video taken from the ground appears to show the moment a missile impacted.
Iran said it recovered two damaged black box recorders and will soon attempt to recover data from them and that Iran invites Boeing and Ukrainian authorities to participate in the investigation.
An Iranian official said it could take a month to the information on those damaged flight recorders and a year to complete the investigation.