Daily US Times, Tehran: Iran has rejected the claims of potential missile strike brought down a Ukrainian passenger jet near the capital, Tehran, on Wednesday.
The crash killed all 176 people on board.
Growing numbers of western leaders claimed that an Iranian surface-to-air missile hits the plane before it crashed, possibly en error.
The chief of Iran’s civil aviation said on Friday that he was “certain” that a missile did not hit the plane.
A new video appeared to show a plane being hit by a projectile over Tehran.
Sixty-three of the plane’s passengers were Canadian. Other victims included 82 Iranians and 11 Ukrainians as well as nationals from Sweden, the UK, Afghanistan, and Germany.
Iran rejected claims of missile, What does Iran say?
Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation (CAOI) chief Ali Abedzadeh arranged a press conference in Tehran where said a missile was not the cause of the crash.
He told reporters it is clear that the plane was not hit by a missile.
“As I said last night, this plane for more than one and a half minutes was on fire and was in the air, and the location shows that the pilot was attempting to return”, he added.
Iran previously accused the US and its allies of “lying and engaging in psychological warfare” in their speculation over the cause of the accident.
Several US media speculated that Tehran’s air defense system mistakenly identified the Ukrainian flight as a US fighter jet and automatically fired missiles towards it. The time of the incident was so important to consider. Iran just hit US bases and bracing for possible US retaliation at that time.
But Iran denied any missile strike by its air defenses.
Multiple US media reported quoting US intelligence as saying a satellite detected infrared “blips” of two missile launches, followed by another blip of an explosion. Another US intelligence source said the plane was by a Russian-made Tor missile.
US President Donald Trump said he had ”suspicions” about the crash.
Iran and the US are passing highly tensed time following the killing of Qasem Soleimani. The top Irani General was killed by the US last Friday, and Iran strikes back to the US bases in Iraq on Wednesday.
Amid this tension between the countries, Iran denied to hand over the plane’s black-boxes to the US or the plane’s manufacturing company Boeing, which is also a US company.
But Iran later invited Boeing and US National Transportation Safety Board to join the investigation. Iran also invited the Transportation Safety Board of Canada to crash site in Iran.
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