Iran plane crash: Iranian missile downed jet, believe Justin Trudeau, Boris Johnson
The prime ministers of Canada and the UK said that a Ukrainian jet that crashed Wednesday near Tehran was probably brought down by an Iranian missile and called for an international probe of the disaster.
“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," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa. “This may well have been unintentional."
More than a third of the 176 people aboard Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, which plunged from the sky about two minutes after a pre-dawn takeoff, were from Canada. The Boeing Co. 737-800 was on fire, according to witnesses on the ground and in other aircraft who were cited in a preliminary Iranian report on the crash.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a statement later Thursday saying there is evidence Flight 752 was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.
“We are working closely with Canada and our international partners and there now needs to be a full, transparent investigation," Johnson said.
Whether accidental or intentional, a shoot-down would echo two other instances of surface-to-air missiles striking civilian jets. In 2014, pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine fired on and destroyed a Malaysian Air jetliner. In 1988, an Iranian airliner was felled by a US cruiser after being mistaken for a hostile aircraft following a skirmish with Iranian boats.
President Donald Trump, speaking to reporters in Washington on Thursday, said, “I have my suspicions" about why the plane went down but said he didn’t say what those suspicions are.