Iran urged the United States on Friday to wait for the results of the investigation into the crash of a Ukrainian airliner and dismissed as “a big lie” allegations coming from US officials that missiles downed the plane, Iranian state media reported, quoting a government spokesman.
“No one will assume responsibility for such a big lie once it is known that the claim had been fraudulent,” government spokesperson Ali Rabiei said in a statement, according to state-run Press TV.
“It is unfortunate that the psychological operation of the US government, and those supporting it knowingly and unknowingly, are adding insult to the injury of the bereaved families and victimizing them for certain goals by propagating such fallacies,” he added.
Rabiei said according to international rules, the aviation organization of the country where the incident occurred (Iran), the aviation organization of the country that issued qualification for the flight (Ukraine), the owner of the plane (Ukraine), the factory builder of the plane (Boeing) and the factory builder of the engine of the plane (France) can take part in the investigation of the incident.
A delegation from Ukraine is already in Iran, Rabiei said. “We also welcome the participation of all countries which have lost their nationals in the mishap,” he added.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Press TV on Thursday night, the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization Ali Abedzadeh also rejected as “illogical rumors” reports that the Ukrainian plane that crashed south of the capital Tehran on Wednesday was hit by missiles.
CNN reported earlier Thursday that the US increasingly believes Iran mistakenly shot down the airliner, according to multiple US officials. The working theory is based on continuing analysis of data from satellites, radar and electronic data collected routinely by US military and intelligence.
Iran shot down a Ukrainian airliner with two Russian-made surface-to-air missiles on Wednesday, a US official said. The US increasingly believes this was accidental. 176 people were killed.
176 were killed. Those include 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three British nationals, according to Ukraine’s Foreign Minister.
The US-Iran crisis started after the US killed a top Iranian general last week, Iran struck back, launching strikes on Iraqi bases housing US troops.