The United States on Friday said the Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA) Boeing 737 airliner was shot down by Iran.
All 176 passengers and crew inside the plane died when it crashed in a field shortly after take-off on Wednesday morning.
U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, at a press conference, said: “It is likely that that plane was shot down by an Iranian missile’’.
“We’re going to let the investigation play out before we make a final determination.
“When we get results of that investigation, I am confident we and the world will take appropriate actions in response’’.
Iran’s top aviation official said an investigation would determine what caused the crash.
“We can state it with certainty that no missile has hit this aeroplane,’’ Ali Abedzadeh said at a press conference in Tehran, according to Iran’s Press TV.
“The plane was flying for over one-and-a-half minutes while it was on fire and the crash site shows the pilot had decided to return to the airport,’’ Abedzadeh said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has remained cautious, saying the missile scenario has not been ruled out.