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9 Jan, 2020 17:48

‘Illogical rumors’: Iran responds to US media reports that Ukrainian Boeing was hit by missile over Tehran

‘Illogical rumors’: Iran responds to US media reports that Ukrainian Boeing was hit by missile over Tehran

Iranian civil aviation authorities rejected as 'scientifically impossible' the media reports that the Ukrainian passenger jet departing Tehran was shot down by a missile, and called the scenario 'illogical rumors'.

"Scientifically, it is impossible that a missile hit the Ukrainian plane, and such rumours are illogical," Ali Abedzadeh, head of Iran's of Civil Aviation Organization, said on Thursday, according to the news agency ISNA.

Citing anonymous Pentagon and intelligence officials, US media have reported that the Boeing 737 was “highly likely” brought down by Iranian air defenses. The Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752 crashed within minutes of departing Tehran, just hours after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps fired two volleys of missiles at US targets inside Iraq, as reprisal for last week’s assassination of General Qassem Soleimani.

Also on rt.com Trump confirms more sanctions against Iran, says Tehran plane crash may have been ‘mistake’

Even US President Donald Trump seemed to speculate about a missile in a speech on Thursday, though he didn't blame the Iranian military but said that “somebody could have made a mistake.”

Iranian civil aviation authorities considered the possibility that the plane was shot down, but dismissed it because the plane attempted to return to the airport. Ukrainian officials cited a photo of missile debris that “was published on the internet” as possible evidence of an attack, but Iranian authorities say the photos do not match physical evidence.

“No parts of a missile were found at the scene of the crash,” civil aviation inspector Hassan Rezaeifar told the IRNA news agency, describing the missile scenario as “off the table.”

A preliminary Iranian report suggested that the plane caught fire and tried to turn around before crashing. All 176 people on board were killed, including 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians.

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