Iran on Friday denied Western allegations that one of its own missiles downed a Ukrainian jetliner that crashed outside Tehran, and called on the U.S. and Canada to share any information they have on the crash, which killed all 176 people on board. Western leaders said the plane appeared to have been unintentionally hit by a surface-to-air missile just hours after Iran launched around a dozen ballistic missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq to avenge the killing of its top general in an American airstrike last week.
"We are confident that crash investigation bodies in America, Britain and Canada will not confirm (the claim that the plane was hit by a missile) and American politicians have talked without paying attention to technical matters", Ali Abedzadeh, head of Iran's national aviation department, told a press conference.
The ballistic missile attack on the bases in Iraq caused no casualties, raising hopes that the standoff over the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani would end relatively peacefully, though Iran has sent mixed signals over whether its retaliation is complete.
If the U.S. or Canada were to present incontrovertible evidence that the plane was shot down by Iran, even if unintentionally, it could have a dramatic impact on public opinion in Iran.
(Picture Credit: AP)