Early on January 8, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft crashed after takeoff from the Imam Khomeini airport in Iran. The aircraft belonging to Ukrainian International Airlines was set to fly from Tehran to Kiev. 167 passengers and 9 crew members on board died in the incident. Most of the passengers were Iranians.
According to Iranian authorities, the most likely cause of the crash was a technical malfunction. The country’s civil aviation authority said the plane caught fire when it was airborne. Pilots tried to return to Imam Khomeini airport from which they departed, but to no avail. Reports also suggest that the crew made no distress calls during the emergency because of some issues with communication equipment because of the fire.
However, some media outlets and bloggers impressed with prospects of the US-Iran military escalation generated a vide range of other explanations, including a possible missile strike by Iranian air defenses and a terrorist attack.
The Iranian air defense missile strike version was picked up by pro-Israeli sources and, even the secretary of Ukraine’s security council.
On January 9, Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the security council, told Censor news outlet (well-known for various fake news that it dissiminated over the conflict in eastern Ukraine) that the versions of the crash include not only the technical malfunction, but also a hit by a “Russian-made” missile, a collision with a drone, and a terrorist attack.
Danilov said that the Ukrainian government is now in talks with Iranian authorities regarding access to the crash site. He added that Ukrainian investigators will search it for any “wreckage of a Russian-[made] Tor missile”.
“…information about the detection of missile debris near the crash site has already appeared on the Internet,” he claimed referring to allegations that popped up on social media.
The Ukrainian delegation of 45 persons that is set to participate in the crash investigation recently arrived in Iran.
The missile strike allegations made by the Ukrainain side is based on an unconfirmed photo of the supposed Tor misile seeker allegedly found near the crash site. The photo was first publsihed by the Twitter account @AshkanMonfared_ (now it’s suspended). The location and date of the photo cannot be confirmed independently. It’s possible that Danilov’s remarks are a clumsy attempt to somehow link the so-called ‘Russian threat’ to the tragedy.
#BREAKING: This image which is now being circulated in #Iranian social media is claimed to be showing seeker of a 9M331 missiles launched by an #IRGC|ASF's To-M1 SAM system at Flight #PS752 of #Ukraine Intl Airlines resulting explosion of Boeing 737-8KV (UR-PSR) today in #Iran. https://t.co/4zu7TGEe3x pic.twitter.com/JrULzpqQFK
— Babak Taghvaee (@BabakTaghvaee) January 8, 2020
These foolish statements by the secretary of the Ukrainian Security Council emphasizing a possible involvement of the ‘Russian missile’ also discredit the Ukrainian-promoted version of another civil plane crash – the MH-17. Kiev demonstrates that the main motivation of its action is to somehow blame the Russians.
If investigator take into account the version about the Tor missile provided by Danilov, they also should study one of versions provided by well-known Russian yellow media outlet KP. It claims that the Boeing 737-800 aircraft may have been downed by a US missile.
Iran’s minister of road and urban development Mohammad Eslami dismissed the claim about the missile strike as untrue.
Press TV reports (source):
Mohammad Eslami said the Boeing 737-800 aircraft crashed after encountering a technical malfunction.
Eslami said Iran will not hand over the black boxes recovered from the crash site to Boeing or any other countries.
According to the minister, Iranian technicians and experts from the American aerospace company Boeing will recover data from the black boxes in Iran.
“There are rumors that a terrorist attack, explosion or shooting at the plane may have caused the incident, but they are not true. Technical failure has been the cause of the incident,” Eslami said.
“Had the rumors been true, the plane must have exploded up in the air, but that has not happened, because the plane caught fire due to technical failure. That first caused its communications and control systems to stop working, and subsequently resulted in its crash,” he added.
These have been witnessed and confirmed by eyewitnesses as well, the minister said.
It is interesting to note that even mainstream media outlets do not support the Ukrainian version about the ‘Tor missile’. Reuters in its article entitled “Western intelligence agencies see no signs Ukraine airliner was shot down: Canadian source” writes:
The initial assessment of Western intelligence agencies is that a Ukrainian airliner which crashed in Iran on Wednesday was not brought down by a missile, said a Canadian security source.
The source, who declined to be identified, said the agencies believed the Boeing (BA.N) 737 plane had suffered a technical malfunction. The Ukraine International Airline jet crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran, killing all 176 people on board.
The disaster occurred shortly after Iran launched a series of missile attacks against two military bases in Iraq that housed U.S. troops.
“The initial assessment of Western intelligence agencies is that the plane was not brought down by a missile. There is no evidence to suggest that,” said the source.
The agencies believe the most likely cause of the crash was a malfunction, the source added, saying there was some evidence one of the plane’s engines had overheated.
The investigation is ongoing.
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- Ukrainian Boeing 737 With 177 Aboard Crashed In Tehran Just A Few Hours After Iranian Strike On US Forces In Iraq