Update (Jan. 11, 2020): After this story was published, Iran admitted to shooting down the passenger airliner, while saying it had done so unintentionally.
Iran is strongly denying involvement in the crash of a Ukraine International Airlines jetliner that came down shortly after taking off from Tehran earlier this week, killing 176 people, though the New York Times has released a video purportedly showing a missile streaking across the sky and striking that plane.
As Newsweek first reported, some U.S. intelligence officials believe the plane was shot down by an Iranian anti-aircraft missile system, probably by mistake.
And Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose country lost at least 63 citizens in the downing, said Thursday that he received intelligence indicating Iran shot down Flight 752.
“What is obvious for us, and what we can say with certainty, is that no missile hit the plane,” stated Ali Abedzadeh, head of Iran's Civil Aviation Organiza-Organization.
Ali Rabiei, a spokesman for the Iranian government, accused the United States of “adding insult to the injury of the bereaved families” by saying publicly that an Iranian missile took down the plane. “No one will assume responsibility for such a big lie once it is known that the claim is fraudulent,” he added.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab declared on Friday that there was a “body of information” linking Iran to the incident.
Trudeau claimed to possess “intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence” indicating “that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.”
The prime minister, however, did not detail what that evidence was.
Abedzadeh countered the narrative in a press conference, arguing that if the plane had indeed been hit by a missile, the crash site would have had debris strewn over a larger area, akin to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was shot down over Ukraine in 2014.
“If they are really sure, they should come and show their findings to the world in accordance with international standards,” he said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the governments of the United States, Canada, and the U.K. to release any evidence in their possession, stating that the possibility of a missile attack “cannot be ruled out but cannot currently be confirmed.”
Hassan Rezaeifar, who is leading the Iranian investigation team, said recovering data from the flight’s black box recorders could take more than a month. He affirmed Iran may request help from international experts.
Abbas Mousavi, a foreign ministry spokesman, echoed the remarks, saying Iran “has invited both Ukraine and the Boeing company to participate in the investigations” and will welcome experts from countries whose citizens died in the crash.
According to a preliminary Iranian report released Thursday, an unspecified “sudden emergency” brought the plane down. The pilot reportedly made no call for emergency help but began to turn the plane around prior to the crash.
“Well, I have my suspicions,” President Trump said of the incident. “It was flying in a pretty rough neighborhood and someone could have made a mistake.”
The crash occurred on the same day Iran launched over a dozen missiles at Iraqi military bases housing American troops, a reprisal for the U.S. killing of Iran’s top general, which in turn was a response to the attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad by the Iran-backed paramilitary group Kata'ib Hezbollah on December 31.
Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Aerospace Force, said Iran “did not intend to kill” with the missile attack on Iraq and only “intended to hit the enemy's military machinery.”
The U.S. government reported no American casualties and only minimal damage to the bases as a result of the missile strike, though Iran claimed 80 “American terrorists” were killed.
The attack has been seen as a way for the Iranian government to “save face” with its people following the death of the popular General Qasem Soleimani while still being able to deescalate the situation.
The crash of Flight 752 raises questions about whether more conflict between the United States and Iran lies ahead.
While we do not yet have the full story about the crash, history teaches us to be cautious about running into war over such incidents. The event that triggered the Spanish-American war was the sinking of the USS Maine, which evidence suggests was not sunk by the Spaniards as believed at the time.
America entered World War I largely on the grounds of Germany sinking the RMS Lusitania, but we now know that the American and British government deliberately allowed the passenger ship, which was carrying millions of rounds of munitions, to be sunk in order to propel the United States into war.
Then there’s FDR’s foreknowledge of an attack on Pearl Harbor and decision to do nothing about it so he could justify America’s entry into World War II, along with the non-existent Gulf of Tonkin attack that led the United States to become more directly engaged in Vietnam.
And have we already forgotten about “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq?
Americans should be aware that powerful globalists want the United States fighting wars in the Middle East to protect their political and corporate interests. Though globalists initially gain popular support for such conflicts with appeals to patriotism, ultimately, they emerge as the only winners. The American people lose — and no one loses more than our troops and their families.
Image: Screenshot of a video by ABC's World News Tonight