(CNN)A spokesman for the Iranian government said reports that missiles downed the Ukraine International Airlines flight that crashed near Tehran Wednesday are “a big lie,” state-run media reported.

The spokesman, Ali Rabiei, accused the United States of spreading misinformation about the crash, in which all 176 people on board were killed.”No one will assume responsibility for such a big lie once it is known that the claim had been fraudulent,” Rabiei said in a statement, according to Press TV. “It is unfortunate that the psychological operation of the US government, and those supporting it knowingly and unknowingly, are adding insult to the injury of the bereaved families and victimizing them for certain goals by propagating such fallacies.”The plane, a Boeing 737-800, was headed for Kiev when it crashed shortly after takeoff from Imam Khomeini Airport in the Iranian capital. The victims include 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three British nationals.Read More Reports from the United States and its allies surfaced Thursday that the plane may have been shot down by surface-to-air missiles. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau, said Thursday that intelligence showed the commercial aircraft was shot down. Both leaders said it may have been unintentional and called for an investigation.A US official familiar with the intelligence said the plane was shot down by two Russian-made SA-15 surface-to-air missiles. The US saw Iranian radar signals lock onto the jetliner, before it was shot down. Video sent to CNN appears to show a missile fired into the Tehran sky early Wednesday morning and striking an object in the sky. Ali Abedzadeh, the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, said the plane’s black boxes — which may contain data that would help investigators figure out what caused the crash — were damaged, so Tehran may need help decoding them. Abedzadeh also cast doubt on conclusions the plane was shot down. “If a rocket or missile hits a plane, it will free fall,” he told CNN. Bodies are recovered by emergency crews at the scene of a plane crash in Iran on Wednesday, January 8.Bodies are recovered by emergency crews at the scene of a plane crash in Iran on Wednesday, January 8. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranBodies are recovered by emergency crews at the scene of a plane crash in Iran on Wednesday, January 8.Hide Caption 1 of 30At Ukraine's Boryspil International Airport, flowers are placed at a memorial for the nine crew members who were killed in the crash.At Ukraine's Boryspil International Airport, flowers are placed at a memorial for the nine crew members who were killed in the crash. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranAt Ukraine’s Boryspil International Airport, flowers are placed at a memorial for the nine crew members who were killed in the crash.Hide Caption 2 of 30The partner of crew member Julia Sologub kisses a portrait of her at the airport memorial in Ukraine.The partner of crew member Julia Sologub kisses a portrait of her at the airport memorial in Ukraine. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranThe partner of crew member Julia Sologub kisses a portrait of her at the airport memorial in Ukraine.Hide Caption 3 of 30A Ukraine International Airlines employee lights a candle that is part of a symbolic runway at the airport memorial.A Ukraine International Airlines employee lights a candle that is part of a symbolic runway at the airport memorial. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranA Ukraine International Airlines employee lights a candle that is part of a symbolic runway at the airport memorial.Hide Caption 4 of 30Mourners place candles and photographs outside the Alberta Legislature Building during a vigil in Edmonton, Alberta.Mourners place candles and photographs outside the Alberta Legislature Building during a vigil in Edmonton, Alberta. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranMourners place candles and photographs outside the Alberta Legislature Building during a vigil in Edmonton, Alberta.Hide Caption 5 of 30A man reacts at the crash site.A man reacts at the crash site. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranA man reacts at the crash site.Hide Caption 6 of 30Rescuers work to recover debris from the plane.Rescuers work to recover debris from the plane. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranRescuers work to recover debris from the plane.Hide Caption 7 of 30A child's shoe is pictured at the scene of the crash.A child's shoe is pictured at the scene of the crash. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranA child’s shoe is pictured at the scene of the crash.Hide Caption 8 of 30A man observes a piece of the wreckage.A man observes a piece of the wreckage. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranA man observes a piece of the wreckage.Hide Caption 9 of 30Crews search the scene.Crews search the scene. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranCrews search the scene.Hide Caption 10 of 30An official stands near a piece of plane wreckage.An official stands near a piece of plane wreckage. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranAn official stands near a piece of plane wreckage.Hide Caption 11 of 30Debris from the plane is seen as authorities work at the site of the crash.Debris from the plane is seen as authorities work at the site of the crash. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranDebris from the plane is seen as authorities work at the site of the crash.Hide Caption 12 of 30Emergency response teams and body bags are seen amid the debris.Emergency response teams and body bags are seen amid the debris. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranEmergency response teams and body bags are seen amid the debris.Hide Caption 13 of 30Victims' possessions are seen scattered at the crash site.Victims' possessions are seen scattered at the crash site. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranVictims’ possessions are seen scattered at the crash site.Hide Caption 14 of 30Recovery crews carry the body of a victim.Recovery crews carry the body of a victim. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranRecovery crews carry the body of a victim.Hide Caption 15 of 30A rescuer stands amid the crash debris.A rescuer stands amid the crash debris. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranA rescuer stands amid the crash debris.Hide Caption 16 of 30Emergency crews search the scene of the crash.Emergency crews search the scene of the crash. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranEmergency crews search the scene of the crash.Hide Caption 17 of 30Pieces of the plane are strewn across the crash site.Pieces of the plane are strewn across the crash site. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranPieces of the plane are strewn across the crash site.Hide Caption 18 of 30Authorities recover debris from the plane.Authorities recover debris from the plane. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranAuthorities recover debris from the plane.Hide Caption 19 of 30Bystanders watch as emergency teams work the crash site.Bystanders watch as emergency teams work the crash site. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranBystanders watch as emergency teams work the crash site.Hide Caption 20 of 30Emergency workers investigate the scene.Emergency workers investigate the scene. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranEmergency workers investigate the scene.Hide Caption 21 of 30An emergency worker passes part of the destroyed plane.An emergency worker passes part of the destroyed plane. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranAn emergency worker passes part of the destroyed plane.Hide Caption 22 of 30Crews transport a victim's body from the scene.Crews transport a victim's body from the scene. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranCrews transport a victim’s body from the scene.Hide Caption 23 of 30This aerial photo shows the crash site near the airport.This aerial photo shows the crash site near the airport. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranThis aerial photo shows the crash site near the airport.Hide Caption 24 of 30Body bags are laid out at the crash site.Body bags are laid out at the crash site. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranBody bags are laid out at the crash site.Hide Caption 25 of 30Parts of the plane are seen strewn across the crash site.Parts of the plane are seen strewn across the crash site. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranParts of the plane are seen strewn across the crash site.Hide Caption 26 of 30Authorities work through the plane's debris.Authorities work through the plane's debris. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranAuthorities work through the plane’s debris.Hide Caption 27 of 30Workers carry items retrieved from the scene.Workers carry items retrieved from the scene. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranWorkers carry items retrieved from the scene.Hide Caption 28 of 30Rescue teams conduct a search.Rescue teams conduct a search. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranRescue teams conduct a search.Hide Caption 29 of 30People stand near the wreckage.People stand near the wreckage. Photos: Ukrainian plane crashes in IranPeople stand near the wreckage.Hide Caption 30 of 3037 iran plane crash 010804 iran plane crash memorial 0108 RESTRICTED01 iran plane crash memorial 010803 iran plane crash memorial 0108 RESTRICTED02 iran plane crash memorial 010836 iran plane crash 010842 iran plane crash 010838 iran plane crash 010840 iran plane crash 010835 iran plane crash 010841 iran plane crash 010820 iran plane crash 010813 iran plane crash39 iran plane crash 010818 iran plane crash 010819 iran plane crash 010825 iran plane crash 010822 iran plane crash 010821 iran plane crash 010833 iran plane crash 010829 iran plane crash 010824 iran plane crash 010814 iran plane crash23 iran plane crash 010830 iran plane crash 0108 RESTRICTED32 iran plane crash 0108 RESTRICTED18 iran plane crash 010826 iran plane crash 010831 iran plane crash 0108 RESTRICTED06 iran plane crashThe timing of the crash, which was initially blamed on mechanical failure in Iranian state media, came just hours after Iran fired missiles at two Iraqi bases housing US troops in retaliation for the killing of Qasem Soleimani, who was one of Iran’s most powerful and influential military leaders. The exchange of attacks between Tehran and Washington — both on Iraqi soil — marked a dramatic escalation of tensions between the adversaries and raised fears of another proxy war in the Middle East.Trump said in a statement Wednesday the strikes appeared to be the extent of Iran’s actions, but he also pledged more to enact more sanctions on the country.

Source Link:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/10/middleeast/iran-plane-crash-intl-hnk/index.html

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