Reports: US Officials Believe Iran Shot Down Ukrainian Plane Outside Tehran

TEHRAN, Jan. 8, 2020 -- Rescuers work at the air crash site of a Boeing 737 Ukrainian passenger plane in Parand district, southern Tehran, Iran, on Jan. 8, 2020. All the passengers and crew members on board the Boeing 737 Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed near Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport on Wednesday morning are confirmed dead, official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. (Photo by Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua via Getty)
TEHRAN, Jan. 8, 2020 -- Rescuers work at the air crash site of a Boeing 737 Ukrainian passenger plane in Parand district, southern Tehran, Iran, on Jan. 8, 2020. All the passengers and crew members on board the Boein... TEHRAN, Jan. 8, 2020 -- Rescuers work at the air crash site of a Boeing 737 Ukrainian passenger plane in Parand district, southern Tehran, Iran, on Jan. 8, 2020. All the passengers and crew members on board the Boeing 737 Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed near Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport on Wednesday morning are confirmed dead, official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. (Photo by Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 9, 2020 12:11 p.m.

U.S. officials believe Iran shot down the Ukrainian plane that crashed outside of Tehran Wednesday morning, CBS News and CNN reported Thursday.

According to CBS, U.S. satellites detected two missile launches shortly before the plane exploded. CNN reported that unnamed U.S. officials believe Iran mistakenly shot down the plane. CNN called it a “working theory” among U.S. brass.

Newsweek also reported on unnamed U.S. officials’ beliefs that the plane was shot down by a Russian-built anti-missile system.

Several outlets — NBC News, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and others — subsequently matched the reporting that unnamed U.S. officials had evidence that Iran was responsible for the crash.

The Pentagon didn’t respond to TPM’s request for comment Thursday.

The plane crash, which claimed the lives of all 176 people on board — Iranians, Canadians, Ukrainians and others — was shrouded in mystery and contradictory statements in the hours following the incident. Flight 752 crashed hours after Iran fired missiles that struck two U.S. bases in Iraq. That strike resulted in no casualties.

Various aviation experts have expressed the possibility of foul play with the Tehran crash, citing the circumstances of the incident and photographic evidence from the crash site.

Iran’s top civil aviation official, Ali Abedzadeh, said Wednesday that the United States would not be given access to the plane’s “black box,” which likely contains information about the flight’s final seconds. Ukrainian investigators would be involved, Abedzadeh said.

This post has been updated.

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