Iran Denies US Claims a Missile Hit Ukrainian Plane

US, Canada say incident likely unintentional

The crash of a Ukrainian Boeing 737 in Iran, and the death of 176 people on board continues to be investigated, and while no crash would have its story finalized in just a few days, the US and Canada are now claiming that the airline was likely shot down by an Iranian missile.

They say a shootdown was almost certainly accidental, and are speculating that Iran’s launches of missiles at Iraq during the time happened to hit the plane. Some US officials speculated Iran accidentally fired an anti-aircraft missile at the plane, mistaking it for US retaliation.

These all seem like preliminary speculation, and apart from a single video, there is an absence of solid evidence that this is what actually happened. Even with more conclusive evidence than has been offered, it would be very soon to draw a conclusion. Normally determining cause would take quite some time, likely weeks at the least.

Iranian Civil Aviation officials denied the claims as “illogical rumors,” insisting that it was impossible that the plane had been hit by a missile as it was flying from Tehran to Kyiv.

The plane was at about 7,000 feet when it was hit, and certainly since the plane left an Iranian airport, Iran would’ve been well aware of its flight plan. Hitting it, then, would be an incredible bungle, and embarrassing if it turned out to be the case.

Boeing hasn’t exactly had a stellar reputation with its civilian airliners of late either, and Iran’s initial claim of technical problems could serve to be quite embarrassing for them as well.

Iran has invited Ukraine, Boeing, and the engine manufacturer, CFM, to participate in the investigation process. They are presenting the US claims of a missile attack as a “psychological operation.”

Iranian officials also requested that Canada hand over the evidence that Prime Minister Trudeau claimed to have seen so they could examine it as well.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.