Iran invites both Ukraine and Boeing to investigate plane crash

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's state media say authorities have invited Boeing to take part in the investigation into a Ukrainian jetliner that crashed, killing all 176 people on board.

The move came after Western leaders said the plane appeared to have been unintentionally hit by a missile amid soaring tensions between Washington and Tehran.

The state-run IRNA news agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman on Friday as saying Iran "has invited both Ukraine and the Boeing company to participate in the investigations.”

The spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, says it will also welcome experts from other countries' whose citizens died in the crash.

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U.S., Canadian and British officials said it is “highly likely” that Iran shot down the civilian jetliner that crashed near Tehran late Tuesday. They said the fiery missile strike could well have been a mistake amid rocket launches and high tension throughout the region.

The crash came just a few hours after Iran launched a ballistic attack against Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops in its violent confrontation with Washington over the U.S. drone strike that killed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general. The airliner could have been mistaken for a threat, U.S. officials said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose country lost at least 63 citizens in the downing, said in Ottawa: “We have intelligence from multiple sources including our allies and our own intelligence. The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.”

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison offered similar statements. Morrison also said it appeared to be a mistake. “All of the intelligence as presented to us today does not suggest an intentional act,” he said.

Mousavi said Iran asks Canada's prime minister and any other government to "provide any information they have to the investigation committee.”

Iranian officials have ruled out a missile strike, saying the plane appears to have crashed because of technical difficulties.