NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has tentatively backed claims from the US and allies that Iran shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed on Wednesday, saying there is “no reason to doubt” the allegation.
“We have no reason to not believe the reports we have seen from different NATO allies…that the plane may have been downed by Iranian air defense systems,” Stoltenberg told reporters on Friday. He called for Iran to “participate and contribute to a transparent and thorough investigation.”
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Iran has welcomed countries that lost citizens in the crash of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 to participate in the investigation, which killed all 176 people on board. It has suggested it will enlist the help of France or Canada in decoding the data from the black boxes retrieved from the wreckage, but refuses to hand them over to the US.
The US-led narrative that Iran shot down the plane by “mistake” has gradually eclipsed other explanations in the media, even from outlets that had previously aired competing narratives, though no evidence has emerged to support the hypothesis. US President Donald Trump hinted on Thursday that “somebody could have made a mistake,” and anonymous US officials went further to claim it was “highly likely” Iran had shot it down. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau piled on with his own claims that multiple pieces of intelligence supported the narrative, though he admitted it was too early to be “drawing any conclusions.”
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