The Government of Iran on Friday rejected speculations about the alleged shooting down by its artillery of a plane belonging to Ukraine International Airlines, which crashed during take-off from the international airport in this capital.

In a statement released on Friday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi denied the rumors spread by unidentified US officials who said that the plane was shot down by an Iranian anti-aircraft missile.

‘The Islamic Republic of Iran has begun investigation into the cause of this plane crash in accordance with the international standards and the ICAO’s (International Civil Aviation Organization) criteria,’ Mousavi noted.

Iran also invited Ukrainian experts and Boeing, as the manufacturer, to participate in the investigation.

Mousavi expressed his condolences to the relatives of all 176 people killed in the accident, and thanked experts from victim’s home countries for contributing to clarifying what happened.

‘Any other government with information about this issue should share it with the committee that is leading the investigation,’ he said.

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