Monday , September 21 2020

Johnson backs missile theory in Iran plane crash as UK death toll rises – the guardian, theguardian.com


British PM says ‘body of information’ indicates aircraft was shot down and says four Britons died

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************************** (******************************** (************************************************************** () ******************************** (**************************************** (**********************************************************Boris Johnson said: ‘There is now a body of information that the flight was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.’ Photograph: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images (******************************************

Boris Johnsonsaid there was now a “ body of information ”that indicated the Tehran plane crash was caused by an Iranian missile.

The prime minister made the announcement afterUS officials and the Canadian leader, Justin Trudeau, said Iran looked to have been involved in the downing of the Ukrain (******************************************* e International Airlines Flight (**********************************. ********

In a statement, Johnson said: “There is now a body of information that the flight was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. This may well have been unintentional.

“We are working closely with (Canada) and our international partners and there now needs to be a full, transparent investigation. ”

Johnson also confirmed four Britons died in the plane crash, up from earlier reports of three.

He said the government was “providing support to their families at this most terrible time.”

The three known British victims included engineer Sam Zokaei, a BP employee from Surrey, Saeed Tahmabessi, an engineer from west London, and Mohammad Reza Kadkhoda Zadeh, from near Brighton, who ran a dry cleaning shop.

In total people were killed when the plane crashed moments after it left imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran at 6. 11 am local time (2.) ********************************************************************** am GMT ) on Wednesday, bound for the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

At least a third of those who died held Canadian passports and Trudeau told a press conference that the news of a missile being responsible was likely to come as a “shock” to the grieving families.

He made his comments after two US officials said it was “highly likely” an Iranian anti-aircraft missile brought down the passenger plane.

Johnson had earlier used a phone call with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to call for a “full, credible and transparent investigation” into what happened.

Johnson, in his later statement, added: “The UK continues to call on all sides urgently to deescalate to reduce tensions in the region.”

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