New York Times:
Iranian officials plan to meet with international investigators on Saturday and announce the cause of the Ukrainian jetliner crash near Tehran this week that killed all 176 aboard, Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency reported on Friday, capping a day of international recriminations.
The announcement comes amid a global race to answer the many questions surrounding the Wednesday crash. American and allied intelligence assessments have suggested that Iranian missiles brought down the plane, most likely by accident, amid the heightened tensions between the United States and Iran. On Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo became the first American official to publicly confirm the disclosures.
“We do believe that it’s likely that the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile,” he said at a briefing at the White House to announce new sanctions against Iran in response to its firing of ballistic missiles at American targets in Iraq this week. “We’re going to let the investigation play out before we make a final determination,” he added.
Iranian officials have denied that its missiles brought down the plane. A top aviation official doubled down on Friday, saying that statements from other nations were politically motivated.
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