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Iran slams West’s smear campaign over crashed airliner

The Spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry slammed the early assessments by some Western media officials that a Ukrainian airliner carrying dozens of civilians have been shot down in the Islamic Republic, saying Tehran has invited Kiev to take part in the investigation.

According to reports, in a statement on Thursday night, Seyyed Abbas Mousavi reacted to “the suspicious moves” by the West to create a negative atmosphere against Iran and said the country is investigating the incident in adherence to international standards.

The spokesman further said Iran has invited Ukraine and Canada to participate in the investigation, which will be conducted according to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s regulations.

The remarks came as some US, Canadian, and British officials said Thursday the cause of the jet’s crash was a missile fired from Iran in the hours after the country had launched other missiles at bases housing US troops.

The victims of Wednesday’s crash included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans, and three British nationals.

All 179 people on board the Boeing 737, including nine crew, were killed when the jetliner crashed shortly after takeoff from the airport on Wednesday morning.

The plane operated by Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) was bound for Kiev.