interestingly, on top of gazeta.ru right now (And now!
Iran plane crash: US officials 'confident' plane shot down by Iranian missile
Iran plane crash: Airliner 'was trying to return to airport'
Media captionVideo from the scene shows the aftermath of the crash
A plane that crashed in Iran with 176 people on board was trying to return to the airport, Iranian investigators say.
The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 went down just minutes after taking off from Tehran's airport on Wednesday, leaving no survivors.
An initial probe found the aircraft experienced a problem as it was leaving the airport zone, and was "on fire".
Ukraine said it was examining various possible causes, including an anti-aircraft missile strike.
On Thursday, Oleksiy Danylov, the secretary of Ukraine's security and defence council, said in a Facebook post (in Ukrainian) that
Mr Danylov said Ukrainian investigators, who are in Iran, wanted to search for possible debris from a missile at the site of the crash. Iran is known to have Russian missile defence systems.
- a mid-air collision with a drone or other flying object
- engine destruction/explosion due to technical reasons
- an explosion inside the plane as a result of a terror attack
The investigation would include experts who worked on the investigation into
The crash came just hours after Iran carried out missile strikes on two airbases housing US forces in Iraq.
However, there is no evidence the two events are linked.
Amid tensions heightened by the US killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani on 3 January, Iran has said it will not hand over the recovered black box flight recorders to Boeing or to the US.
Under global aviation rules Iran has the right to lead the investigation, but manufacturers are typically involved.
'No distress calls'
Iran's Civil Aviation Organisation (CAOI) chief Ali Abedzadeh said: "The plane, which was initially headed west to leave the airport zone, turned right following a problem and was headed back to the airport at the moment of the crash."
Mr Abedzadeh added that witnesses saw the plane "on fire" before the crash, and that pilots hadn't made any distress calls before trying to return to Imam Khomeini airport.
"Several domestic and foreign flights were flying in Iranian space at the same altitude of 8,000ft (2,400m). The issue of the missile's impact on the aircraft cannot be true in any way," he said.
Mr Abedzadeh said the initial findings had been sent to Ukraine and the US, where Boeing has its headquarters.
He was earlier quoted as saying that "terrorism" had played no role in the crash.
Sweden and Canada had also been sent the findings, as their nationals were on board, he added.
Firstly Iran did NOT refuse to share the black boxes. Iran ONLY refused its access to USA. Ethiopia did EXACTLY the same, sending the Boeing black boxes to France for examination. And you should know why.That would explain why Iranians are reluctant to share black boxes and were bulldozing planes remains into piles.
The Iranian military mistakenly locked on to a plane that had just taken off from a busy Iranian airport and that the Iranian air controllers were still tracking on the radar?If indeed the plane was shot down, it probably is a mistake in the fog of war. Most of the passengers on the plane were Iranians.