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Iran plane crash "not an intentional act," says Australian PM

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Amid rising tensions in the Middle East, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday said that the Ukrainian plane crash in Tehran "does not suggest an intentional act."

"Ukrainian plane crash in Tehran does not suggest an intentional act," said Morrison while talking to reporters in Canberra, as quoted by CNN.

Morrison's remark comes in the backdrop of a Boeing 737 jet crash in Iran with 176 people on board, minutes after taking off from Tehran on Wednesday morning.

Earlier in the day, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said: "the shooting down of Ukrainian airliner by Iranian surface-to-air missile may be 'unintentional."

"We have intelligence from multiple sources including our alliance and our own intelligence and the evidence indicate that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface to Air missile. This may have been unintentional," Trudeau said during a conference.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has opened an investigation to find out the cause of the crash. The country's officials said they are looking into multiple causes for the crash including a missile strike or terrorism.

The crash took place on the same day that Iran launched missiles against US targets in Baghdad in retaliation for the killing of Iranian military leader General Qassem Soleimani.

Soleimani's death marked a dramatic escalation in tensions between the US and Iran that has often been high since Trump, in 2018, chose to unilaterally withdraw Washington from the 2015 nuclear pact the powers had struck with Tehran.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 10 2020. 12:00 IST
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