Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says evidence indicates that Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 was “shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile”.
Mr. Trudeau, whose views have been echoed by other Western leaders in London, Washington, Berlin and Paris, told reporters in Canberra that the ill-fated passenger plane that crashed near Tehran early on Wednesday was brought down possibly in error.
He called for a full and thorough investigation into the crash, which killed all 176 people on board.
Prime Minister Trudeau said Canada would not rest until the incident was fully investigated; but he also admitted that the Iranian authorities had guaranteed a degree of cooperation with investigators from Canada.
Iran has flatly denied suggestions that its air defences struck the Kiev-bound aircraft.
The plane crash occurred just hours after Iran carried out missile strikes on two airbases housing US forces in Iraq.
US media have speculated that the timing of the crash suggests the plane may have been mistaken for a US warplane as Iran prepared for possible US retaliation for the ballistic missile strikes.
One US media outlet quoted American intelligence sources as saying a satellite detected infrared “blips” of two missile launches, followed by another blip of an explosion.
Meanwhile, Newsweek quoted a Pentagon and senior US intelligence officials as saying they believed the Ukrainian airliner was hit by a Russian-made Tor missile which Iran is known to possess.
The plane, which was travelling from Tehran to Kiev, Ukraine, was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew, sixty of whom were Canadian citizens.