Western officials now say it is highly likely that Iran was responsible for shooting down a Ukrainian passenger airliner late Tuesday, killing all 176 people on board. The crash occurred just hours after Iran launched a barrage of missiles against US air bases in Iraq.
One video shows the moment the Boeing 737 was struck by a missile. Another video recorded by an Iranian resident showed the moment the plane crashed to the ground outside Tehran. Iranian media is broadcasting CCTV video that shows debris on fire, streaking past the camera.
“The evidence indicates that the plane was struck down by an Iranian surface to air missile,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insisted.
Some western intelligence officials say it is likely the Iranians fired off the anti-aircraft missile because they mistook the Ukrainian passenger plane for a possible US fighter jet.
Iran has invited officials from Boeing, the US and Canada to investigate- but the US may not want Americans go to Iran with tensions so high. Just hours after the crash, Iran had cleared all evidence of the accident from the crash zone. The black boxes have been recovered, but it remains unclear if Iran will turn them over to western investigators.
Back in Washington, the House of Representatives passed the War Powers Resolution – which says the president must inform Congress before taking further military action against Iran. Only three Republicans voted for the measure, eight Democrats against. The resolution is not law, it’s non-binding, simply a “sense of the House” resolution that requires no presidential signature.
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insists the measure has “real teeth.” She says Trump endangered the lives of American diplomats and service members when he ordered the strike that killed Iranian Quds Force general Qassem Soleimani.
“The president will say, ‘I inform you by reading my tweets.’ No, that’s not the relationship that our founders had in mind,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi and other Democrat leaders are upset because the president did not inform them prior to taking action against Iran. At a rally in Toledo Thursday night, the president said he had a good reason not to tell them about it.
“You know, these are split second decisions. You have to make a decision… We didn’t have time to call up Nancy, who is not operating with a full deck,” President Trump said.
The resolution passed even after Trump announced Soleimani was planning to “blow up our embassy” in Iraq. The strike on Soleimani came shortly after Iranian militias under his leadership attacked the US embassy in Baghdad, breached the gate, set a building on fire, and engaged in violent protests against the US.