The plane would have appeared on the radar screen of Iran’s Mehrabad air traffic control centre, which cleared the crew to ascend to 26,000 feet. Staff should have identified the Boeing 737-800 plane as a regular civilian jet.
Also tracking the skies over Tehran were American satellites. If further missiles were hurled at US targets in Iraq the US’s Space-Based Infrared System would immediately detect them.
At 6.15am the system picked up something ominous: the unmistakable heat signature of missiles freshly launched.
An Iranian garrison on the ground, due west of the airport, appears to have mistaken the plane for a hostile American object. According to US officials, an Iranian anti-aircraft battery unleashed two Russian-made missiles. The US satellites recorded an infrared blip: an explosion.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, citing Canadian intelligence, said a rocket shot down a Ukrainian plane in Iran.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson agrees with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump on the causes of the tragedy of the Ukrainian Boeing - he is sure that the plane was shot down.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is convinced that the crash of the Ukrainian Boeing 737 in Tehran is not connected with anyone’s intentional actions.