A Ukrainian passenger plane carrying 176 passengers and crew has crashed near Tehran just hours after Iran launched a missile attack on US bases in Iraq in revenge for the killing of General Qassem Soleimani.
Ukrainian International Airlines crashed in the early hours of Wednesday morning just three minutes after takeoff from Imam Khomeini International Airport.
It sparked speculation that the jet could have been shot down accidentally by nervous Iranian air defense soldiers, hours after Iran fired 15 ballistic missiles at US bases in Iraq.
Iranian officials said the pilot had lost control of the Boeing jet after a fire struck one of the plane's engines, but did not say what caused the fire.
The Ukrainian embassy in Tehran reported that the crash had been caused by an engine failure rather than terrorism.
But the crash of the Ukrainian Airlines 737 is a dramatic development and will increase tension if the jetliner has been shot down by the Iranians.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky expressed condolences in a message from Oman.