Ukraine Now Suspects Iran Shot Down Their Airliner

RedState shared over the last two days (see streiff’s write up here for more information) that the official Iranian explanation for the recent “crash” of a Ukrainian 737-800 out of Tehran simply makes no sense. The incident happened shortly after Iran had launched missile attacks into Iraq in an attempt to pathetically shake their fist at the United States over killing Qassem Soleimani.

There are several things to keep in mind here. The initial report came from Iran and no one else. They are still refusing to let any outside group examine the crash site and they have also refused to hand over the black boxes, claiming they were damaged and missing data (that’s not really how that works). That alone should be enough to suspect they are lying. Also, the idea that the mostly incompetent Iranians could ascertain the exact cause of such a crash in just hours is ludicrous. The U.S. NTSB would still be working right now. Things would be going back to labs, reconstructions would be taking place, and there’s absolutely no possible way they could make a determination before the sun even comes up the next day.

Yet, the Iranians magically did and almost everyone bought it. The U.S. media repeated the claim unquestionably and then went dark. After weeks of baseless speculation about other matters, even broadcasting Iranian propaganda live during an attack, the media suddenly lost their will to investigate and make educated speculation on a plane crash. Contrast this to their coverage of MH370, which had CNN speculating it got sucked into a black hole. The reason why is clear, though. They do not want to further implicate Iran in bad behavior because to do so would limit their ability to slap at the orange man and paint the Mullahs as the victims.

So what did happen? Every piece of public evidence we currently have, including the Iranians’ own response, says this plane was blown out of the sky. I won’t rehash all the details, as streiff covered much of it in the above link, but the idea that an “overheating” engine caused this plane to break up in mid-air in immediate fashion, with no warning to the crew, is laughably illogical.

The plane itself was still climbing at normal climb speed when the ADSB track stopped and those hits are only 6 seconds apart. There was no deviation, not panicked turn back to the airport, nor even any maneuvers taken that would have happened if the plane was on fire. It was there one second and six seconds later, it was gone and falling to earth over a massive wreckage area.

Further, jet engines are not like piston engines. They do not “overheat” in the traditional sense. The hot section can overheat, but it will not “explode” into a fireball. If the engine does fail due to excessive temperatures, the force of the turbine blades suddenly stopping will cause them to throw debris, but that’s about it. We actually saw a 737 land safely after doing this last year, but the picture most have of an overheating engine blowing an entire 737 up within a few seconds is simply not possible.

Again, this leaves very few explanations left except that a missile hit it and now the Ukrainians are starting to see that as a possibility.

Ukrainian investigators are considering the possibility that an antiaircraft missile might have hit a passenger jet that crashed near Tehran, killing all 176 aboard, as an initial report released Thursday by Iran said the plane was on fire while still in the air.

The preliminary Iranian investigation cited witnesses saying the plane was burning and was turning back to Tehran because of the “problem” when it went down Wednesday.

Those “eye witness” citations are from the Iranians and are likely made up.

In the early hours, the Ukrainians, no doubt scared of starting an international incident, accepted what the Iranians told them. Later, they would take back a statement made that absolved Iran of blame, no doubt coming to realize there’s little chance this was an “accident” and that they needed to leave their options open.

The truth is, the Europeans are scared to death of going after Iran. This is why you see them desperately clinging to the remains of the Iran nuclear deal and refusing to put further sanctions on them. This “crash” puts them in a very odd position. Do Ukraine and its close partners in the EU actually fully investigate this? Or do they sweep it under the rug with other factors at play? It’s beginning to look like there’s no way for them to do the latter. There’s just too much evidence saying this plane was shot down to ignore.

To throw further gasoline onto this building fire, the Iranians are currently bulldozing the crash site, which means the Ukrainians and international authorities will not be able to get a look at it.

There are also unconfirmed pictures containing the remnants of a surface to air missile sitting near the wreckage. We likely won’t ever get confirmation on that because the Iranians are busy cleaning up their mess.  Other suspicious facts include there being not a single radio call by the crew indicating distress before contact was lost. There’s never been a fire on an airliner in modern history (as far as I can tell) that didn’t give the crew time to at least initially react. Planes do not just explode into thousands of pieces suddenly.

I’m usually pretty cautious about stuff like this, as is RedState as a whole. It’s why we didn’t rush to put out a dozen stories repeating unconfirmed nonsense a few nights ago when Iran shot missiles into Iraq. But this is just too obvious. This plane was almost certainly shot down, and if the media and international authorities let the Iranians get away with it for political reasons, it’s going to further embolden them.

Bonchie
Front-page contributor for RedState. Visit my archives for more of my latest articles and help out by following me on Twitter @bonchieredstate.
Read more by Bonchie