Newstalk
Newstalk

19.12 10 Jan 2020


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The US has hit Iran with further economic sanctions after Tehran’s revenge attack on bases housing American soldiers in Iraq earlier this week.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said eight senior Iranian officials, along with firms in sectors including steel, will be targeted.

“The goal of our campaign is to deny the regime the resources to conduct its destructive foreign policy,” he said.

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“We want Iran to simply behave like a normal nation. We believe the sanctions we imposed today further that strategic objective.”

Iran Tehran Plane A worker at the air crash site of a Boeing 737 Ukrainian passenger plane near Tehran, Iran, 08-01-2020. Image: Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

He also told reporters that he believes it is likely a passenger plane that came down near Tehran on Wednesday was shot down by an Iranian missile.

“We are going to let the investigation play out before we make a final determination,” he said.

“It is important that we get to the bottom of it.

“We will learn more about what happened to that aircraft and when we get the results of that investigation, I am confident we and the world will take appropriate actions in response.”

plane crash A Ukrainian airliner burst into flames shortly after take-off from Tehran, Iran | Image: Pacific Press/SIPA USA/PA Images

All 176 people on-board were killed in the crash - including 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghanis, four Britons and three German.

The leaders of Canada, Australia, the US and UK have all said they believe the plane was shot down.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a news conference: “We have intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence.”

“The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. This may well have been unintentional.”

Iran's head of civil aviation has dismissed the idea the plane was hit by a missile as “impossible.”

The French air accident investigation authority said Iran had invited it to join the investigation.

Analysis of the flight recorders was due to begin today and could take longer than a month.

Main image shows US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (R), with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) at the White House, 10-01-2020. Image: AP Photo/Susan Walsh


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