Iran initially denied claims that it had shot the plane down by accident, after Canada and the US made the accusation.
The Iranian military has admitted that it “unintentionally” shot down the Ukrainian passenger jet on Wednesday, killing all 176 on board.
Iranian state media says human error was to blame for the crash, which happened hours after Iran launched ballistic missiles at two US bases in Iraq to avenge the killing of its top military general in an American airstrike.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed “deep sympathy” to the 176 victims, and said the armed forces must “pursue probable shortcomings and guilt in the painful incident”.
Mostly Iranians and Canadians were killed in the plane crash, with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau reacting by saying: “Our focus remains closure, accountability, transparency, and justice for the families and loved ones of the victims. This is a national tragedy, and all Canadians are mourning together.