Pompeo says US suspects Iran missile to blame

The Trump administration suspects an Iranian missile caused the crash of a Ukrainian passenger jet that killed all 176 people on board, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a news conference Friday, confirming earlier intelligence reports.

Also on Friday, Ukrainian officials gained access to the plane’s “black box” recorder, according to Iulia Mendel, spokeswoman for Ukraine’s president. Recovery of the black box, which records data from the flight and voices from the cockpit, is considered a key step in reconstructing the final moments of any air crash.

Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported that the box, made of hardened material capable of withstanding intense flame, explosions and impact, would be opened Friday. But the process of downloading the information could take up to two months.

An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing. If evidence shows that the Iranian missile did, in fact, take down the plane, then the U.S. “and the world will take appropriate actions in response,” Pompeo said.

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