Britons have been urged not to take flights to and from, or within, Iran as details continued to emerge about the crash fatal crash of a passenger jet near the Iranian capital that left 176 people dead.
The Foreign Office advice came as Western leaders said intelligence suggested the Ukrainian aircraft was mistakenly shot down by an Iranian missile amid escalating tensions between Iran and the US.
A statement from Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “Given the body of information that UIA Flight 752 was shot down by an Iranian Surface to Air Missile, and the heightened tensions, we are now advising British nationals not to travel to Iran.
“We also recommend against taking a flight to, from and within Iran.”
He also called for a “full and transparent investigation to establish what caused the crash”, adding: “Our thoughts are with the families of the victims, including the four British nationals who lost their lives.”
UK Travel Advice to Iran has changed. The UK now advises all British nationals against all travel to Iran. Additionally the FCO advise against all air travel to, from and within Iran. We recommend British nationals subscribe to— Rob Macaire (@HMATehran) January 10, 2020
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Mr Raab’s calls echo those of Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a thorough investigation, saying Iran should “open up” the crash site to international investigators.
The Boeing 737-800 plane crashed moments after it left Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran on Wednesday, bound for the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
Iran ruled out a missile strike and initially suggested the cause was a fire in one of the plane’s engines.
Western leaders have since said that intelligence suggests the plane appeared to have been unintentionally hit by a surface-to-air missile hours after Iran launched ballistic missiles at two US bases in Iraq to avenge the killing of General Qassem Soleimani in a US air strike.
The New York Times published a video which it said showed the moment a missile hit a plane above Parand, near Tehran’s airport, the area where the Ukrainian airliner stopped transmitting its signal before it crashed.
A teenager who was brought up in south-west London has been named among the victims of the plane crash.
Arad Zarei, 17, who had relocated to Canada having attended St Mary’s Primary School in Twickenham until 2014, was said to have been visiting his mother in Iran.
Mr Tahmasebi’s wife, Niloufar Ebrahim, was also among those killed. She was not yet a British citizen but was planning to settle in the UK with her new husband.