Iran

Updated at 8:36 p.m. ET

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that evidence suggests an Iranian missile strike brought down the Ukrainian jetliner that plunged from the sky Wednesday outside Tehran.

"We have intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence. The evidence indicates the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile," Trudeau said during a news conference in Ottawa, one day after all 176 people aboard — including dozens of Canadian passengers — died in the crash.

Flags have been lowered across the Greater Toronto Area to remember the victims of the Ukraine International Airlines crash in Iran. All 176 people on board were killed and 63 were Canadians. As Dan Karpenchuk reports, more than a dozen were from Ontario.


Updated at 4:50 a.m. ET

A Ukraine International Airlines jetliner, reportedly carrying 176 passengers and crew, has crashed near Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport, according to Iran state television, which said all those aboard are dead. Iranian officials said they believe one of the plane's engines caught fire.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

President Trump said that Iran appears "to be standing down" after Tuesday night's missile attack in Iraq and that "the American people should be extremely grateful and happy no Americans were harmed."

Trump, in a nationally televised address from the White House, also announced a new round of what he termed "punishing economic sanctions" against the Iranian government. And he called on NATO to become "much more involved in the Middle East process."

Updated at 10:03 p.m. ET

Iran has launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces, targeting at least two military bases in Iraq, the U.S. Defense Department announced late Tuesday.

The strikes on military and coalition personnel at the Ain al-Assad air base in Anbar province and in Irbil — at the center of Iraq's Kurdistan region — began at approximately 5:30 p.m. ET, according to a statement.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif defended the strike, saying it was an act of "self-defense."

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tells NPR that the U.S. "will pay" for a drone strike that killed the commander of the country's elite Quds Force, which he described as an act of "both terrorism and war."

Speaking with All Things Considered host Mary Louise Kelly in Tehran, Zarif said last week's assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani was "a cowardly armed attack" that "amounts to war."

"[We] will respond according to our own timing and choice," he said.

Updated at 11:50 p.m. ET Sunday

As thousands of mourners flooded the streets of Iran on Sunday to mourn the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a series of dizzying developments convulsed the Middle East, generating new uncertainty around everything from the future of U.S. forces in Iraq to the battle against ISIS and the effort to quell Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Amid the fallout of the U.S. drone strike on Friday that killed Soleimani, Sunday saw the following whiplash-inducing developments unfold almost simultaneously:

Dozens of protesters gathered at Elmwood Avenue and Bidwell Parkway in Buffalo Saturday to voice their opposition to the escalating tensions between the United States and Iran.

Updated at 3:15 p.m.

President Trump, in his first public remarks in the wake of a U.S. strike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, defended the action as necessary to protect national security.

"We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war," Trump said Friday afternoon from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Updated at 1:07 p.m. ET

President Trump ordered a bold strike against Iran this week that jangled the Middle East and Washington, drawing praise from allies, skepticism from critics and, most of all, questions about what comes next.

Updated at 4:27 a.m. ET Friday

U.S. forces assassinated Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike early Friday near the Baghdad International Airport, an escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran that is prompting concerns of further violence in the region.

President Trump threatened Iran in a late-night tweet on Sunday, responding angrily after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized Trump and warned the American president not to "play with the lion's tail" and that "war with Iran is the mother of all wars."

Trump's tweet, posted in all-capital letters: "NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE."

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

President Trump is striking a formal blow against the Iran nuclear deal. But he is stopping short of asking Congress to reimpose sanctions on Tehran. Instead, the president is urging lawmakers to pass a new law, spelling out conditions under which sanctions could be reimposed.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The University at Buffalo continues to rank among the top 25 universities for enrolling international students. Earlier this week, the Institute of International Education released its Open Doors report, ranking UB 21st among American colleges and universities for international enrollment. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley tells us UB is preparing to expand its recruitment effort.

The recently-reached Iranian nuclear deal is meeting with some skepticism from Southern Tier Rep. Tom Reed. In his weekly telephone conference call Monday, Reed said the deal is "very troublesome."