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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Iran Denies Plane Was Spying

NICOSIA -- Iran denied Tuesday that an Iranian transport plane which crashed in the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, killing all 32 people aboard, was on a spying mission.

The Russian Itar-Tass news agency on Monday quoted Russian military experts as saying the C-130 Hercules, which was carrying relatives of Iranian embassy staff, could have been spying.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mahmoud Mohammadi told the news agency IRNA: "It is a pity that at a time when the people of Iran are mourning the death of the victims of this crash, such baseless and false reports are broadcast by Itar-Tass news agency."

The experts quoted by Itar-Tass said no one had answered the main question as to why the U.S.-made plane left its planned route and flew over Karabakh.

Both Armenia and Azerbaijan, whose forces have fought for six years over the enclave, have strongly hinted the other side was responsible.