European Council President Charles Michel called for a rigorous and transparent investigation into Wednesday’s crash of a Ukrainian International Airlines passenger jet in Iran. 

"I support call of [Ukrainian] President [Volodymyr] Zelensky and [Canadian and British] Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau, Boris Johnson for open & thorough investigation into Ukrainian Plane Crash," Michel said late Thursday on Twitter.

"When families lose loved ones, they deserve to know what happened.

"Our thoughts are with the families & friends of the victims," he added.

The Boeing 737-800 crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport just hours after Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles targeting U.S. troops in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination last week of Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force, outside Baghdad International Airport in a drone strike.

Some 176 people died in the crash, including Iranians, Canadians, Ukrainians, Swedes, Afghans, Germans and British citizens.