Winston Peters calls for full investigation into deadly Ukrainian passenger jet crash over Iran

Winston Peters is calling for a full investigation into the deadly Iran plane crash, which is believed to have been caused by a missile.

The crash on Wednesday happened only hours after Iran launched missiles strike on air bases in Iraq where US soldiers were based in retaliation for America's killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

Mr Peters, the Foreign Affairs Minister and Acting Prime Minister, called the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight, which killed 176 people, in "disastrous news", in a statement today.

"New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is a tragic loss of life for all countries involved," he said.

"We join others in calling for a thorough, independent and unimpeded investigation into the circumstances of the crash.

"We, through our Embassy in Tehran, have offered assistance to the Canadians in its consular response to the crash as Canada does not maintain an Embassy in Iran.

Mr Peters said the situation in the region had calmed in the past 24-hours but remains unstable.

"We continue to call for diplomacy at this time of heightened tensions."