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Iran Calls on French Analysts to Decipher Black Boxes Belonging to Downed Ukrainian Jetliner

© REUTERS / Social MediaGeneral view of the debris of the Ukraine International Airlines, flight PS752, Boeing 737-800 plane that crashed after take-off from Iran's Imam Khomeini airport, on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran January 8, 2020
General view of the debris of the Ukraine International Airlines, flight PS752, Boeing 737-800 plane that crashed after take-off from Iran's Imam Khomeini airport, on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran January 8, 2020 - Sputnik International
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Iranian investigators have requested that France’s Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) read black boxes belonging to a Ukrainian jetliner that was downed in early January amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran.

Iran has claimed that Ukraine has been slow in responding to its offer to provide Kiev with the cockpit voice and flight data recorders and has thus decided that the devices will be sent to France instead.

"Iran’s AAIB [Aircraft Accident Investigation Board] recently made a request to the BEA that the recorders should be taken by Iran to the BEA’s premises in France to be read in the presence of representatives of other involved countries and ICAO [International Civil Aviation Organization], if the BEA is in a position to accommodate this,” Farhad Parvaresh, Iran's representative to the ICAO, told Reuters Friday.

The BEA said it has not formally received the request regarding the black boxes and is still in discussions with Iran, Canada and Ukraine over its potential involvement in the matter. 

Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was downed on January 8 by an Iranian ground-to-air missile. The Kiev-bound Boeing 737-800 aircraft crashed near Tehran shortly after departing from Iran’s Imam Khomeini Airport. All 176 passengers and crew on board died. The victims included people from Iran, Canada, Sweden, Afghanistan, Germany and the United Kingdom. 

The incident occured hours after Iran struck two Iraqi bases that host American troops in response to the January 3 US-orchestrated assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani. The ballistic missile strikes caused no deaths, as Iran had given Iraq advance warning.

The Iranian military admitted that it had unintentionally shot down the jetliner after confusing it with a hostile US cruise missile amid flared tensions with the US. The Iranian leadership expressed regret over the incident, describing it as an "unforgivable mistake.”

According to a report by Reuters, Iran has also accused the US, where the 737-800 was designed and built, of not providing the necessary software to decipher the recorders. Meanwhile, Canada and Ukraine have accused Iran of stalling the investigation into the black boxes.

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