Iran is decoding the flight recorders from the Boeing 737 that was accidentally downed earlier in January and has not taken a definitive decision to send them for analysis abroad, Hassan Rezaeifar, an aircraft safety inspector at the Civil Aviation Authority, stated on Sunday, as quoted by IRNA.
"We are trying to read the black boxes here in Iran. Otherwise, our options are Ukraine and France, but no decision has been taken so far to send them to another country”, Rezaeifar said.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Canadian investigators probing the crash left Iran after a six-day examination of the wreckage. According to a statement, there are still no firm plans for downloading the cockpit and flight data from the crashed aircraft.
The chief Iranian investigator "may travel to Ukraine this week" for talks with the officials who are probing the incident, according to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
"It is our understanding that the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder—often referred to as "black boxes"—are still in Iran. The AAIB’s investigator-in-charge (IIC) may travel to Ukraine this week to meet with the [National Bureau of Air Accidents Investigation of Ukraine] NBAAI to discuss the investigation and visit the NBAAI recorders lab," the Canadian agency said in a press release.
Uncertainty over Examination of Flight Recorders
The decoding of the recorders has also been a contentious issue over the past few days, as the parties involved in the tragedy cannot agree whose specialists should carry out the analysis.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously urged Iran to send the black boxes to France. Kiev, in turn, requested that Tehran transfer the flight recorders to Ukraine.
Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 crashed on 8 January near Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport, killing all 176 people on board. According to official data, 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans, and three UK nationals were among the victims.
The Iranian military subsequently admitted to unintentionally shooting down the jetliner, having confused it with a hostile cruise missile in anticipation of US retaliation for Iran's attack against Iraqi bases housing US military personnel. The Iranian leadership expressed deep regret, describing the tragedy as an "unforgivable mistake".