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Iran sending black boxes to Ukraine


REUTERS

Iran sending black boxes to Ukraine

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DUBAI – Ira said on Saturday it was sending to Ukraine the black boxes from a Ukrainian passenger plane that the Iranian military shot down this month, an accident that sparked unrest at home and added to pressure on Tehran from abroad.

Iran’s Tasnim news agency also reported the authorities were prepared for experts from France, Canada and the United States to examine information from the data and voice recorders of the Ukraine International Airlines plane that came down on January 8.

It did not say when the black boxes would be sent to Ukraine.

The plane disaster, in which all 176 aboard were killed, has added to international pressure on Iran as it grapples with a long running row with the United States over its nuclear programme that briefly erupted into open conflict this month.

The plane was shot down in error at a time when Iran was on high alert for a U.S. attack. But the military took days to admit they had brought it down, a delay that sparked protests.

Hassan Rezaifar, a director in charge of accident investigations at Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation, said the aim was to read the information on the recorders “with the use of the expertise of the countries of France, Canada and America”.

“If this effort is unsuccessful then the black box will be sent to France,” he said, according to Tasnim, adding that black boxes were being sent to Kiev at the request of Ukrainian experts in Tehran and that they would not be inspected in Iran.

The U.S.-built Boeing 737-800 was en route from Tehran to the Ukrainian capital. Most of those on board were Iranians or dual nationals. Canada had 57 citizens on board.

France was one of the few countries with the ability to read the flight and cockpit data recorders from the jet, he told a news conference, adding they were badly damaged.

Canada’s Foreign Ministry and the prime minister’s office had no immediate comment on the move to send the black boxes to Ukraine. The French Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment and a spokesman for the France’s air accident agency, BEA, said it was awaiting an official request for assistance.

A spokesman for the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board also said it had no comment. (Reuters)

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