News ID: 271669
Published: 0207 GMT July 18, 2020

Iran sent Ukraine airliner black boxes to France: Official

Iran sent Ukraine airliner black boxes to France: Official

Iran has sent to France the black boxes of a Ukrainian passenger plane its forces mistakenly shot down in January, a Foreign Ministry official said in a media report Saturday.

"The black boxes were transferred to Paris yesterday by aviation organization officials and a judge, and their reading will start on Monday," Mohsen Baharvand, the deputy foreign minister for international and legal affairs, was quoted as saying by the Etemad newspaper.

"The French government has cooperated very well with the Iranian delegation and it is fit that I thank them for this," he added quoted by AFP.

On January 8, Iran mistakenly shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 shortly after take-off from Tehran’s main airport, killing all 176 aboard.

Iran has said that the misalignment of an air defense unit's radar system was the key human error that led to the plane's downing.

Tehran's air defenses had been on high alert at the time the jet was downed in case the US retaliated against Iranian missile strikes hours earlier on American military bases stationed in Iraq.

Those strikes were carried out in response to the assassination of a top Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport.

The black boxes are expected to contain information about the last moments before the aircraft was struck and crashed.

Canada, whose nationals made up most of the victims on board the jetliner, had demanded along with Ukraine that Iran send the black boxes abroad so their contents can be analyzed.

Iran had cited the novel coronavirus pandemic which has seen most international flights canceled as the reason for the delay in sending the back boxes.




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