The head of the Iranian investigation team denied earlier reports that the black boxes from the downed Ukrainian airliner would be sent to Kiev. Tehran tried to extract the data on its own, he said.
“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,” Hassan Rezaeifar, who leads the investigation into the incident along with the nation’s Civil Aviation Organization, told local news agency IRNA on Sunday. He added that Iran so far has “no plans” to send the flight recorders to Kiev.
Rezaeifar had earlier been quoted by Iranian media as saying that the black boxes would be sent to Ukraine, where experts from the US, Canada and France would work at extracting the data from them. The official has also said that Iran lacks proper software and hardware to download the data from the recorders.
Iran accidentally shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane on January 8, after mistaking it for an incoming US cruise missile, as it anticipated airstrikes amid a dramatic flare-up of tensions with the US. All 176 people on board were killed.