Iran says it won’t keep the black boxes from the Ukraine airliner it accidentally shot down last week with a missile, killing 176 people.
“The black boxes of Flight 752 will not be decoded in Iran and will be transferred to Ukraine instead as per the country’s request,” the semi-official Tasnim news agency said, Bloomberg reported Saturday.
Tasnim based its reporting on Hassan Rezaeifar, head of the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization’s accident-investigation office, according to Bloomberg.
Mourners attend a memorial, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, in North Vancouver, British Columbia, to remember Canadian victims in the deadly downing of a Ukrainian airliner the week before, in Iran. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)
Iran initially denied shooting down the plane, a Boeing 737-800. The accident sparked protests in Iran and put worldwide pressure on Iranian leaders to accept responsibility and let other countries participate in the investigation. It took three days for Iran to accept blame for the crash.
The accident came hours after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard launched ballistic missiles at U.S. and coalition troops at two military bases in Iraq in response to the U.S. airstrike that killed Iran’s top commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, earlier this month.
Iran says the plane was mistaken for a U.S. cruise missile by lower-ranking officers.
The victims included 57 Canadian citizens, as well as 11 Ukrainians, 17 people from Sweden, four Afghans and four British citizens. Most of those killed were Iranians.
Tasnim also reported that Iranian investigators were prepared for experts from France, Canada and the United States to examine the black box flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder, according to Reuters.
It wasn’t clear when the black boxes would be sent to Ukraine, Reuters said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.