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18 Jan, 2020 13:34

Black boxes of Boeing 737-800 downed in Tehran to be sent to Ukraine – chief Iranian investigator

Black boxes of Boeing 737-800 downed in Tehran to be sent to Ukraine – chief Iranian investigator

The flight recorders of the Ukrainian International Airlines jet, which was accidentally shot down by Iran’s air defenses, will be sent to Kiev, the head of the Iranian investigative team has told local media.

Hassan Rezaeifar told Tasnim News Agency on Saturday that once the flight recorders are transported to Kiev, experts from the US, Canada and France will work to extract the data from them.

If they fail, the black boxes will be sent to a lab in France. Rezaeifar previously stated that Iran lacks technical expertise to extract the necessary flight data on its own.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had earlier urged Tehran to grant Kiev's experts access to the black boxes.

Also on rt.com Iran makes arrests over accidental downing of Ukrainian airliner

An Iranian air defense unit shot down the Kiev-bound airliner on January 8, after mistaking it for a US cruise missile in the middle of an intense flare-up of tensions with Washington. All 176 people on board were killed.

On the night of the disaster, the Iranian military was bracing for possible US airstrikes after it fired a volley of missiles at Iraqi bases housing American personnel. The action was a response to the death of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a US drone shortly after leaving Baghdad's airport on January 3. Tehran had, however, reportedly warned the Iraqis hours before the strike, and the missiles destroyed equipment but killed no personnel.

US President Donald Trump had threatened to strike dozens of targets on Iranian territory if Tehran attacked American nationals or assets. 

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