Iran said it will soon send to France the black boxes it retrieved from the crash site of a Ukraine International Airlines plane outside the capital city of Tehran back in January.
The passenger aircraft was hit by a missile defense base belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) at the dawn of a tense night between the United States and Iran.
Of the 176 people on board the plane — most of them Iranian-Canadians — none survived the strike. Marking a U-turn from their initial denial, Iranian authorities came out three days after the incident to officially admit that the crash was the fruit of “a disastrous mistake” by missile battery operators. They promised a transparent probe and justice for the victims.
Tehran also announced that it lacked the technical knowhow to decipher the data on the two black boxes and continued to grip them tightly while sending mixed signals about what its next steps could be.
Six months on and amid mounting international pressure, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif assured his Canadian counterpart Francois-Philippe Champagne of Tehran’s readiness to send the black boxes to France, where further light could be shed on the tragedy.
And Zarif’s deputy for legal affairs Mohsen Baharvand told state television June 23 that the new decision was made after the Ukrainian side exercised delays in responding to Iran’s offers to hand over the black boxes to Kyiv.
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