Iran has sent the black box flight recorder from a Ukrainian passenger jet that it mistakenly shot down in January to France for further analysis following months of delays, state-run media reported Monday.
The IRNA news agency quoted Tehran military prosecutor Gholamabbas Torki as saying that the recorder was sent to France, without elaborating. He said the recorder was “physically damaged” and that the data could only be recovered with “sophisticated” technology.
He said Iran’s own experts were unable to acquire the necessary converter because of U.S. sanctions.
Iran accidentally shot down the Boeing 737-800, killing all 176 people aboard, after mistaking it for an incoming missile. Iran had been bracing for a counterattack after launching missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq in response to the killing of its top commander, Gen. Qassim Soleimani, in a U.S. strike earlier in January.
Since, then it has been in negotiations with Ukraine, Canada and other nations that had citizens aboard the plane, and which have demanded a thorough investigation.
Iran initially blamed the crash on technical problems and only acknowledged shooting down the plane days later.
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