Iran trying to analyze doomed Ukrainian jet's black box: report

Iran trying to analyze doomed Ukrainian jet's black box: report
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Iran is trying to analyze the black box belonging to the crashed Ukrainian jet, an official told a state news agency Sunday, a day after reports circulated about the records being transferred to Ukraine for analysis.

Hassan Rezaifar, a director in charge of accident investigations at Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, told state news agency IRNA that there are no plans yet to send the black box abroad, Reuters reported.

“We are trying to read the black boxes here in Iran,” he said, according to Reuters. “Otherwise, our options are Ukraine and France, but no decision has been taken so far to send them to another country.”

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His comments come a day after Iran’s Tasnim news agency reported Saturday that Rezaifar had said the black boxes could not be decoded in Iran and were being sent to Ukraine after the country had requested it. IRNA also reported these remarks. 

It was unknown why Rezaifar backtracked, Reuters noted. 

Iran admitted to shooting down a commercial flight from Tehran to Kyiv that killed all 176 people on board, including 57 Canadian citizens. The Canadian Transportation Safety Board said in a statement that two investigators from the board left the Iranian capital Sunday morning, according to a statement.

But the statement added that there were no current plans to download the plane’s recorders, although Canada has requested the black box be sent to another country.

The country shot down a commercial flight during a time of escalated tension between the U.S. and Iran, when both were threatening retaliation for past and future attacks. The U.S. had conducted a strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in the effort to fire back at militia that officials believed killed a U.S. citizen.

In the days after the plane crash, protesters took the streets in Iran criticizing its supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who called the destruction of the plane “unforgivable error.”

Tensions between the countries have increased in recent years after the Trump administration pulled out of the nuclear deal in 2018. Iran shot missiles at Iraqi bases holding U.S. forces as retaliation for Soleimani’s death.