Iran asks US, France for equipment to download Ukrainian plane’s black boxes

Dubai – Iran has requested equipment it says it needs from US and French authorities to download information from black boxes on a downed Ukrainian passenger plane but Tehran had not yet received a positive response, the Iranian civil aviation body said.

Canada, Ukraine and other nations who had citizens on the flight in which all 176 people aboard were killed when it was accidentally shot down on January 8, have asked Iran to send the flight data and voice recorders to experts abroad for analysis.

Tehran has given mixed signals about whether they would be handed over. Canada, which had 57 citizens on the flight, has said France would the best place to send the black boxes because it was one of the few nations with the ability to read them.

Iran’s reluctance to hand over the black boxes may frustrate nations with citizens on the flight, many of whom were Iranians with dual nationality. Tehran already faces demands for compensation and a full investigation into the shooting down.

Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation said in its second report on the disaster that it did not have the equipment needed to download data from the model of recorders installed on the US-built Boeing 737.