The black box of a Ukrainian passenger plane that was mistakenly downed near the Iranian capital is still in Iran and no decision has been made yet to send it abroad, says the Civil Aviation Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran (CAO.IRI).
“We are trying to examine the black box of the crashed Ukrainian plane in Iran and our next options will be Ukraine and France. But no decision has been made so far to send the box to a second country,” director general of the organization’s investigation office, Hassan Rezaifar, told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on Sunday.
With 167 passengers and nine crewmembers on board, Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 crashed outside Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on January 8, moments after takeoff.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic said on January 11 that the plane had flown close to a sensitive military site and been brought down due to human error “at a time of crisis caused by US adventurism.”
The head of the Aerospace Division of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, also explained that the air defense system had erroneously identified the aircraft as a hostile missile.
When the incident took place, Iran’s air defense forces were put on the highest level of alert following missile attacks by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) against a US base in Iraq.
The strikes were in retaliation for the assassination by US terrorist forces of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the IRGC, in Baghdad.
Iran’s Tasnim news agency on Saturday had quoted Rezaeifar as saying that Tehran will send the black box to Ukraine.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Friday decried the “abuse” of Iran’s accidental downing of the plane by some countries that pursue certain “political plots” against Tehran.
“We urge all sides to not abuse humanitarian issues – specifically this tragic incident – in a bid to make political gestures and pursue their political dreams,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.