Iran says ready to deliver Ukrainian plane’s black box

June 7, 2020 - 19:26

TEHRAN — Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs Mohsen Baharvand says Iran is ready to deliver the black box of the downed Ukrainian plane to a French or any other foreign company capable of decoding it.

“According to our investigations, Iran, Ukraine, and many other countries are not capable of decoding the black box due to the aircraft’s modern technology,” Mehr quoted Baharvand as saying late on Saturday.

“Iran can deliver it to a French or any other foreign company capable of decoding it but we have to make sure that there are no risks of abuse of the black box,” he added.

He stated that talks with Ukraine on transferring the black box to its intended destination for decryption are underway but not finalized.

According to Baharvand, technical investigations in Iran are on their final stages and the Islamic Republic is well informed of the details of the incident. 

“We do believe that decoding the black box will add nothing special to Iran’s investigation about the incident,” he asserted.

“Our investigations are comprehensively conducted and we know exactly what has occurred to the flight,” the deputy foreign minister added.

“Iran can deliver it to a French or any other foreign company capable of decoding it but we have to make sure that there are no risks of abuse of the black box,” Baharvand notes.

He also pointed out that Iran has had a warm technical cooperation with other countries on the Ukrainian flight issue and the subject has not been politicized at all.

As reported, the Civil Aviation Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran (CAO.IRI), the agency has requested French and U.S. accident investigation agencies, the BEA and NTSB, respectively, to provide a list of the equipment required to decode the black box.

However, neither organization has “so far responded positively” to the request, adding Iran is considering the purchase of that equipment.

The Ukrainian airliner was shot down shortly after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport on January 8, killing all 167 passengers and 9 crew members.

On January 11, the Armed Forces General Staff released a statement saying the Ukrainian passenger plane was mistakenly downed near the airport. 

The incident happened a few hours after Iran fired dozens of ballistic missiles at a U.S. airbase inside Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani.

The airplane had been mistaken for an invading missile.

Prior to Iran’s retaliation, Trump tweeted that if Iran attacks any American assets to avenge the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the U.S. has 52 targets across the Islamic Republic that “WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.”

“Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have.........targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD,” Trump wrote.

MH/PA

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