France to start decoding Ukrainian plane black box on July 20

June 29, 2020 - 1:19

TEHRAN - Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs Mohsen Baharvand said on Sunday that France will start decoding black boxes of the Ukrainian plane, which was mistakenly shot down in January near Tehran on July 20.

“Decoding black box of the Ukrainian plane will start in France on July 20 under supervision of an Iranian team,” IRNA quoted Baharvand as saying.

He added, “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s experts will lead the investigation and the decoding will be done under the Iranian team’s supervision and guidance. Other countries which are related to this regrettable incident can dispatch delegations to France as observers.”

The Ukrainian passenger plane, with 176 people aboard, was mistaken for an invading missile. The tragic incident happened a few hours after Iran fired missiles at a U.S. air base in western Iraq in retaliation for the January 3 assassination of General Qassem Soleimani. Following the retaliation attack, the Iranian military had been put on high alert. 

The victims of the crash included 82 Iranians, 63 Iranian-Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans, and three British nationals.

Farhad Parvaresh, Iran’s representative to the UN agency, told Reuters by telephone that Iranian investigators have asked France’s BEA air accident agency to read black boxes of the Ukrainian plane, Reuters reported on June 12.

“Iran’s AAIB recently made a request to the BEA that the recorders should be taken by Iran to the BEA’s premises in France to be read in the presence of representatives of other involved countries and ICAO if the BEA is in a position to accommodate this,” Parvaresh said.

NA/PA

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