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Iran Says Won’t Hand over ‘Damaged’ Black Box of Downed Ukraine Plane

Iran Says Won’t Hand over ‘Damaged’ Black Box of Downed Ukraine Plane

Wednesday, 19 February, 2020 - 11:15
Iran said the black box from the doomed Ukraine airliner had sustained noticeable damage. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat

Iran said on Wednesday it will not hand over the black box of the downed Ukrainian airliner, resisting international press for access.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week he had "impressed upon" Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that a complete and independent investigation into the shooting down of the airliner had to be carried out.

Many of the 176 who perished in the disaster were Iranians with dual citizenship, which is not recognized by Iran. Canada had 57 citizens on board.

"We have a right to read the black box ourselves. We have a right to be present at any examination of the black box," Zarif said.

"If we are supposed to give the black box to others for them to read it in our place then this is something we will definitely not do," he said.

Defense Minister Amir Hatami said the flight data recording box had "sustained noticeable damage and the defense industry has been requested to help in reconstructing (it)."

"The reconstruction of the black box is supposed to take place first and then the reading," Hatami said.

All 176 passengers aboard the plane were killed when the Revolutionary Guards fired missiles at the plane after mistaking it for a hostile target.

Iran is in discussions with other countries, particularly Ukraine, about the investigation, Zarif said.

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