Iran said it had asked the U.S. and French authorities for equipment to download information from black boxes on a downed Ukrainian airliner, potentially angering countries which want the recorders analysed abroad.
Update: The Guardian reports that Iran says its armed forces mistakenly launched two surface-to-air missiles at a Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed with 176 people onboard earlier this month, its first acknowledgement of the precise number of rounds fired at the airliner.
Assessments by western intelligence agencies and video footage from the launch site had pointed to two missiles being fired at the Boeing 737-800 on the morning of 8 January, but Iranian officials had so far referenced only one until the release of preliminary report on Tuesday by the country’s civil aviation authority.
The U.S.-built Boeing 737 flown by Ukraine International Airlines was shot down in error on Jan. 8.
Tehran, already embroiled in a long-running standoff with the United States over its nuclear program that briefly erupted into tit-for-tat military strikes this month, has given mixed signals about whether it would hand over the recorders.
An Iranian aviation official had said on Saturday the black boxes would be sent to Ukraine, only to backtrack in comments reported a day later, saying they would be analyzed at home.
Its initial report was released just 24 hours after the incident, before Iran’s military acknowledged its role.
A list of equipment Iran needs has been sent to French accident agency BEA and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, the Iranian aviation body said.
“Until now, these countries have not given a positive response to sending the equipment to (Iran),” it said. It said two surface-to-air TOR-M1 missiles had been launched minutes after the Ukrainian plane took off from Tehran.
via Kyiv Post / Reuters