Iran Admits to Unintentionally Shooting Down Ukrainian Plane, Will Send Black Box to France

(MEMO— Iran will send the black box of the Ukrainian plane which it accidentally downed to France, officials said Saturday.

Speaking to state-run IRNA, Hassan Rezaeifar, the director-general of the Iran Civil Aviation Organization, said: “We asked countries, including Canada, France and the US to send essential software and hardware to Iran to download information from the black box, but these countries rejected Iran’s offer.”

He said Iran does not have the technology to download this crucial information.

Iran also offered to send the black box to a reputable laboratory in countries like Ukraine, Sweden, England, Canada and the US, but this offer too was rejected.

As a last resort and with the agreement of all of the above countries, it was decided to send the black box to France.

Iran’s General Staff of the Armed Forces said Saturday that a Ukrainian aircraft was accidentally hit by an Iranian missile earlier this week.

The Boeing 737-800 crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport just hours after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles targeting US troops in Iraq in retaliation for last week’s killing of Qasem Soleimani, a top Iranian general.

Some 176 people died in the crash, including Iranians, Canadians, Ukrainians, Swedes, Afghans, Germans, and British citizens.

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