Iran is asking for help to analyze the downed Ukraine Flight 752, but its refusal to hand over the black box means the full truth may never emerge

iran ukraine crash

AP Photos/Mohammad Nasiri

Debris from the Ukrainian Flight 752 crash.

  • Iran's ministry of civil aviation says it needs additional technical support and equipment to study the flight recorders of a Ukrainian passenger jet accidentally shot down.
  • The request for gear and expertise that Iran needs to download data from flight recorders was put to American and French civil aviation officials.
  • It will likely spark a debate among investigators, as the US, Ukraine, and France have asked Iran to give them direct access to the black box recorders.
  • Ukrainian Flight 752 was downed just after takeoff from Tehran on January 8, killing all 176 people on board.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Iran's ministry of civil aviation says it needs additional technical support and equipment to study the flight recorders of a Ukrainian passenger jet accidentally shot down outside of Tehran on January 8, with the loss of all 176 passengers.

The request for gear and expertise that Iran needs to download data from flight recorders was put to American and French civil aviation officials Monday.

It will likely spark a debate among investigators as France, the US, and Ukraine have called for an international-led investigation that would be allowed direct access to the flight recorders and their data.

By asking for international assistance, Iran is effectively ruling out that possibility, and making it clear it wants to lead its own investigation.

Canada, which had 57 citizens and residents killed in the crash, has demanded that Iran hand over the flight recorders to France for analysis, while Ukraine has demanded the flight recorders be returned to Kiev for analysis by the airline.

justin trudeau

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via Associated Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a news conference in Ottawa on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. Trudeau was the first world leader to formally say the plane had been shot down.

An anonymous statement to Iran's state run media by an aviation official initially said that the flight recorders would be sent to Kiev, before other Iranian officials backtracked Monday and said the data should be recovered and analyzed in Iran.

"If the appropriate supplies and equipment are provided, the information can be taken out and reconstructed in a short period of time," Iran's Civil Aviation Organization said in its second preliminary report on the disaster released late on Monday, according to a translation of the report provided by Reuters.

"Until now, these countries [including France and the United States] have not given a positive response to sending the equipment to [Iran]," it said.

The report confirmed open source investigations by foreign media into social media posts showing the plane crash.

It determined that two short range anti-aircraft missiles targeted the flight just minutes after takeoff from Tehran's international airport.

But the report also blamed US sanctions that have been in place for decades for Iran's inability to download the data from the wreckage of the three year old plane, which was produced in the US by Boeing.

The Iranian report described the weapons as two surface-to-air TOR-M1 missiles fired by a commander for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which maintains its own air defense system independently of Iran's military.

The new Iranian position sets up a wider dispute over the international investigation into the incident, which has already roiled the region after the US assassinated top IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani outside Baghdad's international airport January 3.

The shooting down of the Ukrainian jet occurred five days after Soleimani's assassination, on the same day that Iran fired dozens of missiles at US military bases in Iraq.

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