France says voice data from Ukrainian jet shot down by Iran recovered

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French officials said on Monday that investigators obtained voice data from the cockpit of the black boxes of the Ukrainian plane which was mistakenly shot down by Iran in January.

“The CVR data – including the event itself – has been uploaded successfully,” the BEA’s French investigation office wrote in a tweet.

Iranian forces shot down the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 plane – killing all 176 people on board – after mistaking it for a missile on January 8.

The deadly incident came during a period of heightened tensions with the United States – just hours after Iran fired missiles at Iraqi air bases housing US troops in retaliation for a US drone strike that killed Iran’s senior military commander General Qassim Soleimani earlier in January.

FILE: Rescuers search the scene where a Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr, southwest of Tehran, Iran.
(AP)

Iran initially blamed the crash on technical issues and did not admit to downing the plane until days later.

Iran is conducting intense negotiations with Ukraine, Canada and other countries that had citizens on board the downed plane and who demanded a full investigation into the incident.

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Iran’s semi-official news agency reported on Saturday that Iran had sent the black box of the Ukrainian passenger plane to France for reading.

The report cites Mohsen Baharvand, an assistant to the Iranian foreign minister, who said the black box of the downed plane was transported to Paris on Friday, along with Iranian civil aviation and judicial authorities.

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It is not known why Iran sent the black box to France. Boeing is an American company and Iranian experts needed a converter to retrieve the data from the box, but the United States objected to providing it to Iran.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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