Iran backtracks on sending black boxes from downed jet to Ukraine

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Iran wont send the flight data and the cockpit voice recorders from the Ukrainian plane downed in Tehran earlier this month to Ukraine, one day after an Iranian official said they would be sent to the nation.

On Sunday, the bodies 12 Ukrainians among the 176 who died in the crash were delivered to Boryspil Airport in Kiev. A live broadcast of the ceremony took place in Iran.

The state-run IRNA news agency quoted Hassan Rezaeifar, Iran's Civil Aviation Organization, as saying: "We are trying to read the black boxes here in Iran; otherwise, our options are Ukraine and France, but no decision has been taken so far to send them to another country."

On Saturday, he said "the black boxes were not read in Iran," and they plan to use expertise from the United States, France and Canada to try to read the flight data recorder in Ukraine. If that does not work, the black box will be transferred to France.

The Boeing 737-800 was designed and built in the United States.

On Jan. 8, the Ukraine Airlines plane was downed hours after Iran launched ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases hosting U.S. troops. Less than one week earlier, the United States killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike.

On Jan. 11, Iran acknowledged it accidentally downed the plane when it was mistaken for a cruise missile.
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