Iran Makes U-Turn On UIA Black Box Decision

Ten days have passed since Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) Flight 752 was shot down in Iran. There had been recent reports that Iran was ready to send the aircraft’s black boxes to Ukraine for analysis. However, it looks like authorities have now backtracked on this move.

Ukraine International Airlines
The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 was heading for Kyiv before it was downed soon after leaving Tehran. Photo: Getty Images

Initial expectations

CNN initially reported that the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization commission Hassan Rezaifar said that his country is planning to send the black boxes of the downed jet to Ukraine. He said that this was at the request of the Ukrainian authorities.

Rezaifar reportedly claimed that the flight recorders could not be read in Iran so they would be sent to Kyiv. American, Canadian and French experts were expected to analyze the recordings in the Ukraine capital. 

Change of plan

However, ITV now reports that Rezaifar states that his country will keep hold of the black boxes until further notice.

“The flight recorders from the Ukrainian Boeing are in Iranian hands and we have no plans to send them out,” Rezaifar told Iran’s state-run Tasnim news agency, as reported by ITV.

Ukraine 737 Crash
The crash happened in the early hours of the morning on January 8th, 2020. Photo: Getty

He followed up by saying that his nation is working to recover the important data and cabin recordings from the flight. Iranian authorities had previously stated that the black boxes were damaged but usable. Hopefully, the data can soon be extracted so that the situation can be better understood.

There were 176 fatalities after Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s air defenses shot down the aircraft soon after it departed Tehran.

This happened the same day that the guard had also launched a missile campaign on two United States bases in Iraq. This was in response to the US’ targeted airstrike on major general Qasem Soleimani’s convoy near Baghdad Airport.

Iran now claims that lower-level officers thought that the UAI Boeing 737-800 was a US cruise missile that was retaliating after the previous attack. However, it previously stated that the crash was a result of a technical issue.

Ukraine 737 crash
Workers picked through the wreckage of the crash to find important materials that needed to be looked at. Photo: Getty

Tragic occurrence

Of those who passed away on the flight, 82 of them were from Iran. Canada has the next highest amount of citizens onboard with 63 losing their lives due to the attack.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared that his government will give $25,000 to families of victims of flight 752 to help cover expenses. Meanwhile, he is putting pressure on Iran for full compensation for shooting down the civilian jet.

At least 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans, and three British citizens were also onboard when the tragedy happened. Since then, several aviation authorities have sent warnings about flying over Iranian airspace.

Our thoughts remain with the loved ones of those that lost their lives due to these events.

What are your thoughts on Iran’s stance on Flight 752’s black boxes? Let us know what you think in the comment section.