Iran says it may need help from French or Canadian experts to decode data from ‘damaged’ black boxes

Iran says it may need help from French or Canadian experts to decode data from ‘damaged’ black boxes Nazanin Tabatabaee / WANA via Reuters
The head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Authority has said his country might need outside help to decode the information recorded by the black boxes from the Ukrainian 737 plane that crashed on Wednesday near Tehran.

Ali Abedzadeh told CNN that, while Iran has the capacity to decode the black boxes from the Boeing passenger jet, it might still need extra help because they were badly damaged.

“Generally speaking, Iran has the potential and know-how to decode the black box. Everybody knows that,” he said, adding that Iranian and Ukrainian experts would begin decoding the data on Friday.

However, “if the available equipment is not enough to get the content,” Abedzadeh explained, Tehran will send the boxes to experts “from France or Canada.”

“Then whatever is the result will be published and publicized to the world,” he said.

Iran has also requested Boeing send a representative to join the investigation in Tehran.

Iran said on Wednesday it wouldn’t hand the black boxes over to the US, preferring to do its own investigation. US media reports on Thursday cited anonymous Pentagon and intelligence officials claiming that Iran had itself mistakenly shot down the plane, which had just taken off from Tehran’s busy Imam Khomeini airport.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau quickly followed the US lead on Thursday, saying that intelligence pointed to Iran being responsible for the “unintentional” shooting down of the plane.

Tehran called those claims, for which no evidence was provided, “illogical” rumors. All 176 on board perished in the crash.