Iran told the UN aviation agency on Wednesday that it would send black boxes of a crashed Ukrainian jetliner to Paris for analysis as soon as the countries involved in the investigation agreed, two sources familiar with the matter said.
The other countries involved are Ukraine, Canada and the United States. Canada previously urged Iran to send the black boxes to France for analysis.
Iran has refused to transfer the flight recorders of the Ukraine International Airlines flight, which was shot down at Tehran on January 8 by an Iranian surface-to-air missile that killed 176 people, including 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents.
In March, Iran told the UN aviation agency that it would send the black boxes to Ukraine.
But on Wednesday, a representative from Iran told a virtual meeting of the agency’s board of directors that Tehran would now send the badly damaged recorders to the French BEA agency for air accident investigations.
“Iran said they will send them to Paris soon, subject to the consent of the states involved in the investigation,” said one of the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Iranian officials were not immediately available for comment. A spokeswoman for Canadian Secretary of Transportation Marc Garneau declined to comment on the discussion of the boxes sent to Paris.
Iran made a pledge in March. They showed openness to hand over the black boxes, but we want to see concrete action on their part to push it forward, ”she said.
Under UN rules, Iran retains overall control of the investigation, while the United States and Ukraine are accredited as the countries where the jet was built and operated, respectively. Canada has also played a role as home to many of the victims of the accident.