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Iran sends black box from January plane crash to France (www.upi.com)

July 18 (UPI) — Iran has sent the flight data recorders from a Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed outside Tehran in January to France to be reviewed.

Iran’s deputy foreign minister said the black boxes will be read Monday, and Canada’s Transportation Safety Board tweeted Friday that it is deploying investigators to Paris to download the data from the flight.

On Jan. 8 a Ukrainian airliner crashed in Iran, killing all 176 passengers on board.

Iran initially denied responsibility for the incident, which came as tensions with the United States were heightened, but admitted later in the month that it had shot down the plane.

Earlier this month Iran released a report blaming the fatal shootdown on a misaligned missile battery and an operator firing on the aircraft without authorization from commanders.

Hours before the crash, the country had fired ballistic missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq in retaliation for the the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike days before.

Iran previously delayed releasing the black boxes, devices that store data and cockpit communications and which is designed to remain intact in the event of a crash, and refused to release it to the United States, where the plane’s manufacturer — Boeing — is based.

Iran has a right to lead the investigation per global aviation rules, but manufacturers are usually involved.

French experts will analyze the recordings, with help from experts in Ukraine and Canada. Canada lost 55 citizens in the crash.

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