TEHRAN, Iran — Iran said on Monday that it will send the black boxes of a shot-down Ukrainian plane to France in the “next few days” and expressed readiness to resolve remaining issues.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks in a phone call with his Canadian counterpart Francois-Philippe Champagne, his ministry said in a statement.
“The decision to send the black boxes has been made for some time and it will soon be acted upon,” Zarif was quoted as saying.
The ministry said the process had been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen most international flights cancelled.
Iran says its novel coronavirus outbreak has killed 9,742 people out of more than 207,500 infected since reporting its first cases in February.
According to the statement, Iran had told Ukraine that it was ready to “resolve legal issues and discuss how to compensate the families” of victims, but was yet to receive a delegation from the other party.
Flight 752, an Ukraine International Airlines jetliner, was struck by two missiles and crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran’s main airport on January 8.
The Islamic republic admitted days later that its forces accidentally shot down the Kiev-bound jetliner, killing all 176 people on board.
Tehran’s air defenses had been on high alert at the time in case the US retaliated against Iranian strikes hours earlier on American troops stationed in Iraq.
Those strikes were carried out in response to the killing of a top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani, in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport.
The black boxes are expected to contain information about the last moments before the aircraft was struck and crashed.
Many of those on board the downed airliner were Canadians.