Iran acknowledged on Tuesday that its forces had fired two surface-to-air missiles at a Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed this month near Tehran, confirming for the first time that more than one missile was launched at the jet.
The Iranian authorities also asked officials in the United States and France to send the equipment needed to decode the jet’s flight data recorders, or “black boxes,” a request certain to frustrate countries that have called for greater international involvement in investigating the disaster, which killed all 176 onboard.
The downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 on Jan. 8 came amid heightened tensions between Iran and the United States that included tit-for-tat military strikes, and after the killing of the top Iranian security commander, Maj. General Qassim Suleimani, in a United States drone strike at the Baghdad airport.
The plane was shot down the same day , in retaliation for the killing of General Suleimani. After days of denials, Iranian officials acknowledged that the downing prompting angry protests across Iran.
Iranian investigators had established that two Tor-M1 missiles had been fired at the plane, the statement said, adding that the investigation was looking into their effect on the crash.
The crash’s victims included 82 Iranians, 57 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians, heightening calls for an international investigation. But many have accused Iran of dragging its feet, a complaint likely to be bolstered by the suggestion on Tuesday that the plane’s black boxes would be analyzed in Iran instead of being sent abroad.
The Iranian aviation organzation said it had asked United States and French aviation authorities to provide the equipment needed to decode the data recorders on the Boeing 737 because it did not have the necessary technology.