Iran seeks help reading black boxes, facing pressure

Iran has asked the U.S. and France for equipment to download information from black boxes on a downed Ukrainian passenger plane, a request that will add to international frustration at Tehran's failure to send the recorders abroad for analysis.

After taking several days to admit to bringing down the plane in error earlier this month, Iran has been under immense pressure to hand over the black boxes.

Canada, 57 of whose citizens were among the 176 people killed in the Ukrainian International Airlines crash, has said France should handle the flight data and voice recorders as one of the few nations with the ability to analyze the information.

But Tehran has so far given mixed signals about whether or not they would be given up.

Iran is embroiled in a long-running standoff with the United States over its nuclear program that briefly erupted into military strikes this month, starting with the U.S. drone strike which killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, followed by a retaliation attack on U.S. bases in Iraq.

Iran has faced U.S. sanctions for years that limited its ability to purchase modern planes and buy products with American technology, hence the request for technical equipment from French accident agency BEA and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

The Iranian aviation body said neither the U.S. or France had given a positive response to the request.