“July 3, 1988: US shoots down Iranian passenger jet, killing 290. Perpetrator gets medal instead of punishment,” Zarif wrote on his twitter page on Tuesday on the anniversary of Iranian passenger jet Airbus 655’s downing by the American USS Vincennes missile cruiser.
“2016: Following JCPOA, licenses issued for (nearly) 200 Boeing, Airbus and ATR aircraft,” he added, pointing to different companies’ willingness to sell passenger planes to Iran after the 2015 nuclear deal.
“2018: US cancels all licenses before delivery of single Boeing jet. Clear target: civilians,” Zarif wrote, reminding that all Washington’s measures are against the Iranian civilians.
The Iranian passenger jet Airbus 655 that was flying from Bandar Abbas, Iran, to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, on July 3 1988, with 290 passengers onboard was shot down by the American USS Vincennes missile cruiser. All the passengers lost their lives with the remaining of their bodies floating on the Persian Gulf waters.
The incident was followed by Tehran’s filing a suit at international bodies, including the United Nations. Despite the existing evidence for the attack being intentional, the world forums ignored the facts. The UN Security Council held a meeting, after 2 days, and the speech made by Iran’s Foreign Minister let the world know about the untrue nature of the US remarks.
Although Iran filed against the US in the United Nations and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), both bodies adopted a politicized attitude and declined to follow up the case legally, they only bothered to sympathize with the bereaved families of the victims.
In a bid to limit the negative impact of its violent action, the US claimed the Iranian passenger plane was a fighter jet and intended to target the American missile cruiser. The then US President, Ronald Reagan, praised the act of the USS Vincennes, but said in a different interview that the American missile cruiser mistakenly shot the Iranian passenger plane.
Iranians mark July the 3rd each year by showering the site of the disaster with flowers.
In relevant remarks last July, a senior Iranian Navy commander dismissed claims that the US army had downed the Iranian passenger plane in 1988 as a result of mistake or system malfunctioning.
“The radars of missile-launching destroyers are equipped with the Interrogating Friend and Foe (IFF) system which shows the type of flying planes, including warplanes or passenger planes,” said Admiral Nasser Sarnevesht, who was the commander of the rescue and search operations for the passengers on board the Iranian Airbus 655 who were killed by the American USS Vincennes missile cruiser in 1988.
“Therefore, recognition of an Airbus passenger plane is easy for an advanced US warship like Vincennes,” he told FNA.
Sarnevesht once again dismissed the claims that the USS Vincennes targeted and blew up the Iranian passenger plane with two missiles as a result of mistake.