Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in a tweet on Wednesday, referred to the US downing of a passenger plane over Tehran’s territorial waters in 1988, underlining that Washington’s aggression against his country is not a new phenomenon started by President Donald Trump.
“31 years ago today, US warship shot down IR655—a passenger jet—over Iran’s territorial waters, killing 290 innocent [people] including 66 children,” Zarif posted on his Twitter page, marking the horrific crime.
“[The] US aggression against Iran did not begin with Donald Trump. Courage and foresight—true grit in the face of B_Team’s thirst for war—can end it,” he added.
Iran is marking the 31st anniversary of the downing of its civilian aircraft by a US Navy guided-missile cruiser over Tehran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.
On July 3, 1988, the USS Vincennes fired missiles at an Airbus A300B2 of Iran’s flag carrier, Iran Air, which was flying over the Strait of Hormuz from the port city of Bandar Abbas to Dubai, carrying 274 passengers and 16 crew members.
Following the attack, the plane disintegrated and crashed into the Persian Gulf waters, killing all 290 on board, among them 66 children.
Iranians have always said that they will never forget “the vicious US crime,” while Washington has since refused to apologize for the horrendous act.
US officials claimed that the USS Vincennes had mistaken Iran Air Flight 655 for a warplane. This is while the warship was equipped with highly sophisticated radar systems and electronic battle gear at the time of the attack.
In 1990, the captain of the cruiser, William C. Rogers, was cleared of any wrongdoing, and was even awarded America’s Legion of Merit medal by then US president George Bush for his “outstanding service” during operations in the Persian Gulf.