News ID: 314481
Published: 0240 GMT July 04, 2021

US violence keeps targeting Iranians: Zarif on plane tragedy anniversary

US violence keeps targeting Iranians: Zarif on plane tragedy anniversary

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif recalled the downing of an Iranian passenger plane by the United States on the tragedy’s anniversary, saying Washington continues to target the Iranian nation with violence to date.

“33 years ago today, US shot down Iran Air 655,” he tweeted on Saturday.

On July 3, 1988, the USS Vincennes warship fired two missiles at an Iran Air Airbus A300B2, which was flying over the Strait of Hormuz from the port city of Bandar Abbas to Dubai, carrying 274 passengers and 16 crew members, Press TV wrote.

Following the attack, the plane disintegrated and crashed into Persian Gulf waters, killing all the 290 on board, among them 66 children.

American officials claimed that their warship had mistaken the civilian aircraft for a warplane.

“As a young diplomat, I witnessed US refusal to apologize over the human tragedy it caused,” Zarif said.

Earlier in the day, President Hassan Rouhani demanded a formal apology from the United States for the “cowardly attack”.

“Unfortunately, the US administration has neither formally apologized for the crime nor taken any significant action about it,” Rouhani said in Tehran, calling the downing a “great appalling crime”.

In his tweet, Zarif said: “US violence against Iranians began long before and continues today with economic terrorism against our people.”

By economic terrorism, the foreign minister was referring to the US push through sanctions to prevent the Islamic Republic from conducting any trade activity with the outside world.

The sanctions have been coming in the way of the country’s even buying foodstuffs and medicine among other vital items. The global coronavirus’ pandemic has not triggered Washington to suspend the bans either.

The United States has been imposing sanctions against Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. It lifted some of the bans after entering a multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran and others in 2015, but returned the coercive measures three years later, when it unilaterally quit the deal.

The US sustains its campaign of “maximum pressure” despite several calls on it by the United Nations to lift the measures, and an International Court of Justice ruling obliging it to do the same.


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