0443 GMT October 04, 2022
The Iranian Foreign Ministry marked the 34th anniversary (July 3) of the 1988 downing of a country’s passenger aircraft by a U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser over the Persian Gulf, which killed 290 people on board, saying awarding a medal to the commander who gave the attack’s order was another proof of Washington’s hostile approach toward the Iranian nation.
Making the remarks in a Saturday tweet, the Foreign Ministry added the United States keeps adopting the same inimical approach against the Iranian nation today by continuing former president Donald Trump’s failed “maximum pressure” policy against the Islamic Republic.
The tweet reads: “Awarding William Rogers with the Legion of Merit after deliberately shooting down Flight 655 & murdering 290 civilians was another proof of US hostility toward Iranian nation.
“That hostile approach continues to this day by maintaining the failed policy of ‘Maximum Pressure’.”
On July 3, 1988, the USS Vincennes fired 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.
Following the attack, the plane crashed into the Persian Gulf and disintegrated, killing all 290 on board, among them 66 children.
U.S. 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 U.S. president George H. W. Bush for his “outstanding service” during operations in the Persian Gulf.
In May 2018, the United States pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed its unilateral sanctions against Iran as part of its “maximum pressure” campaign to bring the Islamic Republic to the negotiation table and hammer out a new agreement.