News ID: 322666
Published: 0215 GMT July 03, 2022

Iran marks 34th anniversary of US downing of passenger jet

Iran marks 34th anniversary of US downing of passenger jet

Iran on Sunday marked the 34h anniversary of the downing of its passenger plane by a US Navy guided-missile cruiser over the Persian Gulf.


A memorial ceremony was held near Iran’s Hengam Island where an Airbus A300B2 of Iran’s flag carrier Iran Air went down after being hit by a missile fired from the USS Vincennes on July 3, 1988.

Participants on board a ship, including the families of the victims and local officials, tossed stalks of flowers into Iran’s territorial waters and chanted "Down with the US".

The airliner had just taken off from Iran’s southern port city of Bandar Abbas at 10:17 a.m. local time (UTC 0330) with 274 passengers and 16 crew members aboard, and was flying inside an internationally recognized route to Dubai when the US cruiser fired two SM-2MR surface-to-air missiles at it, one of which hit the aircraft.

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

Iran’s Foreign Ministry, in a statement on Twitter, commemorated the tragedy.

“After the crime committed by Americans in the Persian Gulf, none of the crew members of the United States' USS Vincennes missile cruiser was prosecuted and even commander of the warship Captain William Rogers was granted a Legion of Merit on his retirement,” the ministry said.

In 1990, Captain Rogers was cleared of any wrongdoing and was awarded the medal by then US president George Bush for his “outstanding service”.

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, and the passenger plane was transmitting Mode III 6760 squawk code, typical of a civilian aircraft, and maintained radio contact in English with appropriate air traffic control facilities.









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