On Tuesday, Iranians commemorated the 30th anniversary of the downing of its civilian aircraft by the US Navy guided-missile cruiser over the Persian Gulf.
On the occasion of the incident, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif posted a message on his Twitter account:
“July 3, 1988: the US shoots down Iranian passenger jetliner, killing all 290 on board. Perpetrator gets medal instead of punishment. 2016: Following the JCPOA, licenses issued for 200 Boeing, Airbus & ATR aircraft,” Zarif wrote.
“2018: US cancels all licenses before delivery of single Boeing jet. Clear target: civilians,” he added.
On July 3, 1988, Iran Air Flight 655, a scheduled civilian passenger flight from Tehran to Dubai, was shot down by an SM-2MR surface-to-air missile fired from the USS Vincennes, a guided-missile cruiser of the United States Navy.
Following the attack, the plane disintegrated and crashed into the Persian Gulf waters, killing all 290 on board, 66 children among them, Press TV reported.
In a Tuesday message commemorating the tragedy, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said that the Iranian people will never forget “the vicious US crime.”
US behavior towards the Iranians and other nations shows the country has been committing inhumane acts to achieve its “ominous objectives” and using human rights as a pretext to pursue its “excessive demands and illegitimate interests,” he added.
Thirty years have passed since the tragedy, but the crime still lives on as “a stain of shame for the US,” Qassemi noted.
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 H. W. Bush for his “outstanding service” during operations in the Persian Gulf.