On July 3rd 1988, faced with total loss of prestige in the Middle East, the
military was ordered to take matters into its own hands. US
Air Airbus A300B2 was flying from Iran , to Bandar Abbas, Iran , UAE, with 290 passengers and crew aboard. There were also 66 children aboard flight IR655. Dubai
The flight was making its way –within Iranian airspace- over the Strait of Hormuz toward its final destination unaware of the criminal minds at work onboard the U.S. Navy's guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes. The
warship was illegally traversing the Iranian territorial waters. US
Air airliner was suddenly blown out of the sky by missiles fired from the Iran warship. US
The disaster was the seventh among the deadliest airliner fatalities. It had the highest death toll of any aviation incident in the
Indian Oceanand the highest death toll of any incident involving an Airbus A300 anywhere in the world.
government claimed that the crew had mistakenly identified the Iranian Airbus A300 as an attacking F-14 Tomcat fighter. The crew onboard US was operating the most sophisticated sensors known to the world. There is no way on earth they could have mistaken an Airbus airliner’s massive radar signature for an attacking F-14. Vincennes
The cowards onboard Vincennes were awarded Combat Action Ribbons for having actively participated in ground or surface combat, and the captain received the Legion of Merit.
The Iranian government maintains to this day that the
knowingly shot down the civilian aircraft. Vincennes
Friday, July 3, 2009
Time for Washington to Apologize
The influential pro-Khamenei Iranian newspaper Kayhan published in its English-language edition on July 4 a Viewpoint reminding readers of the, depending on your perspective, U.S. terrorist attack or flagrantly irresponsible U.S. mistake in which the U.S. shot down an Iranian airliner and then unbelievably rewarded the responsible soldiers. Even if the official interpretation of the U.S. Government is believed, this remains a tragedy far worse than the Iranian kidnapping of American diplomats a decade earlier and an event that must be confronted by Washington to clear the air with Iran. The festering of this wound can only poison bilateral relations.