July 3 commemorates the US Vincennes terrorist attack on Iranian passenger plane. The crime killed 270 innocent people. The terrorist operation ran counter against all the legal regulations, the explicit principles of the UN charter and the Hague charter. The Iranian passenger plane crash is another and perhaps the worst type of the US confrontation with the Islamic Republic of Iran with an aim to help Saddam regime. The event unveiled true visage of the US, the so-called advocate of democracy and human rights worldwide.
Flight 655, an Iran Air passenger aircraft similar to this Iran Air Airbus A300B2 was shot down by USS Vincennes, a US Navy cruiser, in July 2, 1988, killing all passengers and crew. It was flying based on its routine and regular schedule between Bandarabas and Dubai. It took off Bandarabas Airport at 10:17 hours Tehran Times. Seven minutes later, when the plane was on Persian Gulf sky, and just after 11 seconds from the last radio call of the pilot with the watch tower, it was hit by the US navy Vincennes missiles. The attack killed all the 290 people, including 275 passengers and 15 crew, aboard the plane. Some 254 of them were Iranian, 13 from the UAE, 10 Indian, six Pakistanis and six Yugoslavians and one Italian.
The US government claimed that the US navy had mistakenly targeted Iranian passenger plane as a war plane, so based on the rule of legitimate defense it had the right to defend itself. However, Iran provided ample reasons and evidence that the attack was intentional. Among the reasons is that when was hit by the missile of the US Vincennes navy, the plane was still in the space of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The proofs and evidence shows that the US war ships were aware of the radio messages of the 655 airbus plane – all of them were in English and sent on open frequencies. Based on all the evidence and proof, to which there is no doubt, it is fully clear that the US government intentionally and while being fully informed, ordered attack on Iranian passenger plane.
The US move once again unveiled the aggressive intention of the US government and its role in making the Persian Gulf region unstable and insecure. Moreover, the event showed that government of the US, as one of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, has the prime duty to guarantee international peace and security. Siding one of the parties engaged in Iraqi imposed war on Iran, the US not only failed to fulfill its commitment but also violated openly the immediate principles of the international rights, practically endangering global peace and security.
The Islamic Republic of Iran foreign minister said the US military presence in the Persian Gulf was only the harbinger of death, illegality and mischief, bringing nothing but insecurity. The US criminal act in attacking Iranian plane is by no means justifiable legitimate defense. Having heard the speech of Dr. Velayati and George Bush in its 3831st meeting on July 30, 1988, the UN Security Council adopted the proposed resolution 616, whose prelude voiced deep sorrow that an Iranian civilian plane, that was on its scheduled international flight over Hormuz Strait, was targeted and crashed by a missile fired by the US war navy. So it emphasized unbiased inspection in the Persian Gulf so that facts on the incident will be brought into light. Paragraph 5 of the resolution also stresses immediate and full implementation of the resolution 598, which ruled end of the Iran-Iraq war.
After issuance of the UN Security Council resolution and once the issue was raised in the Civil Aviation Organization, the US government paid $55 million to families of victims and $40 million to the Islamic Republic of Iran government as reparation for the crash. The reparation paid by the US based on the international law shows that the US has not only admitted the responsibility for the catastrophe but has abided to the incoming point, that is payment of reparation. The question is: Does the reparation compensate all the financial and spiritual damage on the Islamic Republic of Iran? Would it heal injured sentiments of Iranian nation? Answer to the question is difficult indeed. At any rate, the Airbus catastrophe is the most important case of violation of the international aviation law and violation of the most basic rules guaranteeing security and safety of international civil aviation. However, the commander of the Vincennes navy received sign of merit from the US rulers for the act. The busiest political circles in the West too ignored the issue. In fact, Whit Rodgers, the commander of the Vincennes, who ordered attack on Iranian passenger plane and received certificate of merit for the act, went to the madhouse.