Imam Khomeini strongly denounced US downing of passenger plane

Imam Khomeini strongly denounced US downing of passenger plane

Iran is commemorating the 29th anniversary of the downing of its passenger plane by a US Navy guided-missile cruiser in the Persian Gulf waters in 1988.

The civilian aircraft, an Airbus A300B2, was flying in Iranian airspace over the Strait of Hormuz from the port city of Bandar Abbas to Dubai, on July 3, 1988

The plane carrying 274 passengers and 16 crew members on July 3, 1988, when USS Vincennes fired two SM-2MR surface-to-air missiles at it.

One of the missiles hit the plane, killing all the 290 onboard.

Following the tragedy, Imam Khomeini said in a historic message as following: 

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Your message was a soothing one for the pains of those who have received a blow from the Great Satan, the deceptive America. The liberal people of the world have always been hurt by the superpowers, especially the criminal America, and so long as they do not take their definite decision to confront the global kufr [disbelief] and shirk [polytheism] and the domineering America, every day they will witness new crimes (committed against them).

The noble nation of Iran must pay attention to the fact that today is the day of war and struggle against all the devils who are trampling on the lawful rights of all the barefooted of the world for their wining and dining as well as development of weapons so that they always rule over the world of the starving ones.

Our war today is not war against Iraq and Israel. Our war is not a war against Saudi Arabia and the sheikhs of the Persian Gulf. Our war is not war against Egypt, Jordan and Morocco. Our war is not a war with the superpowers of the East and the West. Our war is the war of our school of thought against all forms of oppression and tyranny. Our war is the war of Islam against all the inequalities of the capitalist and communist world. Our war is the war of barefootedness against the luxuries of the indolent wealthy and rulers of the Muslim countries. This war knows no weapon. This war is not confined by frontier and territory. This war knows no home base, sanctuary, defeat, and the bitterness of shortage, poverty and hunger. This war is the war of ideology and the war of revolutionary ideological values against the filthy world of force, money and hedonism. Our war is the war of sanctity, dignity, nobility and fortitude against all forms of dastardliness and foul play.

Our combatants are breathing in the world of conviction and faith and the world Muslims is aware that it is the war between arrogance and Islam will not allow the world-devourers to rest and will strike to all the palace-dwellers.

You, who are one of the assets of this revolution, has to spend your time in constructing a world of generosity and magnanimity with the support of Mr. Rafsanjānī. The noble people of Iran should beware that these days the unclean hands of the East and the West have joined to destroy Islam and Muslims. We should not allow the efforts of our revolutionary children go in vain at the warfronts. We should extend the hand of unity to one another for the implementation of the laws of dear Islam and move firmly and resolutely until the victory of Islam.

All the officials of the system should devote all their efforts to serving the war. These days we should endeavor to bring about far-reaching development in all issues related to the war. All should look toward the warfront for an all-out war against America and its followers. Today, skepticism in any form is a betrayal to Islam and negligence on the issues of war is a treachery to the Messenger of Allah (s). This humble servant is offering his unworthy life to the combatants in the scenes of warfare.

The explosion of the passengers’ airbus is an alarm for all air travels. We should try our best so that such painful scenarios would not happen again.

I extend my condolences to all members of the bereaved families in this tragedy and share with them in their sorrow and agony for the lost of their beloved ones. I pray for you and all those who are understanding effort for the attainment of the sacred objective of Islam. May God’s peace and mercy be upon you.


                                                      Rūhullāh al-Mūsawī al-Khomeinī 

                                                            Tīr 13, 1367 AHS  


Sahifeh-ye Imam, Vol.21, pages 66-67

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has recently issued a statement to commemorate the victims and once again censure the US Navy’s “horrific crime.”

“A look at the precedence of the US inhumane behavior, which is manifested in massacring innocent people across the world, including the aggrieved people of Iran, indicates that such an attitude has been institutionalized in various US governments in pursuit of their own goals,” said the statement.

US officials claimed the warship 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.

A year later, the captain of the USS Vincennes, William C. Rogers, was cleared of any wrongdoing in the incident, and was even awarded America’s Legion of Merit medal by then President George Bush for his “outstanding service.”

The atrocity especially stoked anti-American sentiment as it coincided with the final year of the former Iraqi regime’s eight-year war, which had been waged against Iran with Washington’s all-out political and material support.

The statement added that the Iranian people hold to account the so-called advocates of human rights for ordering and perpetrating this atrocity, and for committing crimes and inhumane acts.

The Islamic Republic wants all those behind the tragedy to be held accountable for the crime, said the statement, adding that the Iranian nation will never “forgive the perpetrators.”


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