On 31st anniversary, Iranian officials, relatives mourn US downing of  passenger plane

On 31st anniversary, Iranian officials, relatives mourn US downing of passenger plane

Iran marks the 31st anniversary of the US downing of its passenger plane, which killed 290 people among them 66 children. Since then the US has neither apologized nor taken responsibility for this crime.

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Commemoration ceremony of the victims of the US attack on an Iranian passenger plane was held at Iran Air office in Tehran on Tuesday.

The plane, Airbus A300, flying over the Persian Gulf, was shot down by a surface-to-air missile from USS Vincennes on 3 July 1988. The attack claimed the lives of 290 civilians, including 66 children, 53 women and 46 foreigners.

The flight 655, that took off from Bandar Abbas Airport in the southern Iran was bound to Dubai.

A memorial ceremony held at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport on Tuesday, was attended by a number of Iranian lawmakers, including the parliament speaker Ali Larijani. Iran's Minister of Road and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami, and Touraj Zangeneh, director general of Iran Air.

The US has refused to apologize or admit legal liability for Iran Air Flight 655.

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 Bush for his “outstanding service” during operations in the Persian Gulf.

The Iranian government took the matter to the UN Security Council and the World Court, asking for an apology and compensation.

 In 1996, the US — under the administration of then president Bill Clinton — agreed to express its “deep regrets” and pay $61.8 million in compensation to the victims' families, but did not admit any guilt or legal liability.

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