Jul 02, 2020 13:41 UTC
  • Iran pays tribute to victims of 1988 US downing of passenger jet

Iran commemorates the 32nd anniversary of the downing of its passenger aircraft by a US Navy guided-missile cruiser over the Persian Gulf, which martyred 290 people.

According to Press TV, a memorial ceremony was held on Thursday on the eve of the tragedy's anniversary, with the participants, including the families of the victims and local officials, tossing flowers into the waters of Hormozgan Province near Hengam Island.

They also chanted slogans such as "Down with the US" and "Down with Israel."

‘Crime of the century’

Speaking during Thursday’s commemoration ceremony in the port city of Bandar Abbas, Abbas Gholamshahi, a senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corp (IRGC), said “criminal America took the most inhumane action and committed the crime of the century in 1988 by downing a passenger plane.”

The US then “gave a medal of honor to the captain of the cruiser for his inhumane act,” he added.

“However, they no longer dare do so and we witnessed how their most advanced drone was shot down for violating Iran’s airspace after receiving a warning,” he added.

The commander was referring to the downing by the IRGC of an advanced US-made RQ-4 Global Hawk over the territorial waters off Hormozgan on June 20, 2019.

The unmanned US aircraft had been taken down by Iran’s indigenous Khordad 3 air defense system after it breached the country’s airspace on a spying mission despite the IRGC’s numerous warnings.

'Persian Gulf has long witnessed US crimes in the region'

Iran’s Foreign Ministry also reacted to the occasion on Thursday, saying in a tweet that the Persian Gulf “has long witnessed US crimes in the region.”

"32 years ago, US deliberately shot down an Iranian airplane. 290 were killed.US has not yet apologized nor embarrassed," the Foreign Ministry added.

The ministry also took a jab at the US claims to be an advocate of human rights in the world, saying, “What is US human rights?  Answer: Unparalleled commitment to killing people.”