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Iran Air Flight 655 information


Iran Air Flight 655
A300 Iran Air EP-IBT THR May 2010.jpg
An Iran Air Airbus A300 similar to the aircraft involved in the incident
Shootdown
Date3 July 1988
SummaryShot down by a missile fired from USS Vincennes; reason for shootdown disputed
SiteStrait of Hormuz, near Qeshm Island, Iran
26°40′06″N 56°02′41″E / 26.66833°N 56.04472°E / 26.66833; 56.04472Coordinates: 26°40′06″N 56°02′41″E / 26.66833°N 56.04472°E / 26.66833; 56.04472
Aircraft
Aircraft typeAirbus A300B2-203
OperatorIran Air
IATA flight No.IR655
ICAO flight No.IRA655
Call signIRANAIR 655
RegistrationEP-IBU
Flight originMehrabad International Airport
Tehran, Iran
StopoverBandar Abbas International Airport
Bandar Abbas, Iran
DestinationDubai International Airport
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Occupants290
Passengers274
Crew16
Fatalities290
Survivors0

Iran Air Flight 655 was a scheduled passenger flight from Tehran to Dubai via Bandar Abbas that was shot down on 3 July 1988 by two SM-2MR surface-to-air missiles fired by the USS Vincennes, a guided-missile cruiser of the United States Navy. The aircraft, an Airbus A300, was destroyed and all 290 people on board were killed.[1] The jet was hit while flying over Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, along the flight's usual route, shortly after departing Bandar Abbas International Airport, the flight's stopover location. The attack occurred during the Iran–Iraq War, which had been continuing for nearly eight years. Vincennes had entered Iranian territory after one of its helicopters drew warning fire from Iranian speedboats operating within Iranian territorial limits.[2][3][4][5][6]

The reason for the downing has been disputed between the governments of the two countries. According to the U.S., the Vincennes crew had incorrectly identified the Airbus as an attacking F-14 Tomcat, a U.S.-made jet fighter that had been part of the Iranian Air Force inventory since the 1970s. While the F-14s had been supplied to Iran in an air-to-air configuration,[7][8] the Vincennes crew had been briefed that the Iranian F-14s were equipped with air-to-ground ordnance.[9] The US military asserts that the Vincennes had made ten attempts to contact the aircraft both on military and on civilian frequencies, but had received no response.[10] According to Iran, the cruiser negligently shot down the aircraft, which was transmitting IFF squawks in Mode III, a signal that identified it as a civilian aircraft, and not Mode II as used by Iranian military aircraft.[11][12] The event generated a great deal of criticism of the United States. Some analysts blamed the captain of Vincennes, William C. Rogers III, for overly aggressive behavior in a tense and dangerous environment.[10][13] In the days immediately following the incident, President Ronald Reagan issued a written diplomatic note to the Iranian government, expressing deep regret.[14] However, the U.S. continued to insist that Vincennes was acting in "self-defense".

In 1996, during the Clinton Administration, the governments of the U.S. and Iran reached a settlement at the International Court of Justice which included the statement "... the United States recognized the aerial incident of 3 July 1988 as a terrible human tragedy and expressed deep regret over the loss of lives caused by the incident ..."[15] When former President Reagan was directly asked if he considered the statement an apology, he replied, "Yes."[14] As part of the settlement, even though the U.S. government did not admit legal liability or formally apologize to Iran, it agreed to pay US$61.8 million on an ex gratia basis in compensation to the families of the Iranian victims.[16] The shootdown was the deadliest aviation disaster involving an Airbus A300,[17][18][19] as well as the deadliest aviation disaster in 1988. It was also the deadliest airliner shootdown incident until 2014, when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine.[20][21]

  1. ^ Nancy J. Cook, Stories of Modern Technology Failures and Cognitive Engineering Successes, CRC Press, 2007, PP77.
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference kelley-0706 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ Gordon, Michael R. (2 July 1992). "U.S. Account of Downing of Iran Jet Criticized". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference newsweek.com was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ "Vincennes: A Case Study". U.S. Naval Institute. 1 August 1993. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  6. ^ Gordon, Michael R. (22 July 1992). "Cover-Up Denied in Downing Of Iranian Passenger Jet in '88". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  7. ^ Halloran, Richard (7 July 1988). "Limits to an F-14 Threat Cited by Military Aides". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  8. ^ Cockburn, Alexander (1988). Corruptions of Empire: Life Studies & the Reagan Era. London: Verso Books. p. 517. ISBN 9780860919407.
  9. ^ Fogarty 1988, §IV(A)(9)(o))
  10. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference evans was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  11. ^ "Shooting Down Iran Air Flight 655 [IR655]". Archived from the original on 19 March 2006. Retrieved 27 April 2006.
  12. ^ "Shot Down Malaysian Airlines Flight Joins Few Others—Business Insider". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 20 July 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  13. ^ Cite error: The named reference blunders was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  14. ^ a b Moore, Molly; McAllister, Bill (6 July 1988). "REAGAN APOLOGIZED TO IRAN FOR DOWNING OF JETLINER". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 17 April 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988 (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America)—Settlement Agreement" (PDF). International Court of Justice. 9 February 1996. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 February 2008. Retrieved 31 December 2007.
  16. ^ Cite error: The named reference books.google.com was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  17. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Airbus A300B2-203 EP-IBU Qeshm Island". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on 14 June 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  18. ^ Ranter, Harro. "Airbus A300". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on 10 December 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  19. ^ Ranter, Harro. "Iran air safety profile". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on 29 January 2019. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  20. ^ Ranter, Harro. "1988". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  21. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 777-2H6ER 9M-MRD Hrabove". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 28 December 2020.

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