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Tehran Denounces the Downing as Criminal Act
[Diary of a Vengeance Foretold] Part 12 - July 14, 1988
Ludwig De Braeckeleer (ludwig)     Print Article 
Published 2008-07-14 14:22 (KST)   

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Thursday, July 14

"The effort to second-guess the actions of the captain of that ship will be rebuffed."
--US Vice President H. G. Bush

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Iran's foreign minister, Ali-Akbar Velayati, told the United Nations Security Council that the US downing of an Iran Airbus 665 by the USS Vincennes was "a barbaric massacre."

Velayati asked the Security Council to condemn the United States saying the downing "could not have been a mistake, was a criminal act, an atrocity and a massacre."

Velayati acquired his M.D. from the University of Tehran and pediatrics degrees from Johns Hopkins University in 1971 and 1974, respectively. He was the foreign minister of Iran for about 16 years (from Dec. 15, 1981, to Aug. 20, 1997), making him the longest-serving foreign minister in Iranian history. Velayati is the only high-ranking Iranian official who kept his post after the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Vice President Bush replied that the USS Vincennes had fired in self-defense. Bush has repeatedly stated that he would never apologize for the disaster no matter what the facts are.


Links between the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command, led by Ahmed Jibril, and Iran became closer in December 1987. Jibril and Velayati met in Tripoli, Libya. During their meeting, Jibril conveyed to Velayati his support "for the Islamic Revolution." Soon after their meeting, the rhetoric of the PFLP-GC began to acquire an Islamic flavor the group had never used before.

In 1996, a high-ranking Iranian defector named Mesbahi told German investigators that Khomeini personally ordered the bombing of Pan Am 103 as an act of revenge for the downing of the Iranian airbus. Mesbahi also said that Foreign Minister Velayati had carried out the planning with Libya and guerrilla leader Abu Nidal.

Meanwhile, Khalid Jaafar keeps on orbiting the planet. On July 14, he flies from Detroit to Chicago on UA159 and then from Chicago to Amman on RJA 313.

Back to the Present

On Sunday, Ben Borland, writing in the Sunday Express, revealed that Abdelbaset Ali Al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, is set to be freed on a technicality because the Crown refuses to give to the defense a secret document believed to establish the innocence of the Libyan.

Earlier this year, arguing that it would be very harmful to U.K. national interest, Foreign Secretary David Miliband signed a public interest immunity certificate to prevent its content being revealed.

If the judges were to rule that the document should remain classified, as many insiders now allege, the Lord Advocate Eilish Angiolini will have little choice but to free Megrahi because he cannot have a fair appeal.

"If the court says this document can't be released in the normal way to the defense, then it is distinctly possible the Lord Advocate will say, if it cannot be seen that this appeal process is fair and open, it is better to say we will no longer oppose this appeal. Not because we believe Megrahi is innocent, but because the appeal cannot be seen to be fair," argues professor Robert Black, best known as the architect of the Lockerbie trial.

According to Borland, the document is reportedly "a German intelligence debriefing of an Iranian defector, who claimed Tehran paid a Palestinian terror cell to carry out the bombing, after the US accidentally shot down an Iranian passenger jet, in 1988." [1]
1. OMNI identified that document earlier this year. (See "OhmyNews Identifies Secret Lockerbie Document.")


"US and Iran in Angry Exchange, But Agree to Help Airbus Inquiry," July 14, 1988.

"Bush to Speak at UN Debate on Iran's Plane," July 14, 1988.

"Why Cruiser's Captain Made Wrong Choice," July 14, 1988.


Ludwig De Braeckeleer has a Ph.D. in nuclear sciences. Ludwig teaches physics and international humanitarian law. He blogs on "The GaiaPost."
©2008 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Ludwig De Braeckeleer

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