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Moscow Asks US to Pull Out of Gulf
[Diary of a Vengeance Foretold] Part 14 - July 16, 1988
Ludwig De Braeckeleer (ludwig)     Print Article 
Published 2008-07-16 13:59 (KST)   

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Saturday, July 16, 1988

"The tragedy has demonstrated once again that the U.S. Navy fleet must leave the Persian Gulf waters without delay."

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entin V. Lozinsky, Soviet delegate at the United Nations

On this day, Valentin V. Lozinsky, the UN Soviet delegate, called for the withdrawal of American naval forces from the Persian Gulf. But Lozinsky also urged Iran to end the war with Iraq and to accept the UN Resolution.

"The Soviet Union supports the efforts made by the United Nations Secretary General for the implementation of Resolution 598," Lozinsky added.

Most representatives agree with US Vice President George H. W. Bush that the tragedy would not have occurred if Tehran had accepted the proposed UN ceasefire.

"The Iranians must be disappointed with so many people saying that if you had done what we had told you and implemented the resolution, this would not have happened," a Western European diplomat said.

The debate was adjourned early in the afternoon. Over the weekend, the president of the UN Security Council, Paulo Nogueira Batista of Brazil, will attempt to draft a text that is acceptable to all parties.

In retrospect, it appears that US President Ronald Reagan's decision to pay compensation helped the US cause while Tehran badly miscalculated by openly accusing the UN of unfairness.

The shot down of a civilian airliner by the most sophisticated warship raises a very worrisome question. How much should the similarly complex technology used for nuclear missiles be trusted?

"If the captain of the Vincennes, the American Navy warship that shot down the airliner, could make such a mistake, what about the potential for a much larger accident with nuclear weapons? People are thinking about this, and it makes them cautious," a diplomat said.


Khalid Jaafar flies from Amman to Damascus on RJA 276. On April 13, 1989, the FBI would announce that he had tentatively identified how the bomb got on board of Pan Am 103. [1]

The report suggested that an agent of the Syrian-sponsored Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command had planted the bomb in a piece of luggage carried by Jaafar.

The agent was not named but described as a relative of Dalkamoni, who is himself a high-ranking member of the organization.

Nazir Jaafar, the father of Khalid, said he was sure that his son had been carrying only one small bag, as evidenced by a picture taken just before his departure to the airport. West German prosecutors said that Khalid checked two pieces of luggage. [2]

Khalid had actually arrived in Germany with four pieces of luggage according to the person who hosted him.

With time, the theory that Jaafar had been the unwitting carrier of the bomb vanished. Yet, two members of the PFLP-GC would testify that this is what actually occurred.

One of them is Mobdi Goben. In the fall of 1988, Goben was running a safe house for the organization in Yugoslavia. He wrote a memorandum in which he described the operation. A few pages of the memorandum have never been recovered to this day.

The other is Khalil Tunayb, who, interestingly enough, was one of the members of the PLFC-GC known to have participated in a key meeting with Tehran officials in the aftermath of the downing of the Iranian airliner.

On July 9, 1989, a former colleague of Charles McKee, an American intelligence operative returning from Lebanon on Pan Am 103, wrote a five-page letter to his mother in which he tried to convince her that she was wrong to believe that the tragedy had something to do with her son's presence on the doomed flight.

"The people who brought down the plane did not know anyone on that plane, save for the poor fool who carried the bomb onboard not knowing what he carried," the letter reads.
1. "U.S. Inquiry Names Carrier of Bomb," April 13, 1989.

2. "Father of Crash Victim Calls Inquiry Anti-Arab," April 15, 1989.


"Soviets in U.N. Council Ask for U.S. Pullout From Gulf," July 16, 1988.
©2008 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Ludwig De Braeckeleer

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