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Iran Air Flight 655

Iran Air Flight 655

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Iran Air Flight 655 was a civilian jet airliner
Jet airliner
A jet airliner is an airliner that is powered by jet engines. This term is sometimes contracted to jetliner or jet.In contrast to today's relatively fuel-efficient, turbofan-powered air travel, first generation jet airliner travel was noisy and fuel inefficient...

 shot down by U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 missiles on 3 July 1988, over the Strait of Hormuz
Strait of Hormuz
The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow, strategically important waterway between the Gulf of Oman in the southeast and the Persian Gulf. On the north coast is Iran and on the south coast is the United Arab Emirates and Musandam, an exclave of Oman....

, toward the end of the Iran–Iraq War. The aircraft, an Airbus A300B2-203 operated by Iran Air
Iran Air
Iran Air , formally Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the flag carrier airline of Iran, operating services to 60 destinations, 35 international and 25 domestic. The cargo fleet operates services to 20 scheduled and 5 charter destinations...

, was flying from Bandar Abbas
Bandar Abbas
Bandar-Abbas or Bandar-e ‘Abbās , also Romanized as Bandar ‘Abbās, Bandar ‘Abbāsī, and Bandar-e ‘Abbās; formerly known as Cambarão and Port Comorão to Portuguese traders, as Gombroon to English traders and as Gamrun or Gumrun to Dutch merchants) is a port city and capital of Hormozgān Province on...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, to Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

, over Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf on its usual flight path when it was destroyed by the U.S. Navy's guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes
USS Vincennes (CG-49)
The fourth USS Vincennes is a U.S. Navy Ticonderoga class Aegis guided missile cruiser. On July 3, 1988, the ship shot down Iran Air Flight 655 over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 civilian passengers on board, including 38 non-Iranians and 66 children.The ship was launched 14 April 1984 and...

, killing all 290 passengers and crew aboard, including 65 children, ranking it twelfth among the deadliest disasters in aviation history. It was the highest death toll of any aviation incident in the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 and the highest death toll of any incident involving an Airbus A300 anywhere in the world. Vincennes entered into Iranian territorial waters after sending one of its helicopters to buzz Iranian speedboats located inside Iranian waters, and the helicopter drew warning fire from the speedboats. IR655 was within Iranian airspace at the time it was shot down.

According to the US government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

, the crew identified the Iranian Airbus A300
Airbus A300
The Airbus A300 is a short- to medium-range widebody jet airliner. Launched in 1972 as the world's first twin-engined widebody, it was the first product of Airbus Industrie, a consortium of European aerospace companies, wholly owned today by EADS...

 as an attacking F-14 Tomcat
F-14 Tomcat
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for the United States Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental program following the collapse of the F-111B project...

 fighter
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

 (a plane made in the US and operated by only 2 countries worldwide, the US and Iran). The Iranian government maintains that the Vincennes negligently shot down the civilian aircraft. The event generated a great deal of controversy and criticism of the U.S. Some analysts have blamed U.S. military commanders and the captain of the Vincennes for reckless and aggressive behavior in a tense and dangerous environment.

In 1996, the United States and Iran reached "an agreement in full and final settlement of all disputes, differences, claims, counterclaims" relating to the incident at the International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

. As part of the settlement, the United States agreed to pay US$
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

61.8 million, an average of $213,103.45 per passenger, in compensation to the families of the Iranian victims. However, the United States has never admitted responsibility, nor apologized to Iran.

Iran Air was still using flight number IR655 on the Tehran
Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

 route.

Nationalities of the victims


According to the documents submitted to the International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

 by Iran, the aircraft was carrying 290 people: 274 passengers and a crew of 16. Of these 290, 254 were Iranian nationals, 13 were nationals of the United Arab Emirates, ten of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, six of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, six of Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 and one of Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

.
Nationality Passengers Crew Total
238 16 254
13 0 13
10 0 10
6 0 6
6 0 6
1 0 1
Total 274 16 290

Background



In September 1980, the war between Iraq and Iran had expanded to include air attacks against oil tankers and merchant shipping of neighboring countries. On 29 April 1988 the U.S. expanded the scope of the U.S. Navy's protection to all friendly neutral shipping in the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 outside of declared exclusion zones, setting the stage for the shootdown incident. At about the same time, Vincennes
USS Vincennes (CG-49)
The fourth USS Vincennes is a U.S. Navy Ticonderoga class Aegis guided missile cruiser. On July 3, 1988, the ship shot down Iran Air Flight 655 over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 civilian passengers on board, including 38 non-Iranians and 66 children.The ship was launched 14 April 1984 and...

 was rushed to the area on a short-notice deployment, as a result of high-level decisions, to compensate for the lack of AWACS coverage which was hampering U.S. monitoring of the southern Persian Gulf. Vincennes, fitted with the then-new Aegis combat system
Aegis combat system
The Aegis Combat System is an integrated naval weapons system developed by the Missile and Surface Radar Division of RCA, and now produced by Lockheed Martin...

 and under the command of Captain William C. Rogers III
William C. Rogers III
William C. Rogers III, is a former officer in the United States Navy, most notable as the captain of USS Vincennes, a Ticonderoga class Aegis cruiser...

, departed San Diego on 25 April and arrived in Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

 on 29 May.

Navigation in the Strait of Hormuz


As the Strait of Hormuz
Strait of Hormuz
The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow, strategically important waterway between the Gulf of Oman in the southeast and the Persian Gulf. On the north coast is Iran and on the south coast is the United Arab Emirates and Musandam, an exclave of Oman....

 at its narrowest is just 54 kilometres (29.2 nmi) wide, in order to traverse the strait ships must stay within sea lanes that pass through the territorial waters
Territorial waters
Territorial waters, or a territorial sea, as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is a belt of coastal waters extending at most from the baseline of a coastal state...

 of Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 under the transit passage provisions of customary Law of the Sea
Law of the sea
Law of the sea may refer to:* United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea* Admiralty law* The Custom of the Sea...

. It is therefore normal for ships, including warships, entering or leaving the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 to transit Iranian territorial waters
Territorial waters
Territorial waters, or a territorial sea, as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is a belt of coastal waters extending at most from the baseline of a coastal state...

. During the Iran–Iraq War the Iranian forces frequently boarded and inspected neutral cargo ships in the Strait of Hormuz in search of contraband
Contraband
The word contraband, reported in English since 1529, from Medieval French contrebande "a smuggling," denotes any item which, relating to its nature, is illegal to be possessed or sold....

 destined for Iraq, as they were entitled to do under international law. While legal, these inspections added to the tensions in the area.

The shooting down of Flight 655



The plane, an Airbus A300
Airbus A300
The Airbus A300 is a short- to medium-range widebody jet airliner. Launched in 1972 as the world's first twin-engined widebody, it was the first product of Airbus Industrie, a consortium of European aerospace companies, wholly owned today by EADS...

B2, registered as EP-IBU and flown by Captain Mohsen Rezaian, a veteran pilot with 7,000 hours of flight time, left Bandar Abbas at 10:17 am Iran time (UTC +03:30), 27 minutes after its scheduled departure time. It should have been a 28-minute flight. After takeoff, it was directed by the Bandar Abbas
Bandar Abbas
Bandar-Abbas or Bandar-e ‘Abbās , also Romanized as Bandar ‘Abbās, Bandar ‘Abbāsī, and Bandar-e ‘Abbās; formerly known as Cambarão and Port Comorão to Portuguese traders, as Gombroon to English traders and as Gamrun or Gumrun to Dutch merchants) is a port city and capital of Hormozgān Province on...

 tower to turn on its transponder
Transponder
In telecommunication, the term transponder has the following meanings:...

 and proceed over the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

. The flight was assigned routinely to commercial air corridor
Air corridor
An air corridor is a designated region of airspace that an aircraft must remain in during its transit through a given region. Air corridors are typically imposed by military or diplomatic requirements...

 Amber 59, a twenty-mile (32 km)-wide lane on a direct line to Dubai airport. The short distance made for a simple flight pattern: climb to 14000 feet (4,267.2 m), cruise for a short time, and descend into Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

. The airliner was transmitting a friend-or-foe identification code
Identification friend or foe
In telecommunications, identification, friend or foe is an identification system designed for command and control. It is a system that enables military and national interrogation systems to identify aircraft, vehicles, or forces as friendly and to determine their bearing and range from the...

 for a civilian aircraft and maintained English-speaking radio contact with civil flight control.


On the morning of 3 July, the Vincennes, Captain William C. Rogers III
William C. Rogers III
William C. Rogers III, is a former officer in the United States Navy, most notable as the captain of USS Vincennes, a Ticonderoga class Aegis cruiser...

 commanding, was passing through the Strait of Hormuz
Strait of Hormuz
The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow, strategically important waterway between the Gulf of Oman in the southeast and the Persian Gulf. On the north coast is Iran and on the south coast is the United Arab Emirates and Musandam, an exclave of Oman....

 returning from an escort duty. A helicopter from the USS Vincennes received small arms fire from Iranian patrol vessels, as it observed from high altitude. The Vincennes moved to engage the Iranian vessels, in the course of which they all violated Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

i waters and left after being challenged and ordered to leave by a Royal Navy of Oman
Royal Navy of Oman
The Royal Navy of Oman was formed in the early 1950s-Ships:* Qahir class corvettes built by Vosper Thornycroft ** Q31 Qahir Al Amwaj** Q32 Al Mua'zzar...

 warship. The Vincennes then pursued the Iranian gunboat
Gunboat
A gunboat is a naval watercraft designed for the express purpose of carrying one or more guns to bombard coastal targets, as opposed to those military craft designed for naval warfare, or for ferrying troops or supplies.-History:...

s, entering Iranian territorial waters
Territorial waters
Territorial waters, or a territorial sea, as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is a belt of coastal waters extending at most from the baseline of a coastal state...

 to open fire. The USS Sides
USS Sides (FFG-14)
USS Sides is an Oliver Hazard Perry class guided-missile frigate of the US Navy.The eighth ship in the class, it was named for Admiral John H. Sides . Ordered from Todd Shipyards, San Pedro, California, on 27 February 1976 as part of the FY76 program, Sides was laid down on 7 August 1978,...

 and USS Elmer Montgomery
USS Elmer Montgomery (FF-1082)
USS Elmer Montgomery was a Knox class frigate built for the United States Navy by Avondale Shipyard, Westwego, Louisiana. She was laid down January 23, 1970, launched November 21, 1970 and purchased October 14, 1971. She was commissioned October 30, 1971, decommissioned June 30, 1993 and struck...

 were nearby. Thus, the USS Vincennes was in Iranian territorial waters at the time of the incident, as admitted by the U.S. government in legal briefs and publicly by Admiral William Crowe on Nightline
Nightline
Nightline, or ABC News Nightline is a late-night news program broadcast by ABC in the United States, and has a franchised formula to other networks and stations elsewhere in the world. It airs weeknights, usually for 31 minutes. Created by Roone Arledge, the program featured Ted Koppel as its main...

. However, Admiral Crowe denied a U.S. government coverup of the incident and claimed that the USS Vincenness helicopter was in international waters initially, when it was first fired upon by the Iranian gunboats.

Contrary to the memories of various USS Vincennes crewmembers, the Iranian airliner was ascending (not descending, as an attacking fighter aircraft might) at the time and its radio transmitter was "squawking" on the Mode III (civilian and military) code (rather than on the purely military Mode II), as recorded by the USS Vincennes own shipboard Aegis combat system.

After receiving no response to multiple radio challenges, the USS Vincennes fired two surface-to-air missiles at the airliner, destroying it and killing all aboard.

The event triggered an intense international controversy, with Iran condemning the U.S. attack as a "barbaric act." In mid-July 1988, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati
Ali Akbar Velayati
Ali Akbar Velayati is an Iranian politician, academic and diplomat. He was the Foreign Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1997...

 asked the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 to condemn the United States saying the U.S. attack "could not have been a mistake" and was a "criminal act," an "atrocity" and a "massacre." George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

, at the time Vice President of the United States
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 in the Reagan administration
Reagan Administration
The United States presidency of Ronald Reagan, also known as the Reagan administration, was a Republican administration headed by Ronald Reagan from January 20, 1981, to January 20, 1989....

, defended his country at the United Nations by arguing that the U.S. attack had been a wartime incident and that the crew of the Vincennes had acted appropriately to the situation. The Soviet Union asked the U.S. to withdraw from the area and supported efforts by the Security Council to end the Iran-Iraq war
Iran-Iraq War
The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran, lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the longest conventional war of the twentieth century...

. The remainder of the 13 delegates who spoke supported the U.S. position, saying one of the problems was that a 1987 resolution to end the Iran-Iraq war had been ignored. Following the debate, Security Council Resolution 616
United Nations Security Council Resolution 616
United Nations Security Council Resolution 616, adopted unanimously on July 20, 1988, after hearing representations from the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Council expressed its distress at the downing of Iran Air Flight 655 over the Strait of Hormuz by a missile from the USS Vincennes during the...

 was passed expressing "deep distress" over the U.S. attack, "profound regret" for the loss of human lives, and stressed the need to end the Iran-Iraq war
Iran-Iraq War
The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran, lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the longest conventional war of the twentieth century...

 as resolved in 1987.

U.S. government accounts


According to the U.S. government, the Vincennes mistakenly identified the Iranian airliner as an attacking military fighter. The officers misidentified the flight profile being flown by the Airbus A300B2 as being similar to that of an F-14A Tomcat
F-14 Tomcat
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for the United States Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental program following the collapse of the F-111B project...

 during an attack run; however, the ship's own Aegis combat system recorded the flight plan of the Iranian airliner as ascending (not descending as in an attack run) at the time of the incident. The commercial flight had originated at Bandar Abbas
Bandar Abbas
Bandar-Abbas or Bandar-e ‘Abbās , also Romanized as Bandar ‘Abbās, Bandar ‘Abbāsī, and Bandar-e ‘Abbās; formerly known as Cambarão and Port Comorão to Portuguese traders, as Gombroon to English traders and as Gamrun or Gumrun to Dutch merchants) is a port city and capital of Hormozgān Province on...

, which served dual roles as a base for Iranian F-14
F-14 Tomcat
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for the United States Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental program following the collapse of the F-111B project...

 operations and as a hub for commercial, civilian flights. According to the same reports, the Vincennes tried unsuccessfully to contact the approaching aircraft, seven times on the military emergency frequency
Aircraft emergency frequency
The aircraft emergency frequency is a frequency used on the aircraft radio band reserved for emergency communications for aircraft in distress. The frequencies are 121.5 MHz for civilian, also known as International Air Distress and 243.0 MHz for military use, also known as Military Air...

 and three times on the civilian emergency frequency, but never on air traffic control
Air traffic control
Air traffic control is a service provided by ground-based controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and in the air. The primary purpose of ATC systems worldwide is to separate aircraft to prevent collisions, to organize and expedite the flow of traffic, and to provide information and other...

 frequencies. However, this civilian aircraft was not equipped to pick up military frequencies while the messages on the civilian emergency channel could have been directed at any aircraft. More confusion arose as the hailed speed was the ground speed, while the pilot's instruments displayed airspeed, which happened to be 50 knots (98 km/h) different.

At 10:24 am, with the civilian jet 11 nautical miles (20.4 km) away, the Vincennes fired two SM-2MR
RIM-66 Standard
The RIM-66 Standard MR is a medium range surface-to-air missile originally developed for the United States Navy . The SM-1 was developed as a replacement for the RIM-2 Terrier and RIM-24 Tartar that were deployed in the 1950s on a variety of USN ships...

 surface-to-air missile
Surface-to-air missile
A surface-to-air missile or ground-to-air missile is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft or other missiles...

s, both of which hit Flight 655. After the attack, the Vincennes crew realized that the plane had been a civilian airliner.

This version was finalized in a report by Admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 William Fogarty, entitled Formal Investigation into the Circumstances Surrounding the Downing of Iran Air Flight 655 on 3 July 1988. Only parts of this report have been released (part I in 1988 and part II in 1993). The Fogarty report stated, "The data from USS Vincennes tapes, information from USS Sides and reliable intelligence information, corroborate the fact that [Iran Air Flight 655] was on a normal commercial air flight plan profile, in the assigned airway, squawking Mode III 6760, on a continuous ascent in altitude from take-off at Bandar Abbas to shoot-down."

When questioned in a 2000 BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 documentary, the U.S. government stated in a written answer that they believed the incident may have been caused by a simultaneous psychological condition amongst the 18 bridge crew of the Vincennes called 'scenario fulfillment', which is said to occur when persons are under pressure. In such a situation, the men will carry out a training scenario, believing it to be reality while ignoring sensory information that contradicts the scenario. In the case of this incident, the scenario was an attack by a lone military aircraft.

The U.S. government issued notes of regret for the loss of human lives and in 1996 paid reparations to settle a suit brought in the International Court of Justice regarding the incident. The United States government never admitted wrongdoing, nor apologized for the incident. In August 1988 Newsweek
Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

 quoted Vice President George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

 as saying "I'll never apologize for the United States of America. Ever. I don't care what the facts are." Bush used the phrase frequently during the 1988 campaign
United States presidential election, 1988
The United States presidential election of 1988 featured no incumbent president, as President Ronald Reagan was unable to seek re-election after serving the maximum two terms allowed by the Twenty-second Amendment. Reagan's Vice President, George H. W. Bush, won the Republican nomination, while the...

 and promised to "never apologize for the United States" months before the July 1988 attack and as early as January 1988.

Iranian government account



According to the Iranian government, the shooting down of IR 655 by the Vincennes was an intentionally performed and unlawful act. Even if there was a mistaken identification, which Iran has not accepted, it argues that this constituted gross negligence and recklessness amounting to an international crime, not an accident.

In particular, Iran expressed skepticism about claims of mis-identification, noting that the Vincennes had advanced Aegis radar that correctly tracked the flight and its Mode III beacon; two other U.S. warships in the area, Sides and Montgomery, identified the aircraft as civilian; and the flight was well within a recognized international air corridor. It also noted that the crew of the Vincennes was trained to handle simultaneous attacks by hundreds of enemy aircraft. Iran found it more plausible that the Vincennes "hankered for an opportunity to show its stuff".

According to Iran, the U.S. had previously issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM
NOTAM
NOTAM or NoTAM is the quasi-acronym for a "Notice To Airmen". NOTAMs are created and transmitted by government agencies and airport operators under guidelines specified by Annex 15: Aeronautical Information Services of the Convention on International Civil Aviation...

) warning aircraft that they were at risk of "defensive measures" if they had not been cleared from a regional airport and if they came within 5 nautical miles (9.3 km) of a warship at an altitude of less than 2000 feet (609.6 m)." IR 655 had been cleared from a regional airport and was well outside those limits when it was attacked.

Even if the aircraft had been an Iranian F-14, Iran argued, the U.S. would have had no right to shoot it down. The aircraft was flying within Iranian airspace and did not, in fact, follow a path that could be considered an attack profile, nor did it illuminate the Vincennes with radar. During the incident, the Vincennes had also covertly entered Iranian territorial waters without first declaring war, while aiding Iraq's (1980-1988
Iran-Iraq War
The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran, lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the longest conventional war of the twentieth century...

) war against Iran. Furthermore, regardless of any mistakes made by the crew, the U.S. was fully responsible for the actions of its warship under international law.

Iran pointed out that in the past "the United States has steadfastly condemned the shooting down of aircraft, whether civil or military, by the armed forces of another State" and cited El Al Flight 402
El Al Flight 402
El Al Flight 402, a Lockheed L-049 Constellation pressurized four-engine propliner, registered 4X-AKC, was an international passenger flight from Vienna, Austria to Tel Aviv, Israel via Istanbul, Turkey, on July 27, 1955, which strayed into Bulgarian airspace and was shot down by two Bulgarian...

, Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114
Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114
Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 was a regularly scheduled flight from Tripoli to Cairo via Benghazi shot down by Israeli fighter jets in 1973....

 and Korean Air Lines Flight 007, among other incidents. Iran also noted that when Iraq attacked the USS Stark, United States found Iraq fully responsible on the grounds that the Iraqi pilot "knew or should have known" that he was attacking a U.S. warship.

On 11 August, a month after the shoot down, the Iranian government released a stamp illustrating the event, where the ship shooting the missile is painted with the colors of the American flag, and the map of Iran is burning on the background.

Independent sources


National Geographic Channel
National Geographic Channel
National Geographic Channel, also commercially abbreviated and trademarked as Nat Geo, is a subscription television channel that airs non-fiction television programs produced by the National Geographic Society. Like History and the Discovery Channel, the channel features documentaries with factual...

 broadcast a documentary on this incident titled "Mistaken Identity" as an episode of its Mayday
Mayday (TV series)
Mayday, also known as Air Crash Investigation in the United Kingdom, Australia and Asia and Air Emergency and Air Disasters in the United States, is a Canadian documentary television programme produced by Cineflix investigating air crashes, near-crashes and other disasters...

 (aka: Air Emergency) series (Season 3, Episode 5); the documentary confirmed that the airliner was transmitting an Identification friend or foe
Identification friend or foe
In telecommunications, identification, friend or foe is an identification system designed for command and control. It is a system that enables military and national interrogation systems to identify aircraft, vehicles, or forces as friendly and to determine their bearing and range from the...

 code for a civilian aircraft, but Captain William C. Rogers III
William C. Rogers III
William C. Rogers III, is a former officer in the United States Navy, most notable as the captain of USS Vincennes, a Ticonderoga class Aegis cruiser...

 in an interview insisted that he believed the code alone did not mean the aircraft was non-hostile. Captain Rogers described the attack as a self-defense measure to save his life and ship.

John Barry and Roger Charles of Newsweek
Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

 wrote that Rogers acted recklessly and without due care in their 13 July 1992 article.
They also accused the U.S. government of a cover-up, but Admiral Crowe denied any knowledge.
An analysis of the events by the International Strategic Studies Association
International Strategic Studies Association
The International Strategic Studies Association describes itself as Washington DC based non-governmental organization with a worldwide membership of professionals involved in national management, particularly in national and international security and strategic policy.-Recipients of ISSA...

 described the deployment of an Aegis cruiser in the zone as irresponsible and felt that the expense of the ship had played a major part in the setting of a low threshold for opening fire. The Vincennes had been nicknamed 'Robocruiser
RoboCop
RoboCop is a 1987 American science fiction-action film directed by Paul Verhoeven. Set in a crime-ridden Detroit, Michigan in the near future, RoboCop centers on a police officer who is brutally murdered and subsequently re-created as a super-human cyborg known as "RoboCop"...

' by crew members and other US Navy ships, both in reference to its Aegis system, and to the supposed aggressive tendencies of its captain.

The International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

 case relating to the Airbus attack, "the Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988, (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America)", was dropped 22 February 1996 following settlement and reparations by the United States.

Three years after the incident, Admiral William J. Crowe
William J. Crowe
Admiral William James Crowe, Jr. was a United States Navy Admiral who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and as the ambassador to the United Kingdom under President Bill Clinton.-Biography:Crowe was born in La Grange, Kentucky...

 admitted on American television show Nightline that the Vincennes was inside Iranian territorial waters when it launched the missiles. This contradicted earlier Navy statements that were misleading if not incorrect.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) report of December, 1988 placed the USS Vincennes
USS Vincennes
Four United States Navy ships have been named USS Vincennes, after the town of Vincennes, Indiana, site of an important Patriot victory in the American Revolution....

 well inside Iran's territorial waters.

Commander David Carlson, commanding officer
Commanding officer
The commanding officer is the officer in command of a military unit. Typically, the commanding officer has ultimate authority over the unit, and is usually given wide latitude to run the unit as he sees fit, within the bounds of military law...

 of the USS Sides
USS Sides (FFG-14)
USS Sides is an Oliver Hazard Perry class guided-missile frigate of the US Navy.The eighth ship in the class, it was named for Admiral John H. Sides . Ordered from Todd Shipyards, San Pedro, California, on 27 February 1976 as part of the FY76 program, Sides was laid down on 7 August 1978,...

, the warship stationed near to the Vincennes at the time of the incident, is reported (Fisk, 2005) to have said that the destruction of the aircraft "marked the horrifying climax to Captain Rogers' aggressiveness, first seen four weeks ago." His comment referred to incidents on 2 June, when Rogers had sailed the Vincennes too close to an Iranian frigate undertaking a lawful search of a bulk carrier, launched a helicopter within 2–3 mi (3.2–4.8 km) of an Iranian small craft despite rules of engagement
Rules of engagement
Rules of Engagement refers to those responses that are permitted in the employment of military personnel during operations or in the course of their duties. These rules of engagement are determined by the legal framework within which these duties are being carried out...

 requiring a four-mile (6.4 km) separation, and opened fire on a number of small Iranian military boats. Of those incidents, Carlson commented, "Why do you want an Aegis cruiser out there shooting up boats? It wasn't a smart thing to do." He also said of Iranian forces he'd encountered in the area a month prior to the incident were "...pointedly non-threatening" and professional. At the time of Rogers' announcement to higher command that he was going to shoot down the plane, Carlson is reported (Fisk, 2005) to have been thunderstruck: "I said to folks around me, 'Why, what the hell is he doing?' I went through the drill again. F-14. He's climbing. By now this damn thing is at 7,000 feet." However, Carlson thought the Vincennes might have more information, and was unaware that Rogers had been wrongly informed that the plane was diving.

Craig, Morales & Oliver, in a slide presentation published in M.I.T.'s Spring 2004 Aeronautics & Astronautics as the "USS Vincennes Incident", commented that Captain Rogers had "an undeniable and unequivocal tendency towards what I call 'picking a fight. On his own initiative, Rogers moved the Vincennes 50 miles (80.5 km) northeast to join the USS Montgomery. An angry Captain Richard McKenna, Chief of Surface Warfare for the Commander of the Joint Task Force, ordered Rogers back to Abu Musa
Abu Musa
Abu Musa is a 12-km² island in the eastern Persian Gulf, part of a six-island archipelago near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz. The island is administered by Iran as part of the Iranian province of Hormozgan, but is also claimed by the United Arab Emirates .Abu Musa's inhabitants call it...

, but the Vincennes helicopter pilot, Lt Mark Collier, followed the Iranian speedboats as they retreated north, eventually taking some fire:

Radio communication


Throughout its final flight IR655 was in radio contact with various air traffic control services using standard civil aviation frequencies, and had spoken in English to Bandar Abbas Approach Control seconds before the Vincennes launched its missiles. According to the U.S. Navy investigation the Vincennes at that time had no equipment suitable for monitoring civil aviation frequencies, other than the International Air Distress frequency. Subsequently U.S. Navy warships in the area were equipped with dialable VHF radios, and access to flight plan information was sought, to better track commercial airliners.

The official ICAO
International Civil Aviation Organization
The International Civil Aviation Organization , pronounced , , is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth...

 report stated that ten attempts were made to contact Iran Air flight 655: seven on military frequencies and three on commercial frequencies, addressed to an "unidentified Iranian aircraft" and giving its speed as 350 knots (685.9 km/h), which was the ground speed of the aircraft their radar reported. The crew of the Iran Air 655, however, would have seen a speed of 300 knots (588 km/h) on their controls, which was their relative air speed, possibly leading them to conclude that the Vincennes was talking to another aircraft. Both Sides and Vincennes tried contacting flight 655 on several civilian and military frequencies.

International investigations concluded that the crew of IR655 assumed that the three calls that they received before the missiles struck must have been directed at an Iranian P-3 Orion
P-3 Orion
The Lockheed P-3 Orion is a four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the United States Navy and introduced in the 1960s. Lockheed based it on the L-188 Electra commercial airliner. The aircraft is easily recognizable by its distinctive tail stinger or...

 (see below).

Potential factors

  • The ship's crew did not efficiently consult commercial airliner schedules, due to confusion over which time zone
    Time zone
    A time zone is a region on Earth that has a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes. In order for the same clock time to always correspond to the same portion of the day as the Earth rotates , different places on the Earth need to have different clock times...

     the schedules referred to. The schedules flight times used Bandar Abbas
    Bandar Abbas
    Bandar-Abbas or Bandar-e ‘Abbās , also Romanized as Bandar ‘Abbās, Bandar ‘Abbāsī, and Bandar-e ‘Abbās; formerly known as Cambarão and Port Comorão to Portuguese traders, as Gombroon to English traders and as Gamrun or Gumrun to Dutch merchants) is a port city and capital of Hormozgān Province on...

     airport time while the Vincennes was on Bahrain time. The airliner's departure was 27 minutes later than scheduled. "The CIC
    Combat Information Center
    The Operations Room is the tactical center of a warship or AWAC aircraft providing processed information for command and control of the near battle space or 'area of operations'...

     was also very dark, and the few lights that it did have flickered every time the Vincennes fired at the speedboats. This was of special concern to Petty Officer
    Petty Officer
    A petty officer is a non-commissioned officer in many navies and is given the NATO rank denotion OR-6. They are equal in rank to sergeant, British Army and Royal Air Force. A Petty Officer is superior in rank to Leading Rate and subordinate to Chief Petty Officer, in the case of the British Armed...

     Andrew Anderson, who first picked up Flight 655 on radar and thought that it might be a commercial aircraft. As he was searching in the Navy's listing of commercial flights, he apparently missed Flight 655 because it was so dark."
  • An Iranian P-3
    P-3 Orion
    The Lockheed P-3 Orion is a four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the United States Navy and introduced in the 1960s. Lockheed based it on the L-188 Electra commercial airliner. The aircraft is easily recognizable by its distinctive tail stinger or...

     was in the area some time before the attack, thought to be flying a "classic targeting profile", and in some reports providing an explanation why no radar signals were detected from Iran Air Flight 655. Other reports state that the Airbus was immediately detected after takeoff by Vincenness AN/SPY-1
    AN/SPY-1
    The AN/SPY-1 is a US naval radar system manufactured by Lockheed Martin. The array is a passive electronically scanned system and is a key component of the Aegis Combat System. The system is computer controlled, using four complementary antennas to provide 360 degree coverage...

     radar at a range of 47 miles (75.6 km).
  • The crew of the Vincennes Combat Information Center
    Combat Information Center
    The Operations Room is the tactical center of a warship or AWAC aircraft providing processed information for command and control of the near battle space or 'area of operations'...

     (CIC) confusingly reported the plane as ascending and descending at the same time (there were two "camps"). This seems to have happened because the Airbus
    Airbus
    Airbus SAS is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac, France, surburb of Toulouse, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners....

    ' original Link 11 track, number 4474, had been replaced by the Sides track, number 4131, when the computer recognised them as one and the same. Shortly thereafter, track 4474 was re-assigned by the system to an American A-6
    A-6 Intruder
    The Grumman A-6 Intruder was an American, twin jet-engine, mid-wing attack aircraft built by Grumman Aerospace. In service with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps between 1963 and 1997, the Intruder was designed as an all-weather medium attack aircraft to replace the piston-engined A-1 Skyraider...

    , several hundred miles away, which was following a descending course at the time. Apparently not all the crew in the CIC realized the track number had been switched on them.
  • The psychology and mindset after engaging in a battle with Iran
    Iran
    Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

    ian gunboat
    Gunboat
    A gunboat is a naval watercraft designed for the express purpose of carrying one or more guns to bombard coastal targets, as opposed to those military craft designed for naval warfare, or for ferrying troops or supplies.-History:...

    s. There are claims that Vincennes was engaged in an operation using a decoy cargo ship
    Cargo ship
    A cargo ship or freighter is any sort of ship or vessel that carries cargo, goods, and materials from one port to another. Thousands of cargo carriers ply the world's seas and oceans each year; they handle the bulk of international trade...

     to lure Iranian gunboats to a fight. However, those claims are denied by Fogarty in "Hearing Before The Investigation Subcommittee and The Defense Policy Panel of The Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives, One Hundred Second Congress, Second Session, 21 July 1992". Also, the initial claims of Vincennes being called for help by a cargo ship attacked by Iranian gunboats have been ruled out. That leads to claims that the Iranian gunboats were provoked by helicopters inside Iranian waters and not the other way around. This might have contributed to the mistakes made. The actual reasons for the Vincennes engagement with gunboats is not so clear to this date.

Medals awarded


The men of the Vincennes were all awarded Combat Action Ribbon
Combat Action Ribbon
The Combat Action Ribbon is a personal military decoration of the United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, and United States Coast Guard which is awarded to those who, in any grade including and below that of a Captain in the Navy and Coast Guard , have actively participated in ground or...

s for completion of their tours in a combat zone. Lustig, the air-warfare coordinator, received the Navy Commendation Medal, often given for acts of heroism or meritorious service, but a not-uncommon end-of-tour medal for a second tour division officer. According to the History Channel, the medal citation noted his ability to "quickly and precisely complete the firing procedure." However, in 1990, The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

 listed Lustig's awards as one being for his entire tour from 1984 to 1988 and the other for his actions relating to the surface engagement with Iranian gunboats. In 1990, Rogers was awarded the Legion of Merit
Legion of Merit
The Legion of Merit is a military decoration of the United States armed forces that is awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements...

 "for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as commanding officer ... from April 1987 to May 1989." The award was given for his service as the Commanding Officer of the Vincennes, and the citation made no mention of the downing of Iran Air 655. The Legion of Merit is often awarded to high-ranking officers upon successful completion of especially difficult duty assignments and/or last tours of duty before retirement.

Aftermath


The U.S. government issued notes of regret for the loss of innocent human life. The government never admitted wrongdoing, and did not accept responsibility nor submit an apology to the Iranian government.

In February 1996 the United States agreed to pay Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 US$131.8 million in settlement to discontinue a case brought by Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 in 1989 against the U.S. in the International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

 relating to this incident, together with other earlier claims before the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal
Iran-United States Claims Tribunal
The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal is an international arbitral tribunal established out of an agreement between Iran and the United States, under an understanding known as the Algiers Accords of January 19, 1981. The Algiers Accords were the outcome of negotiations between Iran and the United...

. US$61.8 million of the claim was in compensation for the 248 Iranians killed in the shootdown ($300,000 per wage-earning victim, $150,000 per non-wage-earner). It was not disclosed how the remaining $70 million of the settlement was apportioned. Further compensation was paid for the 38 non-Iranian deaths. The payment of compensation was explicitly characterized by the US as being on an ex gratia
Ex gratia
Ex gratia is Latin for "by favour", and is most often used in a legal context. When something has been done ex gratia, it has been done voluntarily, out of kindness or grace...

 basis, and the U.S. denied having any responsibility or liability for what happened.

The incident overshadowed U.S.-Iran relations for many years. Following the explosion of Pan Am Flight 103
Pan Am Flight 103
Pan Am Flight 103 was Pan American World Airways' third daily scheduled transatlantic flight from London Heathrow Airport to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport...

 six months later, the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 governments initially blamed the PFLP-GC, a Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 militant group backed by Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, with assumptions of assistance from Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 in retaliation for Iran Air Flight 655. The cause of the crash was later determined to be a bomb associated with the Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

n intelligence service.

Bombing of Rogers' family minivan



Nine months after the downing of Iran Air Flight 655, on March 10, 1989, Rogers' wife Sharon escaped with her life when a pipe bomb
Pipe bomb
A pipe bomb is an improvised explosive device, a tightly sealed section of pipe filled with an explosive material. The containment provided by the pipe means that simple low explosives can be used to produce a relatively large explosion, and the fragmentation of the pipe itself creates potentially...

 attached to her minivan
Minivan
Minivan is a type of van designed for personal use. Minivans are typically either two-box or one box designs for maximum interior volume – and are taller than a sedan, hatchback, or a station wagon....

 exploded, while she was driving. The van was recorded in the name of Will Rogers III, and many people suspected that terrorism was involved. Five months later, the Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 reported that the most likely suspect had a personal vendetta against Captain Rogers and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 had ruled out terrorist activity. At that time pipe bombs were a common occurrence (over 200 each year) in San Diego County and a largely homegrown threat according to the local sheriff's department. As of 2007, the bombing of Rogers' van remains an unsolved case, despite a major investigation involving at times up to 300 police and FBI agents. On February 17, 1993, the case was featured on the TV show Unsolved Mysteries
Unsolved Mysteries
Unsolved Mysteries is an American television program, hosted by Robert Stack, from 1987 until 2002, and later by Dennis Farina, starting in 2008...

, but no additional information was uncovered.

See also


  • Lists of accidents and incidents on commercial airliners
  • List of airliner shootdown incidents
  • Korean Air Lines Flight 007
  • Air France Flight 1611
    Air France Flight 1611
    Air France Flight 1611 was a Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle III en route from the island of Corsica to Nice, France on September 11, 1968 when it crashed into the Mediterranean Sea off Nice, killing all 95 on board...


Additional resources

  1. Nunn Wants to Reopen Inquiry into Vincennes’ Gulf Location. Washington Times, 4 July 1992. Abstract: Senator Sam Nunn called on the Pentagon to probe allegations that the Navy "deliberately misled Congress" about the location of the USS Vincennes when it shot down an Iranian civilian airliner four years ago.

  1. Fisk, Robert
    Robert Fisk
    Robert Fisk is an English writer and journalist from Maidstone, Kent. As Middle East correspondent of The Independent, he has primarily been based in Beirut for more than 30 years. He has published a number of books and has reported on the United States's war in Afghanistan and the same country's...

    . The Great War for Civilisation — The Conquest of the Middle East. London: Fourth Estate, 2005. 318–328. ISBN 1-84115-007-X
  2. Marian Nash Leich, "Denial of Liability: Ex Gratia Compensation on a Humanitarian Basis" American Journal of International Law Vol. 83 p. 319 (1989)
  3. USS Vincennes Incident; Dan Craig, Dan Morales, Mike Oliver; M.I.T. Aeronautics & Astronautics, Spring 2004

Further reading

  • Fogarty, William M., (1988) Investigation report: Formal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the downing of Iran Air Flight 655 on 3 July 1988, United States Department of Defense, ASIN: B00071EGY8.
  • International Court of Justice, (2001), Case Concerning the Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988: v. 1: Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America, United Nations
    United Nations
    The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

    , ISBN 92-1-070845-8.
  • Rogers, Sharon, (1992) Storm Center: The USS Vincennes and Iran Air Flight 655 : A Personal Account of Tragedy and Terrorism, US Naval Institute Press, ISBN 1-55750-727-9.

External links