Iran’s prime minister on Saturday denounced the International Civil Aviation Organization for its refusal to condemn the United States for downing an Iranian airliner last July over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.
Official Tehran Radio, monitored in Nicosia, quoted Hussein Moussavi as saying that “if anywhere in the world an American had lost a little blood, these same international organizations . . . would not let go of the matter. But the killing of 290 people . . . is shirked away by a simple apology.”
He also was quoted as saying that the agency’s refusal to denounce the United States showed that “the law of the jungle rules in the international organizations.”
The U.N. agency announced its decision in Montreal on Friday after an eight-month examination of the incident in which the guided-missile cruiser Vincennes downed an Iranian Airbus A-300, mistaking it for an attacking Iranian warplane.
The agency rejected the request for censure by the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. Without blaming any country, it adopted a resolution that reaffirmed its policy of condemning the use of weapons against civil aircraft.
The agency deplored “the tragic incident which occurred as a consequence of events and errors in identification of the aircraft.”
Edmund Stohr, the U.S. representative to the ICAO, called the decision “a judgment that is balanced and treats the truth fairly.”
Iran’s representative at the ICAO meeting disagreed. “This decision of the council is only paving the way for future occurrences of such acts of violence,” warned Mahmoud Hajighasemali.
The Navy initially contended that the airliner was descending toward the warship, was transmitting on a frequency reserved for fighter planes and refused repeated requests to identify itself.
However, the ICAO investigation found that the plane had a flight profile consistent with that of a commercial aircraft, that only one request for identification was specifically coded for it, and that the Vincennes had no means of hearing radio transmissions between the Airbus and air traffic controllers that might have alerted the warship as to the aircraft’s identify.