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U.S. harassment of Iranian plane a grim echo of downing of airliner in 1988: NBC News (www.tehrantimes.com)

In an article published by NBC News on Saturday, it is said that the United States’ harassment against an Iranian passenger plane on Thursday offered a grim echo of a shootdown by American forces over 30 years ago.

“To some, the incident recalled July 3, 1988, downing of Iran Air flight 655 by the U.S. Navy, which remains one of the moments the Iranian government points to in its decades-long distrust of America,” NBC News said.

“It was a near miss,” Habib Abdolhossein, an Iranian doctoral student, told NBC News by telephone. “But there is no guarantee the passengers will be lucky next time and not share the fate of those aboard Flight 655,” he said.

Pointing out that the flight was downed “towards the end of the Iran-Iraq War — when the Reagan administration supported the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein who invaded Iran in 1980,” Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, a professor of global thought and comparative philosophies at SOAS University of London, told NBC News by email that it “continues to be a national trauma for many Iranians, and it is commemorated as such every year.”

In the years since, state television in the Western Asian country has aired live footage on the anniversary of mourners wailing from boats at the spot the plane went down, tossing flowers into the warm waters of the Persian Gulf.

“I think it’s pretty clear that the Iranians believe that the United States does not care for the lives of innocent people,” Seyed Mohammad Marandi, a professor at the University of Tehran, told NBC News via text message, pointing to recent U.S. sanctions against Iran.

The “threatening of a civilian airliner” would only increase the hostility of Iranians toward the U.S., similar to the anger felt in 1988, he said.

“Even in this recent incident they try to blame it on us,” he added. “That leads to the depth of this anger.”

NA/PA
 

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