CNN picked up a line of Tehran propaganda Friday conflating the shootdown of an Iran Air jetliner by a U.S. Navy ship in 1988 with this week’s Ukrainian jetliner loss.
The network published a piece that outlined:
Iran Air Flight 655, an Airbus A300 with 290 people on board, was blown from the skies by a missile fired from the guided-missile cruiser USS Vincennes as it flew over the Persian Gulf from Iran to Dubai on July 3, 1988.Rouhani used that 290 number in a Twitter post on January 6.
It then added a Tweet addressing the same notion as expressed by Iran leader Hassan Rouhani:
Those who refer to the number 52 should also remember the number 290. #IR655
Never threaten the Iranian nation.
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) January 6, 2020
“Those who refer to the number 52 should also remember the number 290. #IR655 Never threaten the Iranian nation,” he said.
The number 52 refers to the number of sites U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to target in Iran if Tehran retaliated for the U.S. elimination of Iranian general and terror leader Qasem Soleimani.
The two events are over 30 years apart and reflected entirely different stages in global geo politics.
As Breitbart News previously reported, the attack on the Iran Air flight just after dawn on July 3, 1988, followed what the U.S. Navy refers to as Operation Praying Mantis, a daylong naval battle in the Persian Gulf between American forces and Iran during the country’s long 1980s war with Iraq.
As the fighting raged, Iran Air flight 655 took off from Bandar Abbas, Iran, heading for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The Airbus A300 began its ascent as normal, part of a twice-weekly route flown by the airline for decades. The captain communicated with air traffic controllers in English, his last message was: “Thank you, good day.”
The USS Vincennes meanwhile had mistaken the commercial aircraft for an Iranian F-14, despite having state-of-the-art combat equipment at the time. The U.S. says the Navy made 11 radio warning calls on different frequencies before the Vincennes fired two missiles at the airplane, bringing it down and killing all aboard.
The aircraft’s “black box” flight recorders were never recovered, however the U.S. military later called it “a tragic and regrettable accident.”
Flash forward to this week and the crash of a Ukraine International Airlines plane, a Boeing 737-800, near Tehran that killed 176 people.
Iranian officials claimed the crash was caused by an engine fire in the hours immediately after the tragedy but presented no evidence to back the assertion.
Iran has since invited Boeing and U.S. aviation investigators to join its examination into the loss of the Ukrainian jetliner as officials in Tehran rushed to clear the site of all debris.
U.S. officials said in the interim it was “highly likely” an Iranian anti-aircraft missile downed the jetliner, killing all 176 people on board.
They suggested it could well have been a mistake although a preliminary report into the crash by the Iranian Civil Aviation Organisation said flight PS752 fell to earth after the pilot had tried to turn back to Tehran airport following a technical problem.
Two airline tragedies, 30 years apart, and one of them is not like the other one, despite the efforts of CNN to propose otherwise.