"Given its dark human rights records, the United States is, by no means, qualified to talk about [the issue of] human rights," Ayatollah Jannati said in a meeting in Tehran on June 27.
He added, "Organizing terror attacks against Iranian officials, plotting the 1987 chemical attack on Sardasht and the tragic downing of Iran's passenger plane in the Persian Gulf waters in 1988 in which 290 innocent civilians were killed prove that the US and its allies are in no position to comment on the issue of human rights".
The chemical bombardment of Sardasht was conducted on June 28, 1987, almost seven years after the western-backed regime of Saddam Hussein waged a war on Iran. Over 100 people were killed in the Sardasht attack and thousands more were exposed to chemical agents.
The civilian aircraft, an Airbus A300B2, was flying in Iranian airspace over the Strait of Hormuz from the port city of Bandar Abbas to Dubai, carrying 274 passengers and 16 crew members on July 3, 1988, when USS Vincennes fired two SM-2MR surface-to-air missiles at it. One of the missiles hit the plane, killing all the 290 onboard
US officials claimed the warship had mistaken Iran Air Flight 655 for a warplane. This is while the warship was equipped with highly sophisticated radar systems and electronic battle gear at the time of the attack.
A year later, the captain of the USS Vincennes, William C. Rogers, was cleared of any wrongdoing in the incident, and was even awarded America’s Legion of Merit medal by then President George Bush for his “outstanding service.”