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Iran marks 1988 US downing of passenger jet

Gladiolas were tossed into the Strait of Hormuz as some wept [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 July, 2019

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Relatives of those killed in the US Navy’s 1988 shootdown of an Iranian passenger jet have thrown flowers into the Strait of Hormuz to mark their deaths.

Relatives of those killed in the US Navy's 1988 shootdown of an Iranian passenger jet have thrown flowers into the Strait of Hormuz to mark their deaths.

Iranian state television aired footage Wednesday of mourners in the strait, as armed Iranian Revolutionary Guard fast boats patrolled around them. They tossed gladiolas into the strait as some wept.

The 3 July 1988 downing of Iran Air flight 655 by the US Navy remains one of the moments the Iranian government points to in its decades-long distrust of America. The US Navy’s mistaken missile fire killed 290 people.

This year’s commemoration comes amid heightened tensions with the US, after President Donald Trump pulled America from Iran's nuclear deal. Iran this week broke a low-enriched uranium stockpile limitation set by the deal.

Under the nuclear deal, Iran agreed to have less than 300 kilograms (661 pounds) of uranium enriched to a maximum of 3.67 percent. Both Iran and the UN's nuclear watchdog agency confirmed Monday that Tehran had breached that limit.

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