Speakers criticized but did not condemn the United States for shooting down an Iranian airliner and called in Security Council debate Friday for an end to the Iran-Iraq war.
Britain defended the United States. The Soviet Union and China said the Americans were responsible, and the Soviets said the U.S. Navy must withdraw from the Persian Gulf at once in favor of an international peacekeeping force under U.N. sponsorship.Friday was the second day of a meeting Iran requested in hopes the 15-nation council would condemn the United States for shooting down down the Iran Air Airbus and demand its withdrawal from the gulf.
Asking for the session was a reversal by Iran, which has boycotted council meetings during the 8-year-old war with Iraq, accusing the council of bias in favor of its enemy.
On Thursday, Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Velayati of Iran condemned the United States before the council, and Vice President George Bush said the cruiser USS Vincennes acted in self-defense when it hit the jet with missiles July 3, killing all 290 people aboard.
Pentagon officials said the cruiser's officers thought the Airbus A300 was an Iranian F-14 on an attack course.
Iran has been unable to rally support for condemnation and the council president for July, Ambassador Paulo Nogueria-Batista of Brazil, is trying to draft a document that would be acceptable to everyone and save face for Iran.
Iran requested the council meeting to condemn the destruction of the airliner and it was Iran's first appearance at the council, which it has boycotted since the beginning of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980.
Diplomatic sources said council members feel Iran must achieve something at the meeting or it will continue boycotting the council and continue rejecting 598, the year-old council resolution that demands an immediate cease-fire.
Thirteen nations spoke Friday - including Britain, China, France, Italy, Japan, West Germany, Yugoslavia, Algeria and Argentina - and the council adjourned until 3:30 p.m. Monday.
At a news conference Friday, Velayati said: "The attitude of the U.S. administration is similar to a rich man's son who drives when he's drunk. He thinks money can buy everything, and that is not true."
Valentine V. Lozinskiy, the deputy Soviet representative, said in Friday's meeting: "Destruction of the airliner is a dramatic confirmation of Soviet warnings that the unprecedented buildup of U.S. warships and aircraft has made for an explosive situation which is fraught with the most awful consequences.
The Soviet speech, like others, was moderate and Moscow sent only its second-ranking delegate to the debate.