The International Civil Aviation Organization refused on Friday to condemn the United States for its downing of an Iranian airliner in the Persian Gulf on July 3, with the loss of all 290 people aboard.
The U.N. agency rejected the request for censure by the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. Without blaming any country, the organization instead adopted a resolution that reaffirmed its policy of condemning the use of weapons against civil aircraft.The organization deplored "the tragic incident which occurred as a consequence of events and errors in identification of the aircraft."
Edmund Stohr, the U.S. representative to International Civil Aviation Organization, applauded the decision, calling it "a judgment that is balanced and treats the truth fairly."
However, Iran's representative, Mahmood Hajighasemali, who had observer status but no vote at the ICAO council meeting, warned: "This decision of the council is only paving the way for future occurrences of such acts of violence."
Friday's action ended an eight-month ICAO examination of the incident, in which the USS Vincennes blew an Iranair A-300 Airbus from the sky, believing it to be an attacking Iranian warplane.
The Navy initially contended that the civilian airliner was descending toward the warship and was transmitting on a frequency reserved for fighter planes. The Navy also said the airplane refused repeated requests to identify itself.
An ICAO investigation, however, found the airliner had a flight profile consistent with a commercial aircraft and that only one request for identification was specifically coded for it.