Some Iranian students at Utah State University say they fear full-scale war between their country and the United States unless the United States makes a more sincere apology for shooting down an Iranian airliner.
Masoud Ahamadi and Mostafa Razvi contacted reporters Thursday and said they represented a group of Iranian students at USU.Razvi said the United States has claimed to be neutral in the Iran-Iraq war, yet the U.S. Navy was sent to protect Kuwaiti ships and Kuwaitis an ally and financial supporter of Iraq.
Iranian leaders have promised to avenge the deaths of the airliner victims, but Razvi said, "I think the tensions would ease somewhat if a more sincere apology were to be made by President Reagan."
"We would like to think this is an isolated incident, but right now it seems to be very much related to the war and could result in an escalation into a real U.S.-Iran war unless America is willing to admit its guilt," he said.
The students said they hoped Americans would urge their leaders to do everything possible to end the war in the Persian Gulf instead of escalating it.
"We are not against the American people because they want peace, just as we do, but it is hard to believe the U.S. administration is actually putting some of the blame for the tragedy on the Iranians," Ahamadi said.
Ahamadi said the students do not understand how a warship with the sophisticated technology that the USS Vincennes possessed could mistake a passenger airliner for an F-14.
"We are disturbed by the American presence in the Persian Gulf because more ships are being attacked now than were attacked before (the U.S.) presence," he said.