A memorial ceremony was held on the eve of the tragedy's anniversary, with the participants, including the families of the victims and local officials, tossing flowers into the waters of Hormozgan Province near Hengam Island.
They also chanted slogans such as "Down with the US" and "Down with Israel".
Addressing the ceremony, senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corp (IRGC) Abbas Gholamshahi said that the “criminal America took the most inhumane action and committed the crime of the century in 1988 by downing a passenger plane”.
The US then “gave a medal of honor to the captain of the cruiser for his inhumane act,” he added.
“However, they no longer dare do so and we witnessed how their most advanced drone was shot down for violating Iran’s airspace after receiving a warning,” Gholamshahi added.
The commander was referring to the downing by the IRGC of an advanced US-made RQ-4 Global Hawk over the territorial waters off Hormozgan on June 20, 2019.
On July 3, 1988, the USS Vincennes fired missiles at an Iran Air Airbus A300B2 which was flying over the Strait of Hormuz from the port city of Bandar Abbas to Dubai, carrying 274 passengers and 16 crew members.
Following the attack, the plane disintegrated and crashed into the Persian Gulf waters, killing all 290 on board, among them 66 children.
US officials claimed that the USS Vincennes 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.
In 1990, the captain of the cruiser, William C. Rogers, was cleared of any wrongdoing, and was even awarded America’s Legion of Merit medal by then US president George Bush for his “outstanding service” during operations in the Persian Gulf.