Iran’s foreign minister, Ali-Akbar Velayati, told the U.N. Security Council that the U.S. downing of an Iran Airbus 665 by the USS Vincennes was “a barbaric massacre.”
Velayati acquired his M.D. from University of Tehran and pediatrics degrees from the Johns Hopkins University in 1971 and 1974, respectively. He was the foreign minister of Iran for about 16 years (Dec. 15, 1981, to Aug. 20, 1997), making him the longest-serving foreign minister in Iranian history. Velayati is the only high-ranking Iranian official who kept his post after the death of Khomeini.
Velayati asked the United Nations Security Council to condemn the United States saying the downing “could not have been a mistake” and was a “criminal act,” an “atrocity” and a “massacre.”
Vice President Bush replied that the U.S.S. Vincennes had fired in self-defense. Bush has repeatedly stated that he would never apologize for the disaster no matter what the facts are.
Jaafar flies Detroit-Chicago on UA159 and then Chicago Amman on RJA 313.
Links between the PFLP-GC and Iran became closer in December 1987. Ahmed Jibril and Ali Akbar Velayati, the Iranian Foreign Minister at the time, met in Tripoli, Libya. During their meeting, Jibril conveyed to Velayati his support “for the Islamic Revolution”, and the rhetoric of the PFLP-GC began to change.
In 1996, a high ranking Iranian defector named Mesbahi told German investigators that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini personally ordered the revenge attack and that Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati had carried out the planning with Libya and guerrilla leader Abu Nidal.