Iranian ex-spy to Al Jazeera: Khomeini ordered downing of Pan Am flight 103

Former Iranian intelligence officer says Tehran ordered downing of plane over Lockerbie in retaliation for US attack on Iranian airliner.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
March 11, 2014 15:28
1 minute read.
Iran Khomeini Pan Am Lockerbie

Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini may have given the order to down Pan Am flight 103.. (photo credit: REUTERS,Wikimedia Commons)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later


Did Ayatollah Khomeini (L) order the downing of the Pam Am flight 103? (Reuters, Wikimedia Commons)

Who was responsible for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland? While the Libyan government was thought to have masterminded the terrorist attack, a bombshell documentary by Al Jazeera quotes a former Iranian intelligence officer as saying Tehran that ordered the atrocity.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


British newspaper The Telegraph cites documents obtained by the Qatar-based pan-Arab satellite network that claim Iran recruited a Palestinian terrorist organization based in Syria to carry out the bombing that killed 270 people, including 11 on the ground.

The paper quotes the former agent, Abolghassem Mesbahi, who defected to Germany from Iran, saying that flight 103 was downed in retaliation for a US Navy strike on an Iranian civilian airliner six months earlier that killed 290 passengers and crew.

According to Mesbahi, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini instructed Iranian operatives “to copy exactly what happened to the Iranian Airbus.”

It was previously thought that Libya was responsible for the bombing. A former Libyan intelligence officer, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, was convicted by a Scottish court for the bombing and sentenced to life in prison.

The Gaddafi regime eventually paid $2.7 billion in compensation to victims’ families.

Lawyers working on Megrahi’s appeal uncovered evidence that appears to support Mesbahi’s claims that Iran had given the order to carry out the bombing to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command.

While Iran vehemently denied involvement in the Lockerbie incident, it was considered a suspect since it was believed it was seeking to take revenge against the US for the downing of Iran Air flight 655, a civilian airline that the US Navy had mistaken for a fighter plane. American naval forces were protecting merchant shipping in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq War.


Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Chelsea Football
October 19, 2018
Chelsea blows the whistle on antisemitism

By TAMAR BEERI