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Remembering IR-655: Shot down over Persian Gulf

Report  by Ahmad Nadalian, Paradise International Environmental Art Center
Photos by Raheleh Zomorodinia,
 Mithra Soltani,  Mohamad Saybani and Ahmad Nadalian

Dream of Peace in Persian Gulf: 15th Environmental Art Festival in Iran at the Persian Gulf (January 2008). This is the second part of the report about this event (part 1).


In 1991, the United Nations Security Council resolved that Iraq was liable for all direct environmental damage to Kuwait's terrestrial environment and to its natural resources. In September 1995, Kuwait filed a $385 million claim against Iraq for environmental damage due to Iraq's occupation of Kuwait. The specific claims made to the United Nations were for damages to health, coastal areas, maritime environment, groundwater resources and desert environment.

According to  The cost of one of the wars to the United States was calculated by the United States Congress to be $61.1 billion. About $52 billion of that amount was paid by different countries around the world.

But the cost of these wars is not only money.  Many innocent people lost their life.  More

An example took place on Sunday July 3, 1988, Iran Air Flight 655 (IR655) which was a commercial flight operated by from Bandar Abbas, Iran to Dubai.  The aircraft flying IR655 was shot down by the U.S. Navy guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes between Bandar Abbas and Dubai, killing all 290 passengers and crew aboard, including 38 non-Iranians and 66 children, 8 of them less than 2 years old. The Vincennes was inside Iranian territorial waters at the time of the shoot-down.  According to the U.S. government, the Iranian aircraft was mistakenly identified as an attacking military fighter. Unfurtunetly the United States government however has, to date, never officially apologized to the Iranian People.   More



This is only one example which shows ordinary people pay the price of war. One of the collaborative projects show a reference to this tragedy.  The artists through collaborative projects designed the airplane on the southern coast.  The outline drawings emphasized by the red earth of Homoz.  With the flow of water the design washed and many artist who were located on different locations saw and recorded the process of the vanishing airplane.  The impression of red earth against dark blue revealed the tragedy of war in the Persian Gulf.    Finally only this number was left, "Iran "IR 655".  More


The red colour is pure earth from the same area




Raheleh Zomorodinia


Mohamad Banoj






The red colour is pure earth from the same area





The location suggested for the work IR 655  in Google Earth





The text of news of this tragedy in two languages was also rolled and installed inside the bottle and released in the waters of the Persian Gulf.  More




In the old times this tradition - releasing a message in bottle was a way of asking for help. For us symbolism is a media to react against war and express our dream of peace as obviously can be seen in Barbara Roux's poem.  In any case, ordinary and innocent people should not pay the price of war.  More

... Payvand News - 02/13/08 ... --

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