Published: January 12, 2020
LOCKERBIE bombing campaigner Dr Jim Swire has hit out at Scots officials for refusing to investigate a shock “confession” by Iran’s president.
Dr Swire, 83, said a tweet by Hassan Rouhani was the closest Iran has ever come to taking “responsibility” for the 1988 plane atrocity.
4 It's thought a recent tweet from Hassan Rouhani was a confession over Lockerbie Credit: AFP
Rouhani's post warned rivals "Never threaten the Iranian nation” and to “remember the number 290”.
It’s thought to refer to the tally of people killed when US warship Vincennes shot down Iran Air flight IR655 in July 1988.
The tragedy was less than six months before the Lockerbie bombing for which Libya was blamed.
Dr Swire, whose daughter Flora died in the tragedy, urged Police Scotland and prosecutors to probe Rouhani — an ex-Glasgow Caledonian Uni student.
He said: “There has been claim and counter-claim, but never before has anyone come this close to confessing responsibility.
“Those who want to maintain the farce that Libya was responsible will suggest other explanations, but there are none.
4 Rouhani tweeted 'remember the number 290' Credit: AFP
4 Dr Swire slammed Scots officials for not launching a probe Credit: Times Newspapers Ltd
“The President of Iran is saying they avenged the deaths of the 290 killed on IR655. There’s no other incident that could explain that claim, only Lockerbie.”
After IR655 was shot down over the Gulf, Iran warned skies would “run red with the blood of Americans”.
Investigators then built a case against Iranian spymasters after Pan Am flight 103 was blown up killing 270 lives.
But changes in geopolitical relations coincided with a shift in focus to Libya — with agent Abdelbaset al- Megrahi convicted of the terror attack. He died in 2012.
4 Daughter Flora died in the tragedy Credit: Nick McGowan-Lowe
Many UK relatives of the victims have never accepted Libya’s guilt.
Dr Swire added: “It was a show trial. They’re now continuing the farce by concentrating on Libya when all evidence points to Iran, including the words of its own president.”
A Crown Office spokesman said: “Scottish prosecutors have a number of strands of investigation which are producing intelligence supportive of the original trial’s finding.
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“The investigations are also contributing evidence in relation to the pursuit of other individuals involved in the Libyan conspiracy to commit the atrocity.”
A police spokesman said it “would not be appropriate to comment”.
Rouhani did not reply to a tweet asking if his January 6 post was a confession.
Lockerbie aftermath: Aerial footage shows the devastation caused by the 1998 terror attack
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