Statement by Assistant
to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on the United States Military Strike in the Persian Gulf
April 18, 1988
under his authority as Commander in Chief, the President has directed United States forces at
eastern daylight time today to strike Iranian military targets in the southern Persian Gulf. Our forces attacked
oil platforms at Sirri and Sassan
in the southern Gulf. These platforms are used as command and control radar
stations for the Iranian military. The attacks are underway at this time. These
actions were taken in response to Iran's recent resumption of
mine-laying in international waters and its mine attack on the U.S.S. Samuel B.
Roberts. The Government of Iran has been repeatedly warned about the
consequences of such hostile acts.
actions were taken following consultations with congressional leadership and
after informing friendly governments. They are designed and intended to deter
further Iranian mining. They represent a measured response to Iran's unlawful use of force
against the United States and to Iran's numerous violations
of the rights of other nonbelligerents. And they
constitute a lawful exercise of the United States inherent right of
self-defense under article 51 of the United Nations Charter. Appropriate
notification of such actions is being provided to the President of the United
Nations Security Council.
have repeatedly told Iran that we do not desire
military confrontation, but the Government of Iran should understand that we
will protect our ships and our interests against unprovoked attacks. We
urgently seek an end to tensions in the region and to the Iran-Iraq war. This
would benefit the people of both nations who have suffered so much from the
brutal conflict. We urge Iran to accept Security
Council Resolution 598 and to agree to its rapid and comprehensive
implementation. Iran has nothing to gain
from continuation of the war. The Department of Defense will brief later this
morning as we have more details come in. We're receiving details on a
continuing basis at this time.
Note: Marlin Fitzwater
read the statement to reporters at in the
Briefing Room at the White House.