Statement on the
Destruction of an Iranian Jetliner by the United States Navy Over the Persian Gulf
July 3, 1988
am saddened to report that it appears that in a proper defensive action by the
U.S.S. Vincennes this morning in the Persian Gulf an Iranian airliner was
shot down over the Strait of Hormuz. This is a terrible
human tragedy. Our sympathy and condolences go out to the passengers, crew, and
their families. The Defense Department will conduct a full investigation.
deeply regret any loss of life. The course of the Iranian civilian airliner was
such that it was headed directly for the U.S.S. Vincennes, which was at the
time engaged with five Iranian Boghammar boats that
had attacked our forces. When the aircraft failed to heed repeated warnings,
the Vincennes followed standing
orders and widely publicized procedures, firing to protect itself against
only U.S. interest in the Persian Gulf is peace, and this
tragedy reinforces the need to achieve that goal with all possible speed.