Statement on the United States Reprisal AgainstIran
October 19, 1987
pursuant to my authority as Commander in Chief, United States naval vessels at today struck an Iranian military
platform in international waters in the central Persian Gulf. This platform has been
used to assist in a number of Iranian attacks against nonbelligerent shipping. Iran's unprovoked attacks
upon U.S. and other
nonbelligerent shipping, and particularly deliberate laying of mines and firing
of Silkworm missiles, which have hit U.S.-flag vessels, have come in spite of
numerous messages from the Government of the United States to the Government of
Iran warning of the consequences.
action against the Iranian military platform came after consultations with
congressional leadership and friendly governments. It is a prudent yet
restrained response to this unlawful use of force against the United States and to numerous
violations of the rights of other nonbelligerents. It
is a lawful exercise of the right of self-defense enshrined in article 51 of
the United Nations Charter and is being so notified to the President of the
United Nations Security Council.
United States has no desire for a
military confrontation with Iran, but the Government of
Iran should be under no illusion about our determination and ability to protect
our ships and our interests against unprovoked attacks. We have informed the
Government of Iran of our desire for an urgent end to tensions in the region
and an end to the Iran-Iraq war through urgent implementation of Security
Council Resolution 598.