Report 19871010A


October 10, 1987


Ronald Reagan (Second Term)


Persian Gulf

Was 4(a)(1) Triggered? (Hostilities/Imminent Hostilities)

Yes, described in/inferred from report

Was 4(a)(2) Triggered? (Combat- Equipped Introduction)

No, as described in/inferred from report

Was 4(a)(3) Triggered? (Substantial Enlargement)

No, as described in/inferred from report

Joint/Coalition Mission


Article 51 Report to UN


Details: S/19194


Respond to threat

Details: Respond to fire on three U.S. "helicopters... on routine nighttime patrol over international waters of the Persian Gulf... by three (possibly four) small Iranian naval vessels."

Domestic Legal Authority

Constitution (Art. II)

Details: "The limited defensive action described above was taken... pursuant to my constitutional authority with respect to the conduct of foreign relations and as Commander-in-Chief."

Claimed International Legal Basis


Details: "The limited defensive action described above was taken in accordance with our right of self-defense under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter..."

Estimated Scope/Duration

Scope/duration specified

Details: Activity occurred Oct. 8, 1987

Type of Enemy or Mission


Details: Iran

Military Activity

Air operations

Details: "the helicopters returned fire with rockets and machine guns. Three Iranian vessels were hit, and one of them subsequently sank."

US Casualties Reported


Details: "U.S. forces... sustained no damage or casualties"

Non-US Casualties Reported


Details: U.S. patrol boats... recovered six Iranian crewmen from the water"; "two of the crewmen subsequently died.... Two of them are seriously injured"