Report 19871020A


October 20, 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/19219


Respond to threat

Details: In response to Iranian missile striking U.S.-flag tanker in Kuwaiti territorial waters, U.S. Navy vessels destroyed "Rashadat platform" ("believed [to be] the source of fire" of Oct. 8 attack on U.S. helicopter) in "international waters"

Domestic Legal Authority

Constitution (Art. II)

Details: "These restrained and measured actions by U.S. forces were taken at my specific direction ... pursuant to my constitutional authority with respect to the conduct of foreign relations and as Commander in Chief."

Claimed International Legal Basis


Details: "These restrained and measured actions by U.S. forces were taken... in accordance with our inherent right of self-defense, as recognized in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter..."

Estimated Scope/Duration

Scope/duration specified

Details: Activity occurred Oct. 19, 1987

Type of Enemy or Mission


Details: Iran

Military Activity

Use of naval forces/vessels

Details: U.S. Navy ships fired on and destroyed "Rashadat Platform, an armed platform equipped with radar and communications devices" that is used "to stage helicopter and small boat attacks and to support mine-laying operations ... in the Persian Gulf"; "Additionally, U.S. forces briefly boarded another platform in the area"

US Casualties Reported


Non-US Casualties Reported


Details: Attacked platform "after warning Iranian naval personnel and allowing them to depart"