October 26, 1987

I have directed the Secretaries of Treasury and State to take action to place an embargo on all U.S. imports from Iran. At the same time, we are instituting a ban on the export to Iran of 14 broad categories of U.S. products with potential military application. As required by law, we have consulted with Congress on these actions and are presently engaged in formally notifying Congress with regard to them. The ban on imports of Iranian goods will take effect as soon as possible. The additional controls on exports to Iran will go into effect in a week to 10 days.

The Congress itself has moved quickly and decisively in this important area, and the administration looks forward to cooperating closely with the Congress to ensure that any future legislation serves our broader goals of implementing United Nations Security Council Resolution 598 and restoring peace and stability to the Persian Gulf region.

The measures I am initiating are a direct result of the Iranian Government's own actions, including its unprovoked attacks on U.S. forces and U.S. merchant vessels, its refusal to implement U.N. Security Council Resolution 598, its continued aggression against nonbelligerent nations of the Persian Gulf, and its sponsorship of terrorism there and elsewhere in the world. These measures will remain in place so long as Iran persists in its aggressive disregard for the most fundamental norms of international conduct.

Let me emphasize that we are taking these economic measures only after repeated but unsuccessful attempts to reduce tensions with Iran and in response to the continued and increasingly bellicose behavior of the Iranian Government. They do not reflect any quarrel with the Iranian people. Indeed, as I have said a number of times, the United States accepts the Iranian revolution as a fact and respects the right of the Iranian people to choose any government that they wish.

The United States hopes that more normal relations with Iran will evolve as Iranian belligerence and tensions in the area diminish. We have made these points known repeatedly to Iran, through diplomatic channels as well as public statements. Unfortunately, the Iranian Government's response to date, in deeds as well as in words, has been entirely unconstructive.