Statement on United States Policy in the Persian Gulf


September 25, 1987


The Senate is considering legislation that would force a retreat from the Persian Gulf by the United States. This ill-conceived legislation could have disastrous effects for the U.S. commitment to the Persian Gulf and to our strategic interests in keeping those waters safe for navigation. Ultimately, it could provide a means for Iran to achieve what cannot be achieved by any other means, namely, our complete withdrawal from the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.


We are making real progress in our diplomatic efforts to end the Iran-Iraq war. Allied cooperation in protecting the Gulf has been very helpful. Now is the time to show steadfastness in our commitment, not vacillation and timidity. I will veto this legislation should it reach my desk. I want to make it clear that, despite the damage this legislation could do just by its consideration, we will not abandon our strategic interests or our friends in the Persian Gulf.