Ambassador Jonathan Cohen Press Availability Following UN Security Council Consultations on the Gulf of Oman Attacks

Ambassador Jonathan Cohen
Acting Permanent Representative
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
June 13, 2019


Good afternoon. I just finished briefing the Security Council at Secretary Pompeo’s request on what we assess to be yet another example of Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region, the attacks today and in the past few weeks on ships in the Gulf of Oman. And I wanted to share with you what I shared with the Council, but I won’t be entertaining any questions today.

As I mentioned this very morning during the Council briefing on cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States, it is unacceptable for any party to attack commercial shipping. And as Secretary Pompeo said in his press briefing this afternoon in Washington, the United States assesses that Iran is responsible for these attacks.

No proxy group in the area has the resources or skill to act with this level of sophistication. Iran, however, has the weapons, the expertise, and the requisite intelligence information to pull this off. And Iran is doing just what they promised. Tehran declared on April 22 that it would interrupt the flow of oil through the Straits of Hormuz.

Secretary Pompeo outlined a litany of incidents which I also shared with the Council, which demonstrate the clear threat that Iran poses to international peace and security.

The United States will continue its diplomatic and economic efforts to bring Iran to the negotiating table, and Iran should meet us with diplomacy not with terror, attacks on ships, infrastructure and diplomatic facilities. I have asked the Security Council to remain seized of this matter and I expect that we will have further conversations about it and how to respond in the days ahead.