Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Iran may have screwed up on this one as GPS Coordinates seem to be in dispute by Iran and the Brits. The problem for Iran is that they originally gave coordinates for the intercept that were in Iraqi waters. So, did Iran make a mistake or is there something more at play here?



"At the MoD, Vice Admiral Style, the deputy chief of the defence staff, said one of the two small British craft intercepted by the Iranian navy at gunpoint had a GPS (global positioning system) device on board.
Information from that device, along with further evidence from a British military helicopter, proved the sailors were operating "well inside" Iraqi waters when they were seized last Friday, he said.
The GPS relayed information back to HMS Cornwall, the ship the craft were operating from, meaning it was able to "continuously chart" their position.
The vice admiral said the Iranians had given two different positions for where they claimed the Royal Navy boarding party - seized after they had made a routine boarding of an Indian-flagged dhow suspected of being used to smuggle cars - had been.
He added that the location given by Iran on Saturday for the British personnel was inside Iraqi waters. After this was pointed out to Tehran, Iranian officials provided a second location, around two miles inside Iranian waters, on Monday.
The Ministry of Defence "unambiguously contested both locations" given by Iran, the vice admiral said. He told reporters that the detention of the British personnel was "unjustified and wrong".
The personnel were on patrol in an area in the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab waterway, which forms part of the border of Iran and Iraq.
Mr Mottaki dismissed the British version of events as "not true", insisting the UK crew had been in Iranian waters. However, he took a conciliatory line, saying this could have been in error.
"This is a violation that just happened. It could be natural. They did not resist," he said.
The situation has been further complicated by the fact that there has been a dispute over the border between the two countries for decades. However, Vice Admiral Style said the boarding of the dhow had taken place 7.5 nautical miles south-east of the al-Faw peninsula in Iran.
On Sunday, a Lynx helicopter operating from HMS Cornwall confirmed the position after flying over the dhow, whose position had not changed since Friday's incident, according to its captain.
"The position was 29 degrees 50.36 minutes north, 048 degrees 43.08 minutes east. This places her 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi territorial waters," Vice Admiral Style said.
After HMS Cornwall lost contact with the British personnel on Friday, a Lynx was dispatched to the area. By the time it arrived on the scene, the captured service personnel were already in Iranian waters, he said.
Today, Mr Blair, told the Commons the seizure of the personnel was "completely unacceptable, wrong and illegal", saying Britain was in contact with its allies in the Middle East, Europe and Nato and the UN."

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