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INT-BOUNDARIES  April 2008

INT-BOUNDARIES April 2008

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Subject:

brit mod reveals what it thought was the truth of the hms cornwall affair

From:

aletheia kallos <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

aletheia kallos <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 17 Apr 2008 07:38:16 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (160 lines)

from todays times of london
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article3761058.ece

Report reveals Iran seized British sailors in disputed
waters

Fifteen British sailors and Marines were seized by
Iran in internationally disputed waters and not in
Iraq’s maritime territory as Parliament was told,
according to new official documents released to The
Times.

The Britons were seized because the US-led coalition
designated a sea boundary for Iran’s territorial
waters without telling the Iranians where it was,
internal Ministry of Defence briefing papers reveal.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information
Act detail for the first time the blunders last spring
that led to what an all-party committee of MPs came to
describe as a “national embarrassment”.

The captured 14 men and one woman were paraded on
Iranian TV for a fortnight before being freed a year
ago by a smiling President Ahmadinejad, who gave them
new suits and bags of presents.

Newly released Ministry of Defence documents state
that:

— The arrests took place in waters that are not
internationally agreed as Iraqi;

— The coalition unilaterally designated a dividing
line between Iraqi and Iranian waters in the Gulf
without telling Iran where it was;

— The Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ coastal protection
vessels were crossing this invisible line at a rate of
three times a week; It was the British who apparently
raised their weapons first before the Iranian gunboats
came alongside;

— The cornered British, surrounded by heavily armed
Iranians, made a hopeless last-minute radio plea for a
helicopter to come back and provide air cover.

Iran always claimed that it had arrested the Britons
for violating its territorial integrity.

Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, repeatedly told the
Commons that the personnel were seized in Iraqi
waters.

The MoD, in a televised briefing by Vice-Admiral
Charles Style, the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff,
produced a map showing a line in the sea called
“Iraq/Iran Territorial Water Boundary”. A location was
given for the capture of the Britons inside what the
chart said were “Iraq territorial waters”. But the
newly released top-level internal briefing accepts
that no such border exists.

The report, addressed to Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock
Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, blames the
incident on the absence of an agreed boundary and a
failure to coordinate between Iraq, Iran and the
coalition.

Under the heading “Why the incident occurred”, the
report examines the history of a border that has been
disputed since a treaty between the Persian and
Ottoman empires in 1639.

Professor Robert Springborg, of the School of Oriental
and African Studies, said yesterday that it was
negligent to fail to clarify with the Iranians where
the notional boundary was.

Using the Freedom of Information Act, The Times made
requests about the events. The MoD released two
documents, although parts are censored. One is the
report to Sir Jock dated April 13, 2007, a week after
the Britons returned home unharmed. It was compiled
after they had been debriefed. The other is the
communications log between the mother ship HMS
Cornwall and the two seaboats used by the boarding
party.

What they said

“There is no doubt that HMS Cornwall was operating in
Iraqi waters and that the incident itself took place
in Iraqi waters . . . In the early days the Iranians
provided us with a set of coordinates, and asserted
that was where the event took place, but when we told
them the coordinates were in Iraqi waters they changed
that set and found one in their own waters. I do not
think that even they sustain the position that the
incident took place anywhere other than in Iraqi
waters”

Des Browne, Defence Secretary, House of Commons, June
16, 2007

“Since the outset of the Iraq-Iran War there has been
no formal ratified TTW [territorial waters] agreement
in force between Iraq and Iran . . . In the absence of
any formal agreement, the coalition tactical
demarcation (the Op Line) is used as a notional TTW
boundary. It is a US NAVCENT [US Naval Forces Central
Command] construct based on an extension of the
Algiers accord demarcation line beyond the mouth of
the Shatt al-Arab [waterway] into the NAG [northern
Arabian Gulf]. While it may be assumed that the
Iranians must be aware of some form of operational
boundary, the exact coordinates to the Op Line have
not been published to Iran.”

MoD report to the Chief of the Defence Staff under the
heading: ‘Why the incident occurred’, dated April 13,
2007, released to The Times under the FoI

the online version of the article inexplicably ends in
midflight there

& you may recall some critical questions were raised
here at the time
for example
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A2=ind0704&L=int-boundaries&T=0&F=&S=&P=1163
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A2=ind0703&L=int-boundaries&T=0&F=&S=&P=3314
etc

yet even now
i still dont see anyone getting to the likeliest truth
of the matter
which is that the brits just inadvertently dropped the
decimal seconds from one of the iranian arabic coords
initially

& later 
when the correct coords were reiterated by the
iranians
http://www.reuters.com/resources/r/?m=02&d=20070402&t=2&i=555214&w=450
the brits faulted them for supposedly changing their
position

& that the marines thus really were captured at
martins position 3 here
http://www.dur.ac.uk/ibru/resources/iran-iraq/

but does anyone here now doubt that this is what
actually happened
even if the mod still doesnt realize it


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