Skip to comments.MOD briefing proves Royal Navy personnel were in Iraqi waters
Posted on 03/28/2007 3:42:33 AM PDT by maquiladora
The Ministry of Defence has presented evidence which shows that the fifteen personnel detained by Iranian authorities on Friday 23 March 2007 were operating in Iraqi waters when they were seized.
The briefing, at defence headquarters in London, was given by Vice Admiral Charles Style, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Commitments). Vice Admiral Style, who is responsible for providing strategic advice to operational commanders, explained in detail where the Royal Navy personnel were located when they were seized:
"The aim of this brief is to provide a factual account of the incident during which fifteen Royal Naval personnel were seized by the Iranians last Friday. By way of background, HMS CORNWALL was in charge of the coalition force, which - alongside the Iraqi Navy - is operating in the Northern Persian Gulf.
"This force maintains the sovereignty and integrity of Iraqi territorial waters under UN Security Council Resolution 1723, and with the approval of the Iraqi Government. The ship and others in the coalition - maintain a presence patrolling there. They are also charged with protection of the Iraqi offshore oil infrastructure economically very important - and the security of merchant vessels.
"On 23 March a boarding team consisting of seven Royal Marines and eight sailors - who were embarked in two of HMS CORNWALL's boats - conducted a routine boarding of an Indian flagged Merchant Vessel which was cooperative throughout. They investigated this vessel after witnessing her unloading cars into two barges secured alongside. Since early March the force has conducted 66 routine boardings. So the one that I'm talking about was entirely routine business, and conducted in a particular area where four other boardings have been completed recently.
"As shown on the chart, the merchant vessel was 7.5 nautical miles south east of the Al Faw Peninsula and clearly in Iraqi territorial waters. Her master has confirmed that his vessel was anchored within Iraqi waters at the time of the arrest. 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. This fact has been confirmed by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry.
"The Iranian government has provided us with two different positions for the incident. The first we received on Saturday and the second on Monday. As this map shows, the first of these points still lies within Iraqi territorial waters. We pointed this out to them on Sunday in diplomatic contacts.
"After we did this, they then provided a second set of coordinates that places the incident in Iranian waters over two nautical miles from the position given by HMS CORNWALL and confirmed by the merchant vessel. The two Iranian positions are just under a nautical mile apart 1800 yards or so. It is hard to understand a reason for this change of coordinates. We unambiguously contest both the positions provided by the Iranians.
"I should just explain at this point that the boats remained connected at this point. One of the seaboats was connected via data link, which communicated its position continually to the ship where it was displayed, superimposed on an electronic chart, on a purpose built console. During the boarding this console was constantly monitored and indicated, throughout, that the boats had remained well within Iraqi territorial waters.
"Our boarding started at 0739 local time and was completed at 0910 with the merchant vessel having been cleared to continue with her business. Communications were lost with the boarding team as the boarding was finishing at 0910. HMS CORNWALL's Lynx helicopter, which had been covering the initial stages of the boarding, immediately returned to the scene to locate the boarding team.
"The helicopter reported that the two seaboats were being escorted by Iranian Islamic Republican Guard Navy vessels towards the Shatt 'Al Arab Waterway and were now inside Iranian territorial waters. Debriefing of the helicopter crew and a conversation with the master of the merchant ship both indicate that the boarding team were ambushed while disembarking from the merchant vessel. Both boats were equipped with a GPS chart plotter.
"On Sunday morning, 25 March, HMS CORNWALL's Lynx conducted an overflight of the merchant vessel, which was still at anchor, and once again confirmed her location on Global Positioning System equipment. Her Master confirmed that his vessel had remained at anchor since Friday, and was in Iraqi territorial waters.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, my primary message is clear. HMS CORNWALL with her boarding party was going about her legal business in Iraqi Territorial waters, under a United Nations Security Council Resolution, with the explicit approval of the Iraqi government.
"The action by Iranian forces in arresting and detaining our people is unjustified and wrong. As such it is a matter of deep concern to us and the families of the people who have been taken. We continue not only to call for their safe, but for their safe and speedy, return, and we continue to seek immediate consular access to them as a prelude to their release."
Picture shows GPS location of the incident, as seen from a Royal Navy helicopter over the merchant vessel [Picture: MOD]
What say you Amnesty International? Where's the outrage from the International Red Cross? (sound of crickets chirping)
If the UK proves its case enough and explains enough to the Iranian leaders, I'm sure that the Iranian leaders will see reason and make amends. [A little irony and sarcasm there.] But maybe the British public will eventually be desensitized by the endless speech and stop caring enough.
That link wasn't working for me.
Let me post this one here and thanks for this thread.
They must have changed the link, thanks.
The idea of Iranian troops being in Iraqi waters is suspiciously absent from any media discussion.
Going to be difficult for the Iranians to dispute this especially since there is a third party involved. The Indian flagged merchant vessel.
Could you please update the link to this artile with the link posted by Cindy as it appears the MOD have changed the URL. Thank you.
I wish that we would take this opportunity to take out Iran's mad leadership, we are going to have to do it sooner or later- why not now?
These Iranians will not stop until they have a nuclear bomb that they can use to blow up Israel and threaten anyone trying to stop them from establishing an Islamic "utopia". It is up to the USA to make sure that doesn't happen. No one else has the guts. They only understand strong physical responses.
Let's quit pussyfooting around these bullies and give them a bloody nose and multiple limb amputations.
Does the British public care at all? I asked this on an earlier thread, but nobody has responded - it seems to me that there is very little outcry over this in Britain. Maybe one of the reasons Blair has been proceeding in such an apparently sluggish way is simply that there's no popular support for doing anything else.
Not that that's going to matter in the long run. But I am puzzled that it doesn't seem (from here, at any rate), that the British public is particularly upset about this. Correct me if I'm wrong.
1. The Iranians know.
2. The Iranians don't care.
3. The British (like Americans) are foolish to try to win a debate on reality instead of just taking out the regime militarily before it becomes a nuclear power.
"""Does the British public care at all? I asked this on an earlier thread, but nobody has responded - it seems to me that there is very little outcry over this in Britain. Maybe one of the reasons Blair has been proceeding in such an apparently sluggish way is simply that there's no popular support for doing anything else.
Not that that's going to matter in the long run. But I am puzzled that it doesn't seem (from here, at any rate), that the British public is particularly upset about this. Correct me if I'm wrong."""
You are wong, and I'm correcting you. Right now I am listening to a British phone in radio station where this is the top subject. Most Brits on the show are angry and want something done.
Trying to argue with the Iranians over this in a legalistic way just adds legitimacy to the Iranians taking these prisoners if they can say it was just a mistake.
The mistake was to think they can take Western soldiers prisoner and get away with it. They MUST NOT get away with it or they will just be further emboldened.
You would think we learned our lesson of trying to use diplomacy with the Iranians.
I suspect that you're correct. ...much cynicism and negativity over there. I also suspect that Iran is running a propaganda ruse regarding Israel and is planning to go for a country in western Europe after building nukes.
The should have killed the Iranians, but then their orders prevented them from protecting themselves.
This is not what Rosie says. Have they consulted her yet?
Do the Brits appear to want an immediate military strike or a sharply-worded written reprimand with threats of future actions against Iran?
So do the callers think their government is dragging their feet?
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