Wednesday, March 28, 2007

THIS is the type of thing where the UN could actually be helpful!

The United Nations has proven woefully impotent to have a positive impact in even 1 of the endless swirl of deadly conflict and international discord that haunts our time.

Yet wouldn't occasions and events such as this define a perfect set of parameters in which which the UN could actually be helpful. Proper UN mediation to help parties such as Iran and Great Britain resolve a clearly defined dispute is the perfect level of genuine service the UN could perform. Of course the dangers in this stand off are massive, but the parameters of the issue itself are very manageable. It would be infinitely easier for Iran to return the sailors in compliance with a UN ruling offered upon hearing all evidence from both sides, than it will be for Iran to respond to British threats compounded by asinine, unhelpful war simulation around Iran's coast conducted by US forces.

Britain releases evidence in Iran dispute

Britain today released maps and evidence that officials said showed the 15 UK service personnel captured by Iran last week had been 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi territorial waters.

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 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 14 men and one woman 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.

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.

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