For more from the Craig Murray blog on the continuing crisis go hereLike most senior Royal Navy officers, Commodore Nick Lambert has great reserves of professional expertise and common sense. The Coalition task force commander was aboard HMS Cornwall when 15 Royal Navy personnel serving on the frigate were seized at gunpoint by Iranian forces on March 23.
The Navy states the 14 men and one woman were on a routine patrol in rigid inflatables off Iraqi shores - Iran insists they were in its waters illegally.
A few hours after the 15 were seized, Cdre Lambert said: 'There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that they were in Iraqi territorial waters. Equally, the Iranians may well claim that they were in their territorial waters. The extent and definition of territorial waters in this part of the world is very complicated.'And his predecessor in command of the task force, Commodore Peter Lockwood of the Royal Australian Navy, said last October: 'No maritime border has been agreed upon by the countries.'
Both officers told the truth. It is the burial of this truth by No 10 spin doctors, and Tony Blair's remark that he is 'utterly certain' the incident took place within Iraqi territorial limits, that has escalated this from an incident to a crisis. Blair is being fatuous.
How can you be certain which side of a boundary you are when that boundary has never been drawn?
Sunday, April 01, 2007
From This is London
Posted at 18:30