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April 06, 2007

Where Was the Ship?

What is the real dispute in the Britain-Iran issue? Is it that both agree on where the British ship was, but the British claim that that spot is in Iraqi territory and the Iranians claim that that spot is in Iranian territory? Or is it that neither side agrees where the exact spot of pickup was? I haven't seen this addressed in any reports.

If both sides agree on the pickup spot location, then the dispute only has to do with the fact that they can't agree on where the borders are. In that case, Iran should allow for the possibility that the British thought they were in Iraq. The solution would be to have some talks about re-defining the borders to everyone's satisfaction in order to prevent this from happening again.

If neither side agrees on the exact location of the pickup spot, both sides need to produce evidence to each other demonstrating their position. Who knows -- maybe the Google Map satellite happened to take a picture at that time. It's too bad that this happened in the ocean, out of sight of land probably. It's sort of hard to revisit and find evidence that a ship was there.

Posted at April 6, 2007 02:05 PM


It's both. The initial report from Iran had the ship in disputed waters, but later reports had it in agreed-upon Iranian waters. British and independent reports as to the location have been inconclusive and the soldiers-cum-hostages-or-prisoners' testimony is probably tainted forever in the world eye.

Iran is a very, very different country from Iraq. It's an actual democracy (well, at least as much as the US is) and the military and civilian leaders have been in a disagreement about the situation. Changing the reported location is possibly as much about internal Iranian politics as about world opinion.

And before we get too uppity about Iran possibly fabricating an incursion to generate political pressure (both back home and abroad), let's just get into the habit of calling it the "Iranian-British Gult of Tonkin event."

MakingLight has had a lot of good commentary on this. Well, MakingLight has a lot of good commentary on everything political-, literary-, and knitting-related.

 - Seth.

Posted by: Seth Morris [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 6, 2007 05:21 PM

I've added Making Light to my Google Reader subscriptions. Looks like a pretty interesting site. Thanks, Seth!

Posted by: randomlife [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 11, 2007 10:26 AM

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