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Blair no credibility in citing international law, says UK daily Independent

London, March 31, IRNA - A leading British daily Saturday suggested that one of the reasons the UK government failed to win the support of the UN Security Council in its diplomatic dispute over Iran's arrest of UK sailors was because Prime Minister Tony Blair has no credibility.

"Because of the catastrophe in Iraq, the UK has no real diplomatic leverage in the region," the Independent said in its editorial on the week-long crisis.

"Blair calls the Iranian action illegal in international law and cites the United Nations mandate for the presence of British forces in Iraq. But the US and Britain invaded Iraq ignoring the will of the UN," it said.

The newspaper, which has been an outspoken critic of the Iraq war, also reminded its readers that former UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, also described the US-led invasion as "illegal."

"Blair has little moral authority when he cites international law now. It is notable that the UN statement stopped short of deploring the Iranian action, as requested by Britain," it said.

The brief statement, issued after hours of protracted debate in New York on Thursday, also refused to support Britain's claim that the arrest of 15 UK sailors was in Iraqi waters.

The Independent further questioned whether British naval operations in the Persian Gulf were completely lawful, saying the statement "makes no mention of Security Council resolution 1723 that authorizes the coalition presence in Iraq."

"The wounds opened by the foolish invasion of Iraq by the US and the UK have not healed," it said.

The editorial suggested that a way out of Britain's "mess" may well come with the help of the European Union, saying that "Brussels is more respected in Tehran than Britain, the US or the UN."

... Payvand News - 3/31/07 ... --

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