The UK's largest electrical retailers, Curry's, today admitted that Sat Nav sets sold to the Royal Navy "may have been a bit iffy". However, the high street giant refused to take the blame for the diplomatic crisis with Iran that has ensued.
"The set was 13 months old - we tried hard to explain the benefits of an extended warranty but the Admiralty would have none of it," the spokesman explained. "All I can do is offer is our sincere apology and, as a gesture of goodwill, I am prepared to throw in a 3 way SCART lead."
The Sat Nav purchased by the Navy, called a Badmans XPS, was definitely not top of the range. Curry's claim they had no idea the device would be used to guide battleships on the other side of the world. A salesman at the Reading branch said,"These cheaper devices may look the business on your dashboard, but I wouldn't trust them to get me through Kent safely let alone the Shat Al-Arab waterway."
In the light of the admission Lord Chief Leuitenant Horatio Nelson - based at the Royal Navy headquarters in Greenwich - seemed to concede that the Iranian claims may have been right all along:
"It does now seem likely that some kind of LWAC [Lost Without a Clue] incident took place. At the time we were very surprised to find the HMS Cornwall being accused of entering Iranian territory - it was supposed to be on its way to Chatham docks. To be honest, when we saw the pictures of the woman officer holding the map we put two and two together...."
Prime Minister Tony Blair has responded by putting together a 'task force' of spin doctors and PR professionals to look at what to do next. He said he was now doubly determined to resolve the issue: "The only thing that matters in this situation is the safety of my legacy - erm sorry - of the prisoners in Iran. I will do everything in my power to preserve it - erm - them."