Iran and the UK will soon conclude that the arrest by Iranian Revolutioinary Guards of eight British Navy sailors was an insignificant incident, Daniel Neep, a British expert, tells Radio Farda. But Tehran University's expert Parviz Mojtahedzadeh sees the arrest a reflection of Iran-EU relations, which, in his view, has suffered several blows in recent months in the IAEA resolution and human rights talks. Both sides will soon arrive at the conclusion that this was a short-lived diplomatic incident, and it certainly is Britain’s view that this is an insignificant incident, Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies’ head of Middle East and North Africa program Daniel Neep tells Radio Farda.
It is possible to guess that a local commander, without orders from above, had arrested the British sailors, and that the event was not sanctioned or planned at the top, he notes. This was a local incident that suddenly assumed bigger dimensions, he says, adding the problem may be due to Iran’s political system: These actions may be a means for the IRGC to show and consolidate its power, he says.
Britain was not alone in drafting and passing the IAEA resolution on Iran’s nuclear program, and Iran’s focusing all its anger on Britain appears one-sided and imbalanced, he says. Iranian authorities may think that their cooperation with the coalition forces on Iraq would impact their case in the IAEA board, whereas these issues are unrelated, he adds. (Shahran Tabari, London)
This was not the first time that British navy vessels operating in Iraq entered Iranian waters, but the Iranian government tolerated their incursions because Iran was cooperating with the coalition forces in Iraq, Tehran University professor Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh tells Radio Farda.
However, he adds, in recent months the EU took several steps that were clearly against the Islamic Republic. In addition to drafting the IAEA resolution and issuing a statement condemning human rights violations in Iran, the EU joined Persian Gulf Arab states in calling for a quick resolution to the UAE-Iran dispute about the three Persian Gulf islands, which was immediately followed by fishing boat seizers by UAE and Qatar, he adds. These actions prompted the Islamic Republic to conclude that the EU has cooled its relations with Iran and has moved closer to the US, he says. (Maryam Ahmadi).