Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Iran releases UK captured sailors

The announcement of the release of UK sailors must come as a happy end avoiding dire consequences for both UK and Iran in a volatile region. The capture of the sailors was meant by Iran to be exploited to draw attention to its differences with the West. This made diplomats in the West hold their breath as UK, a member of the EU, NATO and very close ally of the US, found itself in a difficult situation where it had to take into accounts the implications of any step vis-à-vis Iran at the international level. In others words, it had to avoid jeopardizing the fragile peace in the region and its wider implications.

By all accounts, UK seems to have scored a diplomatic victory over Iran as the pressure seemed to have been on Iran to bring the crisis to an end. The Iranian regime has tried to look forgiving as a face-saving tactic. But at heart it knows well that it can’t further isolates itself over a controversial incident out of which it can’t gain a substantial political capital.

However, this incident should make both UK and Iran work jointly to improve their relations regarding wider and deeper issues, especially those concerning stability in the Middle East. Historically, there has been no love lost between UK and Iran since the Iranian Revolution. The latest sailors’ incident is just another chapter of the cat-and-mouse relationships between them. Every time Iran tries to play the cat by catching any Brit in sight from businessmen to soldiers. But its catch always slips from its paws because of being faced by a torrent of attacks.

To be fair, it seems behind the scenes diplomacy has worked for both, sparing them public and lingering confrontations at all levels, diverting attention from other important matters. Let’s hope each will keep vigilant for the perpetuation of peace as war, be it verbal, diplomatic or military, will be costly for all directly or indirectly implicated in it.

Listen to extracts of declarations and reactions to the release of the UK soldiers.

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UK
Iran
Both
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2 comments:

Bunc said...

Hi Abdelilah, I like your cat and mouse analogy. Whatever the real motives behind all this the release is to be welcomed and it may indicate that somewhere in the Iranian regime there are forces which are seeking more constructive dialogue. This is a good omen - albeit a faint one.

I am not convinced that it was Armedinejad himself that initiated this. Nevertheless it would be my hope that out of this might slowly grow a more constructive dialogue about how to settle the situation in Iraq but maybe thats hoping too much given that the Nuclear issue is still unresolved.

Abdelilah Boukili said...

Hi Bill,
You are right. Dialogue can open but Iran still has a long way to go to have normal relationship with the West.