apr 1, 2007
02 April 2007
Today's analyst, Dr. Harsh Pant, is a lecturer in the Department of Defence Studies at King's College London.
The U.K.-Iran Crisis: The West Confronts a Rising Iran
Drafted By: Dr. Harsh V. Pant
The latest crisis between Iran and the United Kingdom, which started when British sailors boarded an Indian-flagged commercial ship suspected of being involved in car smuggling in the disputed Shatt al-Arab waterway, shows no sign of abating. British sailors and marines, numbering 15, were seized by Iranian naval forces as they were conducting operations on the Indian ship; the Iranians claimed that the British sailors were in Iranian territorial waters, an assertion refuted by the British. The dispute sparked anti-British protests in Iran, raised Middle East tensions, which were already high over concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions, and sent shockwaves through the oil market. Iran is now planning to put the British military personnel on trial and has declared that legal proceedings against them have already commenced (although there is some confusion on this account).