Imagine if a bunch of Iranian sailors were captured between the high seas and British territorial waters (A peculiar outrage, March 30). The media would say they had no right to be there in the first place. They would certainly be paraded on TV. The prime minister would condemn this act of aggression by Iran. And Iran would profess that it was unlawful for Britain to detain its sailors, who were merely undertaking a routine exercise on the high seas. This scenario appears absurd because one cannot think of a circumstance where the Iranian military would be roaming around waters in western Europe. And that absurdity is at the heart of the present situation.
What right does Britain have to be in the Persian gulf in the first place? Please, spare me the patronising talk about UN security council resolutions, of maintaining international peace, or even that the Iraqi government, which was installed by the US and Britain, invited the British into its waters. And don’t even mention the matter of US designs over Iran; how Pentagon planners are drawing up targets for a possible US invasion.
None of this would have happened if western nations did not interfere in the geopolitics of the region. Let us not forget that most of the borders and nation states of the modern Middle East were created by the British, with some help from the French, after the first world war.