Reports of Iranian speed boats darting around US vessels, of Americans ready to blast them out of the water, and President Bush taking his normal high road of rhetoric created a moment of anxiety in an area overwhelmed by anxiety. Secretary of State Condi Rice said the incident “was provocative, and that kind of provocation is danerous.” In Iran, Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel, speaker of the pariament responded to the incident by claiming “its psychological and(a) propaganda campaign wich is continuously” conducted against Iran. However, Iran’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement to downplay the entire episode. Mohammad -Ali-Hosseini said: “This happens between two sides every once and a while, and after the two sides identify each other, the issue is resolved.”
There is obvious tension between Iran and the Bush administration. Perhaps, it might be logical to have quiet discussions in private between the two nations in which some ground rules are established when such incidents occur. They might even explore the possibillity of a hotline to avoid escalating minor incidents into major ones.