By Djallal Malti LONDON, AFP
The mounting standoff between London and Tehran over 15 British naval detainees is fueling tensions within the Iranian regime, complicating Britain's efforts to defuse the crisis, experts say.
While hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lashed out again this weekend at the "arrogant" attitude of the British government, other more pragmatic forces might be more willing to seek a compromise to de-escalate the crisis.
"It is important to emphasize that internal tensions are at work in Iran ... this action may not have the support of more moderate forces in government," said Henning Riecke of the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin.
Ahmadinejad "is in power but, at the same time, we have seen a waning of his political fortunes since the end of last year", added Mark Thomas, from the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies in London.......