Public Radio International quotes South Asia Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Barbara Slavin on why the US sailors were quickly released from Iran:

Barbara Slavin, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, says this direct communication was key in getting the matter resolved quickly.”John Kerry and Javad Zarif are on a first name basis.

They’ve been talking to each other for over two years over the nuclear issue and other issues,” she says.She says it was also in the Iranians interest to send the sailors on their way quickly. “The Iranians are anticipating massive sanctions relief in just a couple of days and I think they were determined […] not to have anything get in the way,” she says.


“It’s a very crowded place,” Slavin says.

“Oil tankers, navies of many countries interacting.” Slavin thinks Iran and the US should work together to minimize tensions in the region. Especially given that Kerry and Zarif will eventually leave office, severing that that working relationship.”One of the things that would be useful is to have an ‘incidents at sea’ agreement between Iran and the United States,” she says.With the nuclear deal now in place, Slavin is hopeful Obama will set up a US interests section in Tehran, like what the US has in Cuba, and send some American diplomats there before he leaves office.

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