The seizure of eight British sailors and their small patrol boats by Iranian forces means it is time for the British government to show that unless a swift accommodation is reached, the consequences will be severe for the Iranian state. If the UK forces did indeed stray into Iranian waters, nothing more than a curt apology is due the Iranian state, and only that if they return the British sailors and their equipment without delay. The Iranian state is a vile tyranny and the sooner they are put under real pressure the better.
Of course I would like to see as much instability as possible within Iran regardless of the incident with the sailors. There is no shortage of people in Iran who would love to see the end of theocratic Islamic rule and now would be a good time to start taking advantage of the fact UK and US forces control the Iraqi side of the border. Surely there must be some fairly large stockpiles of weapons from Saddam’s army that have not been blown up and are just sitting around in Iraq…
But if the Iranians want to turn this into a hostage crisis however, the only response should be to use whatever force is required to resolve the situation, not just via anti-regime dissidents but directly by Britain against the Iranian state, and as soon as it is practical. If the theocrats want to engage in brinkmanship, I hope the UK and US will be prepared to not just go to the brink but to step straight over it very forcefully indeed. A nice opening move to the ‘negotiations’ would be to redeploy a division right up to the Iranian border.
Update: Hopefully this will all be over by tomorrow (Thursday). Perhaps the Iranian state decided it was unwise to push things too far. It will be interesting to see if there is any long term fall out from this incident.