Were the 15 British sailors who were captured and detained by Iran involved in a criminal espionage operation, in Iranian waters, in the process of setting up a Gulf of Tonkin-style pretext for war? Or were they captured by Iranian forces in Iraqi waters (as claimed by London), as a defensive political maneuver, in response to American and British covert provocations that have been ongoing for months , and continuing to escalate  ?
While Western media coverage has done little beyond echo and embellish Tony Blair’s immediate shrieking and bellicose assertions (“there was no justification whatsoever . . . completely unacceptable, wrong and illegal”), and the predictable Bush administration support for Blair (the White House “fully backs Tony Blair and our allies in Britain”), and the impending political onslaught against Tehran, little if any analysis has been devoted to the context of what has led up to this incident.
In 2003, Tehran sent a sweeping proposal to the Bush administration (via the Swiss Embassy) for dialogue and regional cooperation. White House officials confirm that this memo was widely circulated and discussed -- and rejected (top Bush administration officials profess a convenient “memory lapse”  ).
The American and British military-intelligence buildup  towards a spring 2007 attack is a known fact. Wall Street is anticipating war . The Iran-Iraq region has been brimming with increasing Western intelligence agency activity for well over a year. George W. Bush personally ordered provocative covert operations  several months ago, aimed specifically at baiting Iran into a war and a nuclear confrontation. The illegal raid of the Iranian liason office in Irbil, Iraq,  has been used as part of a larger case of cooked and false intelligence against Tehran. A number of Iranians, including high-ranking Iran Revolutionary Guard officials, have been captured by Western forces. A top Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated by the Mossad. Bush also gave a “shoot to kill” order  to hunt down and kill Iranians in Iraq. Iran’s intelligence minister, Gholam Hossein Ejeli, claims that Iran has uncovered a network of 100 CIA and Mossad agents. 
A multinational consensus  has already been built in support of an attack on Iran, which is now militarily and politically encircled (a full-scale US-British military buildup  is underway). In a March 28 interview on Air America Radio, Senator Carl Levin echoed the simple-minded Bush-Blair propaganda that Iran alone is provoking a confrontation with the West, alone guilty of “brinksmanship” and “nuclear ambitions.” Levin repeated the popular assertion that President Ahmadinejad is insane, and that the US Congress is “uniformly” behind stopping Iran, which is “pressuring the West” (no mention of the overwhelming pressure against Iran, by the West). Levin’s dim-witted and dangerous views are shared by Democrats and Republicans alike.
In a letter mailed to the Associated Press by the Iranian embassy in London, British sailor Faye Turney apologized for trespassing into Iranian waters. Western officials have quickly responded by claiming (without proof) that Turney’s admission was coerced, and blasting a tape of the captured sailors (showing that they are being well treated) as “unacceptable.” Meanwhile, London is rushing to provide proof that the boat crews were seized inside Iraqi waters.
It is unlikely that evidence provided by either side, or even a diplomatic exchange or settlement, will defuse the larger confrontation already underway. The incident, and the resulting political tensions, are clearly part of a larger international agenda, similar to the Gulf of Tonkin incident that set up the Vietnam War that the US government was hell-bent to start.
If an overt act of war against Iran occurs around the marine incident, is it conceivable that London will lead the charge and be joined immediately by the Bush administration and Israel.
The Blair government (MI-6, MI-5, etc.) has been among the most overt “war on terrorism” aggressors in recent years. For example, on September 19, 2005, six British armored vehicles smashed into an Iraqi jail in Basra to free two undercover SAS elite special forces commandos who were engaged in a bungled espionage operation  (see the BBC report  ). Indeed, there are reports that a rescue operation  against Iran is being contemplated.