In an earlier day, what Iran has done would have been universally regarded as an act of war. It was a premeditated act, carried out only hours before Britain voted to stiffen sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program in a unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution. Iran captured a smaller detachment of British forces in the same waters in 2004, claiming they had strayed across the Iranian border. It beggars belief--as well as an eyewitness account of the incident reported by Reuters--that the British would make that mistake twice, assuming they made it the first time.Read the full story here.
Here's an excerpt that provides additional possibilities, from Belmont Club, which discusses the issue in more detail.
It is related to the ongoing intelligence war between Iran and the West. Iran may want hostages it can trade for agents who have been captured by the US or who have defected to the West.Read the whole thing here.
Just saw this article at GlobalSecurity.Org, which discusses the US response to provocative action on the part of the Iranians in the past. Here's and excerpt..
During a two-day period, the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force units of Joint Task Force Middle East destroyed two oil platforms being used by Iran to coordinate attacks on merchant shipping, sank or destroyed three Iranian warships and neutralized at least six Iranian speedboats.
Read the whole piece here.