Containing Iran

That seems to be the British response to the capture of Royal Navy sailors. Their first offer was classic under-statement:

The first British tactic had been to offer Iran an easy way out. The Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett gave the co-ordinates of the British sailors to the Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and suggested that there might have been a "mistake".

Iran at first offered a different co-ordinate and then, when it was pointed out that even this was in Iraqi waters, another reading was given, this time on the Iranian side.

Three strikes and they're out! This, however, is a serious matter and the plain deception of the Iranian regime strongly indicates that this is a deliberate provocation. All the more reason, perhaps, not to take the bait. Slowly, international pressure on Tehran is rising; isolation is growing and this incident can be leveraged to increase that isolation at the U.N.. This may, of course, be a signal that Tehran is going to react to greater sanctions with greater belligerence. In all of this, the fear, of course, is that hotheads will prevail. But this is a time to be cool. That is different from craven. And yes, the sight of a free Briton being forced to wear a headscarf angers up the blood.