Well...Iran has agreed to allow the British sailors and Marines to return home...I suppose that this may be the best possible scenario (no more provocation, no war). However, the real question, once again, comes down to motives.
Why is Iran allowing the British to return home without making public demands? Is it because by holding the British they were pushing Europe into further aligning with the United States? Or was the plan all along to hold the British and then show how benevolent and good Iran could be by releasing them? Or perhaps, this entire incident was a way for Iran to show they are serious and to slow down the rhetoric and calm the pace of actions occurring between Iran and the international community.
Another important question when dealing with Iran is whether or not the release of the British in this manner was the idea of Ahmadinejad or the idea of the more pragmatic politicians in Iran like Larijani...It is this larger, looming questions which will have an impact on future relations between Iran and the world..Today it looks as though the pragmatists may have won out.
On a side note...What does everyone think about the British soldiers "confessing" and wearing suits (not their military uniforms) and speaking with Ahmadinejad? Do you think their actions are understandable in that situation or an embarrassment to Britain?