On January 12, 2016, it was reported that Iran had detained two small U.S. vessels which, they claimed, were picked up in Iranian territory, one or both having reported mechanical difficulties. It was also reported that the Iranian government said that the vessels (apparently too small to have been called "ships") would be returned to U.S. hands "shortly." An "innocent mistake?" Surely it could have been. But given that it just happened to have occurred on the day of President Barack Obama's last State of the Union Address, and given that there are a number of forces around the world which would like nothing better, post hoc, than to undermine his historic Iran Nuclear Deal, it surely could have been something else. "Surely you're not thinking of aa false flag attack, are you?" an interlocutor might ask. Well yes, that's exactly what I'm thinking about.
Let me just list the possible perpetrators here. If more information comes out, we can into further details at a later date. First of all, the Republican Party is totally opposed to the Deal, because A) it is a major feather in President Obama's cap, B) it might somehow help bring peace to at least part of the Middle East lessening the chances for the Permanent War they are so much in favor of, and C) their Middle Eastern wing (or is it the other way 'round), the Israeli-/Likud government, is totally opposed to it for their own reasons. Second of all, there are the righty-wing elements in Iran which are opposed to the deal, starting with the Revolutionary Guard and the Iranian right-wing military-industrial complex sector of the Iranian ruling class that they represent. Third of all, there is the Israeli government/Israeli Defense Force/Israeli military-industrial complex which could have done something like this using Mossad. Finally, back in 2006 Seymour Hersh published an article in The New Yorker in which he claimed that Bush/Cheney were supporting an anti-government guerrilla movement with in Iran. They were known as the "Mujaheddin-e Khalg" (known as the MEK or MKO in the West). Remnants of them may still be in existence inside Iran. Given their possible connections with Bush/Cheney, they would certainly have a reason to try to show up President Obama on this particular day.
And it is that this day is a particular one that raises this whole question. Of course conspiracy theories abound. Many involving the United States --- think Tonkin Gulf, think the original overthrow of the first democratically elected Iranian government in 1953, think "bay of Pigs," think the Allende coup, think "Iran-Contra," think George Bush I tricking Iraq into attacking Kuwait in 1991, and so on and so forth --- have been proven to correct. Others, such as Obama's "Plan to Grab all Your Guns" are the stuff of total fiction. But there are certainly a variety of interested parties that could have pulled off this very peculiarly-timed event.
Fortunately, the Iranian government intervened very quickly and the vessels and crews were to be quickly returned to U.S. control. But questions do remain, don't they? One being, will some Republican shout out about the incident during the President's State of the Union Address.