quinta-feira, janeiro 19, 2006

41) Tempestade sobre o Irã?: memo do CSIS

O Center for Strategic and International Studies é um importante think tank de Washington, bem mais ligado ao pensamento conservador do que às correntes liberais da política americana, mas ainda assim independente o suficiente das estruturas de poder para produzir análises isentas sobre a realidade internacional, mesmo que reproduzindo (e não poderia ser de outra forma, conhecendo-se o establishment americano que trata de política internacional) os interesses dos EUA no cenário mundial.
Abaixo, teor de um Memo de informação sobre a questão do Irã e sua decisão em retomar o programa de enriquecimento de urânio.


To: CSIS Board of Trustees, Advisers, and Friends
From: John J. Hamre
Date: January 18, 2006 (Number 193)
Re: The gathering storm over Iran

Washington usually observes its crises in very dramatic and visible ways—Katrina, Abramoff corruption, Russian pipeline cutoff, etc. There is a gathering storm coming over Iran, but the crisis is deceptively calm at this stage.

Washington has concluded that the new Iranian president Ahmadinejad is a major problem. For the past twelve years the rulers of Iran have been largely conservative— that is conserving their personal power and wealth leading an increasingly corrupt and inefficient economy and society. Washington has concluded that this new president is a radical, not a conservative. Intelligence and policy analysts believe he intends to take Iran back to an active role as a destabilizing force in the region.

The Administration has quietly been sending senior representatives around the world with an ominous warning—“either you are with us or against us” on this coming crisis with Iran. It is important to note that the public posture is measured and careful. The President is pursuing diplomacy as the primary mode of response. But where does this go next?

Russia and China are the key unknowns in this drama. Both have a wider range of interactions with Iran and do not have our history of distrust and antipathy. Both are struggling with an irresponsible Iranian leader who is unifying European and American opposition. They know that the U.S., and now likely the European triumvirate (Germany-France-UK) will be demanding a hard stand, and they are trying to calibrate what they will have to do to balance their Iranian and Western interests.

This is a drama that will be played out (for some time, I suspect) on international playing fields. Europe and the U.S. would like to increase pressure by taking Iran immediately to the Security Council. Russia and China prefer to keep this controversy at the level of the International Atomic Energy Agency. They don’t rule out a subsequent move to the Security Council, but feel strongly that the IAEA is the appropriate venue for the time being.

The problem is that we have few major pressure points on Iran in this controversy. Iran has deeply insinuated itself in Iraq and can complicate our lives there considerably. Iran can use its links with Hezbollah (Israel is convinced they never severed those links), which has served as a covert operational arm for dirty tricks in the past. We have scattered reports that some of the roadside bombs in Iraq have Hezbollah-like design features. The West needs Iran’s oil, something demonstrated yet again two weeks back, when Russia temporarily cut off gas shipments to the Ukraine, which in turn squeezed Europe.

The primary asset we have in this battle is a diplomatic one—but that requires an absolutely unified front among the Europeans, Americans, Russians and Chinese. The quiet American delegations going around the world are saying that this problem is critical, that the U.S. does want a unified diplomatic front, but that the threat cannot be ignored and that we will not let it pass.

The military options against Iran are always there, but not terribly attractive. We can’t plausibly end Iran’s nuclear program by force without a full scale invasion and overthrow of the Iranian government. Given the serious strains we are experiencing with Iraq—a country one third the size of Iran—that option is not plausible for some time to come. Air raids are an option and the plans have been drawn. But air attacks will unify Iranian public sentiment in support of their radical young leader, and at best will simply delay their weapons program.

For the time being, diplomacy is the only and best answer to this growing crisis. This looming controversy was seen early on as a test case for the Administration’s initiative to invite China to become a “responsible stakeholder” of the international system. The Chinese are increasingly engaged on a wide range of international issues and in discussions with the United States. They have some tough decisions ahead in balancing their hopes for continued constructive relations with Washington (and a successful summit visit to the United States by Hu Jintao in the early spring) against their important political and economic interests, especially related to energy, with Iran. Now they must consider the wider implications of Iran’s actions on the world stage, and China’s responsibilities beyond its own narrow national interests.

America will confront China and Russia with this matter and demand a firm response. We will push as hard as we can, without rupturing the unified front we will need for the next phase of this standoff. Don’t mistake the subdued nature of the public debate. This crisis is real and growing by the day.

Leia também um análise do dia 12 de janeiro de 2005, "Understanding Iran's Nuclear Maneuvers", de Jon B. Wolfsthal, do mesmo CSIS, neste link.

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