Notas ao café…

The Economist sobre o Irão

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Janeiro 11, 2010

Pat Bagley, «Salt Lake Tribune»

Os seis países que tentam negociar com o Irão sobre as ambições nucleares deste país — EUA, Reino Unido, França, Alemanha, Rússia e China — enfrentam uma escolha difícil. O Irão continua a produzir estoques de urânio enriquecido que afirma ser destinado apenas para uso civil mas poderia ser utilizado para fins militares. Com o impasse que as negociações sofrem, a revista The Economist escreve  que estes seis países têm agora apenas duas opções: sanções mais duras contra o Irão — embargo económico aos combustíveis,  por exemplo — ou um ataque militar. Esta última opção é algo que ninguém quer, mesmo Israel, pelo risco que existe de um confronto generalizado numa região já de si instável. Para os editores da The Economist as sanções são a única alternativa:

[…] More painful sanctions, then, are the only sensible alternative to leaving Iran to enrich its way to the dangerous point where it can declare it has a bomb. But Russia and China—especially China, which has piled money into Iran’s oil and gas industries as Western companies have withdrawn—are reluctant to get tough.

Self-interest is not the only reason to oppose sanctions. Those who favour military strikes and those who would do nothing both complain that sanctions won’t work. Others believe that they would work, but would do more harm than good by encouraging Iranians to rally around the government at a time when the protest movement looks as though it might just bring about change.

[…] Hence the case for policies that punish the regime and spare the people. Existing sanctions have frustrated some illicit imports for its nuclear and missile programmes. Routine searches of Iranian ships and planes at foreign ports and airfields would catch more—and sting too. Banking restrictions have earned the president the ire of merchants and MPs. These can be tightened and extended. America’s Congress favours slapping a ban on gasoline imports which, given Iran’s shortage of refining capacity, could bring the economy to its knees. But that would allow Mr Ahmadinejad to blame outsiders just as he is about to incur the people’s wrath by cutting petrol subsidies. A bar on investment in the oil and gas industry and on weapons imports would be smarter.

Getting agreement for such sanctions will be hard, and not just because of China and Russia. Some officials in Mr Obama’s team have hinted that further patience could yet be wise. Keeping the door open to talks, should Mr Ahmadinejad have a change of heart, is a good idea. But putting off harsher measures will only encourage him to press on. Despite the uncertainty of action, the price for inaction is higher.


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