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Les Britanniques sont-ils pris au piège de leur alliance avec les USA dans l’affaire des 15 marins et Marines britanniques arrêtés par les Iraniens ? Blair commence à s’inquiéter sérieusement. Les Britanniques observent un changement radical d’attitude des Iraniens, par rapport à un incident similaire en 2004. Il faut dire que la crise iranienne était encore menée par les Européens :

«The last time six marines and two sailors were seized by the Iranians in that narrow waterway, in June 2004, the mood music was more benign. Jack Straw, then foreign secretary, had been shuttling back and forth to Tehran. A deal hammered out by the troika of EU countries - Britain, France and Germany - to freeze enrichment in return for European technology and trade was about to fall apart. But there still lingered the hope that the policy of constructive engagement could work. The captured British servicemen were paraded blindfold and made to apologise on Iranian television, but they were soon released.»

Entre-temps, les alliés US sont intervenus. On sait ce que cela signifie : menaces, pressions, interventions clandestines, bruits de guerre. La situation de 2007 n’a plus rien à voir avec celle de 2004. Il apparaît manifeste, au travers d’un article de Patrick Cockburn, de The Independent, que l’intervention des USA contre des Iraniens en Irak, en janvier, a été un élément déterminant de durcissement.

«At 3am on 11 January US military forces raided the Iranian liaison office in the Kurdish capital Arbil and detained five Iranian officials who are still prisoners.

»The attack marked a significant escalation in the confrontation between the US and Iran.

»Britain is inevitably involved in this as America's only important foreign ally in Iraq. In fact the US raid could have had even more significant consequences if the Americans had captured the Iranian official they were targeting. Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff of the Kurdish president Massoud Barzani, told The Independent that “they were after Mohammed Jafari, the deputy chairman of Iran's National Security Council.”

»It is a measure of the difficulty America has in getting its close allies in Iraq, notably the Kurds, to join it in confronting Iran that Mr Jafari was in Arbil as part of an Iranian delegation. He had just visited Mr Barzani in his mountain-top headquarters at Salahudin and earlier he met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in Dokan in eastern Kurdistan.»

L’article de Cockburn est intéressant parce qu’il met en évidence combien la majorité des factions et communautés irakiennes, prétendument “libérées” par les USA, est hostile à un conflit avec l’Iran. (Le cas des Kurdes, en principe les plus proches des USA, est extrêmement intéressant.) Alors qu’il semble dire qu’une attaque US contre l’Iran aurait un certain soutien international (ce qui nous paraît extrêmement contestable), Cockburn observe combien ce soutien serait au contraire très faible en l’Irak.

«…Inside Iraq, confrontation with Iran does not make much political sense. All America's allies in Iraq have close ties with Iran. The only anti-Iranian community in Iraq is the five million Sunni who have been fighting the US for the past four years.

»The US raid on Arbil in January would have had far more serious consequences if Mr Jafari had been abducted. As it was, the seizure of five Iranian officials seems to have set the scene for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards seizing 15 British sailors and marines.»


Mis en ligne le 26 mars 2007 à 09H45

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