Comment la politique US unit l’Iran et la Chine

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Comment la politique US unit l’Iran et la Chine

Cet article des époux Leverett, les deux spécialistes de l’Iran (Flynt Leverett et Hillary Mann Leverett), donne une appréciation décisive des négociations en cours entre l'Iran et le groupe P5+1, dont principalement les USA pour l’impulsion négative générale. Pour les Leverett, dont nous jugeons que l’analyse fait autorité dans cette crise, à la fois pour sa pertinence professionnelle et son indépendance vis-à-vis du Système, la rencontre décisive de ce mois de novembre (le 24) éclairera le constat que ces négociations sont dans l’impasse. La conséquence serait un échec décisif de la tentative de rapprochement de l’Iran et du bloc BAO, et une orientation décisive de l’Iran vers la Chine notamment (pour nous, vers le bloc antiSystème en formation). Les Leverett attribue l’essentiel de la responsabilité de cette évolution à la politique des USA (ce que nous nommons politique-Système), d’une rigidité absolue.

Nous mettons en ligne ici le texte des Leverett mis en ligne le 30 octobre 2014 sur leur site, et repris sur ConsortiumNews le 1er novembre 2014. Nous choisissons le titre de Consortium.News pour “chapeau” général de cet article, et le titre de pour l’article spécifiquement. (Titre de Consortium.News, «How US Policy Unites Iran and China », traduit en français.) Nous mentionnons l’abstract de l’article par Consortium.News parce qu’il met bien en évidence l’importance de la politique-Système (USA) avec sa rigidité et l’universalité de sa politique de sanctions dans l’échec envisagé, et l’orientation de l’Iran, non seulement vers la Chine mais plus encore vers ce que nous désignons comme un bloc antiSystème en formation.

«The proliferation of U.S. government’s economic sanctions against a growing multitude of countries and individuals has created confusion and animosity around the world, driving some countries, like Iran and China, closer together and threatening the future U.S. economy...»

The Iranian Nuclear Issue and Sino-Iranian Relations

As the world waits to see if Iran and the P5+1 reach a final nuclear agreement by November 24, we remain relatively pessimistic about the prospects for such an outcome. Above all, we are pessimistic because closing a comprehensive nuclear accord will almost certainly require the United States to drop its (legally unfounded, arrogantly hegemonic, and strategically senseless) demand that the Islamic Republic dismantle a significant portion of its currently operating centrifuges as a sine qua non for a deal.

• While we would love to be proved wrong on the point, it seems unlikely that the Obama administration will drop said demand in order to close a final agreement.

• Alternatively, a final deal would become at least theoretically possible if Iran agreed to dismantle an appreciable portion of its currently operating centrifuges, as Washington and its British and French partners demand. However, we see no sign that Tehran is inclined to do this. Just last week, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi reiterated that, in any agreement, “all nuclear capabilities of Iran will be preserved and no facility will be shut down or even suspended and no device or equipment will be dismantled.”

Still, almost regardless of the state of U.S./P5+1 nuclear diplomacy with Iran a month from now, the Islamic Republic’s relations with a wide range of important states are likely to enter a new phase. Among these states, China figures especially prominently.

To explore the historical factors and contemporary dynamics shaping the prospective trajectory of Sino-Iranian relations, we have written a working paper, American Hegemony (and Hubris), the Iranian Nuclear Issue, and the Future of Sino-Iranian Relations. It has been posted online, see here to download, as part of the Penn State Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series. It will soon be published as a chapter in a forthcoming volume on The Emerging Middle East-East Asia Nexus.

As our paper notes, the People’s Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Iran have, over the last three decades, “forged multi-dimenstional cooperative relations, emphasizing energy, trade and investment, and regional security.” There are compelling reasons for this. Among other things, both political orders were born of revolutions dedicated to restoring their countries’ independence and sovereignty after extended periods of dominance by foreign—above all, Western—powers. Today, both are pursuing what we describe as “counter-hegemonic” foreign policies, especially vis-à-vis the United States.

But, while U.S. primacy incentivizes closer Sino-Iranian ties, it has also kept those ties from advancing as far as they might have otherwise, particularly on the Chinese side. Over the years, Beijing has tried to balance its interests in developing ties to Tehran with its interest in maintaining at least relatively positive relations with Washington. Our paper examines a series of trends that are reducing China’s willingness to continue accommodating U.S. pressure over relations with Iran.

• We assess that, as these trends play out, “Chinese policymakers will continue seeking an appropriate balance between China’s relations with the Islamic Republic and its interest in maintaining positive ties to the United States. Nevertheless, [this] balance will continue shifting, slowly but surely, toward more focused pursuit of China’s economic, energy, and strategic interests in Iran.”

• We also argue that, unless the United States fundamentally revises its own posture toward the Islamic Republic, “a deepening of Sino-Iranian relations will almost certainly accelerate trends in the international economic order—e.g., backlash against Washington’s increasingly promiscuous use of financial sanctions as a foreign policy tool and the slow erosion of dollar hegemony—that are weakening America’s global position.”

Flynt Leverett et Hillary Mann Leverett