Irán frente a Arabia Saudita

BERLÍN – Todos los días el "nuevo" Oriente Próximo genera titulares noticiosos. A diferencia del antiguo Oriente Próximo, cuyo destino estaba determinado por las potencias occidentales dominantes (el Reino Unido y Francia después de la Primera Guerra Mundial, y Estados Unidos desde los años 40 hasta hace poco), éste no tiene ningún poder hegemónico externo que lo estabilice. Y, sin una potencia regional dominante, ha surgido un vacío estratégico peligroso.

Es bastante obvio que Estados Unidos ya no está dispuesto (o no puede) desempeñar su anterior papel. Aunque no vaya a retirar por completo sus fuerzas armadas de la región, dada la debacle en Irak no es factible la intervención militar directa, sobre todo con tropas terrestres. No será un actor militar en tanto no se vea amenazado en lo fundamental el equilibrio estratégico de la región (lo que explica sus ataques aéreos sobre Estado Islámico en Irak y Siria). Aparte de esto, está maniobrando en el nivel de la diplomacia para resolver, o al menos contener, una amenaza estratégica fundamental: el peligro que representa el programa nuclear iraní.

Varios actores estatales y paraestatales han tratado de llenar el vacío originado por esta nueva cautela de los estadounidenses, y la mayor parte de los no estatales dependen principalmente del apoyo de dos poderes regionales: Irán y Arabia Saudita. La lucha de estos países por la supremacía regional se puede observar en las guerras indirectas del Líbano, Irak, Siria y, ahora, Yemen. De hecho, la rebelión de los hutíes en este país marca una nueva fase de un conflicto regional más amplio. No sólo ocurre en el sur de la Península Arábiga, en las fronteras mismas de Arabia Saudita, sino que la intervención militar directa del reino ha llevado a plena luz del día su rivalidad estratégica con Irán.

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