¿Quién gana la guerra fría de Medio Oriente?

LONDRES – Se está produciendo una guerra fría en un lugar muy caliente. Un componente clave de la competencia sectaria entre el Islam shiita y el sunita en Medio Oriente es geopolítico: el enfrentamiento de Irán a Arabia Saudita y sus aliados del Golfo en una lucha por el dominio regional.

Como en la Guerra Fría original entre la Unión Soviética y Estados Unidos, el conflicto no implica una confrontación militar directa entre los rivales principales (al menos todavía). El combate se da en el terreno diplomático, ideológico y económico (sobre todo en el mercado del petróleo) y mediante guerras por intermediarios, como los conflictos en Siria y Yemen. Son pocos los problemas actuales en el Gran Medio Oriente que no puedan atribuirse a la rivalidad por el poder entre Arabia Saudita e Irán.

Por ahora, parece que los iraníes llevan ventaja. La decisión del Líder Supremo, el ayatolá Ali Khamenei, de aceptar un acuerdo internacional para limitar a usos pacíficos la capacidad nuclear iraní llevó al levantamiento de casi todas las sanciones occidentales. Ahora que vuelve a ser aceptable hacer negocios con Irán, su debilitada economía parece ir camino de una recuperación. Al mismo tiempo, Irán continúa su paulatina anexión de facto de partes de Irak (con la inesperada anuencia estadounidense), porque nadie, excepto el autodenominado “Estado Islámico”, tiene agallas para resistirse.

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