Patrick Seale

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de mayo de 2009. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

Se afirma que la última ronda de negociaciones entre Irán y el grupo P5+1 (los cinco miembros permanentes del Consejo de Seguridad y Alemania) que se celebró en la capital kazaja de Almaty los días 5 y 6 de abril ha sido la más franca hasta la fecha. Por primera vez, las conversaciones incluyeron un intercambio directo de puntos de vista Estados Unidos-Irán de unos 40 minutos de duración; entre Wendy Sherman, subsecretario de Estado estadounidense, y Said Yalili, jefe negociador sobre la cuestión nuclear de Irán y secretario de su Consejo Supremo de Seguridad Nacional. Según se ha informado, Sherman planteó a Yalili una serie de preguntas específicas a las que según se ha señalado Yalili respondió con notable detalle.…  Seguir leyendo »

Faced with the carnage in Gaza, how should Arab states react? Heartbreaking TV pictures of death and destruction must certainly have aroused consternation and stirred the conscience of every family from Cairo to Baghdad, and from Riyadh to Rabat. What will Arabs now expect from their leaders?

To get some sense of Arab opinion, I conducted my own limited poll, phoning and emailing contacts in different Arab countries. I tried to understand how they felt about the punishment of Gaza. Was their reaction one of anger and a thirst for revenge? Or did they feel a painful sense of humiliation, coupled with impatience with their leaders?…  Seguir leyendo »

Last Friday’s savage clashes at Houla, a village in the Syrian province of Homs, have aroused international indignation against the government of President Bashar al-Assad. It is the latest grisly episode in what is quickly developing into a sectarian civil war.

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, makes no bones of her wish to overthrow the Syrian regime. She issued a statement saying: “The US will work with the international community to intensify our pressure on Assad and his cronies, whose rule by murder and fear must come to an end.” The UK government is to seek an urgent meeting of the UN security council.…  Seguir leyendo »

The former UN secretary general Kofi Annan has reason to be proud of the Syrian ceasefire which, as a result of his persuasion and tireless travels to Moscow and Tehran, Turkey and Qatar, came into force on Thursday. It may well be breached here and there – the transition from killing to talking is bound to be messy; the violent emotions of a vicious year-long conflict will not easily be quelled – but it heralds, nevertheless, the beginning of a new political phase of the Syrian crisis.

The international community must be patient and give Annan its full support, because a durable ceasefire is an essential precondition for a negotiated resolution of the conflict – the only alternative to the horrors of an inter-communal civil war (such as was triggered in Iraq by the Anglo-American invasion of 2003, with the loss of tens of thousands of lives).…  Seguir leyendo »

The absence of Arab arms in the attack on Libya is a matter of regret — and could have serious long-term consequences. It has allowed Muammar el-Qaddafi to portray the attack on him as an aggression by the West to seize Libya’s oil — an argument which may strike a chord with his tribal loyalists.

The West’s record in the Arab world is by no means guilt-free. Nevertheless, the Western intervention in Libya should be seen in a more favorable light. It seems to have been driven by genuine revulsion at Qaddafi’s 42-year history of human rights abuses against his own people, not to speak of his murderous forays into external terrorism, such as the downing of civilian aircraft.…  Seguir leyendo »

It is generally accepted that America’s destruction of Iraq overturned the balance of power in the Gulf, opening the way for the Islamic Republic of Iran to emerge as a major regional power, able to challenge the dominance of Sunni Arab states and pose as a rival to both Israel and the United States.

Its influence has spread to Iraq itself — now under Shiite leadership — and beyond to Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and even perhaps to Zaidi rebels in northern Yemen fighting the central government in Sana‘a, a development that has aroused understandable anxiety in Saudi Arabia.

However, the Iraq war has had another important consequence that is also attracting serious notice.…  Seguir leyendo »