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經濟學人:伊朗伊斯蘭革命四十年(2)

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America has rarely been able to think clearly about Iran; not least because the regime’s followers held 52 of its citizens hostage for 444 days after seizing the American embassy in Tehran in 1979. But if Iran has recently extended its power it is in large part because of the mess caused by America’s invasion of Iraq in 2003.

美國很少能清晰考慮伊朗問題;尤其是因為1979年,伊朗政權的追隨者占領了美國駐德黑蘭大使館,并將52名美國公民作為人質扣押了444天。但是如果伊朗近期擴大其權力,很大程度上是因為2003年美國入侵伊拉克所造成的混亂。
Iran is confusing and infuriating to deal with. Power is shared ambiguously between a weak president, who is elected from a field of loyalists and deals with day-to-day problems, and a nebulous revolutionary caste that controls the instruments of coercion. Sometimes Iran has proved pragmatic, for instance acquiescing in America’s overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Yet, under the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, ideology often trumps rational policymaking. Neither confrontation nor diplomacy can reliably sway the mullahs. And neither economic carrots nor sanctions seem to work as an alternative.
伊朗令人困惑和憤怒。權力模糊分散在兩處,從忠誠支持者中選出的軟弱總統處理日常問題,而模糊的革命階級控制著高壓手段。有時伊朗被證明是務實的,如默許美國推翻阿富汗塔利班政權。然而,在最高領袖阿里•哈梅內伊的領導下,意識形態往往勝過理性決策。無論是對峙還是外交都不能有效撼動毛拉。經濟誘餌或經濟制裁似乎都不是良策。

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That said, Mr Obama’s accord, the JCPOA, succeeded in freezing Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of many sanctions. Mr Trump thinks this was a terrible deal that failed to halt the nukes for good or stop Iran from stirring trouble around the region. Renewed sanctions are pushing Iran into a deep economic crisis. But re-imposing them when Iran was abiding by the JCPOA casts America as the rogue. This has deepened the split with European allies, which have created a system to help firms sidestep them. America has bound itself more tightly to autocratic Arab regimes, such as Saudi Arabia, that have themselves fomented instability and radicalism. What “moral clarity” can America claim in denouncing Iran’s human-rights abuses when it turns a blind eye to those committed by its friends?

也就是說,奧巴馬的伊核協議作為解除諸多制裁的條件,成功凍結了伊朗核計劃。特朗普認為這項協議很糟糕,既未能永久停止核武器,也未能阻止伊朗在該地區制造麻煩。新一輪的制裁將伊朗置于嚴重的經濟危機。但強迫伊朗重新遵守“伊核協議”會讓美國扮演流氓角色。而這樣做會加深美國與歐洲盟友的分歧,而歐洲盟友已創建了一個系統來幫助公司避開問題。美國與阿拉伯獨裁政權聯系更加緊密,如沙特阿拉伯,而這些國家本身會煽動不穩定和激進主義。在美國對其盟友所犯罪行熟視無睹時,其在譴責伊朗侵犯人權方面又能有什么“道德清晰度”呢?

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accord [ə'kɔ:d]

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n. 一致,符合
v. 使一致,調解,給予

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confusing [kən'fju:ziŋ]

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adj. 使人困惑的,令人費解的 動詞confuse的現

 
coercion [kəu'ə:ʃən]

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n. 強迫,威壓,高壓政治

 
alternative [ɔ:l'tə:nətiv]

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adj. 兩者擇一的; 供選擇的; 非主流的

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extended [iks'tendid]

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caste [kɑ:st]

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invasion [in'veiʒən]

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split [split]

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rogue [rəuɡ]

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