What's the difference between iar and și? / Can și be used here?
In this situation IAR is an adversative conjunction, it underlines the difference between strong and weak. There are situations were it is used as a copulative conjunction, like the conjunction și, but here it is not.
If that's the case, isn't it also possible that 'but' is a fine translation?
It is fine with adversative conjunction "but".
Multumesc! It seems like IAR may be like "while on the other hand..." in that it's a conjunction that illustrates a disparity of some sort...
Yes, "while on the other hand" is very good.