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tv   News  Al Jazeera  July 29, 2015 1:00pm-1:31pm EDT

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muniz let me read the testimony verbatim. >> please. >> senator are you familiar with the 2008 report. no i am not. do you know what an emp is -- >> that was about the report. if you read further in the testimony you have will see my explicit statement. of course i know about the issue. i happen to know something about nuclear weapons and various -- >> do you agree that an emp -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> -- hin obviously is a very potent weapon. it would kill tens of millions of americans -- >> that would depend -- >> but it could -- >> i said it is highly variable.
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>> do you have any doubt whatsoever if excess of $100 billion goes to iran some of that money will go to jihadists to murder americans. >> i can't say that. i can say that they are malign activities by which we're extremely concerned are quite well funded today. >> because i just have a second left. >> and the rest of their conduct makes it important that they not have a nuclear weapon. >> because i just have a second left. secretary kerry you told senator lee this was not a treaty because we don't have diplomatic relations with iran. i would note that is contrary to the testimony you gave yesterday to the house. >> no. >> when you were asked--when you were asked why is this not considered a treaty, and i would read your answer-- >> i know what i said. >> sir let me ask the question. >> read may whole answer.
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because it just said what i said. >> senator i apologize the senator's time has expired and i promise the witnesses that i would get them out as every member that wanted to is available to ask questions. i would appreciate--i want to tell the witnesses i appreciate your patience. i know it's been a very long morning for them. i also know that they appreciate the gravity of this issue and the importance of every committee member to at least ask questions and be informed by your testimony. senator-- >> mr. chairman could we keep the record open in crazy there are senators who have written questions. >> i'm sure the senator will have a written question for you as well will senator nelson. i want to thank the witnesses and this testimony has been very important not only to members of
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the committee but the entire senate. i thank the witnesses. we're adjourned. >> and there you have it, the end of a contentious end of a long senate arms committee hearing on the iran nuclear deal ending with senator lindsey graham of south carolina senator cruz of texas both republican presidential candidates and both coming out swinging at the very end there to end this testimony this morning. i want to turn to my guests now pardon me, talk to me a little bit about how that kind of tone you ho that might be interpreted in iran. >> um, well, there has been this new chapter that has opened up in how the u.s. administration
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has been dealing with iran, addressing iranian officials and the iranian in general that i would say is more respectful from the obama administration as opposed to the previous uniform. >> it looks like they're happy with how this stone has turned into something more respectful. on the republican side i would say it still continues to be a more disrespectful or aggressive tone or language or discourse. this is certainly what is also in the mind of the iranian hard liners on the other side of the spectrum in iran. i see sort of a mirror mirroring of the two opponents of these negotiations and deals this new
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chapter that is open between the u.s. and iran that the two sides are opposing. >> right right we heard senator graham begin his questions with who would win a war between iraq and iran. senator ted cruz talking about the threat of electro magnetic pulse of iran launching missiles from the seaboard. we heard john mccain saying this deal will scale back the strides made to limit iran's control on the region. >> what is more troubling in the implications of this agreement. iran is not just an arms control challenge, it is a geopolitical challenge. for years many of us have urged the administration to adapt a broader strategy to counter iran's maligned activities in the middle east. unfortunately that that has not happen: instead we've watched with arm as iran's military and intelligence operatives have
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stepped up their military activities and increased their influence and control. >> we've heard a lot about that, iran's maligned actives some of the funding some of iran's money that has been held up because of the sanctions has been restored and will resume some of these maligned actives in the region. libby casey has been at capitol hill all morning. what is your take on the last chapter that we heard? i thought very testy in the end. >> absolutely. and they're picking up on something that was said in the beginning concerns whether or not iran can sponsor terrorist activities. these malign activities it's a curious turn of phrase but they're talking about funding of hezbollah and other groups that the u.s. deem to be a threat. what the administration officials are saying, john kerry in particular s that a nuclear iran is even more dangerous. the deal that is on the table right now would prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
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the administration believes it's the best shot at that, and it stalls the breakout time. right now the break out time is said to be only two months. with this deal in place they believe it will extend to a year. so the white house team saying dangerous as iran is perceived to be will be even more so if it obtains nuclear weapons paul. we did hear very heated exchange between a couple of senators, and secretary kerry in particular, but they did not just confine their intense line of question to go him. even starting with tom cotton, who may not running for president, but he's trying to get a high profile in the senate despite being just a freshman. he brought up concerns about suleimany who is said to be the shadow command center iran. there are sanctions against him personally. and he talked about whether or not the administration should essentially be apologizing to the families of soldiers who
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have been killed in attacks and what the administration officials are saying. there are still personal sanction on him brought up by senator cruz in that combative questioning right there at the end. now secretary kerry really bristled at this. he himself is a veteran. he--as he said incredibly grateful for the sacrifices americans have made, and he was very careful there with senator cruz who was trying to pin him in a corner whether or not he was apologizing to the families of the people who have been killed because of suleimani. and now he's trying it differentate the lifting of sanctions and the lifting of sanctions against terrorists. >> it sounded like he was trying to paint the secretary in to a
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corner. let's take a look an at the exchanges. >> mr. secretary, are we going to be aware of those protocols because we know with any agreement with the country such as iran the devil is in the details. >> all i can say is first of all i personally have not seen those documents. >> which is astounding to be honest with you. that's absolutely astounding. that you have not seen the documents that are about the requirement for verification. >> all i can say is that the agreement requires the cooperation with the iaea, and this is the standard practice of the iaea whose independence is very critical to all of us. >> and again you hear senator john mccain questioning secretaryquestion energy secretary moniz. they're talking about the side deals between iaea and the u.s. has only been briefed on. talk about that if you can some
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of these details that maybe republicans are trying to capitalize on there. >> absolutely. they say this is a major concern. this negotiated deal that they have access to it, that they're able to read. it's more complicated because it does include negotiations between iaea and iran. now administration officials say that it's typical to not see all of that out in public. that it is confident information and it's not realistic that members of congress be able to read it. but they're push on it. they're saying that it's not just a side deal but a secret deal. something that white house officials john kerry is saying is a complete mischaracterization. this is tough because they can't show it to the senators. they can talk about it in classified briefings but we heard a pained exchange there as
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they were going down the line and asking every member of the president's team present whether or not they have been able to see or read the documents and the answer was no. but republicans are going to be looking for areas that they have true concerns about but also areas that they see they can make political hay out of, paul. some of these members we expected to have an intense exchange with the administration officials. senator graham, hawkish big critic of this deal. senator cruz same thing. we were not surprised that he was pushing the administration arrested hard on this. the people though watch are the democrats to see how they feel like the administration has done. are they convinced. are they reassured by secretary kerry's line and senator moniz's line that they've had influence in the iaea process. they've not been entirely cut out of it. secretary moniz was able to give some recommendations but once
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again they were not able to divulge everything about t and they haven't seen some of the details themselves. >> i want to turn to our guest for just a moment. tell me a little bit about--again we talked a lot about phone of this exchange, and how the tone here on capitol hill is being mirrored in iran. what are you hearing from iranian-americans about this deal? >> um, iranian-americans over the board i would say are happy because iranian people inside iran are happy about this deal. we saw they celebrated the sanctions, especially the economic and financial sanctions that have been crippling the average iranians, and a lot of iranians who have contact with their family and friends in iran have been indirectly or directly hit by these sanctions. i would say that the average iranian-american or iranians outside of iran are happy for their friends and family inside iran.
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there is definitely concern of how the iranian government or the iranian in general power structure is going to take this money, this lifting of sanctions sanctions, and deal with it. and i see that concern. i would say maybe more in the older generation of iranian americans who have seen the revolution, who have seen the hostage crisis. who have seen three decades of animosity. but i see a lot more hope in the younger generation, second second-generation iran americans who just have--i feel like they mirror the hope of the younger generation in iran, who have a lot of hope for a better future for this new chapter to be opening to them. >> right and you mentioned the concern about how this money will be used. the nuclear program military or civilian or otherwise has been expensive for iran.
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>> exactly. >> how much influence does public opinion in iran, if people are really hoping to see an investment in the iranian economy, and improvement in their daily lives, how much does that work its way up the chain in the iranian political system? >> that's a great point. so the iranian public did not have much influence public opinion. the majority of the people on this nuclear program had been going especially in the past decade. but the presidential election is what a lot of people refer to also as a nuclear referendum in in 2013 because the previous negotiator the was a candidate in the election, and he got the least of the votes which was in a way the iranians only way to signal to the government or the power structure that they don't want this to continue. and president rouhani who got the majority of the votes was promising to resolve this
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nuclear issue and reingauge with the world and u.s. the iranian people definitely in the nuclear referendum voted against the status quo of the direction iran was going in the past few years before the new team came in. that's one of the main reasons actually that the iranian government took this shift and you know, took a completely different direction after the election. >> so they felt the pressure, and they're responding to some extent. >> both the society and also the government. >> stand by. we're going to take a quick break. when we come back we'll get more on the breaking news. the death of the taliban leader, more on that after a quick break. wrap wrap
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>> recapping our breaking news. afghan intelligence donor confirming the death of the long-time head of the afghan
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taliban died in 2013 in pakistan. he was head of the taliban in pakistan in the 1990s but left after the invasion of 2011. the state department is still looking into these reports. the white house has said the same. the afghan taliban is denying that it's leader has died. just a few days ago put out statements in his name. so a lot of conflicting details here. mike viqueira is in washington. mike what are you hearing down there? >> well, we're waiting to hear from the white house and that should be at any moment now. the state department, you reported the white house. we've been if contact with them have yet to comment on these reports. you put your finger on it, paul. let's wait and see what the u.s. government has to say, what the taliban itself has to say and as you report, they themselves are denying that according to the afghan intelligence
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services, these rumors have been floating around for weeks if not months is actually dead. the report holding that he died in a hospital not in afghanistan but in pakistan at the outset of the u.s.-led invasion of afghanistan in the wake of 2011. the leader of the taliban game radicalized in the days of the soviet occupation of afghanistan, footing with the mujahideen sweeping into power and triumphant in 1996 as leader of the taliban hauling until talltaliban ruling since since 2011. last seen in 2001 riding a bicycle but reportedly in areas of pakistan in so-called tribal areas. the taliban held responsible for harboring al-qaeda and sow
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samosama bin laden. the u.s. administration holding them responsible. i think if this is true you're going to hear the obama administration trumpet this news. if he is dead who carried out the attack that killed omar. we're waiting for more information not only from the u.s. government but all parties involved. >> and mike, of course, our relationships with the afghan government and the pakistani government are very important very critical to our interest in the region. what does it say if this is true that omar has been dead for maybe two years or more, and either they didn't share it with us or we didn't find out. what does this say about our relationship with them? >> well, i think it says as much about the u.s.-pakistan relationship as it does the u.s.-afghanistan relationship. as we said, omar reported to be
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living in pakistan. no one needs to be reminded that the tensions have been high for years because the reported closeness between pakistan, it's intelligence services and the taliban not only within afghanistan, but within pakistan itself. obviously that dynamic has changed somewhat over the course of the last month and year as pakistan has embarked on a new military offensive to drive out radical elements from the could said tribal territories that border afghanistan and pakistan, and possibly resulting now in the death of the taliban leader, mulla omar. >> disappeared from the public eye for a very long time. nicole johnston has more on mulla omar's life and his impact
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on the region. >> the americans had placed a multi million dollars bounty on his hid. mullah omar the spiritual leader and leader of the taliban. a reclusive private man most of his life. this is one of the few photos of him. he began as a mujahideen fighter battling against the soviets during the 1980s. his confidant described to al jazeera how mullah omar became the self proclaimed leader of the tap ban. >> the taliban chose him because he had. >> he ishe'sas the taliban grew and took over afghanistan in 1996. under his command taliban
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established security and order in a country ravaged by chaos and violence. but stability came at a cost. the taliban's strict interpretation of islam meant harsh punishment meted out on the population as omar worked towards his version of the sharia-based society. his work with al-qaeda leader who became the driving force. it was a close and beneficial relationship. bin-laden swore allegiance to omar. their bond game familiaral when their children married. but it was the attacks in the u.s. in 2001 for which al-qaeda claimed responsibility that shifted the american attention firmly on afghanistan and it's leader mullah omar. his alliance with bin-laden
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grew in prominence when the twin towers came down. the u.s. wanted afghanistan to dispel bin-laden but omar would refuse. it was a refusal that would cost the people dearly. there was a full-scale war with the aim to destroy al-qaeda and the it will ban regime that it harbored. they failed to capture mullah omar. but he did not give up his political fight. hethe war wreaked havoc across afghanistan. the taliban made the karzai government's task of governing virtually impossible in large parts of the country. they did extend a hand to omar in november 2008 urging him to
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lay down his weapons in exchange for his safety. but mullah omar refused to cooperate. >> if i hear from him that he is willing to come to afghanistan or to negotiate for peace i as the president of a will go to any length to provide him protection. >> instead he's believed to have lived in hiding in the mountainous region of the afghanistan-pakistan border for much of the time until his death. nicole johnston, al jazeera. >> our mike viqueira is in washington. mike mulla omar has been out of the public eye for so long, how much does confirmation of his death really matter? >> first of all let's be a little cautious. a jaundiced eye as we look at reports from the afghan services. mullah omar has been signing off messages on the internet as
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little as five days ago. also we have not had confirmation from the united states government. we haven't had confirmation from the taliban itself. and we're still waiting to hear from the white house. but in terms of how it matters you have to look at the larger picture here. i think as a political matter the obama administration domestically will trumpet this news as a success. but some of the details are a little bit sketchy and again you have to approach this with caution. to review the reports say that he was killed in pakistan two years ago dieing in a hospital in karachi. as you rightly pointed out paul, we have to figure out what is going on here and, in fact, why did it take so long. the afghan government is involved in direct negotiations to happen in pakistan to take place in pakistan with the taliban. those negotiations are set to restart in just a few days now. and so the question is if the taliban is, in fact leaderless,
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how will that effect the negotiations? is there an internal power struggle going on? has it been resolved since the reported death of mullah omar. a lot of questions after the reports from the afghan intelligence services before we can draw any judgments about the impact of this reported death and whether or not it's going to have any impact on the u.s. timetable for withdraw. that's unlikely, but on the region as a whole. paul? >> mike viqueira in washington. thank you. we'll be following that and the other big story of the day the iran senate hearings. coming up next, we'll have more on both stories. i'm paul beben. thankthank you for watching al jazeera america.
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>> i lived that character. >> go one on one with america's movers and shakers. >> we will be able to see change. >> gripping... inspiring... entertaining. >> afghanistan says the leader of the tap ban has died. but the group is denying the report. defending the deal. top administration officials go before a senate committee today arguing the nuclear agreement with iran is the best way to protect the united states. two accused poachers go before a court in zimbabwe accused in the death of the lyon lyon. the dentist insisting he had n