tv Ali Velshi on Target Al Jazeera November 6, 2015 1:00am-1:31am EST
head. >> reporter: seeking peace, admitting some days are hard, but determined to be a survivor, unlike too many of his brother and sisters in blue. >> i'm ali velshi "on target" - backlash over america's nuclear deal with iran. this time not in washington but in tehran. a history of hostility makes it hard for america and tehran to
trust each other. it's been four months since iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme after years of negotiation with five world powers, including the united states. the reset in relations between iran and the west, that president obama and others hoped for doesn't appear to be materializing. in fact, judging from the commemoration in tehran of the 197 embassy, the hostility to the united states is alive and strong. iranians are chanting death to america at political rallies, iran's supreme leader insists they are doing so to protest u.s. foreign policy and not bring deaths to americans. the anti-american sentiments swept up americans inside iran. an iranian american businessman lobbied for relations between the west. he was arrested by authorities in object. they have not been
leased. in september, a lebanese information technology specialist was arrested. he had permanent residence status in the united states. reports claim that zacha has ties to u.s. military intelligence. there's jason rezaian, the washington correspondent in tehran arrested on espionage charges, and received his verdict, which is secret, while he languishes in the notorious prison. now journalists inside iran have been calling for political reformer targeted for arrest. in the last week, at least five prominent journalists have been custody by the iranian revolutionary guard, a powerful agency. the republican guard is more powerful than the police. it owes its allegiance to the leader ayatollah khamenei. these arrests appear to be the opening shots in a struggle between government hardliners
and the moderate administration of hassan rouhani. the hardliners goal is to erode hassan rouhani's popularity coming out of the nuclear deal and cement their dominance in parliamentary elections in february. the best way to do that is drum up iran's historic relationship with the united states. the republican guard worned about new sedition led by the u.s. government to infiltrate iran beyond the deal. as we found out on our trip to iran, there's decades of mistrust towards iran in america. there's a history of hostility between iran and the united states, spabing decades -- spanning decades, back to 1999. shouting. >> islamic students stormed the
u.s. embassy in tehran and took 52 americans hostage. their captivity lasted 444 days. but for iranians host ilties with the u.s. started a quarter of a century earlier. that's when the prime minister led an elected government at a time when iran was experimenting with democracy. yet at the height of the cold car the u.s. opposed mazadek because of plans to nationalize the oil industry. it was dominated by british interests. u.s. leaders accused mazadic of being a communist. >> his crime is that he was saying the money we get from the oil is not enough. we need more. >> at the time iran was getting 16% of what the british said they were making in profits off oil sails. saudi arabia and venezuela were both getting 50%. >> in 1953 the c.i.a.
orchestrated the removal of the democratically elected but nationalist prime minister, putting the shah in control. hatred for the shah and the north americans who supported him grew deep in some quarters. the c.i.a. occupied the second floor of this. the former embassy, a building that the iranians referred to as a den of spies. by 1979 iran was in the throes of an islamic revolution. pop up lar protests led by the senior muslim clerics opposed the shah. up until that point america had never faced a political force that used islam for motivation. things came to a head when a group of protesters breached the walls of an american embassy in tehran, justifying the result on fears that the u.s. may support
a coup and bring the shah back to power. diplomatic relations were severed, hostility grew worse. in the 1980s. iran accused the u.s. of backing saddam hussein during the iran-iraq war. in 1988 the u.s.s. vincennes shot an iran passenger jet off the coast, killing 290 people. >> the u.s. never formally apologised for the attack. most iranians we talked to say they like americans, not american foreign policy. >> i like america, i like american muscle cars, i don't hate america. my friends too. >> 77 years has passed ut. it's 40 years or younger. they have no memory of the shah's beijing.
or a memory of the americans doing bad things. now we have the nuclear negotiations. this is an west. >> reporter: now that a deal on the nuclear programme is in place, some hope it signals a direction in the history of hostility, it will not happen overnight. >> for more, i'm joined by the executive director of the international campaign for human rights, a group based in new york. he said the recent arrests in iran aims to eroat hassan rouhani's popularity coming out of the nuclear deal and cement dominance in parliamentary elections in february. good to see you, thank you for being with us. do iranian authorities not get they are playing with fire, the campaigns could turn world opinions against them. it was nod easy to convince
go. >> absolutely, it's a lot about the domestic political scene, for two years people have been waiting for hassan rouhani to sign the deal and turn the attention to domestic efforts. at the same time the supreme leader and the revolutionary guard don't want to see changes. they are going on the offensive trying to keep the scott us quo as it has been. >> when i was in iran, i was there a few months ago. we spoke to people. there was a desire to get rid of the sanctions and not have the enmity with the west in particular with the united states. is there a risk on the hardliner's part that people do not necessarily support them. they are going for parliamentary elections and hope people will support the view. >> they are well aware that the population is tired of that. that is it doesn't have much substance in it after four
decades to them. people are not going to have the freedom to choose or vote for canada. tensions. >> iran has democracy, but the approved. >> profile. candidates have to be approved. and if we repeat what happened, we could end up with a candidate from one faction and the people having no choice in making a decision who to send there. >> what is the state of relations since the deal is it worsening or improving? >> it's worsening. there's little to report as improved. the only improvement we have seen in terms of freedom of access to communication is the fact that hassan rouhani allowed mobile devices to go online.
up to a year ago people had to go home to get online. >> they used proxies. but, on important issues like execution, we are about to see iran break a record of two decades, and reach 1,000 executions. world. >> here is the thing, do you think back to mccarthyism. you look at apartheid in south africa, they call everyone a communist and enemy of the state. iran has a thing about spies, they have a history where iran was spying, and the u.s. embassy was the headquarters of the c.i.a. in iran. they have a point. they are a little free and loose with the idea that journalists were spies, and every time you have a meeting with an american you're a spy and are thrown t
jam. -- gaol. >> i am sure everyone has their spies. the sad thing is we never see spies prosecuted or brought on tv. why is it. it's journalists that pay the price for that. their integrator, head of the interaction team came on tv and said their crime is that they were trying to infiltrate and change the lifestyle of people. down. >> when we went to iran, we were there with a handler. i don't know what is true and not. we had to move with the permission of people. the fact is that the questions journalist ask, and the people journalists meet with would fall into the hands of a government that wanted to accuse you of being a spy. if you go through my contacts on the phone they are similar to spies, we talk to people and is.
>> the story is getting classified. we have not seen any of the people having done anything, as i said, the latest accusation is that they are trying to change country. >> how does the iranian government continue to do the deal, not having charges in public. in the case of jason riesian, there's a verdict. but no one knows what it is. >> it means the judiciary in iran is broken, it's a functional institution. this will not bode well for investment and returning businesses to iran. i think iranian judicial system have to under go major reforms before anyone is comfortable to do business. >> what do the hardliners gain by having this happen. if they don't open trade from the west or get the money freed up, but they win the parliamentary elections and get
get? >> the money has to be freed up. no one changes it. centrifuges. >> the deal was not about changing the government behaviour. not about not arresting journalists. what is the end game in terms of people being arrested. trade? >> i'm not sure about the dual citizens, a lot is keeping hassan rouhani away from economic gains, and make sure that the guards maintain the grip on the economy. if there are going to be any deals with the rest of the countries, it's the revolutionary guards. but the few iranian americans like jason are victims in the game. and they'll be - they'll see what they can do. >> if you thought he was a spy, throw him out. why does he shit and languish. >> the director of international
campaign for human rights. you can't ignore iran if you try to find a solution. i'm going to talk to a special agent about what the nuclear deal means and doesn't for goals in syria. >> tough that the country gave up on me. >> look at the trauma... every day is torture. >> this is our home. >> nobody should have to live like this. >> we made a promise to these heroes... this is one promise americans need to keep.
iran cannot be left out of a credible approach to cleaning up the mess in syria, which is why they were at the peace talks last week. any notion that the nuclear deal would push iran closer to american goals in syria is wrong-headed. that's a view of former fbi agent. the chief of a group, a firm advising on security gifts, he was an fbi counterterrorism agent. he took investigations into al qaeda and other groups. it is helping to uncover mohammed as the mastermind behind the september 11th attacks and wrote a must read book called "the ban banners", iran is
trying to balance nuclear commitments. this is a big part of iran's argument about reengaging in the world. they have a lot of interests in the world. they are supporters of syria, opponents of i.s.i.l. and have been effective opponents of them, and want to be in the game. the world is recognising that they need to be in the game. >> the 2003 war in iraq was significantly. this is where the country was delivered on a silver platter. they have hezbollah in lebanon that has control of the country, bashar al-assad in syria, and significant relations with houthis in yemen. when it comes to the regional plans for the region, definitely they don't go hand in hand with the way we see the region and
our allies see the regions. they have a nuclear deal on the table. it broke the debut, so now you are inviting them to the conversation and we know we can never do a deal in syria. geneva was tried, one and two. you can do it. iran is influential in syria. within the regime. of bashar al-assad and through hezbollah and the shia militia that are fighting against the the rubble. russia is in syria, iran is in syria, neither of them share u.s. goals in syria. the u.s. stated goal is regime change, getting the bashar al-assad regime out. it may be ill-informed. what are you negotiating with when you have people at the table that do not want the end goal that you can't in syria.
>> everyone on the table has a different goal. even allies. every regional country has a group they support. syria became not only a regional war, it is an international proxy war. boifl now there's an agreement that no one can win militarily, and there's an agreement that we'll have a political solution. you cannot start it by saying a political solution, but bashar al-assad must go. now people are discussing about will there be a transition period. how long is it. will there be election, constitutional changes preventing bashar al-assad from running again. positions. >> here you are looking to iran at the table, like russia, to say we know you support the bashar al-assad regime.
you can influence them to try to make a decision. >> people on the tables are frenemies. and saudi arabia on the table. they don't get a long at all. the united states is coming like - the united states and russia are in the middle. >> i think the situation is different. iran is positioned, but no one can tell the syrian what to do. there's a war in terrorism. we need to support bashar al-assad, it's up to the syrian people to decide who will lead them. it's close to russia's position. they're not crazy about bashar al-assad, with or without. they'll function as long as the regional interest is affected. they need to balance between the interests of the allies. the gulf state don't want a
future of bashar al-assad, or syria with bashar al-assad a part of it. we don't want bashar al-assad to be part of the future. we have reality on the ground, and the reality, we have a syrian state. so all the people sitting around the table tried to figure out will there be a political solution, what powers bashar al-assad will have if we have a tansition period in syria, and it seems they are not seeing eye to eye. >> stay with me as someone that worked with high profile terror cases, i want your opinion on whether
9:30 eastern. british prime minister david cameron said a bomb probably brought down a russian airliner over the sinai peninsula in egypt. the crash of the metro jet flight killed 224 people. egypt and russia dismissed cameron's statement. i.s.i.l. claimed responsibility for the incident. we want to bring back a special agent. the c.e.o. of the group. regardless of who is the culprit. it poses a problem. for those directly or indirectly involved in the problem. >> you know how these things go. all the of that airlines,
similar har aeroplanes have been grounded. someone is saying something exploded in the cabins, others thought it might be shot down, this is stuff that happened when there's an accident. you guys get called in. happened. >> we have to follow the evidence. the lockerbie bombing, it's about aght or nine days if i recall correctly. that explosive residue was found, and investigators knew it was a bombing, and it took forever to determine it was nt a missile or a bomb. >> it looked like a missile. you saw that. >> exactly, it took a long time to determine that. it takes time for the forensic people to look at the wreckage, do forensic testing, do investigation of the luggage, passenger, do swipes at the airport. these things take time. sometimes you can get lucky.
by next week we'll be able to get an idea. >> seems pointless for people to come out making statements, it was this, it was a bomb. it was that. >> in this day and age we have to be careful not to play into what the terrorists want. i.s.i.l.'s affiliates in sinai. they shot it down. as we know, the missile that they showed does not reach 31,000 feet. that claim was comical claim, if you can say. it's not true. now with the intelligence leaks about a possibility of shatter that indicates it was a bomb, we have to be careful not to play into i.s.i.s. or what terrorists want us to do. if i.s.i.l. did it or if it's a bomb. it does not matter. people that listen to i.s.i.s., they believe they took revenge
for what happened in syria, they did that. later on, if we have an investigation coming up and saying, you know, as part of the inquiry, we believe it's - it wasn't a bomb. the people are not going to believe it. >> you put out a note saying that this is the largest mass casually attack. how does it affect discussions syria? >> in so many ways university of pittsburgh medical center claimed to shut down a plane. they claim they put a bomb on a plane. they hit a civilian airliner. now it will be difficult for anyone supporting the rebels to mfistrategic weapons to any rebel group. there was a fear who will it. >> there are 100 different groups. there was more.
operating in syria. we had a group we trust, that could give them weapons. we don't know if the weapons would end up in the hands of i.s.i.s. unless they took away weapons, that they were supporting. unfortunately, that will come back to hurt the efforts of the syrian rebels and the free syrian army, great to talk to you. a former fbi agent interior gator and c.i.a. and author of "the black banner", that is our show, i'm ali velshi, thank you for joining us, the news continues on >> we're here to fully get into the nuances of everything that's going on, not just in this country, but around the world. getting the news from
the people who are affected. >> people need to demand reform... >> ali velshi on target. >> one solid assumption that you could makeover time was that americans werelistic longer and longer. improvements in healthcare, in infant mortality, in science, and the viper. it was thought, pushing the numbers, and why people were the primary beneficiaries. new research from a nobel prize-winning economist turned up numbers glowing them out of his seat. white, middle-aged americans, have seen their death rates surge from a variety of causes since 1999. what does this tell us about today? the miles per hour way of