tv Inside Story 2019 Ep 14 Al Jazeera January 15, 2019 2:32pm-3:02pm +03
stuart morrow enjoyed the statement about. china's foreign ministry is urging canada to immediately release while way executive. the move follows prime minister justin trudeau expressing concern at the death sentence handed to a canadian citizen by a chinese court donald trump is trying to diffuse a growing dispute with turkey over the future of kurdish fighters in northern syria the president has spoken to turkish leader. on the phone and it follows a tweet from trump on sunday night warning he devastate turkey's economy if its forces attacked the kurds the saudi teenager who fled her family and was granted asylum in canada says she hopes to inspire a change in her first t.v. interview conan says she wants to use her freedom to campaign for others those are the headlines next stop inside story.
confronting iran is donald trump's foreign policy obsession he sent his secretary of state to the middle east to drum up support but what action is the united states prepared to take and what will be regional implications but this is inside story. and i welcome to the program i'm nick clegg reassuring allies and talking tough on enemies u.s. sector state might pump a has been touring the middle east to try and win support and put pressure on iran he's pushing for an arab military alliance to counter threats from tehran the aim
would be to curb iran's influence in the region from yemen to syria lebanon and iraq impose visit included eight arab countries jordan iraq egypt bahrain u.a.e. qatar saudi arabia and oman and he had this warning the nations of the middle east will never enjoy security achieve economic stability or advance the dreams of their people of iran's revolutionary regime persists on its current course america's economic sanctions against the regime are the strongest in history and will keep getting tougher until iran starts behaving like a normal country well pump as said the arab coalition would include g.c.c. countries as well as egypt and jordan but he raise concerns that the rift between four of the countries and kata would affect the airlines his effectiveness and he called for an end to the dispute. today in our conversations i stressed the importance of unity among the gulf cooperation council members president trump and
i both believe the ongoing dispute in the region has dragged on too long and the dispute benefits adversaries and harms our mutual interests our nations do important work and we have important work continue to do together and the united states hopes the parties involved will see once again the benefits of cooperation and taking actions necessary to rebuild unity in their ranks and united g.c.c. is essential to the cess of the middle east region alliance which we hope will include the g.c.c. egypt and jordan it was a rich short his hose that the withdrawal of u.s. troops from syria will not jeopardize america's efforts against their own battle continues our presence decision to withdraw our folks from syria in no way impacts our capacity to deliver on that and you'll see in the coming days and weeks we are redoubling not only our diplomatic but our commercial efforts to put real pressure on iran to achieve what it is we set out for them back in may and these are simple asks we ask of the islamic republic of iraq to behave like
a normal nation and the coalition is just as committed to it today as it was yesterday. all right let's bring in our guests now a joining me here on set is maggie down through a professor of political science at kut a university from norman in oklahoma via skype we have joshua landis director of the center for middle east studies at the university of oklahoma gentlemen thank you very much indeed for joining us josh if i could start with you there in oklahoma and let's take a look at a u.s. perspective of this initially my pump has trip mostly about the trump administration's strategy towards iran tell us more about that strategy and then we'll dissect it and see just how realistic it is. well this trip comes on the heels of the trump announcement that is that the united states be calling out of syria and i think pump a wants to reassure allies and that the united states is very much in the middle east it's reinvigorating his talk was america force for
good and reinvigorating its role in the middle east so in one to reassure saudi arabia in particular in the other gulf countries egypt that it's in the middle east that it's in the in reinvigorating its role as it wants to counter iran and in many ways the speech in cairo was a love letter to saudi arabia and to allies both israel saudi arabia other gulf countries that america would work closely with them and hopes to build a military alliance to counter iran and its easier monism aligned power that's the word that's always used this cancerous growth in the middle east that it wants to cut down to size and so also to bring our states into close to strategic ties with israel is that right. yes indeed israel is a very important part of the scene as sectarianism and iran saudi arabia divide has grown worse and worse the sunni states ever really closed ranks with israel in
a common front against iran's growing power in the northern part of the middle east much it here in the studio notwithstanding the gulf crisis which will come to the minute is it even possible to transcend traditional arab israeli differences and come up with this military alliance that's been talked about i believe this is completely unrealistic i mean with all due respect to your guest from the us it's not the case that sunni states are closing rank behind or with as wales very clear that the only powers that are doing so are the blockading countries of the specially of course saudi arabia and the united arab emirates that what they want is basically an approval stem from d.c. to go on with their project in the region and therefore they have offered to go a step further with with israel however other states like kuwait the main that
their positions we know that the jordanians and the palestinians are against but india has the same very closely with its role i mean egypt has always been there working like this there's no i don't think there's a real change in egypt's relationship with israel the ideal change here good saudi arabian and iraqi positions that are now more vocal about being closer to to israel even the war saw some of that was announced where binyamin netanyahu and the arab leaders have been asked to attend it's very clear they doesn't have the formula to . to to get to an ally and tween this country than they need and i mean how can you actually talk about the. middle east with egypt alliance when there are so many you know different positions in the region today for example that announced that it will not be returning to syria with its embassy while they behave any and the iraqis are opening embassy in the. these have yet to announce their position when it comes to iran it's very clear that you had that in positions you have the ability them saudis who are falling within their company at that when it comes to
iran you have the kuwaitis that they need and their money to have it a completely different relationship with with iran it is being clear that pump is facing the same problem that his predecessor faced which is that whenever he comes to the region he has to put in his mind that the situation d.c. keeps changing of the decisions of the white house keep changing while he's trying to mend relations with the u.s. allies in the region and it's very clear what happened with turkey with president trump threatening to key with the economic war if it if in fact the kurds the same time that pump aoe is talking about the things you can license with turkey just this concept of an arab nato how would that be perceived in iran i mean iran would not like that at all i don't think it's a very likely about as your guest said because there is terrible disunity in the arab ranks and this fight between qatar and saudi arabia has really thrown things into chaos for the united states and that's why pump aoe went to doha he
tried to council. to patch up their relations with saudi arabia but as we know general zinni just a special envoy to try to patch up the skull crisis has just resigned it doesn't look good the qataris are giving money to our study ends. and they're close to turkey so. this situation does not look like it's falling in america's way for unity the united states is doing as much as it can to try to bring us together but the enmity is only growing between qatar and saudi arabia the longer this goes on the longer the blockade against doctor goes on and qatar is developing new relationships new trading partners it's developing an understanding with turkey and iran so this is this is going to create some real problems for the united states in trying to develop spoke unity much as you want to
come in the yeah i mean. again i'm sorry to disagree with your guest from the u.s. it's very clear that the saudi and the about the position is not to come to the negotiation table with qatar and that has maintained from day one that it is open for negotiation with the saudis and the iraqis while there this does not come against sovereignty it is very clear to them from payers in a market where they are said to a number of journalists during his visit that after his doctor the behaviors of the iraqis it is very clear that there is no change in position towards got out and there is no change in position towards more unity in the region i think it's very clear who's stalling here and who doesn't want for this crisis to end this is number one number two it's also very clear that the company position when it comes to counterterrorism is closer than the united states and their neighbors basically said yesterday that there are a great strides have been made by the youth and in that at the u.s. relations when it comes to countering terrorism in the region and actually while
your guest is talking about. giving money to the palestinians the u.s. administration just thank god for their support to a part of that as a people which is done actually in coordination with the united states so i think it's very clear that in the region here there is a very clear position by the saudis and the iraqis to stall and to maintain this located as long as possible in order to make some political gains and the u.s. is unable in my opinion to make any to. into that because of the n. decision in d.c. and the problems that are arising within that mysteriousness cell that's making it more difficult for the u.s. diplomacy to function right no doubt about it josh is a blockade has created all sorts of problems in terms of the trunk administration's middle east policy. absolutely you know look at the trump administration is facing a crisis and its its foreign policy apparatus we've seen in the noun of contradictions going on between trump and bolton pump aoe trying to clean up the
mess but even so there are many different strands of pressure groups in washington all of which are fighting each other makes it very confusing to the people in the middle east to try to figure out who's on first in the united states and who's really driving the foreign policy issue and we see that most clearly with turkey most recently because the united states the whole withdrawal from syria started with the president in a conversation on the fourteenth of december with with the air to one and which was very favorable he said we're going to pull out and turkey can go into syria and now he's tweeting that we're going to devastate character key economically if they go into syria so it's very confusing i think for those for his lieutenants peo and bolton and others to try to figure out what message what the message is and as your company guest is saying here. mr han study this is you know this is very.
it's very hard to figure out what's going on the united states and there's no doubt about that ok to try and find resolution in the gulf crisis what leverage can you the united states bring to bear on when saudi arabia and u.a.e. well you know saudi arabia needs the united states alliance and i think the united states is playing. when it's you know it's blowing kisses in saudi arabia it's protected saudi arabia from the shop she affair to a certain degree by the president saying that it's not clear that the king is involved in ness of course pompei of his message was the people who carried out the murder have to be punished which which. plex a certain amount of pain on the crown prince because it's going to see inside the kingdom it's going to be seen as disloyalty and but on the other hand it is trying to get beyond this relationship there is talk about trying to clean up yemen
situation all of these are monsters undertakings unlikely to be resolved anytime soon so the united states has a lot of heavy lifting to do to try to bring unity back to arab ranks because the arab unity is completely fallen apart over the last you know the last seven eight years. majeed tell us about iran's relationship with qatar and how that plays into the into the strategic game play if you like i mean a sense. since maybe the ninety seventy nine there was a clear position by the g.c.c. countries to combat iranian intervention and what was called at the time exporting that evolution there on the end of illusion across the borders of iran and certainly there are different positions in the gulf according to how serious are these threats to various countries you have saudi arabia and bahrain and the hard line positions of course the way to changing positions there in the last couple of
years as you know their biggest trading partner of iran in the region was and still is actually the united arab emirates and specially thought by however the saudi in the behind the positions completely different there was always been to my animosity between the saudis and iranians that one side and the iranians on the other side that i think a position has always been that qatar will not. will not become. a proxy state for the saudi arabia or for any other power and their position towards iran has always been based on two main factors one that but i will not accept iranian intervention and that he can see this very clearly by the tens position towards supporting the legitimate government in yemen but also supporting the rebels fighting iranian forces on the ground in syria and maintaining that position by the way till today while the behaviors and the iraqis have made their position their position towards their saudi and their saudi the syrian regime but that has still maintaining an anti iranian position in syria however the other played out of
the relationship between father and iran is based on economic relations as we know there is the gas fields in the north the north field and the north field is shared between cut and iran meaning that there is a great threat took up by these economic stability if there would be conflict direct conflict in qatar any i don't think the iranians also understand their duality of the relationship here so at the time for example in the beginning of the crisis here and the gulf crisis said very clearly that it does not need support from iran it is content with support from turkey when the iranians offer to replace saudi arabia as a strategic. economic partner but it maintains that it needs there needs to be dialogue with the iranians in the region there on the and i'm going anyway you know just like with the obama administration decided that the only way to deal with iran is to get involved in the international economy and in the international world order in order for it to be. controlled and the region today of course the american position has changed and therefore the saudis and that if the position
where the united states but i maintain that stable relationship with iran that is based on they the clear guidelines musician certainly has changed still something out force clarify something for us if you would why is the administration so so determined to counter iran what threat does it perceive iran has you know. these are the hawks of comeback and bolton and we've got to remember that bolton national security council director is just you know he was advocating only us shortly before he took office for the overthrow of the iranian regime these are people who've been seeking the overthrow of the iranian regime for a long time and the undermining the iranian regime certainly pinning back its here its and. that had gone out of style with obama who is looking to us in a sense offshore balance iran a little bit with saudi arabia in the gulf not pick
a side in this fight and to keep this keep the regime on iran so that wouldn't develop nuclear weapons but to undo the sanctions now we're completely reversed that it's going to be difficult for the united states to develop this strategy this very you know strictly anti iran strategy because. because not everybody shares this in the middle east we seem to turkey which is now has a base in in kuwait and is reaching down into the region has in a sense formed an alliance with iran and caught it and is a new power in the region and that's increasingly putting it at loggerheads with the united states so the u.s. is going to lead a lot of heavy were lifting in some ways it's good for the u.s. because its friends and involved saudi arabia are getting closer to israel and and this is you know this is developed a very pro israel lobby and groups in washington of course have been pushing
the more right wing groups have been pushing this policy for a long time in their big donors to the president in south and i think as he gears up. his campaign this is going to become an important part of it because because. the republican party more and more attached to this line. budget is popular he points to iran's involvement in yemen in syria in the great deal of influence in iraq and in lebanon . what is the thinking behind iran's approach there while they served in these nations why does that present a problem for the united states well obviously the exact vacuum in the arab world now with the increased number of failed states and failing states with their disappearance of the arab central states you know egypt syria iraq all the stronger arab states have either disappeared from the map altogether or at least become
significantly weaker than they were and their abilities to inflict influence across the arab world have greatly decreased and therefore this is leaving only saudi arabia to work as a regional hederman within the arab world itself and the vacuum that's created there simply will be filled by whoever has enough ambition we have seen iran with its revolutionary ambitions you know coming through the middle east and wreaking havoc where now we've seen turkey that understanding the effects of this iranian influence and the effect of the american withdrawal in the region and is trying to present itself as another regional power that can inflict instability in the region through its partnerships with can't it's a kuwait and somalia and other countries and of course we're seeing there the access that c.m.r.r. to saudi access trying also to influence like that kind of a verse all this together will certainly prevent a dilemma for the american the americans the current administration wants to have its cake and eat it too they want to have great influence in the region they want
to be the global power but they don't want to pay for it they don't want to send troops and they don't want to even you know use their political power and their soft power in a way that will make sure that they're all their ducks. in a row what we are seeing now is that america's losing influence in the agent and other powers are gay. meaning influence we've seen the iranians in cohesion with the russians and in talks with the turks which means that the whole dynamic in the region is changing not for them not for american interests but for other power than the us we've seen even the chinese coming in and having influence in the region i believe that if the united states doesn't collect itself in the region and that if united states foreign policy is does not become coherent about the region all the secretary about being influential in the arab world in the middle east will change very rapidly we've seen how companies question talks about iran but to be honest there is no coherent plan there's no coherent policy towards iran there's no
coherent policy towards tokyo to a syria or any other place in the middle east or around the world for that matter and this leaves american allies in a position worse even than their enemies than american enemies of the enemies of america because it's very clear that nobody now can depend on the united states as an ally with a to b. in the middle east outside george the this is talk of american influence in the region surely not helped by this pullout of american troops from syria. you know i don't think there's a serious issue here is going to be a major problem for the united states are two thousand troops there trying to set up an independent quasi independent kurdish state in the north of syria was going to be you know a fool's errand it wasn't going to work all the neighbors were against it they were just going to stick shift in a side of america and stay there. you know finding a new order in the middle east is going to be difficult for the united states because as you're you know your guest said that there are other powers that are
very wealthy in the world now and you know russia has come back china is an emerging major power and all of that is taking on america as america becomes an independent oil company you know big the biggest exporter of oil or the biggest producer of oil i should say again many americans are wondering what are we spending why are you spending five trillion dollars and this is this is what's catching i think president trump in its head wins because he campaigned on the idea that the united states had to get out of these stupid wars that we shouldn't be spending five trillion dollars and we shouldn't i mean american people are horrified and this is going to put increasing pressure on every president it doesn't matter who right left to wind down these wars and there are other regional powers that have a lot of money now that are major economic forces that want to roll and and that states have had collapsed i mean this started with the invasion of iraq of course
and iran took you know took advantage of this because iran was able to assert itself in the northern middle east and it really has in many ways sewn up a new security architecture with its you with hizbollah the outside of government coming back and of course the rise of the shiites in iraq and this has helped iran become a major regional power and it needs yes. security structure if you will in order to counter a possible is really bombing attack against the military. or you're just you're jumping there's a much you want to come in yet just on the syrian issue it's very important to understand what the americans were doing in syria i think one two things should be put in our mind when we say that there will not be much of an effect of american withdrawal from syria first of all it's about a third of syria that's controlled by either the united states army or militias
that are supported by the united states and that is very important because it's the major is called the island and syria which is between the if it is and. the second the better for syria which means that area is well first of all all the natural resources are there their bread basket of syria is there and then i think have been working out so as a buffer between two key and russia the only reason why turkey and russia were able actually to establish a good relationship in syria and to stablish understanding in syria was because there was no direct conflict between the turks and the syrians we had lip. and we had. the kids in the east of the affinities now with the americans pulling out this means that there is a direct conflict between the russians and the turks they're ok come to measure we've run out of time to appreciate your perspective and that of just as well thanks very much indeed gents saree and joshua landis and thank you to you for
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. a lot of hasn't in doha the top stories on al-jazeera the international criminal court has acquitted the former president of ivory coast of war crimes charges the i.c.c. ruled the prosecution did not prove its case against a long while both who's been in jail for seven years three thousand people were killed in post-election violence in two thousand and ten when bug ball refused to leave office the court says he'll be released on wednesday morning to allow time for the prosecution to respond. the chamber by majority here by decides that the prosecutor has failed to set this faith the burden of
proof to the requisite standard as for seen in article sixty six of the rome statute grants the defense motions for acquittal from all charges against mr long and mr childs. orders the even adriel ease of both accused when it has more on this now from abidjan in ivory coast people are streaming out to their workplace our own to the street just a moment ago the crowd behind me were chanting bag three bags of three victories for a hit the border especially in this neighborhood of. a popular suburb of abidjan. at the international criminal court in an uproar. liquidate have libraries right hand man harking. back bow or really any other thing.