tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg July 20, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
♪ >> mohammed javad sharif is here. he was iran's chief negotiator in the nuclear deal reached in 2015. on monday, president trump certified that ron was in compliance with the agreement but on tuesday the united states announced new sanctions saying that the united states will continue to aggressively target iran including their ongoing support of terrorism, and human rights abuses. at thishis 12th time
table. i am pleased to have him back on the program. welcome. thank you. -- could you characterize for me today the relationship between iran and the united states? deal, andeir nuclear the president says that you are in accordance with it but not the spirit of it. you suggest that in some ways the united states is violating some of the tenets of the deal. but where does the relationship stand overall? this administration has been pursuing a hostile policy. i think it is a misguided policy, i think the allegations against iran are tired and don't stand any tests of reality. it think it would be best for the united states -- it should look at its achievements in our
region. and see what it has achieved. it has made all the wrong choices to read its allies are accusing each other of supporting terrorism. i believe the united states needs to take a fresh look at this is -- situation in our region and see where its interests are. is dealing with important issues of stability and security in our region. know, in the conference in riyadh, saudi arabia, and some of the arab state allies, asked the united states to join them in isolating iran. so, they believe you are engaged in these activities that the united states suggests you are. >> i just wanted to ask you, who are behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks? individuals? or was this
an attack by saudi arabia? whence we certainly know that 15 of the attackers came from there. >> the wahhabi -- 2001 tillcheck from now, or even from 1998, till now, almost 44% if not more of terrorism throughout the world has been instigated or perpetrated by people belonging to that school of thought, the official ideology of saudi arabia and promoted by billions of billions of petrodollars across the globe, spreading extremism everywhere. we believe that we need to have good relationships with our neighbors and we want to. but they need to decide their policy. unfortunately for the united states, the yardstick is not which country -- whether a country supports terrorism or
not, but whether they are buying beautiful -- that beautiful military equipment from the united states. >> do you think this is a test for the united dates? i believe that the president did not go to saudi arabia until he made sure that those deals were made under the table. it is good that they create jobs but that should not be -- >> one thing i hope to have with you and i think is important for the american people, is what exactly is a terrorist and who is a terrorist? for example, al qaeda is a terrorist organization, would you agree? >> yes. >> hezbollah is a terrorist organization, would you agree? >> no. >> but they are on the terrorist list. >> yes, the united states list. nations,e the united
as an excitable -- acceptable mechanism or machinery to define who is a terrorist and who is not. at least accept a mold to lateral -- a multilateral thing. we cannot expect the united states to be the judge, and that rip cantioner to provide various yardsticks. one would be's to see -- one would be to see who is on the terrorist list in the security council. the united states, a permanent member of the security council -- we are not a member of the security council. andtaliban, al qaeda, isis, al-nusra as a terrorist organization, as well as iran. but unfortunately, u.s. allies, saudi arabia and uae, two of the
three states that recognize the taliban, only three states recognized the taliban for the united states or her through them in 2011. saudi arabia and uae were two of the three states. saudi arabia -- i don't want to engage in saudi bashing. i am talking about the united states accusing iran of supporting terrorism went its own allies have been on the record but now they are exposing each other about who was first in recognizing isis as a terrorist organization. >> let me clear up one thing. a question on the minds of many americans like think. do you believe that saudi arabia supports al qaeda? hasorts al-nusra, which it -- which has new names now? do you believe they support isis? a lot of saudiat
money went to support these organizations. are children of saudi intelligence services. was aw that al qaeda child of saudi intelligence services during the fight with the soviets. which wasn government sponsoring al qaeda, was only recognized by three dates -- two of them were saudi arabia and the united arab emirates. >> what about pakistan? >> that is a neighbor. as a neighbor they have a problem. but for saudi arabia and the united arab emirates, staying far behind and far away from the actual scene because iran is a neighbor and pakistan is a neighbor and other countries in the former soviet union our neighbors, -- they are not even close but they support it. they recognize the government. the money, ask any intelligence
person, the money that went to isis to al-nusra, most of it from -- came from these countries. >> that not from the government, per se? >> that is to be investigated. i'm not here to accuse anybody, we have been accused by a lot of people for a lot of things and i do not know whether it is good to accuse people. what i am saying is that the ideology came from saudi arabia. these people belong to the wahabiphy -- salafi and ideology and it is being spread across the world. everybody who engages in an act of terror, in one way or other has been affected by -- within islam, there had to be
an understanding of what elements of who was using were hijacking the religion, to engage in terrorist activities, and that all muslims should be opposed, whether shia or sunni. >> i would -- i believe that everybody should come together and actually fighting these extremist ideologies. and fighting them does not belong -- does not mean only through the military. this is deeper. it should be a comprehensive strategy to deal with extremism at -- extremism and terrorism. they emanate from lack of hope, in addition to ideology based on hatred and exclusion. there is a necessary for a girl -- fertile ground for these ideologues or demagogues to recruit new soldiers. new terrorists. work that fertile
ground and the way to do it is provide identity, hope, identity -- >> education. >> and economic future. this is what is lacking in the region and beyond. even in the west. it is mind-boggling that some people who behead innocent human beings, speak french and english in a perfect accent. it is because they have been disenfranchised in their own societies. it is because they feel that their identities are being attacked in their own societies. that is why they are misguided into believing -- into delving into this extremist violence. we need to have a comprehensive strategy to deal with that. >> what you just said, the united states, i think would agree with.
the idea that there has been a need to find the root cause for people turning to misguided efforts to get them to engage in s that they were not necessarily headed for a writ whether it is despair of identity, or a sense of loss of hope -- >> it is a combination of various factors. >> why can there not be any common ground? >> i believe there should be common ground. i believe that these terrorists are as much a threat against us as they are against saudi arabia and others. which is why time and again iran has called for dialogue. every suggestion for dialogue has been welcomed by iran, including an initiative that was delivered to iran at the kuwaiti foreign minister. our president went to kuwait to
respond to that initiative. unfortunately, as soon as iran accepted it, saudi arabia which was part of the group that initiated this idea, rejected it. now, we have to see what we are moving to words. i think we have a common destiny in the region. i think we have a common destiny across the globe. where youa situation can win at the expense of others. >> let me tell you what they say, i have talked to many leaders across the arab world, ad iran, a state that is persian state, not an arab state -- they say, in the famous words of henry kissinger -- iran has to decide whether it wants to be a revolution or estate, whether they want to be a cause or a nation. -- that has to choose is kissinger. the arab states in the
neighborhood say -- it are coming to our neighborhood and trying to meddle in our country. iraq, they are trying to have an impact in saudi arabia, and in the emirates. that is their principal accusation against iran. nofirst of all, we are in country without the invitation of their government. in iraq, the government of iraq, but alsoin baghdad, the kurdish government, asked us to go and help them fight isis. >> in syria? x by the invitation of -- -- >> we were in syria because of the invitation of the government in damascus. that had it not -- iran iran and russia rushing to the assistance in
the people who became the government of palestine. the iranians rid -- we are the ones supporting terrorism and extremism in syria. we are not involved in saudi arabia. this accusation from the crown prince of saudi arabia is trying to take the fight to iranian territory. >> that is what they have said. that you are coming after us, and that is why we must bring the fight to iran. we would rather fight in iran and saudi arabia. cannot neglect his own admission that he is trying to instigate terror inside iranian territory. they say they want to stop you from trying to be the dominant player in the region. that is their agenda. >> our region will not have a power player. i think that efforts to become a hegemony in our region are doomed to failure as efforts to become a global hegemony in our hegemon areobal doomed to failure. cannote united states, be the global hegemon.
in our region, nobody can be a hegemon. we understand that. i hope that saudi arabia understands that as well to read we are not trying to exclude saudi arabia -- >> that is their complaint. >> that is what they want to use as a cover to explain why to have made the wrong choices. question,very clear why have they been on the wrong side, whether it was set -- saddam hussein invaded iran -- >> united states supported saddam. ask why did they -- >> why did they make that wrong decision. saddam finished his war against iran, he turned his weapons against the people who had financed him. at that time, we went to their aid. we supported kuwait, after it was invaded by saddam hussein.
they did not learn the lesson. unfortunately they went to support the taliban. then they went to support al qaeda. then they supported al-nusra. >> the united states and you must share and common enemy in the taliban. in fact, the united states cleaned up the taliban after 9/11, as you know. >> yes, but i am talking about saudi arabia and united initially made them wrong choices too. we both opposed the taliban, whether we were on the same side or not, it is important. ♪
charlie: when you look today, what does iran want, what role does it want to play in the world? javad: iran is a country that despite able to survive pressure, despite a war, despite sanctions area we have been able to make progress. to make scientific achievements, despite of the fact -- in spite of the fact that every restriction was imposed on our country and our people, even our students who are prevented from
studying physics and mechanics. at western universities. but we made advances for one reason. our size, ourh geography, and our national resources. >> and we you have no -- you have no global ambitions. >> and most importantly rely on our own people. we do not rely on foreigners for our independence. for our security, for our economic robbers. we would love to work with the outside world, but we do not rely on them. we derive our security from our people. we derive our legitimacy from our people. just remember that secretary mattis, the other day said that iran's presidential elections were a sham the cause someone chose who should run the -- who should run in the elections.
he forgot that people in the wrong waited in line for 10 hours, to vote for a sham. even worse, people in los angeles, waited in line for four hours -- >> he was remembering the fact that there were people who wanted to run who weren't allowed to. you are talking about the ability to vote for those who were allowed to run. >> 1200 people registered to run for president, can anybody anywhere in the world run an election with 1200 candidates? there has to be a process through which some who may not be qualified for the job, could be eliminated. there was an argument that they were to moderate in their views to be allowed to run. >> the fact is that in all democracies, you have a process through which candidates are
excluded. here you have the primaries and the caucuses. others have other means. >> but they were all allowed to run in the primaries -- >> you still need a number of signatures to be on the ballot. so in every place you have a mechanism. inon't want to engage interference in internal affairs of other countries. observer, i can tell you that if you don't have money, if you don't have the necessary financial contributions from big corporations and others, you may not be able to stand for an election in many -- sanders who had a very successful campaign, primarily raising money from -- >> i have a lot of respect for senator sanders but at the end of the day, you had a betting process. vetting process.
you have abilities and the united states that only members of the establishment and run. at the end of the day it is for the american people to decide whether they have the necessary choice. they showed that by coming to the polls, and iranians could estate home. if they wanted to stay home in iran, or if they wanted to stay home in los angeles even, just answer this question. why would iranians having lived in the united states for generations, stand in line for four hours in los angeles in order to vote for a sham election? why,, let me tell you there is always a love for the soil you were born. >> but you do not engage in a futile exercise. of course there is a love, i
know that the love of my comp archer -- compact who live in the united states -- their love for their country -- >> in some cases they have been insulted by the revolution in some sense. maybe they lost their property -- >> just a small segment. that is a historical fact. bureaucracy needs to address that. but, at the same time, these people who live in the united states, not simply out of love for their country, but out of the recognition that they had a real choice, that there were candidates who presented different perspectives. haderent outlooks -- if you understood persian and watched our debates, you would have seen to yourg similar, debates, taking place in iran.
that tells you, going back to your question, we rely on our people. that is why we are content with our size, our population, with our geography. we want stability in our region, we want stability within the countries in the region. we do not want turmoil in the countries in our region. we have shown that in our support of people in iraq, in syria, and in our support for the people of kuwait when they were invaded by saddam hussein. charlie: several things about that influence. the german intelligence, for example, said that you still have great desire to have nuclear capability. javad: we do have nuclear capability, but we have foregone eight nuclear weapon option. charlie: did you do that because of the pain of sanctions? javad: no, we did that long
before the sanctions. i believe the sanctions were misguided and missed placed. the wisdom of almost everybody is that you were hurting so badly from the sanctions that you were willing to come to the negotiating table, to take the sanctions away. javad: charlie, i presented a proposal to the french, the on marchd the germans 2005, before all of these sanctions were presented. at that time i was ambassador to the u.n., and the nuclear negotiator, and the chief nuclear negotiator was our current president. i was negotiating on his be called and i -- on his behalf and i resented the proposal. years -- i presented the proposal -- at that time
ambassador bolton was sitting in the state department present -- preventing that deal from taking shape. representing the bush administration and today he is trying to do that all over again. charlie: but he is not part of the government. javad: there are quite a few of them. issues: there was great with the nuclear deal, as you know. javad: the united states decided that the zero in option which it had pursued from 2003 until 2013, was not going to get it anything. what interventions do, they produce a lot of economic hardship. i grant you that. but, was that the objective of the sanctions, or was it to change iran's policy? charlie: what do you think? javad: i think it was to change
iran's policy on centrifuges to read everyone knows that in 2000 have an, you had a national intelligence estimate -- in 2007 there was a national intelligence estimate that iran was from their perspective no longer pursuing nuclear weapons. this is during the bush administration, before obama. it was established that iran was no longer pursuing nuclear weapons. charlie: everybody in the obama administration thought that you were pursuing nuclear reactions. john kerry fought back and he has said that, as well as president obama. they all thought it. don't suggest that they did not. javad: they made a wrong assertion. the international atomic energy
2015, intablished in november, that the so-called possible military dimensions of iran's nuclear program, were not significant. .hat is why they closed the pie there was a resolution by the governing board of the agency in which the united dates and all of its allies are represented and iran is not. charlie: let me raise this point, there are many americans who believe the following. that, the deal that was done was done in the hopes that over the next 12 year period there would be a change, a move to moderation on the fact that on the part of the iranian people and the iranian government. and that after 10, or 12 years, the iranians would no longer want nuclear weapons.
in idea was that confidence a moderating force over a period of time. two things come up first, iran never wanted nuclear weapons, iran believes that they are against -- not only against our political ideology, but against our national security. thatve a saying in persian if you pretend to be asleep, no one will wake you up. i believe that people are pretending. if your national intelligence estimate, and not iran, but the u.s. intelligence community, if your own national intelligence estimates in 2007, and establishes that iran is no longer pursuing nuclear weapons, why is it so difficult for american officials to recognize that? we believe that nuclear weapons norot augment our security, to be honest do they augment anyone else's security.
that is a division of principle. we remain very compliant with that principle throughout our history. there are cases to prove it, including the use of chemical weapons against iran by iraq. with the support of everybody in the international community. reportas a report, after at the united nations that established that iraq had used those weapons against us, and more reports saying that we had not. so, this is the record on which we stand. you made a point that was valid. on that is, that i tweeted the day of the signing of the agreement, on the day that we reached the day of the nuclear deal, that this was the foundation, this was -- the foundation and not the ceiling. throughoped, that
faithful and complete implementation of this agreement, we could rebuild some of the lost confidence between the areas participants -- including iran and the united states. kerry leaveretary the same thing. javad: everybody believed the same thing. every single report of the international atomic energy agency, -- it was recognized in the deal, as the authoritative body to decide that iran was complying. and every report has released has established that iran has complied. charlie: do you share the view that if iran had nuclear weapons it would set off a rush to have nuclear weapons on the part of the saudi's, and of everybody
that could afford them? javad: that is one of the reasons we believe that they do not augment your security. because you will then have to engage in a very costly arms race. that would only, and particularly considering the alliances -- we're not the only ones buying millions of dollars of military equipment. charlie: that is the saudi's riyadh. -- that is the saudi's. javad: >> exactly. we do not want to engage in constant battle. ♪
♪ youlie: let me just asked about the idea of a shia crest. it has been said that the forces, leader of the you can help me understand, he is very much interested in having clear route from iran to lebanon to support hezbollah. is that true? and therefore includes syria, iran, as a way to be able to reach them. it is easy to make
this constant material allegation. charlie: these are arguments presented by -- at the top levels of american intelligence. javad zarif: conspiracy theory is that a monopoly of the region of united states, once in a while everyone becomes a victim of conspiracy theory. charlie: you have some of your own. javad zarif: of course, our region is the best place to find conspiracy theories. was first setthis by king abdulla, he was really talking about the religious crescent, and now he is talking about more of a political crescent. 2004 1arif: i think, in king abdulla made that statement, and it is interesting that he made that statement in washington, with all due respect, he knows that i have a lot of respect for him -- this
was an attempt in fear mongering. continued,that was and has only brought misery and despair to our region. there is no attempt to create a crescent, to create a corridor. iran has simply come to the aid of countries that have been fighting extremism and terrorism. charlie: you haven't come to the aid of lebanon, only to the aid of hezbollah. javad zarif: no, we came to the aid of lebanon. -- it was lebanese territory that was occupied. charlie: by the syrians? javad zarif: no, by the israelis. the syrians were in lebanon as a decision.e of -- a it was not our decision, but an arab decision. a decision that they took, they
invited them to go and so they did. then he asked them to leave. i represent iran and no other country. i believe we are there in order to help people fight terrorism. but, you see, these arguments have been negated time and time again. but people do not observe that erbir in iraqi kurdistan territory?-- a shia isis was an -- within hours of occupying erbir. charlie: and also baghdad. javad zarif: yes, and we went to the aid of what -- of both. charlie: how? javad zarif: by sending advisers.
was there withni weapons and advisers. it is the people of iraq who are fighting the terrorists. it was the kurdish people who fought the terrorists. they needed support and help, and they needed people who knew how to organize them. we were there within two hours of president barzani calling us to go to their assistance. those who are talking about a shia crescent should tell me where in that crescent iraqi kurdistan falls. these are just fear mongering scenarios, narratives that are created -- presented, elaborated, articulated in order to create fear. this is not what we are after. we have called for a political solution in syria, where
,verybody, shia, sunni, alwaite jews, christians, can participate in government. this is what we want. charlie: what do you think about president bashar al-assad what is going on in syria. javad zarif: it is not my business to think about that. it is the business of the people of syria. we should provide them with a way for them to sit -- to think about this for themselves. charlie: not your business? for you to say that, -- no matter what he does -- -- >> i think what has happened in syria has been a consequence of people outside syria imposing redlines that this gentlemen, or another gentleman, or lady, should or should not be in the government. charlie: the issue is the use of
chemical weapons -- >> we reject the use of chemical weapons. and because of what happened to you in at the iraq war should be top of the list of people saying that it is a crime against humanity. you should have said that. javad zarif: we did say it. charlie: you should not be supporting a regime that uses them. javad zarif: who has established the facts? i cannot accept that the united states -- a party to the conflict, along with its allies, charlie: but you are a party to the conflict. javad zarif: that is why you shouldn't listen to me. you should established an independent international mechanism to go in and investigate. the day after the allegations of
use of chemical weapons, which was followed unfortunately by a huge military operation in the united states, we asked the international community to send a delegation to investigate. the place of in the alleged attack but also the airspace where allegedly the weapons were loaded onto the plains. we were subject to the use of chemical weapons. we invited the united nation's to send a delegation. and, should i remind you that six or seven times, the u.n. established that iraq had used chemical weapons against iran and not a single time, was it condemned by the united states. not a single time did the united states allow the un security council to condemn it. so i don't buy --
>> because they did not vote against it when it was used against you? it? did not vote for javad zarif: it is more than that, they actively -- they did not even let it get to a vote that it could be vetoed. this is the sad irony of history. for austin and iran, we have been very clear. we condemn the use -- for us in iran, we condemn the use of nuclear -- of chemical weapons. --rlie: but >> don't expect me to accept an allegation by the united states. we have asked for an investigation, for an international, impartial investigation of who used them. i'm not saying what happened because i was not there. charlie: they had video -- >> no, they had video of the victims. charlie: victims of sarin gas. javad zarif: nobody knows,
better than we do, what sarin gas does. patients who had been victims of sarin gas. charlie: from iran -- >> no, not only from there. i received them from -- at kennedy airport. i should them to diplomats and .obody gave a damn nobody issued a condemnation of the use. so, i know what eric gasped is. believe me. charlie: so, you should be providing an articulate argument against it. and holding countries who use it to account. javad zarif: exactly. and we are prepared to do that. charlie: how many years has it in -- >> provided that there is an interest -- international
investigation establishing the facts. charlie: so, you doubt the facts? yes, we doubt that the chemical weapons were used in han shaykun. charlie: we are talking about the entirety of a war that has gone on for seven years. javad zarif: yes, i wore that should've stopped a long time ago. i presented a plan in 2013 to end the war. it incorporated for elements, national unity government, including everybody not people outside saying who should be in power and who shouldn't. constitutional reforms, and an election based on that constitution. people started asking what would happen to president aside
question -- bashar assad? i said you're putting the carrot before the horse. because, if we are putting closet -- if we're talking about constitutional reform, the role of the president -- charlie: the syrian people should decide? javad zarif: yes, they should decide who is in it. so, the people who have longed this conflict, for at least four this idea wasse on the table since 2013. as secretary kerry has said, time and again, this idea -- my plan, formed the basis for a security council resolution 2254 on syria which was unfortunately adopted four years later. so, we are talking about real situations. we need to bring these conflicts to an end. bring the war in syria to an
end. we need to bring the senseless bombing -- how do we do that. javad zarif: exactly as i said, cease-fire -- charlie: do you think a cease-fire in that region will hold? javad zarif: i believe that iran, russia, and turkey -- based on third a plan a few months ago. you see the amount of killing and suffering of the syrian people, it has been drastically 2016,d since december when this initiative by iran, russia and turkey has been in place. we believe it should be enlarged to include all of syria. except for fighting against isis and al-nusra who are recognized by the security council as terrorist organizations and cannot be part of the cease-fire. but, other than that -- charlie: united states cannot be part of the agreement? javad zarif: >> i am not saying
that, i am stating the principle, that we need to expand the cease-fire throughout the area. need to allow unhindered humanitarian access to all syrians. charlie: the united states and president trump in this case, believe that russia and the united states can work together in the interest of changing syria. do you believe that iran and russia and america, can work together? to change syria? to stop the war and heal the country and revealed the country? javad zarif: i think everybody should work together in order to end this tragedy in syria. you preparedare and would like to work with the united states and russia? javad zarif: we were a member of the international syria's support group which included united states and russia. and also it included countries
in the region. we would not be able to do this without the support and assistance of other countries in the region. i believe you will not be able to end the conflict in russia -- in syria without saudi arabia, ,ithout turkey, without qatar without egypt. charlie: of course. javad zarif: and without iran. and most importantly you would not be able to end the conflict in syria without the syrians. at the end of the day they should decide. the rest of us should just facilitate. we should not dictate to the syrians what they should do. charlie: they always make the point that they were invited in by the assad government. were you ok with russia coming in to prop up the assad government? javad zarif: what we have said is that we do not interfere in
the decision by a sovereign government. i give you a clearer example. we disagree with the united states i'm a but we do not intervene against the united states cooperating with the iraqi government. we have not intervened against it. because we believe that is a decision that that the iraqi government should make. we may oppose it, but it is their decision. charlie: so do you encourage the government of iraq? members of theat islam, are not shut out from government? so that they do not see what we have seen time and time, first al qaeda, then isis, come out of people who felt like they were excluded. javad zarif: we believe that the iraqi government should be
inclusive. -- did youe you encourage the iraqi government to do that. they absolutely -- absolutely. governmente malachi did not do that, and they were friends of iran. javad zarif: this was our advice to all of the government in iran, that iraq made to be an inclusive government with all elements of the iraqi population represented in the government. all segments of the iraqi population. they have good relations with the sunni committee in iraq, and -- charlie: but, you do not deny, do you, that isis got support from sunni tribes because they felt like they had no voice in a dad? javad zarif: ice --
greg support, no voice in baghdad? i agree with you that the perception of not having a voice in society leads people to join these extremist groups. which is why i said in the beginning that we need a comprehensive strategy to deal with these extremist groups. and that strategy includes certainly, giving a voice to everybody. i think this is what the government of iraq is committed to. you heard it from prime minister abadi and leaders of every committee in iraq. this is something that iran will wholeheartedly support. we want every country in the allon to engage past and iraqis in order to support unity in iraq. particularly now when we have these prospects of a referendum -- we need to call for unity and
inclusion. charlie: do we need to call for self-determination for the kurds? javad zarif: i believe the kurds have certain autonomy in the constitution of iraq. within the constitution? javad zarif: i believe self-determination is for all ofples, but the constitution iraq, the territorial integrity and national unity of iraq are of paramount importance. for the kurdish population and for the rest of iraq. and i believe that there is consensus locally, torlie: have you not said no independence for the kurds? javad zarif: i believe that is a common view, not only myself, but of other political leaders in the region. charlie: so you think that the kurds should not have independence? notd zarif: that we should
play with the territorial integrity of the countries in the region, including iraq. it is a dangerous domino which would lead to even dangerous territorial instability. i think people will get much more than they bargained for if they go this route. i believe it would be the beginning, and not the end of a catastrophe. if there is an attempt for separation. of aie: that was part one two-part series of a conversation with the foreign minister of iran,javad sharif >>tomorrow night, part two. ♪
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