tv The Situation Room CNN March 2, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PST
lewinsky's dress. can you see it over there to the left? it's that dark area above the mantle. this is the shadow of a blue dress. it wasn't there when clinton stood for the painting in 2005. he said -- the artist said he couldn't get it out of his mind and wanted to include it after the fact. that's it for "the lead." i'm brianna keilar. here's wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, showdown. israel's prime minister says he means no disrespect toward president obama but he's about to make a fiery speech before congress. is the relationship with america's closest ally hanging in the balance? terrorist e-mails, secret messages sent by the most notorious isis killer. did he join the terror group out of fear for his own life? russian intrigue. does this model hold the key to the murder of vladimir putin's biggest rival? and missile threat. u.s. and south korean war games
triggering a test launch and threat of real war from north korea's regime. is the dictator kim jong-un under pressure right now to do something very dangerous? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." there is breaking news. president obama breaking his silence. he's speaking out right now as tensions build in washington ahead of an extraordinary address to congress by israel's prime minister. israel's leader invited by the republican house speaker, who failed to consult the white house or the democratic leadership in advance. president obama tells reuters that speech is a distraction, although not permanently destructive to u.s./israel relations. ties between the united states and its closest ally in the region are at a low point right now, marked by the frosty personal relationship between president obama and the prime minister, benjamin netanyahu. in a dress rehearsal today before a pro-israel lobbying organization the prime minister
downplayed the differences with president obama, saying he means no disrespect. he says his speech to congress tomorrow morning will focus on the proposed iran nuclear deal which he portrays as an existential threat to israel. president obama tells reuters a deal with iran would be far more effective at controlling its nuclear program than any military action by the united states or israel. all of this comes amid word from the united nations that iran right now is still failing to come clean about its nuclear program. congressman jason chaffitz is standing by live. our correspondents are around the world along with our analysts and guests. let's begin with the very latest information coming in from the white house. michelle kosinski is standing by there. >> reporter: we heard from prime minister netanyahu today. this was this weird setup of what looked to be dueling speeches. the prime minister and the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. but what they did was emphasize the strength of the
relationship, the shared values. however, the tensions still came out. the white house saying that israel has failed to produce a viable option to nuclear negotiations with iran and that if israel leaks information about this negotiation, then that is a betrayal. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu greeted like a rock star at the american israel public affairs committee conference. a crowd of 16,000. yet on this visit to washington he will not share so much as a phone call with the white house, which wasn't even told about the invitation from republican house speaker john boehner. president obama, we learned today, did not watch netanyahu's address, nor will likely watch his big speech tomorrow before a joint session of congress. the prime minister right away addressed this strangeness. >> my speech is not intended to show any disrespect to president obama or the esteemed office that he holds.
i have great respect for both. >> reporter: his goal made very clear. >> iran vows to annihilate israel. if it develops nuclear weapons, it will have the means to achieve that goal. we must not let that happen. >> reporter: complete with a chart he brought showing what he called iran's tentacles of sponsoring terror in five continents. america's ambassador to the u.n. samantha power essentially said the same thing. >> the united states of america will not allow iran to obtain a nuclear weapon, period. we will not let it happen. >> reporter: they seem to agree. yet the tension still came out even today. the white house, upset that israel has and might continue to leak out purported details of the top secret nuclear negotiations with iran, which israel is worried will be too lenient. >> the release of that information would betray the trust between our allies and it certainly is inconsistent with the behavior of trusted allies.
>> reporter: the president just sat down for an interview. we are starting to get information out of that now. the president saying that israel has warned before about working with iran negotiating over its nuclear program, and the president says that none of those warnings have come true. the u.s. insists that they have gotten iran to roll back its program and that progress is viable. >> he used strong words in that interview with reuters. we will play excerpts from that interview momentarily. but he did not mince any words in making it clear he and the prime minister of israel have a very, very strong disagreement. stand by. the prime minister, meanwhile, is trying to smooth over some differences with the obama administration but he is also sticking to his guns on the iran nuclear threat. let's bring in our global affairs correspondent elise labott. both the white house and the prime minister seem to be softening a bit of the rhetoric on the eve of this speech. what's going on? i give all that with the caveat that we are about to hear very
strong words from the president in this exclusive interview he just granted to reuters. >> reporter: we will also hear from national security advisor susan rice later tonight at apec. she is the real critic. the friendly face was samantha power and she definitely as michelle noted in her story, tried to lower the temperature, definitely a more positive tone about the breadth and depth about the u.s. relationship with israel but susan rice has been a real critic as you know and last week called the prime minister's visit destructive to the u.s./israel relationship. for his part netanyahu also tried to lower the tone talk about his great respect for president obama, his great respect for the u.s. and his appreciation for all that the u.s. has done for israel but make no bones about it this prime minister definitely is going to give a very provocative address, laying out tomorrow what he sees as the deal shaping
up asking for more time because he feels that congress hasn't been fully informed. >> susan rice the president's national security advisor, is about to deliver as you point out a major speech before the pro-israel lobbying organization. samantha power did earlier. the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. what's going to be the thrust as far as we know of her speech? >> reporter: well i think she's going to try to prebut, if you will what the prime minister is going to say tomorrow and lay out the u.s. case for iran about the nuclear deal shaping up and why the u.s. thinks this is the best way to halt iran's nuclear advances. one of the things you have heard from the administration is that the prime minister doesn't have any alternative. okay he doesn't like the deal but what's the alternative other than military action? i think that's one of the things that she will try to lay out, more of a technical case on the u.s. policy towards iran and again, she will try to lower the tone lower the temperature. there was a lot of divisive
remarks last week and i think this white house has realized this bickering is only enhancing attention to the prime minister's remarks, enhancing attention to the iran issue which is at a critical junction with these iran talks. and for prime minister's part he also sees this bickering as detracting from the issue at hand which is iran. i think both cases, the relationship is important but also the message is important. they want their case to be heard over all of this bickering. >> elise, stand by as well. joining us now, a key voice on national security the house oversight committee chairman republican congressman jason chaffetz of utah. listen to this little excerpt. this is the president of the united states. he just sat down with the white house correspondent for the reuters news agency and made a strong defense of his posture when it comes to these negotiations with iran on its nuclear program. >> what's the best way to ensure
that iran is not developing a nuclear weapon? prime minister netanyahu thinks that the best way to do that is either through doubling down on more sanctions or through military action ensuring that iran has absolutely no enrichment capabilities whatsoever and there is no expert on iran or nuclear proliferation around the world that seriously thinks iran is going to respond to additional sanctions by eliminating its nuclear program. what we've said from the start is by organizing a strong sanctions regime globally what we can do is bring iran to the table, and by bringing iran to the table, force them to have a serious negotiation in which a, we are able to see exactly what's going on inside of iran b, we are able to create what we call a breakout period timeline where we know if they were to try to get a nuclear weapon it would take them a certain amount of time and the
deal that we are trying to negotiate is to make sure there's at least a year between us seeing them try to get a nuclear weapon and then actually being able to obtain one. as long as we've got that one year breakout capacity that ensures us that we can take military action to stop them if they were to stop it. >> the president really going into specific details, making the case why his posture is superior, better in the long term than the posture put forward by the israeli prime minister. your reaction? >> i don't think we can ever ever take the chance that iran is able to achieve a nuclear weapon. they want death and destruction to israel. they have sent terrorists who have come after us and killed thousands of americans along the way. there is no daylight there is no daylight between our position and what israel's position is on this. we have not taken a hard enough stance and i don't think the president has seen any visibility into what's going on into iran. we have heard that from outside experts and i don't think we
know internally what is really happening there other than their determination, iran's to have death and destruction to israel and to the united states. >> he says that there's really no serious alternative right now to these negotiations because the other options simply won't work. i will play another excerpt from this interview he just granted to reuters. >> but if they do agree to it it would be far more effective in controlling their nuclear program than any military action we could take any military action israel could take and far more effective than sanctions will be. >> so what's wrong with giving these negotiations at least a chance of success? >> i still think they could put more sanctions in place. i do think that puts them in a crippling position. i think the price of oil also has a devastating effect to the economy there. i do not want to rule out a military use of force. >> he's not ruling that out. he's not ruling -- he says he's not even sure that this negotiation is going to work.
what he says is give it a chance. if it doesn't work there always is the option to go back to more sanctions and there always is the option last resort for military force. >> i think congress needs to have visibility on that. i don't think they should make such a big brouhaha about the fact the prime minister from israel is coming to the united states to talk to congress. you know when your friends come to town they come to see you and he's done this in the past and for him to treat the prime minister of israel like this is pretty embarrassing. >> its only two weeks tomorrow to the day, two weeks before the israeli election and he says it would be inappropriate no matter how close of an ally to get involved in domestic israeli politics especially at a time when netanyahu is facing a severe challenge right now. he might not get himself reelected this time. >> it is appropriate, though for the prime minister to come to speak to congress. i'm proud that speaker boehner invited him. i think it was the right thing to do. i look forward to a broad bipartisan support in favor of the prime minister of israel. we are very united in our support for israel. >> i want you to listen to what
he says. this is the president of the united states once again from this exclusive interview he granted to reuters to jeff mason, the white house correspondent for reuters. listen to this. >> when we first announced this interim deal prime minister netanyahu made all sorts of claims. this was going to be a terrible deal. this was going to result in iran getting $50 billion worth of relief. iran would not abide by the agreement. none of that has come true. this is not a personal issue. i think that it is important for every country in its relationship with the united states to recognize that the u.s. has a process of making policy and although we have separation of powers ultimately the interaction with foreign governments runs through the executive branch. that's true whether it's a democratic president or republican president and that's true regardless of how close the ally is. >> don't you think with hindsight, you are a smart guy,
with hindsight, it would have been more appropriate for the speaker of the house to at least have informed the white house or -- and/or the democratic leadership you know what i'm going to do? i know he's got an election coming up i don't know if the speaker actually knew he has an election coming up but i think it's important at this critical moment to give the prime minister of israel a chance to make his case to the american congress. with hindsight, don't you think the speaker should have at least had the courtesy to tell the white house what he was planning on doing? >> well i think he did do that. >> only after the invitation was delivered. >> we are talking about semantics of -- >> it's not semantics. this is a serious issue, congressman. as a matter of courtesy why wouldn't the speaker of the house at least -- >> get over it. get over it. he's going to come here and speak to the joint session of congress. >> we know that. we know he's speaking tomorrow. i'm looking back not looking ahead, i'm looking back with hindsight, was it a miscalculation? >> no. i don't think it's a miscalculation. i think speaker boehner did the right thing. >> don't you think it's hurt u.s./israeli relations? >> no. no. what you are going to see --
>> when 30 democrats decide to boycott the visit of the prime minister to the u.s. congress doesn't that hurt the u.s./israeli relationship? >> there are 535 members between the house and the senate. so yeah you have a couple that are not going to show up which i think is a broad mistake in the context. remember it was just our embassy in yemen that we had to flee because the houthis were coming to take over supported by iran. iran has not been a friendly player. you saw the video, out there in the arabian sea where they are blowing up a would-be gulf carrier there for us. this is not a regime that we can continue to appease and give them what they want more than anything else, which is time. president obama has given the iranians time. that's what i worry about. >> but you also worry about another war between the united states and iran. >> the biggest problem that we have on the face of the planet is iran getting a nuclear weapon. we have to do anything and everything we can do in our powers to make sure that that doesn't happen. >> so you would support a
preemptive strike against their nuclear -- >> absolutely. we negotiate from a position of strength, wolf. we do not do this through appeasement and bickering about what time the speaker called the president to say that benjamin netanyahu is going to show up. that is a distraction. i think the president miscalculated on that. get over it. he's coming to speak to us and we look forward to hearing him. >> so you think the u.s. should basically say to iran right now either completely open up stop all of your nuclear program, or the united states is going to launch a preemptive strike? >> if it was up to me if i was the president of the united states, i would take out that threat. you have to deal with it in a realistic thing. we believe them when they say they want death and destruction to the united states when the ayatollah says that november of last year believe him. when he says it to the united states of america and the houthis are coming in and kicking us out of our embassy and they are going to take us out, believe them. yes. you take out that threat. >> congressman, we have more to talk about. i'm glad you are telling us how you really feel right now. these are critically important issues as you and i well know
hey, girl. is it crazy that your soccer trophy is talking to you right now? it kinda is. it's as crazy as you not rolling over your old 401k. cue the horns... just harness the confidence it took you to win me and call td ameritrade's rollover consultants. they'll help with the hassle by guiding you through the whole process step by step. and they'll even call your old provider. it's easy. even she could do it. whatever, janet. for all the confidence you need td ameritrade. you got this. meet the world's newest energy superpower. surprised? in fact, america is now the world's number one natural gas producer... and we could soon become number one in oil. because hydraulic fracturing technology
we are following the breaking news, the president of the united states speaking out in a new exclusive interview with the reuters news agency about iran's nuclear program. the president says all of israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu's warnings about the dangers of a deal that's being worked out with iran he says all of those concerns have been wrong so far, not mincing any
words at all. we are back with republican congressman jason chaffetz of utah chairman of the house oversight committee, key voice on national security. we know how you feel on this deal that the president, secretary of state kerry are trying to work out with iran but what's going to happen at the end of this week? midnight friday once again, funding for the department of homeland security runs out unless you, meaning the house of representatives, passes what essentially has already passed the senate that so-called clean bill to keep the funding going between now and the end of september. >> there's nothing clean about it. when they attached on to that this provision that the president 22 times in a row said he thought he didn't have the ability to do then a federal judge has said that they can't implement, why should we put that in there, and why in the world are we calling that clean, by the way? >> he can't implement it. you have a free pass right now to go ahead, fund the department of homeland security not worry about his executive orders on immigration, because a judge, a federal judge, has already said
that's illegal, that's unconstitutional, mr. president, you can't do it. if it goes to the fifth circuit in new orleans, that's a conservative bench, as you know they are probably going to kick it to the supreme court. for months the president isn't going to be able to implement that executive order on immigration in any case so why not at least fund the department of homeland security? >> you're making the case that we as the republicans in the house are making is yes, let's fund all of dhs except that provision that they can't implement anyway that a federal judge says they can't do and that the president 22 times said he couldn't do anyway. why isn't that the clean version? that's what we want to pass. that's what we have done in the house of representatives. >> you know what? the house can pass that but the senate won't. you got a problem. >> it is a problem. and it's the senate democrats, you have to look them in the eye and say why are you holding up all of homeland security because you want to fund something you can't do anyway and that a judge says you can't do anyway. >> sounds like there's a stalemate, that there won't be funding for the department of homeland security by the end of this week. >> i'm fed up with house
republicans trying to take the blame for this. it's the senate democrats that need to come to the table. we asked in a very reasonable way okay our bill and your bill, we disagree let's go to conference. let's have a discussion. they don't even agree to come to the table and talk about it. there is something fundamentally wrong with the senate democrats. bring them to the table. i want to talk to them but they won't even come to the table to have this discussion. >> thanks very much for joining us. we will see what happens by midnight friday night because lots is at stake, especially at a time when there are huge terror threats out there facing the american homeland. appreciate it very much. coming up we have newly revealed e-mails from the killer known as jihadi john showing what he was thinking before he joined isis. later, there's new intrigue as russia investigates the killing of a prominent opponent of the president, vladimir putin. russian police question the model who was with boris nemtsov the night he was gunned down. when it comes to good nutrition...i'm no expert. that would be my daughter -- hi dad. she's a dietitian. and
back when i wasn't eating right, she got me drinking boost. it's got a great taste and it helps give me the nutrition i was missing. helping me stay more like me. [ female announcer ] boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a delicious taste. grandpa! [ female announcer ] stay strong, stay active with boost. i bring the gift of the name your price tool to help you find a price that fits your budget. uh-oh. the name your price tool. she's not to be trusted. kill her. flo: it will save you money! the name your price tool isn't witchcraft! and i didn't turn your daughter into a rooster. she just looks like that. burn the witch! the name your price tool a dangerously progressive idea.
we're learning new details tonight about the background of the notorious isis killer known as jihadi john. a series of secret e-mails may shed some light on why this kuwaiti born londoner joined the brutal terror group. let's go live to our senior international correspondent, nic robertson, in london. >> reporter: these e-mails have been coming out over the weekend and they show an even suicidal jihadi john. they portray him as a victim of the british intelligence services being brutal but you know as you dig more into the facts, there's a whole lot more to this story than just these e-mails. e-mails from jihadi john mohammad emwazi. i'm like a dead man walking, fearing that one day, i will take as many pills as i can so i
can go to sleep forever. sent the a british journalist in december 2010 published this weekend in the uk's "daily mail" newspaper. in the e-mail, emwazi tells a journalist that he wants to sell his laptop that he brings it to the station here to meet a buyer. the buyer pays for it with cash without even checking it out, and then says to him nice doing business with you, mohammad. emwazi says he never told the buyer his first name and immediately decided the buyer must have been working for british intelligence. islamist activist group c.a.g.e. also released a slew of e-mails. it says they're from emwazi. they too, paint a picture of a man hounded by british intelligence. this is an account of questioning by officials in june 2010. he grabbed on to my teeshirt and threw me on to the wall.
all this was happening to me while the officers sat down casually, not stopping or doing anything. i was having difficulty breathing. he finally let go of my neck. according to c.a.g.e.'s e-mails dating to june 2010 emwazi's problems began on a safari trip to tanzania in 2009 when british intelligence first questioned him. >> we should be very clear, that's not where the story begins. there are reports of his, people he went to school with saying he was not just very anti-israeli but very anti-semitic very anti-jewish. there are signs there that he had more radical and extreme perspectives well before any engagement with the authorities. >> reporter: rashad ali works countering radical narratives. he says emwazi had ties to the failed 2005 bombings in london. just one of several worrying jihadi links. >> there are phone call connections with individuals on
the day of the attack. would have been the first sign they would be interested in but more than that that he was traveling with people who wanted to go join al shabab. that's what actually proved to be true afterwards. >> reporter: that's the al qaeda affiliate in somalia. court documents quoted in the british media indicate uk officials believed emwazi was part of a group of radical islamists known as the north london boys. they were providing funding and equipment for the al qaeda fledgeling group in somalia that he was also according to the british media, part of a criminal gang robbing the wealthy residents here in west london. emwazi not the innocent victim his and c.a.g.e.'s e-mails seek to portray. of course up until now, the british government hasn't said confirmed the name of emwazi. indications are that certainly the intelligence services here british government know an awful lot more about this jihadi
jonathan they are making public at this time. >> thanks very much nic robertson in london. joining us now, cnn counter terrorism analyst phil mudd, former cia official. also joining us, fran townsend former homeland security advise orto president bush and "the washington post" columnist david ignatious, who covered the middle east for a long time, the intel intelligence community as well. what do you make of this whole jihadi john that maybe the british mistreated him and as a result he became this murderer? >> i don't have a lot of sympathy here. let's get back to what nic said about british security services. when you are julgggling cases every day in a real world, you have to look at resources and legal backing. the legal resources to pull somebody aside at an airport, search luggage, put him up in e-mail or phone coverage that is not a free item. there is something behind what the british security services did here beyond this guy looks funny and we want to look at him because you don't spend those resources for nothing. >> fran you know the news that
the isis forces have apparently released 19 of those 220 christians in syria who were being held hostage. i don't know if they got money for them or what their motivation was. what do you make of that? >> it's hard to tell. there is clearly something going on behind the scenes. we saw the brutal execution and beheading of the christians on the shores of tripoli, so this is not without having gotten something in return. i would make one other point to emwazi. he's not the only person from the school that he attended that joined the fight. there are two others and the british minister of education has begun an investigation to try and understand what was going on here that there were three individuals from the same school that were extremists who tried to join the fight. >> let's get to this current crisis i will call it a crisis in u.s./israeli relations right now. this animosity that has developed between the prime minister of israel and the president of the united states
over the iran nuclear negotiations. you broke the story and you have been doing some excellent columns in recent days for a long time but especially in recent days that the u.s. now is withholding sensitive intelligence information from israel because of the leaks coming out against this deal that seems to be in the works. >> i reported from israel that as of the end of january, the u.s. did begin to stop sharing all the details of its private conversations with iranian negotiators because of concerns about material that was being leaked in the israeli press. >> is that still the case as far as you know? >> i think there's more discussion now than there was. i think the u.s. is trying to make every effort to make the israeli government feel as part of this process. an israeli said while i was in israel what hurt us most was the insult that you didn't think we would find out anyway. don't you think we have other sources than being briefed by u.s. officials. but we'll see. tomorrow this comes to a head
with prime minister netanyahu's speech to congress the reactions to that will be important both in the u.s. and israel. >> phil you heard jason chaffetz the congressman just here in "the situation room" saying he would support a preemptive u.s. military strike forget about the negotiations he would simply support a preemptive military strike to destroy all of iran's nuclear plants nuclear capabilities. is that realistic? >> a strike against what? you've got three options here. strike a program that you cannot in my judgment destroy. number two, step away from negotiations. i believe the inevitable result would be an iranian nuclear program, three, engage in bad negotiations that will lead to a difficult result that might lead to iranian nuclear program. you would think in washington, d.c. that republicans and democrats, both sides have an easy solution. there is no easy solution here. >> fran what do you think? >> yeah look phil's right. there is no easy solution here. i will say to you it's awfully dangerous to cut off the
israelis in terms of our intelligence because by the way, we rely a great deal on a real depth of knowledge that the israelis have in the region generally and about the iranian program in particular. so i have to tell you, i think it's pretty dangerous, the game the bilateral game that's getting played between the administration and israel right now. >> is that military option at all realistic at this point, david? remember the israelis did blow up the iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981. they blew up a syrian potential nuclear reactor but is that realistic for the u.s. to launch a strike like that? >> the u.s. could launch a devastating strike that would retard the iranian program for some years. the israelis don't have the same military capability. iran would come back more quickly. this program would be more toxic and most recently the international coalition to stop that program would basically be gone. i think what worries me the most
is if prime minister netanyahu doesn't convince president obama to change his negotiating course and he won't, and if the u.s. goes ahead and negotiates a deal then you really do have the u.s. and israel at loggerheads. the u.s. has done something the prime minister of israel says if he is re-elected is contrary to israel's fundamental interest. that worries me. >> no guarantee, you were just there, he's going to be re-elected. it will be tight. >> it will be very tight. we will see what coalition politics is all about. >> what the israelis have said you used to work for the cia, these are details that are well known not only to the u.s. and iran but china, russia the other permanent members of the u.n. security council so what the israelis say, you want to withhold this kind of information from israel a trusted ally but china, russia and iran know all these secrets. >> i think the israelis know them. there are two tracks, one is the intelligence track. i suspect those conversations continue. diplomacy doesn't affect intelligence. on the diplomatic track, if we
think the israelis don't know what's going on because we are not talking to them in tel aviv i don't buy it. they will figure it out and try to block it. >> i want all of you to stand by. this story, the breaking news only continuing. also there is new intrigue in moscow right now. does the model who was walking with the prominent critic of vladimir putin hold the key to what many see as a political assassination? later, new missile tests and war threats from north korea's kim jong-un. [ hoof beats ] i wish... please, please, please, please, please. [ male announcer ] the wish we wish above all...is health. so we quit selling cigarettes in our cvs pharmacies. expanded minuteclinic for walk-in medical care. and created programs that encourage people to take their medications regularly. introducing cvs health. a new purpose. a new promise... to help all those wishes come true. cvs health. because health is everything. you're driving along, having a perfectly nice day, when out of nowhere a pick-up
truck slams into your brand new car. one second it wasn't there and the next second... boom! you've had your first accident. now you have to make your first claim. so you talk to your insurance company and... boom! you're blindsided for a second time. they won't give you enough money to replace your brand new car. don't those people know you're already shaken up? liberty mutual's new car replacement will pay for the entire value of your car plus depreciation. call and for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise your rates due to your first accident. switch to liberty mutual insurance and you could save up to $423 dollars. call liberty mutual for a free quote today at see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance.
russia is now lashing out at the west pointing to what its foreign minister calls provocative interpretations about the murder of a prominent critic of president vladimir putin. boris nemtsov died in a drive-by shooting as he walked with his girlfriend friday night. our senior international correspondent ivan watson is joining us now from moscow. he is there at that bridge where it all went down. what's the latest, ivan? >> reporter: well it's 1:40 in the morning here and i'm very surprised to know that in the last 20 minutes, we have seen about a half dozen people come and place flowers here at this impromptu memorial for boris nemtsov, basically where he was gunned down. i saw one woman crying at this early hour in the morning, where it's so freezing cold. many people asking this burning question who killed boris nemtsov and why?
tens of thousands gathered to honor slain opposition leader boris nemtsov, among vladimir putin's highest profile critics. nemtsov helped organize a protest rally scheduled for last sunday and was slated to join the march, but he would not live to see it through. instead, he was gunned down in the shadows of the kremlin two days earlier. attackers shot nemtsov at least four times in the back as he crossed this bridge with his 23-year-old ukrainian model girlfriend. surveillance camera footage captured the killing. a snow plow approaches and appears to pause next to the couple. investigators say a man opens fire on nemtsov and makes off in a getaway car. the plow driver said he didn't see the murder but saw nemtsov lying on the ground and stopped to help. >> translator: i got on the bridge looked into the rear
mirror and saw a man on the ground. i immediately realized he didn't feel well. i drove a little bit further and pulled over. >> reporter: the girlfriend perhaps the only other witness to the crime, has been interrogated by police but told russian tv she can't identify the assailant. >> translator: where did boris' killer appear from? >> translator: i don't know. i didn't see because this was happening behind my back. when i turned i only saw a light-colored car but i didn't see the make or number of the car that was leaving. >> reporter: nemtsov, a former russian deputy prime minister under boris yeltsin, had long been a vocal critic of putin and of what he called his crony capitalism. so the question is why now. ukrainian president poroshenko said nemtsov was about to reveal damaging information regarding russia's involvement in the conflict in ukraine, saying quote, someone was very afraid of that. >> should i be concerned about
having dinner with you? >> reporter: in a 2014 interview with cnn's anthony bourdain nemtsov said he knew he irritated the kremlin but felt his popularity would actually protect him. >> there is precedent that critics of the government critics of putin, bad things seem to happen to them. >> i'm well-known guy and this is a safety because if something happens with me it will be scandal not only in moscow city but also in the world. >> reporter: now, a little bit of news we just got. the girlfriend of nemtsov, the ukrainian girlfriend we are just hearing from ukrainian foreign ministry's twitter feed that she has returned to kiev after three days of questioning, after staying under police protection and security at the home of one of nemtsov's
political allies. separately it's just important to bring this home. the killing took place on this bridge. those red bricks there, those walls over there, that is the kremlin. it's 100 feet 150 feet away from here. it is perhaps one of the most heavily guarded, most secure places in all of russia which brings home kind of what an incredible signal and symbol this is this killing taking place so close to the seat of power and that the killer was able to escape. wolf? >> killer or killers. we will find out hopefully one of these days. thank you very much ivan. coming up kim jong-un tells his army get ready to tear to pieces the stars and stripes of the united states. live during the next hour of "the situation room," president obama's national security advisor, susan rice she speaks to the same group that cheered the israeli prime minister
oil and natural gas. supporting millions of new jobs. billions in tax revenue... and a new century of american energy security. the new energy superpower? it's red, white and blue. log on to learn more. the real question that needs to be asked is "what is it that we can do that is impactful?" what the cloud enables is computing to empower cancer researchers. it used to take two weeks to sequence and analyze a genome; with the microsoft cloud we can analyze 100 per day. whatever i can do to help compute a cure for cancer, that's what i'd like to do.
has arrived!!!! don't be old fashioned. xfinity customers add xfinity home for $29.95 a month for 12 months. plus for a limited time, get a free security camera call 1800 xfinity or visit comcast.com/xfinityhome. we're following threats from kim jong-un. he ordered his military to prepare for war with the united states. he said tear to pieces the stars and stripes. brian todd has more on the burst of anger. >> reporter: tonight he is angry over military exercises near his borders. he has responded by firing missiles not at the american or south korean forces. he fired them into the sea.
given the tensions there are concerns tonight from u.s. officials and others that the young volatile leader could make a dangerous miscalculation. explosions on hillsides. amphibious landings. combat troops storming beaches. u.s. and south korean forces are practicing for war. military drills that are defensive in nature a pentagon official tells cnn. the north koreans have a different take. >> translator: they should be dealt with only by strikes. >> reporter: the forces did respond, firing two ballistic missiles 300 miles into the sea of japan. analysts say they have a range that can hit south korea's capital and beyond. kim's media arm says the peninsula is inching close to the brink of war. the exercises are held every year. but tonight, there are new concerns. >> i think he is feeling a lot
of pressure these days. there is a need to respond on his part to what he is seeing happening in terms of the exercises. it's hard for him, i think, to just sit still. >> reporter: he has intensified his command posture, conducting the first test of a ballistic missile intended to be fired from a submarine. testing an anti-ship cruise missile. he visited several military units, telling them be readied to fight. >> in the exercises, as you can see, he is always in the middle. the focal point is on him. he is the leader. he is the protector of the nation. he is in the vanguard of opposition to u.s. imperialism. >> reporter: the danger goes beyond his projections. the sony hack showed north korea can strike americans where they live. analysts say kim may have 100 nuclear bombs in five years. five years ago as the u.s. and south korea conducted simd eded similar
exercises, north korea sank a ship killing 46 sailors. tonight one u.s. official tells cnn, there's a risk here that the young unpredictable leader could miscalculate. >> these things happen in the most heavily militarized part of the world, this one-mile wide border. it's only a stone's throw from where we have 28,500 u.s. troops deployed. >> reporter: how tense is it? a pentagon official tells us tonight, they are closely monitoring the situation on the korean paeninsulapeninsula. when i asked if u.s. and south korean forces could ratchet down tensions by caming off their exercises, the official said the drills are done to maintain stability and protect south korea. he added they gave north korea plenty of notice beforehand that the exercises would be taking place. that does not diminish any of the tension tonight. >> very tense time.
thank you very much. even as israel's prime minister plans to raise the alarm about iran before congress the u.n.'s nuclear watchdog is raising doubts about whether iran can be labels. she labeled the visit destructive to the relationship. now the president's national security adviser is about to speak before a huge pro-israel lobbying group. you will hear her speech live right here in "the situation room." so...you're sayin' you'll give me my credit score for free...
right! now you're gonna ask for my credit card - - so you can charge me on the down low two weeks later look, credit karma - are you talking to websites again? this website says 'free credit scores'. oh. credit karma! yeah, it's really free. look, you don't even have to put in your credit card information. what?! credit karma. really free credit scores. really. free. i could talk to you all day.
happening now, faceoff. the israeli prime minister warms up for a speech to the united states congress. president obama is weighing in on the tensions with a crucial ally. will the heat get turned up higher? a top administration official speaks out. nuclear warning. u.s. negotiations get under way with iran. a u.n. watchdog acruises tehran of hiding something. will that give israel more ammunition to attack? iraqi troops launch a new offensive against the terrorists. is the commander of iran's elite
fighting force actually the man in charge? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you are in "the situation room." let's get right to breaking news. president obama is insisting his rift with the israeli prime minister isn't personal just hours before benjamin netanyahu goes before the u.s. congress to slam american's policy on iran. in a new interview, the president is setting new markers for negotiations over iran's nuclear programs. the talks are fuelling the rising tensions are israel. this hour we're standing by to hear from the president's national security adviser susan rice. she has been vocal in his criticism of the speech warning it is disruptive to relations. i will talk about that and more with democratic congresswoman gabber. she's an iraq war veteran. our correspondents and analysts
are standing by. we are bringing you breaking news in the united states and around the world. first, to our global affairs correspondent. she has the very latest. >> reporter: the president tryied to play down the damage the speech would do. >> let's start on israel. >> reporter: president obama sought to pre-empt the speech to congress tomorrow saying a deal with iran is the best way to keep israel safe. >> if they do agree to it it would be far more effective in controlling their nuclear program than any military action we would take any military action israel could take and far more effective than sanctions. >> reporter: he accused the prime minister of never giving the negotiations a real chance. >> prime minister netanyahu made
all sorts of claims. this was going to be a terrible deal. this would result in iran getting $50 bm50$50 billion worth of relief. >> reporter: now the israeli leader is hours away from launching a full out assault on obama's policy toward iran. prime minister netanyahu said he is not attacking the president. >> my speech is not intended to show any disrespect to president obama or the office that he holds. i have great respect for both. >> reporter: he spoke to a friendly audience to dial down tensions. but his remarks tomorrow will be provocative. the prime minister will lay out what he knows about the nuclear agreement on the table and warn about the dangers to israel the u.s. and the world if the deal goes forward. >> israel and the united states agree that iran should not have nuclear weapons. but we disagree on the best way to prevent iran from developing
those weapons. >> reporter: netanyahu will also urge congress to press the obama administration to push back the deadline for a political framework allowing more time for negotiations on a tougher deal. the white house put out its ambassador to the u.n. to assure israel and its friends the united states will take whatever steps are necessary to protect its close ally. >> we believe diplomacy is the preferred route to secure our shared aim. >> reporter: even the president handicapped the chances of a deal. >> it's probably still more likely than not that iran doesn't get to yes. but i think that in fairness to them they have been serious negotiators. and they have got their own politics inside of iran. it is more likely that we could get a deal now than perhaps three or four months ago. but there's still some big gaps
that have to be filled. >> reporter: now perhaps the toughest critic about to speak susan rise who called netanyahu's visit destructive. white house nervous about what the prime minister's aides told us that he plans to disclose details of negotiations. that's why the u.s. is thinking twice about sharing intel on the negotiations with iran in the final days before the november -- march 24th deadline. >> it's a tense time. thanks very much. let's talk about more -- a little more about the president's new interview that he granted to the reuters news agency. his relationship with israel his efforts to reach a deal with iran. let's go to michelle kosinski. what's been the reaction over there? >> reporter: this serves ace rebuttal to what we heard from the prime minister as well as a prebuttal to this bigger broader speech that he will give before the joint session of congress tomorrow. we heard the president really
spell out what he called a substantial disagreement between the u.s. and israel. first he wanted to emphasize the unbreakable bond between the two countries, the unprecedented sharing in military and intelligence the cooperation there. but in spelling out the disagreement he said that prime minister netanyahu wants to double down with sanctions or a military response to iran's nuclear program as a sort of looking at these negotiations with a very pessimistic eye whereas the u.s. feels that bringing iran to the table is the most effective way. in fact he said even more effective than would be a military response. this is the first time we're hearing the white house talk about a possible ten-year plan. this was asked of the white house over the past couple of days. they said it wasn't accurate. some of the details that were leaking out from israel. today we heard the white house say that leaking information is a betrayal of israel on the part
of the trust between the two allies. the way the president described it was, if the u.s. can stop iran from progressing its nuclear program, keeping it as it is and rolling it back some for at least ten years, then that would be a huge improvement and that would be a real step toward that shared goal as the president put it of stopping iran from getting a nuclear weapon at all. >> michelle thank you. michelle kosinski at the white house. now to the talks at the center of the tensions between the united states and israel. secretary of state john kerry meeting today with iran's top diplomat. the negotiations resuming as the u.n. watchdog group has been raising doubts about whether iran could be trusted. jim sciutto is traveling with the secretary. he is joining us from switzerland right now. what's the latest over there? >> reporter: wolf for all the drama, all the akry moany in washington between the u.s. and israel the nuclear negotiations taking place just behind me here at the core of the
disagreement continuing starting at a feverish pace tonight. john kerry and his counterpart meeting for an hour in the first three hours of talks this evening. they will keep this pace up through tomorrow into wednesday. but perhaps with an ear, an eye to what's happening in washington. secretary of state john kerry today made it clear exactly what kind of deal the u.s. is seeking here. have a listen. >> any deal that we would possibly agree to would make the international community and especially israel safer than it is today. that's our standard. >> reporter: it's clear the two sides moving closer on what enrichment capacity iran would be able to keep after a long-term agreement. also on the duration of the agreement. perhaps ten years. but the key disagreements are major. one you mentioned, wolf that is
iaea complaining that iran still has not detailed -- this is a good 16 17 months into the interim agreement, still has not detailed its previous work suspected work on weaponization programs. i spoke to a senior state department official tonight who said that is a key subject of the negotiations. they are asking for it. any final deal will have to have full disclosure. i spoke to a senior iranian diplomat who said they are working to resolve this question. but still not resolved after nearly a year and a half. another major disagreement wolf that's on the sanctions. how quickly will the sanctions be listed? the iranian foreign minister saying they want the sanctions listed all at once. that's a non-starter for the west. they want them lifted piece by piece to maintain leverage and really to make sure iran keeps abiding by the agreement. the gaps are narrowing but still some of the gaps that exist, it's going to take a lot of work
to bridge them. >> yeah. as the president said no guarantee there's going to be a deal right now. the israeli people are divided about their prime minister's decision to come to washington to speak to the u.s. congress against the wishes of the obama white house. let's go to jerusalem. kate baldwin has the latest from there. what are you hearing? >> reporter: you said it. the israeli public is divided on this issue of the speech from their prime minister. the most recent polling here says they are divided 38/38 split if they support the prime minister making the speech. 24% of those didn't have an opinion or a position on the prime minister giving that speech. here is where the range of diverseity of opinion centers on. one is will the prime minister's speech succeed in impacting the talks over the nuclear program? the prime minister in his speech leading up to his trip to washington he himself acknowledged he did not know.
180 prominent former israeli security officials came out just yesterday to call on the prime minister to cancel the speech because they believe that the speech will bring iran closer to obtaining a nuclear weapon. with that in mind the public has been wondering -- i spoke with many israelis on this. they wonder if the fallout of the speech worth it. the divide lands on if you support netanyahu and trust him. those who are critical of netanyahu say absolutely not. it further needles president obama and potentially injuries the bond between israel and america. those who support spent say if he doesn't speak up who will. here is the key undercurrent of all of this. two weeks from now is the israeli election. netanyahu is in a tight race. the smart political minds here say regardless no matter what the result is of his speech and its impact on the iranian issue, they wonder if it will be just enough though to persuade undecided voters here to at least win him another term in
office. >> i think there's no doubt that one of the reasons he wanted to deliver the speech was to get political support back in israel. but there's some analysts who think that could have backfired given deteriorating u.s./israeli relationship at the same time. kate thanks very much. let's get more. joining us, congresswoman gabber. thanks for coming in. you will attend the speech before the joint session of congress tomorrow right? >> i will be there. >> a lot of your -- maybe 30 of your democratic colleagues in the house and senate have at least publically already said they are not going to come because they think it's inappropriate. >> i think it's important to look at the issues here. i think first of all, yes, the invite should have been handled better at a bare minimum, the president should have been given the respect of being informed by speaker boehner and the prime minister that this was happening. it's unfortunate this has turned
into a very big distraction. it's turned into a somewhat partisan issue away from the shared objective that both the united states and israel share, which is the issue at hand of preventing iran from developing a nuclear weapon. if you look at where israel sits the prime minister of israel is deeply concerned about the outcome of the negotiations as they directly impact and threaten the people of israel. i think it's important to hear what he has to say. but then congress we need to do our job to make sure we don't stand by and let iran develop a nuclear weapon. >> i want you to listen to what your republican colleague from utah -- he was sitting in that seat in the last hour -- told me. listen to this. >> don't you think the speaker should have at least had the courtesy to tell the white house what he was planning on doing? >> i think he did do that. >> only after the invitation was delivered. >> we're talking about semantics. >> it's not semantics. this is a serious issue.
why wouldn't the speaker of the house -- >> get over it. get over it. he will come here and speak to congress. >> he also had some other strong words. we will play another clip from him. are you over it the fact the speaker did not go through protocol and alert the white house and consult with the white house, i want to invite the prime minister? >> by his not doing that it created the situation rear inwagsituation we're in today. rather than on the substance of the issue at hand that the negotiations are ongoing, what the prime minister from israel is going to speak about. so i think we have to get past the distraction and really come together and recognize as it has been it must continue to be a bipartisan concern, an issue about iran's nuclear capability. >> i want to pick your brain where you stand on these negotiations. listen once again, here is jason chaffitz who has no confidence in the current u.s.-led
negotiations with iran. >> the biggest problem that we have on the face of the planet is iran getting a nuclear weapon. we have to do anything and everything we can do in our power to make sure that that doesn't happen. >> you would support a pre-emptive strike against nir nuclear -- >> absolutely. we negotiate from a position of strength. we do not do this through appeasement. sglu heard him say he would support a pre-emptive military strike to destroy iran's nuclear capabilities. >> i think we have to look at diplomatic and negotiations that is successful is everyone's ideal approach to this. but i like so many others have very deep cynicism about the odds of that being successful. >> a military strike? >> of coming to an -- >> i see. >> that would prevent us from having the conversation. >> what happens if there's no deal? >> then i think we have have to look at what are our other option snz options? we have to look at every option that we have to make sure that
that iran's objective of a nuclear weapon is not achieved. >> the options, if there's to deal and the president said in this interview with reuters there might not be a deal. he's not confident that there will be a deal. the options are then you go back and you strengthen sanctions, try to isolate them. and then the last option would be some sort of military strike. what you are saying is -- >> we need to keep all options on the table to reach that objective of making sure iran does not develop a nuclear weapon. not only for what that would do with iran and iran's intentions but also for what the impact that it would have on the proliferation of nuclear weapon development in the region and other parts of the world. >> i hear you agreeing. >> i think we need to keep all options on the table. >> in the end, all options on the table. but you are not rushing for any military action? >> absolutely not. >> are you closing to the president's position or the prime minister's position?
>> well frankly, i think congress is looking for more information, looking for the details of the negotiations. and looking with cynicism. one of the issues that has been coming up in congress has been the issue of sanctions. recognizing that these sanctions are not turned on and off like a spigot very quickly. if there is a negotiated outcome that iran does not hold up its end to the deal saying we will turn the light switchback on the sanctions will be back in place is really not a realistic view. we're looking at with a very cynical eye. because iran has not shown it can be trusted. >> stand by. we have more to discuss. she's here in the"the situation room." we're waiting for susan rice. she's about to address the pro-israel lobbies organization. we will have live coverage.
[announcer] if your dog can dream it purina pro plan can help him achieve it. ♪ epic classical♪ music stops ♪music resumes♪ music stops ♪music resumes♪ [announcer] purina pro plan's bioavailable formulas deliver optimal nutrient absorption. [owner] come on. [announcer] purina pro plan. nutrition that performs.
the real question that needs to be asked is "what is it that we can do that is impactful?" what the cloud enables is computing to empower cancer researchers. it used to take two weeks to sequence and analyze a genome; with the microsoft cloud we can analyze 100 per day. whatever i can do to help compute a cure for cancer, that's what i'd like to do. the lexus command performance sales event has begun. command track-tested precision with the fastest-growing automotive luxury brand on the road. including the exhilarating is. powerful gs. and first-ever rc coupe. with more new models than ever there's never been a better time to experience lexus performance. during the command performance sales event. get great offers on our most dynamic models. now through march 31st. see your lexus dealer.
you can't predict the market. but at t. rowe price we've helped guide our clients through good times and bad. our experienced investment professionals are one susan rice has just started speaking. let's listen np. . >> i want to take a moment before i begin to remember three young men who aren't with us here today. i want to call us back to those terrible days last summer when we were united in grief over the horrifying kidnapping and murder of frankel, shiaer and efrak.
as a mother, my heart breaks for such unspeakable loss. those boys were our boys. and we continue to mourn their tragic loss. >> unfortunately, we lost the connection. we will try to fix it with the conference going on. as soon as we get that line cleared up we will go back and hear what susan rice has to say. in the meantime, congresswoman gap gabbard is here with us. she is speaking before this group. you were there at a panel discussion earlier today. she has a lot of work to do to try to fix the u.s./israeli relationship. the president has a lot of work to do.
the prime minister has a lot of work to do. it's a tense time. >> yes. that was one of the questions that was brought up in the panel that i was on which had three post 9/11 veterans u.s. veterans talking about some of the bonds that exist between u.s. veterans and service members as well as the israeli defense force and different ways that both of our countries have benefitted from the strong military partnership. i look back to our senior senator from hawaii medal of honor recipient, world war ii veteran and someone who has been -- was critical throughout his life in getting funding for the iron dome and really served as a major partner for israel with a lot of the advanced that they have had and also brought a lot of the benefits to the u.s. mill tarlitary as well. >> a great united states senator, a war hero and a strong supporter of israel at the same time. what advice do you have right now for the president of the united states the president's
national security adviser to try to fix this clearly tense relationship? >> put yourself in israel's shoes. i think whether you are -- when you in any kind of situation where there's a little bit of a standoff and personalities and egos are hurt if you put yourself in their shoes and understand where he is coming from where the israeli people are coming from and their deep concern about iran's continued development of a nuclear weapon and what they want to do with that, and i think prime minister netanyahu needs to do the same with president obama and what he is trying to accomplish. if they do that they can listen the standoff and come to an understanding where they recognize, look we're working towards the same goal and see how they can find some areas of agreement. >> how worriedy edied are you that 30 democrats, including one of your senators from hawaii have decided to boycott netanyahu's speech? >> i think the message needs to rise to the top that this is not about partisan politics.
it's about two strong allies and strong friends for so long, both working towards the same objective. two allies who have different ideas how to get there. but ultimately this friendship will continue. and to the benefit of both of our countries. >> let's talk about what's going on in war against isis. you served in iraq. you spent a year there, right? you risked your life going over there. right now the iraqi military says they are moving towards trying to liberate tikrit. they have a lot of support from the iranians right now. they are in there. it sounds like a very complicated, tenuous situation. i'm not very optimistic this iraqi military operation is going to succeed. >> i also have concerns about this for one primary reason which is what you mentioned. the fact that the iranian forces are playing such a major role in this. the shia militias are playing a major role.
my question is where are the sunni fighters. tikrit is a sunni homeland. if there is not an agreement in place before this attack happens and if the sunni fighters are not playing a side by side role in this with a plan for them to take charge of security to take charge of tikrit after the attack is over and isis is gone then the effects -- they may win the battle but they will lose the overall fight. that vacuum will still exist where the sunnis will turn to isis for protection from this oppression. >> a lot of u.s. analysts -- speaking to them -- are deeply concerned. the leader -- the iranian leader he is supposedly there leading the fight against isis. the concern is the shiite militia may win, may help the iraqi military but in the long-term iran is the big winner in iraq. >> this is why i have spoken about this a number of times.
this is why it's so critical for there to be some sort of three state solution, three state configureation where you have the kurds empowered, sunnis empowered and the shias empowered. because until that happens, you will continue to see this failed policy. it continues today where you have this iran influence shia government that's oppressing the sunnis. and the only one that benefits from this is isis. >> vice president joe biden when he was in the senate he was one of those suggesting maybe it's time to sort of split up iraq which was an artificial creation. he suggested into an independent kurdistan and sunni area and shiite area as well given the fact they can't work together. hold on. i think we reconnected with susan rice. wasn't to listen in. it is not negotiable and it never will be.
[ applause ] our alliance grow ss from generation to generation. [ applause ] that's what counts. that's what we have to protect. as john f. kennedy said back in 1960 friendship for israel is not a partisan matter. it is a national commitment. [ applause ] no one knows this better than all of you. for decades, you have built bipartisan support for america's special relationship with israel.
that's why every president from harry truman to barak obama has been begun from a fundamental, unshakable premise. that is that strengthening the secureity of israel is in the national interest of the united states. [ applause ] president obama's commitment to israel is deep and personal. i know because i see it every day. i first saw it when i accompanied then senator obama to israel in 2008. i saw it when he surveyed with horror the stacks of charred rockets that hamas had fired on israel. and when he walked through the hollowed out homes. that same year president obama
came to this conference still a senator and he made a promise. he said israel's security is sacrosanct. and each day over the past six years president obama has kept that promise. [ applause ] the president is profoundly committed to ensuring that israel is never alone. [ applause ] that's why today security cooperation between our countries is not just strong. it's stronger than it has ever been. [ applause ] both president obama and prime
minister netanyahu have called it unprecedented. and that's the way it's going to stay. [ applause ] president obama has met with prime minister netanyahu more times than with almost any other world leader. as national security adviser, i'm in nearly constant communication with my friend and my israeli counterpart who i'm so pleased is here tonight. [ applause ] i also want to thank his predecessor who is also here tonight and who was kind enough to greet me backstage. [ applause ] and i have to say hello to my dear friend ron who served
together with me for many years at the united nations. [ applause ] so together yosi and i, we host the u.s./israel consultive group to ensure we're working closely across the highest levels of our government. our armed forces conduct extensive exercises together and our military and intelligence leaders consult continually. under this administration in times of tight budgets, our security assistance to israel has increased. since president obama took office the united states has provided israel with more than $20 billion in foreign military financing. [ applause ]
last year we provided israel with the largest package of security assistance ever. [ applause ] and that's money very well spent. because it goes directly to bolstering israel's ability to defend itself by itself. in a very tough neighborhood. [ applause ] it goes to protecting israeli citizens and to strengthening a vital american ally. we're maintaining israel's qualitative military edge with new defense technologies and access to the most advanced military equipment in the world. president obama is determined to ensure that israel -- i'm sorry.
when israel receives the f-15 joint strike fighter next year it will be the only nation in the middle east with a fifth generation aircraft. [ applause ] since 2009 we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in developing and producing the david sling missile defense program and the aero-anti-missile system. we have invested more than a billion in the iron dome system. [ applause ] when i visited israel last may, i saw this technology firsthand at the air force base. last summer as hamas terrorists rockets reigned down on israeli
cities the world saw how iron dome saved lives literally every day. [ applause ] during the height of that conflict with sirens wailing and israeli civilians huddling in bomb shelters the united states stood up for israel's right to defend itself against rocket and tunnel attacks, even as we worked with the israeli government to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict. and when the israeli government made an urgent request for an additional $225 million to support iron dome batteries, president obama's response was immediate and clear. he said let's do it. [ applause ]
and so within days legislation was drafted, passed through congress with overwhelming bipartisan support and president obama signed it into law. at that critical moment we replenished israel's arsenal of iron dome interceptor missiles. that's what it means to be an ally. [ applause ] our unwavering commitment to israel's security is why we will also never give up on a just and comprehensive peace between israelis and palestinians. [ applause ] it will require hard decisions.
but the united states will remain a steadfast partner. like past administrations, republican and democratic we believe that a truly lasting peace can only be forged by direct talks between the two parties. [ applause ] like past administrations, we're concerned by unilateral actions that erode trust and assault israel's legitimacy. [ applause ] like every administration republican and democratic since the six day war, we oppose israeli settlement activity and we oppose palestinian steps that throw up further obstacles to peace, including actions against israel at the international criminal court.
[ applause ] the only path to ensure israel's long-term security is to bring about a viable sovereign palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with a democratic jewish state of israel. [ applause ] israel's security our mutual security is at the heart of one of president obama's most important foreign policy objectives. ensuring that iran does not get a nuclear weapon. [ applause ] as president obama has repeated many times, we are keeping all options on the table to prevent
iran from developing a nuclear weapon. [ applause ] as he said in jerusalem -- and i quote -- iran must not get a nuclear weapon. this is not a danger that can be contained. and he added, america will do what we must to prevent a nuclear armed iran. [ applause ] president obama said it. he meant it. and those are his orders to us all. [ applause ] that is still the way we see the danger of a nuclear iran today. given iran's support for terrorism, the risk of a nuclear arms race in the region and the
danger to the entire global non-proliferation regime an iran with a nuclear weapon would not just be a threat to israel it's also an unacceptable threat to the united states of america. [ applause ] we understand the unique concerns of our israeli friends and partners. in jerusalem, president obama made plain -- and i quote again. when i consider israel's security i also think about a people who have a living memory of the holocaust. faced with the prospect of a nuclear armed iranian government that is called for israel's destruction. no wonder israelis view this as
an existential threat. but this is not simply a challenge for israel. it's a danger to the entire world, including the united states. end of quote. [ applause ] now i want to be very clear. a bad deal is worse than no deal. [ applause ] [ applause ] and if that is the choice, there will be no deal. [ applause ]
now, negotiations continue. and nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. as of today, significant gaps remain between the international community and iran. i'm not going to get into all the details about ongoing negotiations nor should sensitive details of such a negotiation be discussed in public. but i do want to make five key points about our approach to the negotiation. first, with the joint plan of action we have already succeeded in halting iran's nuclear program and rolling it back in key respects. [ applause ] let's recall what's been
achieved over the last year. iran is doing away with its existing stockpile of its most highly enriched uranium. iran has kept its stockpile of low enriched uranium. iran has not constructed additional enrichment facilities. iran has not installed or operated new centrifuges, including its next generation models. iran has stopped construction at its potential plutonium reactionerreaction er reactor in iraq. iran is further away from a nuclear weapon than it was a year ago. and that makes the world safer, including israel.
moreover we are not taking anything on trust. what matters are iran's actions, not its words. [ applause ] that's why as part of the joint plan of action we have insisted upon and achieved unprecedented access to iran's nuclear program. before the joint plan of action inspections happened only every few weeks. sometimes every few months. today, the international atomic energy agency has daily access and iran's key nuclear facilities, verifying iran is meeting its commitments. if i can paraphrase president reagan with a twist.
our approach is distrust but verify. [ applause ] second we have kept the pressure on iran. i know this firsthand, because when i was u.n. ambassador president obama personally directed me to make sure that the security council's sanctions had bite. and they do. today, even with limited sanctions relief iran's economy remains isolated from the international financial system and cut off from the vast majority of its foreign currency reserves. iran's oil exports have dropped almost 60% since 2012. the reall has depreciated by
more than 50%. iran's gdp has shrunk by almost 10%. all told sanctions have deprived iran of more than $200 billion in lost revenue. [ applause ] i should be precise and say that's oil revenue, not all revenue. more loss beyond that. but sanctions are a tool not an end in themselves. the question now after the pressure that we and our partners have brought to bear is whether we can verify that iran cannot pursue a nuclear weapon. the question now is whether we can achieve a comprehensive deal a good deal. this is my third point.
a good deal is one that would verifiably cut off every pathway for iran to produce enough missile for a single nuclear weapon. [ applause ] every single pathway. any deal must prevent iran from developing weapons-grade plutonium at iraq or anywhere else. [ applause ] any deal must prevent iran from enriching uranium at its nuclear facilities. [ applause ] that's a site we uncovered buried deep underground and revealed to the world in 2009. any deal must increase the time
it takes iran to reach breakout capacity. that is as you know the time it would take to produce a single bomb's worth of weapons-grade uranium. today, experts suggest iran's breakout window is just two to three months. we seek to extend that to at least one year. any deal must ensure frequent and intrusive inspections at iran's nuclear sites, including the uranium mills that produce the material fed into iran's enrichment and conversion facilities. to create a multi-layered transparency regime that provides the international community with the confidence it demands. that's the best way to prevent iran from pursuing a covert path
to a nuclear weapon to stop iran from working towards a bomb in secret. any deal must also address the possible military dimensions of iran's nuclear program. [ applause ] and going forward, we will not accept a deal that fails to provide the access we need to ensure that iran's program is peaceful. [ applause ] and any deal must last more than a decade with additional provisions ensuring greater transparency into iran's program for an even longer period of time. [ applause ] that's what we're working towards. a good long-term comprehensive
deal that verifiably prevents iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. [ applause ] now, that brings me to my fourth point. we cannot let a totally unachievable ideal stand in the way of a good deal. i know that some of you will be urging congress to insist that iran forgo its domestic enrichment capacity entirely. [ applause ] [ applause ] .
>> but, but as desirable as that would be it is neither realistic nor achievable. even our closest international partners in the p5 plus 1 do not deny peaceful nuclear energy. if that is our goal our partners will abandon us and undermine the very sanctions we have opposed so effectively together. simply put, that is not a viable negotiating position. nor is it even attainable. the plain fact is no one can make iran unlearn the scientific and nuclear expertise it already possesses.
we must also understand what will happen if these negotiations collapse. i know someone argue that we should just impose sanctions and walk away. [ applause ] but let's remember -- let's remember -- my friends, let's remember that sanctions, unfortunately, have never stopped iran from advancing its program. so here's what's likely to happen without a deal. eastern will install and operate advance centrifuges. iran will seek to fuel its reactor in iraq. iran will rebuild its uranium
stockpile and we'll lose the unprecedented inspections and transparency we have today. congress has played a hugely important role in helping to build our sanctions on iran. but they shouldn't play the spoiler now. additional sanctions or restrictive legislation enacted during the negotiation would blow up the talks, divide the international community and cause the united states to be blamed for the failure to reach a deal. putting us in a much weaker position and endangering the sanctions regime itself. meanwhile, the iranians are well aware that if they walk away from a deal congress will pass new sanctions immediately and president obama will support
them. [ applause ] so if iran refuses to deal with this matter and is clearly to blame for that, its isolation will only increase. the cost also continue to grow. now, finally, i know that some question of deal of any duration but it's always been clear that the pursuit of an agreement of indefinite duration would result in no agreement at all. the question is what is the best way to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon? a deal that extends for a decade or more would accomplish this goal better than any other course of action longer by far than military strikes, which would only set back iran's
program for a fraction of that time. and at the end of the any deal iran would still be required to provide comprehensive access to its nuclear facilities and to provide the international community the assurance that it was not pursing nuclear weapons. and if it failed to do so we would have the ability to make our own decisions about how to move forward just as we do today. there is simply no alternative that prevents iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon better or longer than the type of comprehensive deal we seek. we can always bring consequences to bear for the sake of our shared security.
harsh consequences. but precisely because this is such a serious issue, we must weigh the different options before us and choose the best one. sound bites won't stop iran from getting a nuclear weapon. strong diplomacy backed by pressure can. [ applause ] and if diplomacy fails, let's make it clear to the world that it is iran's responsibility. one final word on iran. even if we succeed in neutralizing the nuclear threat from iran we will still face
other threats. iran sponsorship of terrorism. its gross human rights abuses. its efforts to destabilize neighboring states its support for assad and hamas and hezbollah. and its intoll lor rabl threats against israel. our sanctions against iran on all of these issues will remain in place. we will counter iran and the full range of threats it poses. tehran must understand the united states will never, ever waver in the defense of our security or the security of our allies and partners including israel. the bottom line is simple.
we have israel's back come hell or high water. and i've been with you all right there through some pretty high waters. i was proud to fight again and again for israel's security and its basic legitimacy at the united nations from leading the charge against the deeply -- >> so susan rice making a strong case for the united states to work out some sort of diplomatic deal with iran to end its nuclear program but the possibility of getting some sort of nuclear bomb. let's get some sort of analysis. robin wright is here from the wilson center.
gloria borger is with us as well. robin, what do you think? did she win over this crowd over there? >> probably not but she made a strong case for the administration in terms of putting it in international context and saying there's no real alternative to a deal. she also made the point over and over that iran would be held accountable for it is other actions, whether it's mischiefs or add or add ventures and, frankly the alternatives are pretty bleak if diplomacy doesn't work. >> gloria she made a strong case that the u.s./israeli relationship under the oembama administration is really strong. >> yes. she got a standing ovation, a bad deal is worse than no deal but she really said congress shouldn't play the spoiler now. a warning to these people if we get a deal we don't want
congress to mess it up. >> ron brownstein how did she do? >> you heard both sides of the argument. from the administration there's no better alternative and from the applause in the room walk away, demand no enrichment and the administration says it would not work. >> how worried should the israelis be about the state of the u.s./israeli relations right now? >> if they get a deal, this is going to play out this tension over the next three or four months. >> it's a tense moment. >> it is a tense moment. bibi netanyahu wants to win re-election. is this about bibi and obama's relationship? >> we have a lot to cover tomorrow morning. getting ready for benjamin netanyahu's address before a joint meeting of the united states congress. he will respond to what we just
heard from the president's national security adviser susan rice. for me that's it right now. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" tonight, breaking news. the obama administration warning not to like secret information in the speech to congress tomorrow. our guests are "outfront." and cnn has obtained e-mails written by jihadi john. he talks about marriage finding a job and even thoughts of suicide. plus -- [ gunfire ] [ screaming ] >> oh my god! >> [ bleep ]. >> we have new video of a police shooting and killing a man during a violent arrest. "outfront" tonight, the eyewitness who caught all of this on tape. let's go "outfront."