Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  July 6, 2015 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT

6:00 pm
and the importance of the fourth amendment over the next several decades that we hope will also reform the legislative side as well. ..
6:01 pm
what took us 50 years to build since the war on drugs from nixon will take us decades to undo. we are thrilled to be working with koch industries. we are thrilled to be working with the american legislative executive council. we are thrilled to work with interest groups who come to this not just for the economic imperative but with a moral imperative. at the end of the day this is not just about balancing budgets. this is about to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. this is about turning the other cheek. this is about whether or not america is a country that believes in the value of redemption and whether each one of us should be judged for the rest of our lives for the worst act we have done on our worst day of our life. and if we don't believe that rule should apply to us than it ought not to apply to her criminal justice context and that is where i think the opportunities are enormous and i
6:02 pm
look forward to working with anyone else with whom i was i disagree on other fronts. peter arthur and others will work together when we cannot can and get some things done so thank you very much. [applause] >> asus zen a superb constitutional conservation -- conversation. my expectations were high and you surpass them. i have heard i would not say rancor but engaged debate and i've also heard some important agreements on fundamental issues like the moral foundations of american liberty and the importance of opportunity and the dangers of the mass corporation. as for the center what we will do to keep up your charges continue to be the central national hosting platform for precisely this kind of constitutional conversation aired on the web here in philadelphia and around the country and what we will do is educate the citizens of the united states about the u.s. constitution hearing the best
6:03 pm
arguments on both sides like we have heard today so each of them to make up their own mind about how best to celebrate freedom. we are now going to celebrate her own freedom by taking a 15 minute break and then we will return to hear the great walter isaacson interview mike bezos. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> that is basically when a business owner doesn't like the review of their business and
6:04 pm
says i am going to sue you or i'm going to threaten to see you. they may actually go forward with that but the user the person who wrote that reviewer share that experience you know it's first-hand and that it's factual and true like you are the little guy and you might not have the money to really go to court over what you wrote about a chinese food restaurant or that car mechanic so instead of doing that you just take off your review. so while yelp is protected because of section 230 of the communications decency act what we are really worried about is the chilling effect that those types of lawsuits or threats of lawsuits would have on people that would otherwise share their first-hand experience. >> we are attempting to deploy initially about 600 satellites. 600 satellites in our first consolation. their regulatory items we have
6:05 pm
to address. clearly that's one reason is we want to be on the hill as well but also to express the mission in the mission is to bring an affordable internet access to the masses and also to be able to provide services to public safety military, nongovernment uses that would benefit the population in general. >> wireless is very different than wireline. our hope would be that wireless could be treated differently in terms of net neutrality recognizing it's a scarce resource and so it's not exactly the same as data flowing over a fiber network or sample so we think the wireless piece of the does need to be given careful consideration. the story is reported by the "associated press" to end the u.n. arms embargo on the country a parallel deal that the united states opposes. diplomats are and it tends
6:06 pm
straight day talks seeking a court over the program and the "miami herald" asking as iran nuclear deadline nears analyst ascot and -- will follow. [applause] >> thank you. it's great to be here at a park not just being here in the library where a good deal of research for this book but also being in the hometown of ernest hemingway a writer that did not
6:07 pm
fail to stir some emotion. i live two blocks from the home in which ernest hemingway lived when he did his first writing. i'm hoping some of the karma will blow over towards my part of the block. the raiders will have to be the judge of that. i felt hemingway story was as exciting as the one that i am covered and tried to put together while writing this book. it was just 50 years ago in august of 1953 that the cia overthrew a government for the first time. that was the democratically-elected government of mohammad mossadegh and the prime minister of iran. that episode was hardly noticed in the world press and certainly
6:08 pm
the involvement of united states, the truth of what really happened was completely unknown at that time. at the time this coup was launched it seemed like a success for the united states. we have got rid of someone we didn't like and put in someone we did like. indeed for 25 years the period of the shah was in power we could still from the perspective of the u.s. government consider this operation to weapon a success. it's only now looking back on it from the did the 50 years of history that we can begin to understand what a fundamental turning point this 1953 coup was. this was an episode that really shaped the whole second half of the 20th century and had a great influence on the violent currents that are racing through the world today. it would not impossible to realize this even a few years ago. it's only now that we are able
6:09 pm
to understand the meaning of this episode and for that reason it teaches us a real object lesson in the long-term consequences of foreign intervention. this isn't just a story about foreign policy. this is a wild spy story in which a real-life james bond set out almost single-handedly to overthrow the government of a foreign country and a cast of characters that is truly amazing amazing. one of the things that i have to most fun doing in writing this book was piecing together all the different accounts in the different interviews in the different interviews and the different dimensions and various books and articles have been made of this episode and try to reconstruct almost on an hour-by-hour basis what happened during those days and nights in august of 1953. i had always asked myself how one actually does go about overflowing a government.
6:10 pm
if you have a the assignment to go into a foreign country and over low -- overthrew the government what do you do on the first day and what do you do on the second day? now i know. in fact i'm available for consulting. let me talk first about why this coup took place and then i want to talk a little bit about how it happened. finally looked back on it from the perspective of today. along the way i want to try to introduce you to some of these larger-than-life characters who populate this fascinating drama. in the years after world war ii in the late 40s and early 50's 50's, the currents of nationalism and anti-colonialism were sweeping through africa and asia and latin america. now in iran nationalism had one
6:11 pm
meeting. meant the desire of iranians to retake control over their own oil resources. iran sits on one of the greatest cities of petroleum in the world world. it was very early in the 20th century that a small group of visionary british politicians led by the young winston churchill who was at that time first lord of the admiralty realized that oil was going to be the key to domination in the 20th century. winston churchill saw world war i on the horizon. he knew that he was going to have to transform his ships from coal-fired to oil fired. he knew the country that control the oil would have the decisive advantage in the coming war and they would also have the ability to dominate the world after the war, but britain does not
6:12 pm
produce any oil nor did britain have any colonies that produced oil. this led churchill and a group of other british officials to concentrate great attention on this problem. it was in iran that they managed to seize control of the huge newly discovered oil resource. the british did this by the simple expedient of writing the three iranian negotiators at the table and they signed a fantastically lucrative agreement which gave them 100% monopoly on all of the production extraction and refining and sale of iranian oil oil. in exchange for this they were to pay iran 16% of the profits. these profits were calculated after the company had paid a huge tax to the british government and since the company was owned principally by the
6:13 pm
british government, this is essentially paying taxes to the company itself. so even when the iranians asked to see the books as to how the 16% of what was remaining was calculated they weren't allowed to do that. so naturally during the period of the late 40s and early 50's as iranians became more and more aware of the injustice of this arrangement seeing the british at the peak of world power while iranians lived in some of the worst conditions anywhere in the world their resentment began to grow. winston churchill knew exactly what he was getting when he signed this very unequal agreement. he called iranian oil a prize from fairyland beyond our wildest dreams and it was that oil that maintain britain had a high standard of living altering the teens and 20s and 30s and 40s. iranians begin to chafe bitterly
6:14 pm
if this arrangement and it was his bitterness that propelled to power their the remarkable figure of mohammad mossadegh. mohammad mossadegh shook the world at the middle of the 20th century. in 1951 "time" magazine chose him as its man of the year. they chose him over winston churchill, harry truman, douglas macarthur and dwight eisenhower. and they were right because during 1951 mossadegh had a greater influence on the world than any of those other men. he rose to power at a time when he was already advanced in age. he was a highly sophisticated intellectual. he had been educated in europe. he was the first iranian to win're at at the university. he was known as highly incredible. he never accepted a salary from the government.
6:15 pm
his political platform had really only two planks. one was democracy which meant and it ran that the shah should rule as a figurehead national symbol like the queen of england while political power be exercised by avila did prime minister. the second plank was nationalism and that meant nationalizing the iranian oil company which for years had been making fabulous products by using iran's valuable resources. on the day that mossadegh was elected by parliament to be prime minister before accepting the honor he made a condition that the parliament should vote for the bill that he had prepared nationalizing the british oil company. the parliament did so unanimously. mossadegh rode into power on a huge wave of popularity. it was based principally on the consensus that he would be the
6:16 pm
one who would carry out this transcendent act of nationalizing the british oil company. now besides being a visionary nationalist mossadegh was also a highly unusual personality. he was extremely emotional. he would break down into tears literally on the floor of the parliament blog giving speeches about the suffering of iranians. sometimes he would even fate that awaits from the strain of the one occasion he was known to wink at the doctor from the floor. he had a great sense of political theater and although he had many physical ailments, altering the period i was writing this book i was never able to tell where the physical ailments and where they psychosomatic ones began. he spent a lot of time in bed and he used to receive diplomats in his pajamas. now these aspects of this his personality were used in the west to ridicule mossadegh and
6:17 pm
make him seem like an unserious person but actually in iran where centuries of shiite religious practice have sensitized people to public displays of emotion that are far beyond anything with which we are accustomed in the west, these aspects of this personally only seem to endear him even more to iranians. he seemed to suffer with them even as he was chastising them. mossadegh offered the british the chance to carry out the nationalization of the oil company according to british law law. if you can remember in the late 40s and early 50's the british were nationalizing many of their own industries at home. they were nationalized coal -- nationalizing the cole and are worried industry and had an elaborate system developed for deciding who had to compensate who in the case of these nationalization so mossadegh offered let's just put it in front of one of your tribunals and we will decide who owes who
6:18 pm
money. now the management of the oil company was famously obstinate. for years the friends of the british and iran in the friends of the anglo-iranian oil company and i ranted about urging the oil company to compromise to avert this crisis. the american consortium known as aramco the arabian american oil company reached a deal right around this period with saudi arabia and they gave saudi arabia a 50/50 split. this was an agreement that had the air of fairness that the common person could understand and many of the pro-british people in iran urged anglo iranians to make this. they cheer flatly refused and simply said when they need more money they will come crawling to us on their bellies. now how did the british react to
6:19 pm
the unanimous vote of an iranian parliament carrying out the nationalization of their oil company? this oil company bear in mind was the largest british commercial enterprise in the whole world. its principle asset, the refinery on the persian gulf was the largest oil refiner in the world. this was not some out most of the british empire. this was an operation that was central to british political social and military power. the first british reaction was disbelief. they thought mossadegh was just trying to blackmail them for a few extra million. that turned out not to be true. it became quickly clear. when it became clear to the british that he was seriously decided as they have been conditioned to do over centuries of colonialism they would simply invade iran and take back the oilfields. actually discovered to invasion
6:20 pm
plans. one plan to take over all of iran and a more limited one to take over the oilfields and the refinery at avedon. but when harry truman heard about this he went. he told the british this was absolutely out of the question. americans could never tolerate britain landing troops in iran. then the british decided they would bring the matter to the security council. the americans warned them not to do this. americans told them if your case comes forward and the iranian case comes forward you're not going to look very good but the british, so caught up in their colonial mentality dismissed this. they believed their case was remotely see that they had been robbed at the oil company. back in tehran mossadegh loved the idea of the whole thing being taken to the u.n.. he liked it so much that he decided he personally would fly to new york and present the iranian case.
6:21 pm
when he got too he got to new york he caused a media sensation and it was sort of an eccentric figure baldheaded with enormous arms and a very big nose. one of his american translator said that he makes jimmy durante look like an amputee. [laughter] he gave a lot of speeches on american tv comparing the nationalization of the oil company to the american revolution. he seemed very much like your very endearing if mildly eccentric uncle and americans released it to on tv. he majored -- maybe huge impression of the security council. they're there are in mind this was more or less the first time that the voice of a poor country had ever been raised in such an auguste setting challenging the governing rule of law in the world. he made such an impression that the security council refused to
6:22 pm
accept the british resolution. was the first defeat for a major british resolution in the history of the u.n.. after his triumph at the u.n. mossadegh was invited by president truman to come to new york -- to come to washington to negotiate and consider the possibility of compromise compromise which was never a last reach. the scene of mossadegh arriving at the train station in washington is a wonderful example to weigh mossadegh carried himself. mossadegh often seem to be at death's door, completely unable to move or even speak. so it was as he was carried off the train at union station he was leaning heavily on mccain and his son who was also his doctor was essentially carrying him on his left side. he gingerly was brought down the
6:23 pm
three steps onto the platform. he was able just to raise his head a bit. as he looked down on the platform he sought to everyone's surprise an official delegation and who was at the head of the delegation none other than the secretary of state dean acheson. he had never met acheson but had admired him from afar. he was so thrilled to see him he leapt up, pushes on the side through his cane onto the railroad tracks and according to acheson skipped merrily down the platform and embrace me. during his stay in washington no compromise was able to be reached. the british after their defeat of the united nations had resolved that the last resort was to stage a coup and overthrow mossadegh. they order their agents in iran to begin to arrange such a coup and the agents began to make the appropriate contact. mossadegh cahuenga this. he heard what was going on and
6:24 pm
he did the only thing you could have done to protect himself. he closed the british embassy and spent the british diplomats home, among them of course for all the secret agents who are planning the coup. now the british had nothing. they could not invade they had no diplomatic tools even the world court had run uppercase and they had no agents on the ground to stage a coup. they even lost their oil company. the only thing left of them was to appeal to the americans and prime minister churchill did in 77 years old and starting to fade but still a real product of the imperial tradition long-time lover of clandestine operations appeal directly to president truman. truman turned them down. truman resisted all of churchill's pressures. he essentially told him the cia has never overthrown the government. we don't want to get into this business. we don't understand that and we
6:25 pm
are not going going to quietly intervened and political development without understanding it. truman wasn't worried about the ci and what it might become. in one of his diary entries he then used the phrase american gestapo to describe what he feared the cia could develop into if it were left unchecked. now the british were finished. they lost their oil company. they had no tools to get it back in the americans wouldn't help. the story might have ended there had it not been for the american election of november 1952. in that election dwight eisenhower was elect a ride with him a team that had during the campaign announced the incumbent truman administration for not being tough enough on communism and other threats to american security abroad. news of the american election electrified the british foreign
6:26 pm
office in and the british secret service. they were so excited that they could not even wait for eisenhower to be and not graded before making their appeal again. two weeks after the election the british send one of their top agents, actually a guy who had been the chief of the british intelligence station in tehran before most of the closed it, to washington. his job was to present the plan for the two to the incoming eisenhower demonstrations if you can persuade them to embrace the project of the truman administration had rejected. now the agent who came to make this appeal later wrote a memoir that quote in my book and in his memoir he mentions this mission. this is what he writes and i paraphrase. i knew that our traditional argument would not move the americans. our traditional argument was mossadegh took away our oil
6:27 pm
company. let's overthrow him so he can have our oil company back. this was not an argument that would move americans so he wrote i knew i needed a different argument and i they knew what argument to use. i would say that mossadegh was opening iran up to the possibility of communist takeover. sure enough etsy or commit that this agent used. the dulles brothers secretary of state designate john foster dulles and his brother allen the incoming cia director jumped at that argument. therefore even allowing that british agent to go home more than two months before the inauguration they had given him an informal sign that the united states would now change its policy. sure enough over the next few months president eisenhower and all the other members of the administration who have a voice in these matters agreed to carry
6:28 pm
out this coup gently with the british and planning out a loan on the ground in iran. now as i said earlier in my book i've reconstructed in great detail everything that happened in iran during those weeks of august 1953. i don't want to go through all those details now but let me give you a general idea of the way the coup was carried out. the cia chose one of its most intrepid agents kermit roosevelt actually the grandson of president theodore roosevelt, to sneak into iran in late july 1953 and begin organizing the coup. now what could he do? first of all he began driving newspaper editors and columnists and reporters to write all sorts of defamatory lies about mossadegh in the newspaper. secondly he began bribing members of parliament and the
6:29 pm
leaders of political parties that were part of mossadegh's coalition so they would put the coalition or begin to denounce mossadegh. he began bribing molas -- molas so people would hear denunciations as mossadegh being anti-religion are against islamic faith. he also is a military attaché at the u.s. embassy in tehran began driving mid-ranking military officer said they would be ready with their units to join the coup when the moment came. one of the most brilliant ideas he had was with two solo people on the streets of tehran. he got into the mobs are a business. he was able to recruit several street gang leaders including the most famous and flamboyant one in tehran shavonda brainless brainless. [laughter] who ran a protection racket in the patched up our -- special
6:30 pm
market and have a lot of guys around him verrar is looking for a few extra bucks. this is the assignment that he gave to shavon. he said i would like you to get several hundred men and i want them to rampage through the streets of tehran pretty want them to beat up anyone this season. i want them to smashing shop windows fire their guns into mosques and shout we both mossadegh and communism long live people's republic of iran. this would actually have the effect of turning any decent citizen against mossadegh. than any further integration roosevelt hired another mob to attack this mob thereby giving the impression that the streets of tehran were in chaos in mossadegh it completely lost control of the situation. during this time kermit roosevelt was speaking into the royal palace at midnight
6:31 pm
concealed under a blanket in the backseat of a car to meet quietly with the shah and secure his participation in the coup. the shocker was at that time the very meek and cowardly and indecisive to hear was terrified of getting involved in anything that might endanger him given the power of the u.s. and britain he really had no choice in the end. kermit roosevelt had to use a lot of means to twist his arm pretty brought several people in to apply pressure on the shot. one of them was none other than general h. norman schwarzkopf the father of the gulf war general. general schwarzkopf have been a very flamboyant military figure in iran during the 1940s when the shah was a young man and still had great influence over him. their meeting was amazing. the state department had given schwarzkopf that cover mission of visiting american installations in the region so that his visit to iran would not arouse suspicion although
6:32 pm
brought immediately figured out what was up and printed a story denouncing it. he went in to meet with the shah and orrell palace. the shah was so terrified of microphones that he wouldn't say a word to schwarzkopf and he just gestured. he then pulled a table away from the wall himself in the grand ballroom of the palace. he pulled it out into the middle of the room, presumably the furthest as possible away from microphones. he climbed up on the chair. general schwarzkopf came up and sat with him and they conducted their conversation by whispering to each other at that table. through these and a series of father pressures the shah was finally brought on board in his job was to sign a decree dismissing mossadegh from office. this was of highly dubious
6:33 pm
legality sense and democratic iran only the parliament have the right to hire and fire prime ministers. nonetheless the order to the officer who was to deliver this decree was when mossadegh resists as he surely will, you arrest him and we proclaim a wrong guy as prime minister. the cia had already chosen a iranian officer as the designated savior of iran. now what happened to? on the night of august 15, 1953 the officer who had been chosen to deliver this decree came to mossadegh's door and out of the shadows, other soldiers and it turned out that the coup had been betrayed. the security services had gone out about it and the officer who was supposed to a mossadegh was himself arrested so now the coup had failed. the shah had only signed this degree -- decree on the
6:34 pm
commission to leave iran immediately. he wanted to be near an airport. he was a pilot himself. sure enough this exam the next morning when he heard mossadegh was still in power he literally ran across the tarmac into his private plane with private police, jumped in his plane and flew to baghdad and later on to rome where he told people he would be looking for work since he obviously wasn't able to go back to iran anytime soon. back in tehran in mossadegh and the people around him assumed that the shah had been behind this coup. after all he was the one assigned the decree. now the shah was gone so as far as they knew the danger was over over. mossadegh never had any idea that there even exists is such a person is kermit roosevelt working inside the u.s. embassy embassy in paying somebody thousands of dollars and working so intensively to overthrow him. i honestly believe that mossadegh could come back to life and read my book he would
6:35 pm
be shocked. he had no idea to staying -- dying day in 67 how about the plot was that resulted in his overthrow. after the first coup failed on august 15 the cia and washington sent in urging cable to kermit roosevelt telling him you better get out of there in a big hurry or they will find out who you are until you. but roosevelt decided i could still do this. i was here to overthrow this guy and i still have some tools. i'm going to try again. this was a time when cia agents operated mainly by their wits. kermit roosevelt now having to ditch the plan that had taken british and american spymasters weeks to draw up came up with another plan of the sum. after four more days of writing
6:36 pm
and enunciation somoza date from various quarters he struck again again. on august 19, 195328 bit more dod by the iranian calendar each fateful day that every iranian knows by heart. the streets of iran were full of writers and protesters. many of them paid by roosevelt directly or indirectly but many think joining and without realizing what was going on. there were gun battles as military units joined the fight. government buildings were attacked. the climactic battle happened that night in front of mossadegh's house. 100 people were killed in that battle alone. by midnight most -- mossadegh's house was in flames, he had fled in the coup existed. a couple of days later just before leaving iran kermit
6:37 pm
roosevelt stopped him to meet the shopper one last time. this time he was able to come sitting up in the backseat of a car in a suit instead of hiding under a blanket. the shot toasted him and said this the shah having come back from rome where he was sitting in a restaurant when he learned of the success of the second coup. i owe my throne to god, my people, my army and you which was exactly right although i think he may have reversed the order. kermit roosevelt came back to washington to break claim. he gave a briefing at the white house. president eisenhower later tonight in his memoir that this briefing ever to place but in fact he pinned a medal on roosevelt's chest.
6:38 pm
and roosevelt later wrote about this session in the white house. he said one member of my audience secretary of state john foster dulles had a wide grin on his face and was purring like a giant cat. my instinct told me he was planning. sure enough a few weeks later kermit roosevelt was called in to his bosses office and told you did such a great job overthrowing mossadegh in iran we have decided we don't want that guy down in guatemala. couldn't you go down there and do it again? roosevelt demurred but another group was found in less than a year after the elected government of iran was overthrown by ramallah was overthrown with heinous consequences of hundreds of thousands of deaths and the savage civil war that lasted
6:39 pm
over 30 years. this set the united states out of the direction of covert action and regime change. it's hard to imagine today but it was not inevitable that the cia had become an agency that was involved in overthrowing governments and destabilizing countries. in fact it became so only after the established policy of the u.s. government sets by jeff president truman was reversed by the eisenhower demonstrations. so much of history stem from those few weeks in tehran. let me talk a little bit about what i mean. as i said earlier that coup could have been considered a success from the american perspective for the whole next 25 years. i was a years. i was a period when the shah was in power and served as a faithful ally of the united states. but let's look at it from the perspective of the shah. shaw's repressive regime shut
6:40 pm
off all political alternatives for anybody who is against the dictatorship. the only place that had a principled opposition and was routed in the iranian masses with the fundamentalist branch of islam. fundamentalism began to attract many people who were disillusioned with the impossibility of change any of the way in iran. the shah's repressive regime led to the exclusion of the late 1970s that we call the islamic revolution. that revolution brought to power a group of fanatically anti-american clerics proceeded to launch a campaign of terror against american and other western targets. that regime also inspired fundamentalists in many other countries including next-door afghanistan where the taliban came to power and gave sanctuary to osama bin laden and al qaeda.
6:41 pm
this is why i think you can say it's not far-fetched to draw a line from the 1953 coup in iran through the shah's dictatorship and the islamic revolution to al qaeda and the fireballs engulf the world trade center in new york. the world has paid a terrible price for the lack of democracy in the middle east. why is there such a lack of democracy there? there are many reasons of course as i was studying history in college i was warned not to draw a directed cause-and-effect and i hope my teacher is not in the room. we think the message in 1953 that were sounded throughout the middle east the message was the united states which is the rising power to replace the fading british in the region does not want to see the
6:42 pm
emergence of democratic governance. we want strong man rule and that is what we got. a whole generation of rising leaders in the middle east understood that if they wanted to build regimes they would be supported by the united states they could not go in a democratic direction. they need to go in the direction of iran strongman rule that would guarantee support for the u.s. and cold war conflict and also guarantee access for american companies to get oil that is the middle east's most important product. so from that one episode a deep-seated anti-americanism grew in iran that spread throughout the middle east.
6:43 pm
[applause] >> thank you very much. that introduction was lovely but i have to say i am neither a professor nor an expert of any kind on anything let alone iran. there are no iranian experts in case you were wondering because there is no such thing as
6:44 pm
expertise on iran. iran is just way too unpredictable and difficult for anybody to claim that they are an expert that they know what iran is, what iran is going to do whether they are going to build a bomb, whether they are going to go to war all of that stuff that experts claim to know they actually don't. the proof of that is in 2009 and there was an election in iran there was no single expert myself included as a nonexpert who predicted what was going to happen in the aftermath of the election. now we have got a whole new election happening in iran and there are all sorts of new expertise about expert opinion about what's going to happen with the election in iran and how it's going to affect any clear program and how it's going to affect relations with the united states and iran and again i would argue no one really knows. i will talk a little bit about what we do know about iran rather than what we think we
6:45 pm
know. iran is as i said earlier at a dinner i have the fortune or misfortune however you look at it of being bicultural. what i know of iran is through the culture of my parents and my family and the time i've spent in iran which isn't as much as i would like to have been. my contacts with iranians all kinds of iranians politicians, and i have met and translated for and even advised iranian president. i bet the fortune of being able to look at issues through iranian eyes. my own eyes which are partly iranian but also through the eyes of iranians that i've gotten close to. i think that is actually the primary problem that we have in america with foreign relations that we have a very difficult time looking at issues through the eyes of someone else
6:46 pm
through the eyes of another culture particularly a culture which seems to be in conflict with us. iran has seen -- seem to have been in conflict with us for now over 30 years. the question is is there any way for us as americans who don't have the experience with bicultural background to be able to understand where iran is coming from or where they are bringing government is coming from or where the iranian people are coming from and is there a way for us to accommodate what their concerns are and what they want to be in the so-called family of nations that exist right now. hopefully they are at peace with each other. that's a good question. i can answer that question because i am bicultural. it's difficult for me to answer that question. i think i know but i can't look at iran. through american eyes. what i'm going to do tonight is
6:47 pm
try to explain a little bit about iran from the perspective of iranians not from the perspective of an american. when we look at iran and it's in the news all the time the scary country 80 million people who seem to be religious fanatics which we don't like in america generally speaking, who are bent on the destruction of israel, one of our closest allies if not our closest ally who are bent on reducing our influence and power in the world and challenging the u.s. in almost every instance where our interests intersect such as in afghanistan, iraq syria, lebanon with hamas, with hezbollah. that is what we see of iran and what we see in the media of iran is also very alarmist. we have a crazy president in iran who talks about there being
6:48 pm
no in iran to wipe israel off the map to talking about the evil of zionism and to talking about how iran is a superpower and is going to challenge american is actually going to be fit tories in this battle between east and west. so this is what we get from the media what we see all the time but of course as intelligent people we know that can't possibly be the truth and it isn't. it isn't the truth. it is true that president ahmadinejad is a little wacko. it is true that it comes across as very wacko. it is true that his rhetoric sounds to our ears completely insane but it is also true that his rhetoric doesn't sound insane to a large population inside iran. it doesn't sound insane to a large population in the developing world, not just iran.
6:49 pm
it's also true that he doesn't represent the iranian people fully. it's true that the iranians we see on tv sometimes all the way back to the hostage crisis jumping up and down shouting death to america, scenes of tehran on television people walking on the american flag we also know that the most intelligent people know that doesn't represent 8 million people. it's also true the same time that they iranian government is at odds with the u.s. government in many instances and in many places in the world particularly in the middle east. the question question is why is that? why should we be at odds with iran? what is there about iran or this government in particular come of this regime in particular that makes it impossible for us to have figured out how to be on good terms or at least on speaking terms over the last 30 years? the first answer to that is the hostage crisis. we had an embassy there said
6:50 pm
they took their hostages. they did something evil that was against international law so he stopped speaking to them. cut off diplomatic relations. that was that. now they are our enemy. they are against us and we will do everything to undermine them which included supporting saddam hussein when he went to war with iran, supporting him militarily intelligence wise and supporting the countries who supported him financially. that's the easy answer. the more complicated answer is that there are grievances on both sides. the main grievance the united states has starts with the hostage crisis but then goes on to iran's support for actors that we don't approve of such as hezbollah and lebanon and the palestinian resistance and israel. and the occupied territories. the grievance on the iranian side is the side that we tend to
6:51 pm
miss and we tend not to talk about. the grievances on a rainy inside go back all the way to world war ii. after world war ii during world war ii they all like powers have the shah's father removed from power as a sympathizer and installed the sun. seven or eight years later they are -- he was a very weak ruler. it was a constitutional monarchy. there was elected prime minister and elected prime minister in 1953 was mohamed mossadegh who was a nationalist who believed in iran's national interest and didn't believe in being allied to east or west and didn't believe in taking orders from united states or anyone else particularly great britain at that time. at that time iran's oil iran's income from its oil was less than the taxes that bp was
6:52 pm
paying to the british government for the sale of that oil. so he nationalized the oil industry and the british and americans to make a long story short for those of you who know it the british and the american government decided to remove that democratically-elected prime minister in return the shot to power who had fled iran in fear that he would be arrested. that coup, the 1953 coup, is something that every iranian knows about, every iranian has known about forever has been taught in school since 1979 and every iranian knows that coup was instigated by the united states by great britain but mainly would it wouldn't have happened without the united states. so as far as iranians are concerned and particularly the revolutionaries who took over power in 79 and are now control of the country for them the u.s.
6:53 pm
is a country that took away their democratic aspirations. it's true it was more than 50 years ago but it's still a recent memory for many of those people and since then certainly since 1979 has tried to undermine iran's movement toward an independent democratic or somewhat democratic state. so the antagonism goes back to 1953 but it's not just my 253. a lot of people would write books or articles about how the iranians have a grievance against united states because of the 1953 coup. it's not just that. since 1979 in the hostage crisis the iranians feel that the u.s. has tried to undermine iran in many ways and i will point out a few of the more recent things that the iranians will point out and say this shows american bad
6:54 pm
faith towards iran. the nuclear issue is being the primary one but the united states is making certain demands of iran that most iranians believe iran has a right to nuclear enrichment at this point. most iranians believe that iran has a right to a nuclear program, has a right to enrichment under the treaty that they have signed and that the united states is unreasonable and demanding that they stop that. they believe the united states has gone further than just demanding iran stop that. it is actually had programs to undermine the regime james program. there was a one point of order by in dollar budget to foment revolution in iran under president bush and i'm not sure where it stands now, the budget for covert and overt act to the against the iranian regime. the iranian people and the iranian regime and the iranian
6:55 pm
regime is good at telling his people what's going on in the world and with america and iran the view there are is that america cannot abide by iran's independence by iran wanted to make its own decisions and being an independent actor in the middle east and wants to impose its will on iran, wants to impose a form of government on iran, wants to impose its ideals and its ideology on iran and iran has resisted that. another example for the iranians is the assassination of a nuclear scientist which is blamed on israel and the united states and although the united states claimed that it is not involved in the assassination of a rainy nuclear scientist that is not very well believe that iran by even ordinary iranians who dislike the regime. then you have the stuxnet worm,
6:56 pm
the virus introduced to the iranian computer system that was running the nuclear program which caused a lot of damage and that's another example of cobra deck timothy to undermine iranian interests. the iranian people have to major concerns in life life. i have one concern which is economic which we all have. everybody wants to have a good economic life stable life in the stable country and a stable economy and to do well financially. their second concern secondary concern is a social political concerns so they want a government that represents them. those two are their own primary concerns but will they rein in government knows those are the two primary concerns. they know the economic concern is more important but for the iranians there's also a third concern something we don't generally have to think about in america and that is what their nation stands for.
6:57 pm
the iranian people are proud people who have had 2500 years of history or release they think they have had 25 years of history as a nation-state and a nation-state that was created at a time when they were few nation-state. they were mostly city states at that time and iran wards together this nation out of different tribes and different ethnicities and created this country called iran or by the way it was always called iran by the iranians. it was called persia by the greeks and the british. so there's a sense of nationalism and what iran stands for. iranian kids go to school during the shah's time were taught iranian history the same way we are taught american history. they were taught about this grand great empire that did a lot of good things and that was powerful and independent that was influential and the language and the culture poetry literature was influential across the world and they have
6:58 pm
seen the decline. they blamed part of that decline on the weakness of iran the weakness of its rulers and the strength of the west. what the 79 revolution was supposed to do and why it was so popular for many iranians was that it claimed that was going to make iran and other great country that was going to be independent and not necessarily to compete militarily and not necessarily to compete in terms of power on the world stage but to be competitive is an independent nation-state that was not going to take orders for tate from any other country. that was a very popular sentiment and that's still a sentiment that is very much a part of the iranian experience. inside iraq and among iranians outside and iranian americans who live here who might be spies of the regime despise what it does in terms of human rights and civil rights but still believe that iran should be an independent nation should not
6:59 pm
be a country that is allied necessarily to one country to another greater power or not. or iranians that their concern is quite important and that's the concern that the regime has been able to play on for the last 30 years and particularly in the last 10 years but it's been about the nuclear issue. it's a concern that we want to be an independent nation. we don't want to be dictated to by the west. we don't want to be dictated to by anybody let alone the west. the foreign ministry in iran after the revolution carved into the walls neither east nor west islamic republic. this strong sentiment or they ran is not to be allied to what was then communist based or capitalist west. and that sentiment still plays a very strong role in the iranian culture. ..
7:00 pm
people tend to want to not answer questions anonymously on the phone. numerous polls done. us polling that has shown that the use of the nuclear
7:01 pm
program has diminished somewhat in its popularity. still popular, and popular and the stances popular by the overwhelming majority. and that is what i was talking about. now we can talk about what this regime is and whether how we relate to them, whether it's even possible for us to relate to them. i for dinner jean has been blown out of proportion by our media. you kind of cannot blame our media. interesting, exciting sensationalist. ahmadinejad fits that. if you was reasonable it would not get airtime.
7:02 pm
much more interesting as an unreasonable person. look what's happening with north korea. the korea. the media is concerned about him being a wacko instead of being a threat. this if session we had with him being a threat. but i've been tunisia and iran is not as important as we made him out to be. it was much more convenient for him to be made out to be the leader when he has in fact not. iran has has a very complicated political structure. i will go into a briefly. it is somewhat democratic. there. there is a supreme leader. a lot of these words are very orwellian. the supreme leader who is
7:03 pm
indeed supreme. he is the ultimate authority the way it is structured is the supreme leader was chosen by a body of clerks called the assembly of experts. the assembly of experts is voted on by the people every six years. i have yet to come across an iranian that i know who has ever voted in that election. you have to assume the people who go out people were regime supporters and sent to vote for relatively conservative ayatollahs. the assembly of experts is all clerks kind of like a college of cardinals. and they have the power to appoint the supreme leader. during the term of the supreme leaders the most
7:04 pm
monitors performance and actually impeach him. they has to be proof of all kinds of things. this is where they claim they heritage. i'm actually elected by the people through the assembly of experts. then you have these other governmental bodies. the guardian council is another group who are to mediate. sorry. parliament and the executive branch. there are there are actually three branches of government. the legislative branch branch, the judiciary and the presidency. is anyone who has been following my you know that inside there is a huge battle. that said there is a somewhat democratic system in place. the constitution the
7:05 pm
constitution is somewhat democratic, but there is still the supreme leader who has the final say. so the supreme leader was always the person dealing with the nuclear issue always the person who will make the decision on whether to talk to america, make a deal with america the person who has the military capability the person if iran ever built a nuclear weapon if it were to do that, that, the person who will have his finger on the button not someone like ahmadinejad will over the next president is. in fact, the system the president is not even the commander in chief. he is
7:06 pm
the supreme leader. even if he really wanted to wipe israel off the map he would not have the ability to do so. he does not have the ability to make a decision on the nuclear issue. that is handled by the supreme national security council. it is he it is he who appoints people to the supreme national security council. automatically on that council. he is just just one voice of many. the iranian government is seen as opaque are complicated. you do have the three branches of government constantly fighting each other quite openly. the media is quite open being able to criticize one branch or another. there are many red lines. there is more freedom of press then in some ally countries. there is more there is more freedom to criticize the government.
7:07 pm
you have the system of government that seems very complicated. pres. obama recognized early on that it was not ahmadinejad he would have to talk to put the supreme leader ultimately. the supreme leader being supreme generally does not talk to anybody. he has not left iran since he became president in 1989 since he became supreme leader. he was president before. he thinks being the supreme leader and being kind of if she had this yet both the people have to come to him. and there is actually a book out now by a couple of ex- us intelligence people are suggesting that is exactly what obama should do. go to tehran. so he does not ordinarily meet with people.
7:08 pm
he does not meet the foreign politicians. he does occasionally meet with heads of state from muslim countries who come to tehran. but he does not negotiate. negotiate. it is a complicated structure. president obama did send a letter to the supreme leader now, as far as the iranians are concerned, this actually cause more problems than it solved. pres. obama recognized ahmadinejad is not the person he needs to discuss anything with. ahmadinejad have been the first iranian president to congratulate an american president in writing on their election. ahmadinejad sent a letter congratulating him on being elected.
7:09 pm
he did not get a response. he was very offended. very offended he offended he did not get a response. so he started causing problems inside iran in terms of dealing with the american administration and with president obama. many times many times he mentioned the americans are not interested in speaking to us or not really interested in engaging. they won't even respond to a congratulatory letter that i sent. a friend of mine help compose a letter a letter, somebody who was in the iranian government.
7:10 pm
the problem keeps compounding itself on both sides they think the american side is not genuine, not really after engagement but is trying to undermine, does not understand the iranian side the importance of responding to a congratulatory letter to land the us side thinks that is not possible because every time we do anything we don't get a response. every time we reach out a hand and is meant for the first 12 the american perspective we can see that. whether it is the people for
7:11 pm
the government, the outreach is very weak. yes like to talk to you about your nuclear program and a few other things to afghanistan, syria, iraq family the nuclear program and the like you to do this. they have already got 25 the americans already have what they want which is to stop enriching uranium, to not be able to do what every other country is allowed to do. do. they are picking on us. at the same time they are also saying and while we're asking you to do this are going to leave all options on the table which means potentially if you don't do want you and force you. you. before we bomb you will try a few other things. we will cripple your economy section the hell out of you to do something
7:12 pm
that will make it impossible for you to sell your oil and feed your people and balance your budget and really sleazy so much that it becomes painful not just for you for your citizens, and keep doing that until you agreed to do what you do. and all a while if you don't do it we can bonnie. sanctioning every single thing our oil cold war exchange, cutting is off you are trying to destroy us so what is the engagement? there is no engagement. you are telling us but dictating to us to land the
7:13 pm
same way you dictates iran, the same way the you dictate to some of your other allies and that is not acceptable. for the iranian people by and large a would say they would agree with this government no matter how much they dislike it no matter how much they feel the government is not representative of them. no matter how much they feel the human rights situation civil rights situation, the democratic process all of those situations and issues are of importance and are not in the situation where the iranian people want them to be.
7:14 pm
despite that they will still support the nation when it comes to its rights. once you give up some of your rights because you are told to call once you accept being dictated to that you really don't have independence anymore which is important for the iranian people and something that i think our politicians have to understand with every country that we deal with. we we are used to being able to tell other countries. there there used to be throw our weight around. does not. it does not work anymore. it can only work if we really are willing to have perpetual war with all these countries that don't want to listen to us. i don't think any of us believe that we are capable of that anymore i going to walk with a bunch of other countries for particularly in the middle east. the sanctions and threats are not accomplishing what they're meant to accomplish. sanctions and threads are meant to couples to things accomplish two things, one
7:15 pm
is to change the behavior of the regime or to force the people to change the behavior of their regime to squeeze the people so much that they give someone happy that they rise up and overthrow the regime. neither of those things will happen. neither of them have happened in other of them are going to happen. if anything sanctions of my quite decimated but everett the middle class to a.where the middle class have virtually no say anymore and civil society. getting smaller and weaker. the threats are actually actually causing the iranians to be more intransigent rather than cooperative in terms of wanting to try to resolve what is the main issue the nuclear issue. the iranians today look around and say hello north
7:16 pm
korea has nuclear weapons. and they are not threatening -- they are under sanctions. esther. no one is threatening to go to war with south korea. simply don't have nuclear weapons. this doesn't weapons. this doesn't make any sense. we could resolve this issue is the united states for particularly the united states and other countries that are involved the view is there enough the influential parties influential parties if the united states was willing to accept iran as an islamic republic, a country that is independent legitimate government as legitimate interests in the region. that so far as the iranian people and government is concerned has not happened. we have we have not yet accepted that the islamic republic is a country that we should be able to treat
7:17 pm
exactly the same way as we treat any other country country, any other independent powerful country. this is a demand that is not going away. i will talk a little bit about the regime itself. the dissatisfaction with the regime. the iranian regime was based on three things, legitimacy religious legitimacy derived from shia theology for the second one was support for the poor just society where there is going to be more equality, no corruption equality, no corruption people have an opportunity to better themselves and the government would take care of the poorest and we kissed and weakest in society. that was the second legitimate factor. the third was this independence issue.
7:18 pm
the first two issues have weakened considerably. the religious legitimacy has been somewhat weakened particularly since 2009 when many of the ayatollahs were seem to be cool and not caring about any of the things that talked about in the past but even down to torture and the rest of human rights activists and protesters and stuff like that. lose legitimacy if you do things that are not very religious or at least accepted in the religion. even islam does not accept torture of prisoners in a reason for any reason. they lost that. they have this one to further they lost legitimacy of being for justice and for poor and against corruption and the quality of the people partly because there is as much
7:19 pm
corruption now is that was probably in the latest about last year's even when people who support the islamic republic is using. there's a lot of resentment about the fact is across a society they do very very well they go around throwing away from the people are suffering. that legitimacy is not was there at the beginning of the revolution. anyone who had a mercedes kept in the garage and did not want to be seen to be wealthier than anyone else. the people who can't make the can't even feed their families. the only legitimacy they
7:20 pm
have left is the legitimacy of an independent state that will fight for the rights. now, for the people of iran we always as americans interested in other cultures and with the political systems are and how whether the dictatorship is a cruel dictatorship and the people like the regime to no one in power, don't wanted and power and have sympathy for people who stand up to dictators and autographs. as as far as the united states foreign-policy is concerned, the two issues of the horribly human rights record and the undemocratic company should not be related to the nuclear issue. issue. as far as i am concerned there on related.
7:21 pm
if you try and relate them you will never get anywhere with the eye in government. you're not going to be able to bring down the iranian government to rhetoric for not going to feel to get the audience to rise up against this regime through rhetoric and by telling the iranian regime that we hate you by telling her i am people who stand with you against this will dictatorship you are actually helping regime because the regime turns around and tells people that you're not really worried about the nuclear issue. for the trying to do is overthrow us overthrow the regime that you voted in the power 33 years ago your government can your system of government that you wanted the americans don't want. that is what they are concerned about. and then at that time anyone who disagrees is there is a civil society, if there is
7:22 pm
opposition from anyone anyone who disagrees with the government automatically become suspect. you're actually working for the americans doing this job. that's what they want. it want to overthrow this government, the liberal democracy in iran which they can control it helps the regime when you do that. so in my view those things are related. even among iranians. if you look at the 2009 protests and you look at what people were demanding it wasn't an end to the nuclear program compilations the united states. before walking on the streets saying we want relations with america ought to open the us embassy. no. they were complaining about their own system their own lack of civil rights of the
7:23 pm
rigging of the vote. it had vote. it had nothing to do with america, nothing to do with relations. and nothing to and nothing to do with the nuclear issue. every single candidate who has ever run for public office of the most reform the ones who believe there should be a democracy have all supported the nuclear program. the candidate, leading candidate who lost in 2,009 he still to this day supports the program and did not get one and with the united states. the nuclear issue is really set human rights in the civil rights issue. i suggest that it is absolutely okay for us as americans, ngos even the us
7:24 pm
government to express dismay. trying to build a better society. but to make that a primary consideration will get us anywhere not going to get us anywhere in getting to some sort of agreement. i'm not going to be too long. this may go on and on about
7:25 pm
various things that the poor you to tears. i think tears. i think that the main thing i'm trying to get across, iran is not actually that unique in terms of being a difficult state to deal with. it is unique because it is really one of the few times i history if you set aside a few examples like cuba the cold war countries that we are allied with the come out and defy us all the time. we just don't like to be to five. five. we don't like to hear someone doesn't like something. even though not all of us believe we have the perfect legal system or that everyone is perfect will be like to think it's as good as it gets. it's pretty close to being the best thing out there. the alternatives right now. why would other why would
7:26 pm
other people in other countries want the same thing? why would they want to have a system similar to ours have the exact same freedoms that we enjoy? well is complicated because not everyone believes not everyone comes from the same culture. there are certain freedoms we have today that we didn't have 50 years ago that we think are just like natural freedoms. should be able to say this today whoever you want, the openly homosexual all those issues. be able to marry if you're gay. all those things all those things that have changed over the last 40 50 years civil rights in america. those are things that are not necessarily in the cultures of a lot of other countries yet. they will be
7:27 pm
there, get there. get there. things that are moral, good for reasonable we will get there, but not every society is willing to be exactly like america. not every society wants them to the. i think it's good that there are people who do. just based on the number of people who have illegal satellite connections and watching tv. but society as a whole has not gotten their word wants to be exactly like america. it does not mean that people thought we should not stand up for women's rights. he does not mean we should not decry segregation should segregation should not decry various aspects of civil rights that are abused but it also does not mean we should try to impose our way of life and thinking and ideology on another people wholesale without taking into consideration that
7:28 pm
there is a culture that is proud of it needs to evolve in its own way on its own time. whatever changes come to the government, whatever changes in terms of the political system has to happen internally. they cannot happen because we want them to happen. that is just not going to happen. you know we tried that in iraq. iraq. we were able to bring about change but in the long term we look at it there are very few people will say that for america, maybe for the iraqi people they will say, say think of the americans came and remove saddam hussein. he got what we wanted in the end. that may be true but for america i don't think america will get what it wants or has gotten what it wants and certainly not at the cost -- and i don't mean
7:29 pm
financial, at the cost in terms of american foreign policy, american interest, and in terms of the number of dead and wounded we have that conflict. for america it has never has been with the. so. so i think that when it comes to iran we have to look at a lot of these things that i've touched upon. but we cannot assess about one thing or another and after really think about whether we as a country want to forget about the hostage crisis have the iranians forget about 1953 and move forward and say, look say look, we will recognize your grievances. you recognize our grievances recognize that we will never have complete agreement on everything, but there are areas where we do have agreement where we do think we can come to some sort of
7:30 pm
agreement, and those are whether it is syria, lebanon, iraq, afghanistan, countries were iran has a tremendous a tremendous amount of influence over we can sit down and negotiate. and then once we negotiate and come to some sort of agreement the nuclear issue is the foremost issue. .. what better book than one that
7:31 pm
appears inside the personal life of every first lady in american history? first ladies presidential historians on the lives of 45 iconic american women, inspiring stories of fascinating women who survive the scrutiny of the white house, a great summer time read, available from public affairs in hard cover or in the books, through your favorite bookstore or online bookseller. >> with a deadline for nuclear accord with iran coming tomorrow we are trying to understand iran with events from the seats and archives. next critic of iran discuss human rights violations and prospects for progress on that issue under president hassan rouhani. this is hosted by the foundation for defense of democracies and is about 25 minutes. >> let me start with ali alfoneh. what is your sense of what is going on in iran right now?
7:32 pm
in particular do people think is wonderful we have hassan rouhani as president, he is a reformer making things much better, do people think the 2009 uprising with something over and done with, they are satisfied with what is going on now? are they supportive of the iran's nuclear weapons program, what do we know and what don't we know and what is your sense of that? >> when it comes to the source of our information we need to remember iran is not like north korea. iran is a country where something is at play with the press. however if you rent iran, two different media. in spite of the fact of all those media are censored by the government and particularly if you look at the smaller situation, magazines, journals and especially economic newspapers, iran in that sense is just like america most people do not read economic
7:33 pm
newspaper's? what do they do? first thing you do is read economic newspapers to get the information. would you also should do, this is something they do every single day is take a look at negative busyness of the revolutionary guard. there is another one that looks at the political line of leadership and then you have on the other hand the daily iran which expresses the viewpoints of hassan rouhani and all other newspapers so there are different sources of information we can consult. it must reflect the opinion of the broader public but they give us extremely important insights into the thinking of different elite groups within the mafia family of the ruling plans so those of you who are fans of the
7:34 pm
godfather think of the hassan rouhani group as the corleones of this republic for trying to work with other groups, are take a look at what you find out, it is nothing to do with liberalizing the political system, nothing to do with democracy, absolutely nothing to do with opening up the economy of iran, has a lot to do with taking privileges away from the revolutionary guard and back to the first generation of the revolutionary public. hassan rouhani and the klan -- >> the want to discuss a little bit in this regard related? your confrontation with foreign minister zri? >> use that as a jumping off point? >> a few months ago i attended a lunch with foreign minister zari zarif and a few other people and i approached and asked him if he
7:35 pm
thought was ironic the invoice posting and facebook when his government is in iran to which he replied that is life. that is word for word what he said and i said when will one of iran's most famous political needed and student leaders be free, i don't know who that is. i published this in the daily beast that the foreign minister does not want--no one of rap's most political prisoners, that got picked up, thousands of iranians wrote the prime minister on facebook and after a lot of pressure internally and globally it was picked up by the press they released him on furlough for about a week and a when the media pressure died down he was put right back into prison. i think maybe 15 or 20 minute debate/discussion/confrontation with the un ambassador at the
7:36 pm
time, when i approached him about the same issue i said why is it the foreign minister gets to post on facebook? turned to his agent said word for word, he said heidi facebook and twitter bent in iran? i assured him they weren't listed a bunch of political prisoners and said when will he be freed i don't know who that is. when will she led the freaky dui don't know who that is. i set have you ever heard -- i don't know who that is. have you heard -- she is the only one i have heard of and the only reason is because her name is constantly in the media which are thought was instructive. probably lying about the others but it is a testament to the power of international media to raise these names and make iranian diplomats pay a price. zarif found, did not mean this facetiously a cross between mother teresa and gone. in his telling there's no
7:37 pm
government on the planet more dedicated to peace and freedom and democracy and justice and he has succeeded in convincing much of the world many of the world's governments and much of the world's media when i left a renowned journalist turned to me and said it and he's so wonderful? there were very few difficult questions and this is the sort of situation i hope to change. anytime an iranian diplomat steps outside is off as he should be confronted with a cacophony of the names of all political prisoners and i think there is that direct link to how much pressure we put on this suspicious theocratic regime and how much they open. the fact that even in today's age they have -- out of prison after this international outcry says the same model that was used for soviet dissidents, the
7:38 pm
pressure of the regime is still effective. one of his lawyers, when comcast gorbachev in 1997 why did you release him? everywhere i went to the only thing people would speak with me about, i went to canada as minister of agriculture in 1985 and no one would speak about that only thing he talked about, held placards and ask some of the nuclear negotiators in the room, a soviet nuclear issues bring up the names, that had not real effect on soviet policy and that was one small confrontation and once a week and be part of recreating over and over so we don't let the regime get away with their absurd narrative that things are getting much better at a time there are thousands of people in prison, lawyers and christian leaders and so on and so forth. >> i was going to ask michael
7:39 pm
ledeen a question. >> this goes back to people don't get the importance of what david keyes 11 -- people wrote-- people wrote letters to concentration camp prisoners as they had a better survival rate than people who didn't get attention and that was because in part writing to them, naming them putting their names, given to foreign ministers and so on, removes the cloak of anonymity because it is much easier for regimes to kill anonymous people than it is to killed people with real names
7:40 pm
and faces and people out there in the world calling attention to them. this has worked over and over again. >> i want to press all of you in this in a way. it strikes me that letters to baghdady would not have saved james earl. at the same time it also seems to me among organizations that are identifiably and self identifiably jihadists whether the islamic states or islamic republic there are common goals, common themes, different strategies, how do we understand that? should we say the iranian regime is much more moderate than the islamic state, paternalism prison but doesn't cut their heads off, we should recognize that and talk about that as progress or should we see all
7:41 pm
these various jihadistss groups as essentials the similar even if their strategies are different than our strategy third different, do you see what i'm getting out? >> and what they have been particularly happy about. and in the nuclear issue, nobody would care talking about human rights situations in iran. this is a policy they have been pursuing, these are the statements hassan rouhani is making in public and it is also, the threats he is making against the u.s. government saying if we accept your nuclear terms do not come after us with these issues, the answer of the obama administration and all civilized
7:42 pm
government in the world should be this is a correction between the nuclear issue in human rights question. how are regime treats its own population at home relates to the weight it would be in international political setting and this is the connection we need to make in the west and sanctions joy not only apply if you reach your contractual obligations and nuclear organizations, there is something called human rights. do not forget the u.s. government and u.s. president has on many occasions made direct addresses to the iranian public. how do you think the iranian public would feel if they are totally abandoned by washington? and washington only cares when it comes to the nuclear issue. it is a very important message washington needs to send. to the iranian public. >> it is not justin and moral issue but a strategic issue as
7:43 pm
well. who was famous for saying there can be no peace between countries until there's peace inside of countries and how government treats its own people is a direct reflection of how it will treat its neighbors said it is silly to think a government like iran, and bloggers and journalist it is a rather silly contention. that said, i think the way the issue was used in the soviet context was joy was the tool to bring about the end of the soviet union, not merely to contain the soviet union but end the soviet union and so it can be used in the iranian context and when you look at the boldness of senator jackson who confronted the soviet union and linked most favored nation status to human-rights anti-immigration that was a tool which drove the soviets crazy if you read the memoirs of any of these guys you see when carter
7:44 pm
and reagan would bring up the names of dissidents they really hated it. and i think that is one sign that is the right approach. the human-rights is actually a real achilles heel of the iranian regime because they are dependent upon external actors to some degree their economy is being hit hard hand i think if we understand this human-rights issue not just as the right thing to do morally but an opening up this close society is critical to peace and stability of the region, we will begin to utilize it as a tool in war against theocracy and dictatorship which is what it is. >> you want to answer that? >> david put it right, this is an identity between moral
7:45 pm
imperatives and strategic imperatives. it is rare that you find such a perfect congruence of the other. the degree to which hassan rouhani has been created along the same lines as the myth of gorbachev is of real throwback for me because i remember back in those days as one soviet dictator after another emerge to they always had their lovable human aspects, they liked jazz, as a word -- the kgb boss, they liked dixieland music so there is this human element to the mensa one. is a man of this system, a pure product of the system. came of age, worked in it all his life, he has always been not
7:46 pm
loyal servant of the system people don't talk much about what he is really all about and what he really wants, why does he take all these different positions? because the name game being played inside iran right now among the various factions contending among one another is who is going to succeed hassan rouhani? committee is believed to be sick, if you're anywhere near as sick as the story say he is, people think he is sick and no one would be surprised, let's put it carefully, no one would be surprised if he'd heard drop dead tomorrow and all these various characters they are all maneuvering for the succession, what i call war of succession
7:47 pm
all trying to make short so hassan rouhani is acquiring support everywhere, if you are acquiring supportive read that means each individual faction has greater autonomy and greater run at it known enemies and that is why hassan rouhani's government is setting records for executions torture is, censorships and sullen and so forth, incomparably worse than mahmoud ahmadinejad and who was the stereotype of the nasty vicious hardliner and hassan rouhani who is the stereotype of the angel child mullet is objectively by any measure worse, much worse. so this tells us among other things there are these factors in sight. i want to make a point about what we know and what we don't know since you started with that, there are a lot of known
7:48 pm
and no incentive you look at our history, anticipating internal developments inside the country, look at the big uprising of 2009 which was bigger than the uprising that overthrew the shah in 1979. more people in the streets covered large areas of the country and so on and so forth. it is fair to save that no one inside government saw that coming, no one in a serious position to make policy or effect policy, they were amazed because up until then and the conventional wisdom, had been there is no opposition of any standing or significance in iran and even if existed they don't have leaders people are going to follow and it doesn't matter, just forget about it, there isn't going to be insurrection
7:49 pm
inside iran. and people said of course, we know it was there it was there all along, you could see it and then they added and it is irresistible. if you go back and read the press of 2009, jew and an non words, you will see that the intelligence community and policy-making community were saying we don't have to do anything because these people in irresistible, look at the mall. they are going to win. sort of a precursor of the saga is going to fall, no he's going to win. those types of conventional wisdoms of bottom-line we don't know all. we didn't know in 2009 and we don't know today. what we do know is debt of the regime act as if there was something serious to be afraid of.
7:50 pm
we can say that. this increase in slaughter and mayhem, the increase in censorship, all of that, speaks a regime which doesn't think it has controlled and which is worried, up one more than three people gather on a street corner in any major city in the country they are either arrest or broken up or beaten or sent home or whatever. >> a couple more questions. if you want to ask a question of one know to get to you. talk about record numbers of executions and incarcerations, i guarantee most people don't know that. most people think we're in a. post mahmoud ahmadinejad of reform and moderation, if you simply read the media as a suggested earlier i think you would get that impression. maybe you'd have a different understanding does that not suggest that the regime is doing very well in public relations, it is winning the public
7:51 pm
relations war and perhaps the media are not doing their job in terms of uncovering the reality of iran and acknowledging that? >> absolutely. if you compare hassan rouhani to his predecessor, hassan rouhani is a sophisticated man. he is a trained lawyer, mahmoud ahmadinejad was an engineer but spoke like a truck driver. hassan rouhani is dressed in silks robes. mahmoud ahmadinejad where a $20 jacket, to seem like a man of the people. at the same time his friends and cabinet $22 billion and accounted for. and the findings of this government. end diplomatically they are in reality bringing iran out of diplomatic isolation so yes,
7:52 pm
they are succeeding and the western media is not paying attention. they should. they should to begin with start reading what hassan rouhani has said over the years. in 1999 iran the islamic republic experienced its most serious political unrest. that was the tehran university which spread to the entire country, which politician do you think it was who went to the public and supported the revolutionary guard and the police suppression of the students? it was hassan rouhani. hassan rouhani who has systematically called the iranian students for agents it was hassan rouhani who systematically, chairman of the supreme national security council was banning newspapers and now people are expecting hassan rouhani of all people is going to allow freedom of the press?
7:53 pm
why? why? this is what i believe is the mistake of the western press, they do not pay attention, they do not look at the history of the individual and therefore they have expectations which are totally immature. some younger people in tehran have this kind of expectation, this is why they voted for him but you cannot blame them. their young and naive. in washington people are not so young. this is none of the complaint i have when it comes to u.s. government view of the hassan rouhani cabinet. >> they succeeded in making 90% of the discourse about the nuclear issue may be even higher and convince most of the west the only issue worthy of discussion is how to prevent iran from getting nuclear weapons. without nuclear weapons, with your the conventional arms hundreds of millions of people have been killed in the last 150 years. 200 down people slaughtered in syria, 800,000 in rwanda in the
7:54 pm
one hundred days, tens of millions in world war ii your lee with non-nuclear weapons and so i think we need to dramatically and unequivocally restore the focus to that human-rights question. and in the state department in the 80s she would tell stories that there was a huge map on the wall and one of the senior state department officials said with all due respect you don't really expect us to relegate your husband's released to all these kia strategic challenges and she said what you don't understand is those issues won't be resolved until my husband is released and i think we are aware of the information. there are lists of hundreds, thousands of political prisoners but many people don't get the link between internal freedom and external piece and real quick about the issue of the letters to baghdady. also this encourages movements
7:55 pm
inside of iran, there's nothing more feel full for a dissident and feeling alone and isolated and not care about by the rest of the world. we can do enormous amount to increase the strength of dissident movements inside authoritarian countries by speaking out and supporting them giving them the impetus to rise up against those who throw them in prison. that is another issue the west doesn't understand and i completely agree with michael about missing what has become conventional wisdom of even the arab spring. it is pretty fantastic to look back at the predictions of supposedly smart people in 2009, newsweek said the best thing for syria was a wise and charismatic leader named the assad and john kerry said he was a partner for peace, prosperity and stability and in 2011 the israeli newspaper, the economist said ben ali's regime was far from over shortly before, and if you
7:56 pm
look at the crowley talking about egypt as a rock of stability in an island of stability secretary clinton's famous remark and january 25th and our assessment of the judgment of -- to the egyptian government is stable and all of these were falsehoods and dangerously wrong. in no small part because they were locked -- not listening to the movement and attacked the the amount of double thinkers is always bigger than we think and the amount of true believers is lower than we think. >> i will push you a little bit of a greater emphasis on human rights is called for but that did not mean less emphasis on the nuclear issue. this regime should get nuclear weapons the amount of repression and carnage we could see under the nuclear umbrella for the remainder of this century would make what is going on right now seem very small. >> no question in would be an instantly large danger but i
7:57 pm
think for the unfortunate corollary is people underestimate the danger of the regime staying in power and supporting terrorism throughout the world and undermining every single golf country and ending terrorism as far as the i concede, of replacing the million people for decades, absolutely untenable situation which we need to work faster on. >> tonight on the communicators we visit a tech care on capitol hill to hear what policy issues technology innovators want to discuss with members of congress. we spoke with laurent crenshaw, steven fay and several others. >> against public participation, that is basically when of business owner doesn't like to review of their business they may go forward, you the user who
7:58 pm
wrote that review or share that experience -- you are the little guy and might not have the money to go to court over what you wrote about that car mechanic or restaurant so you take off your review. because of section 230 of the communications decency act what we are worried about is the chilling effect of those types could have on people that would otherwise share their experience. >> you are intending to deploy something by satellite? the first consolation, there are a lot of regulatory items we have to address. that is why we want to do that on the hill but also to express the mission that the mission is affordable internet access and to provide services safety, military how the government used this and non-government use
7:59 pm
this to benefit the population in general. >> is difficult our hope would be wireless could be treated that way, recognizing it is a fierce resource, not exactly the same as data flowing over a network for example but wireless is given careful consideration. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on the communicators on c-span2. >> c-span2 brings you the best access to congress live debate and votes from the senate floor hearings and current public policy events and every weekend peavey with nonfiction books and authors. live coverage of the book festivals from around the country and a behind-the-scenes look at the publishing industry. c-span2, the best access to congress and nonfiction books.
8:00 pm
>> we spent the last couple hours on your an. events from the c-span archives you can see any time at the deadline to reach a nuclear deal with iran is tomorrow. time magazine right after more than 18 months of talks the u.s. and iran are within striking distance of a deal but diplomats familiar with the talks say the hardest issue negotiators of struggled with remains unresolved, the nature and extent of international inspections to monitor the supposedly peaceful nuclear program iran gets to keep the agreement. the diplomats have been meeting for ten days and we will keep you updated as we hear more about the negotiations. also in the news president obama to acknowledge progress in the fight against islamic state militants but signaled he has no immediate plans to send more u.s. troops into iraq saying that won't fix the region's long-term problems, that and the military times. the president's comments came during a rare pentagon visit following a meeting with 35


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on