tv Inside Story Al Jazeera September 28, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm EDT
>> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm david schuster in new york. here are your headlines. the house are taking up the bill passed by senate. the house republicans will strip out the holt car healthcare fund send it back to the senate. >> reports of a three minute commission blackout. the moment the firefighters from
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>> hello and welcome. president barack obama and president rar hassan rouhani dit meet face to face at the u.n. general assembly in new york. secretary of state kerry is set to meet with iran's foreign minister. they'll have to work through iran's nuclear program and syr syria's rages war. president obama said the difficult history between the united states and iran cannot be overcome overnight because
suspicion runs too deep. >> i do believe if we can resolve the issue of iran's nuclear program that can serve as a major step down towards a long road of mutual respect. >> iran insisting on the implementation of its right and imperative of international respect and cooperation in this exercise is compared to engage immediately in time bound and result-oriented talks in the removal of mutual unseasonties with full transparency. >> we respect the iran people to access nuclear energy. we insist that they follow their responsibility under the u.n.
security council resolutions. meanwhile, the supreme leader has issued a development of nuclear weapons and president rouhani reiterated that the republic of iran will never develop a nuclear weapon. >> nuclear weapons and over weapons of mass destruction contradict our religious tenants. >> this should offer the basis for a meaningful agreement. we should be able to achieve a resolution that respects the right of the iranian week while giving the world confidence that the iranian people are peaceful. but to succeed conciliatory words will have to be met by action that are transparent and verifiable. after all, it's the iranian
government's choices that have led to the comprehensive sanctions that are currently in place. >> these sanctions are violent. pure and simple, whether called smart or otherwise. unilateral or multi lateral. these sanctions violate inalien human rights, the right to peace, the right to development, the right to access health and education, and above all, the right to life. sanctions beyond any and all rhetoric cause warmongering. >> we're joined in tehran, he works at an english language daily under the supervision of the supreme leader. we have former deputy secretary
of state for iran and the executive director of the berkeley program of the entrepreneurship in the middle east. what is the economic situation in iran right now? food price versus risen 50% in the last year alone. >> well, basically sanctions have affected the economy of this country, there is no doubt about it. but let's not forget the sanctions imposed on iran by some western countries are also affected. like france and britain. it is a two-way street. it is not in the best interest of any of the countries. those who are imposing the sanctions and those who are subject to the sanctions. yes, iranians are not happy with the sanctions but i think this is also vice versa.
>> one out of four people are without a job. inflation is at 42%, and currency has lost half it's value. how optimistic are you that changes are coming? >> one thing is for sure. changes, and the lifting of the sanctions will not solve the problem. iran has number of structural problems with its economy. what used to be a private sector is more and more disappearing. it had a mismanaged and many have failed to bring successful economic products to the market. at the end of the day the sanctions contribute to all that. without the up rooting of nepotism and corrupt elements of the economy there is very little hope there will be lasting
economic belief of the iranen. >> in a rare moment right now where national so solidarity ist a high level. how dire is it to remove the international sanctions. >> i agree, iran with its resources, with its well educated and creative population, it should be a paradise. it isn't. they're suffering. the thing that no one seems to know how much of that is because of the sanctions, and how much of it is because of long-term economic mismanagement. that is not a new problem in iran. it's been around for a long time. >> what needs to happen moving forward to improve the economy of iran? >> well, i can't speak for the iranian decision makers, but
clearly they need to be in the international market. they need to strengthen their strongest--their strongest economic sector which is the petroleum sector and the gas sector. they need education and all thighs things. but the point is they should be able to do it with the population that they have, the resources that they have, they should be able to manage this economy and turn their country into something much more prosperous, much more effective than it is today. >> how do you begin that process? what is the greatest obstacle right now facing iranians? >> well, as your distinguished guests just mentioned, yes, you have structural problems. iran practices under the part of the government and private sector and the citizens. i don't think this is just about
sanctions or just infrastructures or policies. i think peoples will have to cooperate. many traders tried to eaggravate tax. they don't want to evade tracks. they smuggle food and services to this country to make money as much as possible. they manipulate the foreign currency markets. we've seen a lot of fluctuation notice market when go to the value of the iranian currency. yesterday we had a huge drop in the value of u.s. dollar. now we have the rising value of dollars. many people are trying to manipulate the economic situation and the economic situation in iran and in the united states which is happening right now. i think this is a long process, and many people have to cooperate with each other. but we also have to include the fact that we are now in the middle of a global economy down turn. if the united states doesn't fix its economy, if the situation does not improve in europe, i
don't see any future for the iranian economy in a short period of time. we have to see them perform well before we can do anything here. >> how does the iranian economy affect relations with the u.s.? >> well, there are a number of points of contention between iran and the usa, political and social, obviously exist sinc since 2009 and most recent elections will have demonstrated it. but now the reason why iran is coming to the table is the situation with the economy. it's getting worse. i think that is really the be all end all with why iran has come to the negotiating table. if you consider politically while iran does not necessarily have great relations with its neighbors or international community it's much more comfortable than it was five or season years ago in the iraq invasion. the paranoia has subsided for
regime change. iran has difficulty buying goods and making ends meet because of the collapse of the mismanagement. it really is second to none when it comes to bringing iran to the negotiating table. >> how do you see the relations. >> you have a political elite that has been in power since 1979. typically what happens with this elite, and it happens in iran, this elite gets more and more out of touch with the realities of the order citizens. perhaps the events of the arab spring, what has happened in the arab countries, came as a wake-up call to this leadership, and they said, look, we cannot go on the way we do because if we do, if we remain out of touch in our
palaces, and the distance between us and the ordinary citizen continues to grow, we're not going to survive, and we'll go the way of the mubaraks of our region. >> we'll talk more in just a moment. we'll take a short break. when we come back we'll continue our discussion with a closer look with political challenges in play for both countries. stay with us. what happens when social media uncovers unheard, fascinating news stories? >>they share it on the stream. >>social media isn't an afterthought. it drives discussion across america. >>al jazeera america social media community, on tv and online. >>this is your outlet for those conversations. >>post, upload, and interact. >>every night, share undiscovered stories.
>> we're encouraged that president rouhani proceed a more moderate course. the roadblocks may prove to be too great but i believe they should be tested. >> notwithstanding all difficulties and challenges i'm deeply optimistic about the future. i have no doubt that the future will be bright with the entire world rejecting extremism. >> we heard president obama talking about roadblocks and president rouhani talking about difficulties and challenges.
let's talk about the politics in play with both countries. let's go back to the words of president rouhani talking about new possibilities and they will not build a nuclear become this is this a breakthrough? >> it's a change. it's a change from what we have heard in the last 34 years even the use of the word prudence and moderation. those are words that you have not heard from the iranian president with a high level official. those were forbidden words for a long time. the worst thing you could call someone, the bear pit of iranian politics was a moderate. that was condemned. that is new. there are some new things in his speech when he said, i listened
to what president obama say. >> is this a true break through? >> i think it's a break through for the fact that there are no surprises. it's an amble approach for both presidents. they didn't layout what concessions they were willing to make, but that's totally natural. i do agree with the ambassador. it's very much, if you sort of take it in stark contrast with ahmadinejad, and the rounds that would have made and the walkout, this left the door open for conversation to take place. so i think it was a success, yes. >> what has the reaction been out of iran with rouhani's words and president obama's words? >> well, i'm afraid i want to
start on a positive note and say that things are going to change for good, for better, but i don't think that's going to happen the value of u.s. dollar has gone up because of what hassan rouhani said at the general assembly. he said he doesn't have the power to dismantle the program. even the leadership doesn't have that power or authority. any politician who dares to do that, they will be ousted. if you listened to when he was talking, he said he was under immense intense pressure. they don't trust the united states. yes, the united states governments will doesn't trust the u.s. government. i don't want to blame the u.s.
government but the wall of mistrust is very high. >> i want to get to president obama's words. what has the reaction been out of tehran? >> well, they always welcome dialogue. they chose to elect a moderate president because they're sick and tied of dispute over iran's nuclear energy program. iran does not have anything to identify here. iran just wants respect and mutual understanding between these two countries. they want trust. iran would be more than willing to open it's nuclear program. iran has nothing to hide. the only thing that iran doesn't like is the so-called all options are on the table including military. the good news is that iranians were very happy yesterday when president obama did not repeat this rhetoric of all options are
on the table. that's a good sign. we're hopeful that there will be cooperation with the united states. they miss this kind of good relations with the united states, but i don't think it will happen overnight as mr. obama himself mentioned yesterday. >> what are some of the internal challenges that president obama faces? >> internal challenges? well, what we're seeing is on both sides. it's nothing more than the practice of diplomacy. people have forgotten how to do it, apparently. we and the iranians have not practiced democr diplomacy for 0 years. we need to pull out the books, dust them off and figure out how to do it. what we do know how to do is call each other names, insult each other threaten each other.
now we have to do something new. we have to live to each other. we have to have patience. i agree with my colleague there are going to be set backs, difficulties. that does not fall out with one speech, one handshake, one meeting. patience, listen, forebarrens. all the tools of diplomacy that i'm afraid has become rusty in the last few years. >> when we come back, more on the geographic and strategic influences at play in the broader middle east. we'll be right back.
>> how important iran is as a regional power on its eastern board afghanistan. to the west, iraq. two countries where the u.s. has been deeply involved. not far away is syria where a proxy war has left 100,000 dead. we'll continue the conversation with ambassador limberg. does u.s. have to come to the table and meet with iran? >> if we lived in a reasonable world we and the iranians would be talking about syria together. it's clear. iran has to be part of the solution there. the interesting thing is there are common interests involved. one is both we and the iranians
could not want to see an sunniy extremist groups dominating syria, al-qaeda connected groups. both also share a revolution r n against chemical weapons. >> syria will use what they have to withhold cooperation with iran. >> i don't accept you're assumption. why yes, within israel and other places there are extreme right groups. there are groups that i call the iran haters and the chest thumpers, but if i could repeat
what the newspaper said, it said remember, apac is not israel. there is a vigorous debate within israel over just these cases, and there is a great devision of opinion. the interesting thing that's happened is now that ahmadinejad is gone. ahmadinejad for the israeli right was the gift that kept on giving because he allowed the fear mongering to keep on. now he's gone, the israeli right has lost what many iranians call their best agent. >> i want to get your take, where do we move from here when it comes to dealing with syria and iran, and also the influence from israel? >> the new government has mentioned several locations. they do not seek war with israel, they do not seek
confrontation with israel. but the mistrust exists between iran and israel. they think they're conspiring to dismantle each other, vaporize each other. that is not going to happen at all. iran does not pose a threat to any country, including israel. we have hundreds of thousands of iranians married to syrians, and they have many syrian nationals in cities and towns. you can't separate iran from syria. we're going to live together just as we've been living with iraq and lebanon under similar circumstances including afghanistan. they need to include iran in any future talks that regards any kind of peaceful solution. but as i said i'm trying to be
positive. the syrian army said if iran attends any peace talks regarding syria they're going boy caught this type of meeting. it's a complicated matter. >> what does this mean for the middle east? >> i consider the position of syria in that question. at the end of the day, to consider that syria was the one country that supported iran in the iran-iraq war. it's an important ally for iran. and what is happening in syria it is tragic, iran has come out a winner in the up risings. speaking of red line it's interesting that netanyahu used the same willing last year to refer to iran's nuclear program, and the international community
failed to act on those red lines. both sides are in a set position where iran is more stable and confident about its position. the united states sort of needs a little bit of luck in the diplomatic arena. they may be able to help each other, and what it would mean is a potential scaling back of tensions of lebanon, cooperation in iraq and afghanistan, and have wider implications for the region as well. >> we're out of time, but this is a conversation that will continue. i want to thank my guests for being here today. that is it, thanks for watching.