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tv   Inside Story 2018 Ep 212  Al Jazeera  July 31, 2018 8:32pm-9:01pm +03

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new intercontinental ballistic missiles of the sun and don't facility that's where the first missile capable of reaching the u.s. was produced by the u.s. president's former campaign manager paul manna forces in court facing trial for tax evasion and bank fraud charges were bought by special counsel robert miller is investigating alleged collusion between russia and the trump campaign in the two thousand and sixteen presidential election. and zimbabwean civil society groups is seeking a court order to force the electoral commission to publish results from all polling stations results have been trickling in up to monday's historic vote since robert mugabe was ousted both current president and the opposition leader nelson chamisa say they are confident of victory we're going to bring you the latest from zimbabwe and the news hour i'll have that for you in about twenty five minutes time do join me then but coming up now it's inside story.
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reaching out to teheran donald trump says he's ready to meet iran's president any time and with no preconditions so what's behind this sudden off and how will trump and gauge iran when he's trying to build a regional alliance against this isn't side story. hello and welcome to the program. u.s. president donald trump has extended an olive branch to iran just a week after he threatened the country now says he's ready to meet iranian president hassan rouhani any time and without preconditions but his secretary of
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state quickly backtracked from statement adding a few caveats to any potential meeting my palm pale wants to see what he calls a change in behavior from iran before in a negotiations can go ahead iran was also quick to set its own conditions saying the u.s. must rejoin the two thousand and fifteen nuclear deal before any talks can happen so we have a lot to get to with our guests but first this report from alan fischer at the white house. the u.s. president's surprise offer came during a news conference at the white house with italy's prime minister no preconditions no they want to meet only any time they want any time they want the u.s. spy lifted the deal is signed with iran and its international partners when president trump announced in may the u.s. was pulling out even though there was no indication iran was in breach this was a horrible one sided deal that should have never ever been made he don't get for months it was a terrible deal and both to scrap it when he became president his offer to talk
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with iran's president well threw up many more questions and local conditions means that he's ready to sign on the dotted line so to speak with the iranians so will that be acceptable to the region to the powers in the region to the g.c.c. specifically saudi arabia and the u.s. . i doubt that we've been here before they will be met with fire and fury donald trump very north korea and its leader before agreeing to a meeting and earlier this month he met russian president vladimir putin in all sinking at a top level summit it'll be interesting to watch the reaction to donald trump's offer when barack obama was in the white house and said he'd be willing to meet the iranian president he was heavily criticized by republicans democrats and by many right wing commentators who know largely support donald trump. one additional problem might be who would broker a summit with iran or south korea pave the way for the meeting with kim jong il in france might be an option president emanuel mccraw had arjun donald trump not to
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walk away from the iran deal during a state visit to washington is links with tehran and that might open up the necessary diplomatic channels that are voices senior people in this white house have been very critical of the iranian government and called for its removal but this is donald trump's white house if you want something to happen then it could and soon alan fischer al-jazeera. at the white house. all right so let's go and bring in our panel joining us in washington d.c. hillary mann leverett former white house and state department official with responsibility for iran in tehran. a professor of world studies at the university of tehran and in geneva john mark rickly the head of global risk at the geneva center for security policy welcome to you all hillary i want to start with you so here is yet another shift in tone from donald trump earlier this month he threatens
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iran now he's saying that he's willing to meet with iranian president hassan rouhani with no conditions is there some kind of strategy here or is this a spontaneous statement. well it's hard to say for sure with president trump and in particular the wild swings in rhetoric to make it more difficult but i think a sober analysis of it trumps moves and what he's done on the world stage and who he actually speaks to and from what we understand listens to in washington i think there is a strategy it has been vastly under reported and under estimated the key foreign policy person that trump has turned to in in the united states has been henry kissinger henry kissinger the former secretary of state to nixon who brokered the u.s. opening to china is someone who takes we know what kissinger's views are and we know that trump has met with him from during the campaign in twenty sixteen throughout his presidency and that view is one that looks at strong states assesses whether
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those states are strong with a those governments are strong and whether u.s. president can actually work with the person in charge of those states so here in washington that's often derided how trying to trump implements that is that trump somehow just likes dictators but he doesn't like all dictators he's looking at leaders who are strong and who he either can or needs to work with and then he seems to try to set up these rhetorical poses to put himself in a position to be able to strike some sort of deal with those leaders and work with those states so i think if you take a sober analysis of what trump is doing and admittedly that's difficult to do i think that is the strategy is he's looking at strong states and for better or worse i think he has assessed from the beginning from during the campaign that iran is a strong state and it will have to deal with iran in some way trump just did not want to be saddled with what he termed his predecessor president obama's failure in
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the deal that president obama struck and that has a root in the domestic politics here in the united states as well anything the trump can do to undermine him. predecessor's legacy and make president obama the bad guy the straw man in american domestic politics plays well for a president trumps political base here so another piece of this is president trump setting himself up before the midterm elections in november and his reelection campaign in two thousand and twenty to dismantle president obama's legacy both domestic and foreign policy and to then parade out a series of triumphs that he's been able to to achieve that president obama couldn't mark us secretary of state mike pompei oh essentially walked back donald trump's comments but donald trump said that he would be willing to meet with no conditions from your vantage point when donald trump says he'd be willing to meet hasan rouhani with no conditions does he mean no conditions imposed by iran or no
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conditions imposed by the u.s. . well as difficult as what we can see is some kind of parallel with what happened with north korea if you look at the way the singapore meeting presented the first meeting between the us president and the korean leader. started by saying that he considered the opposing side someone he could deal with and then you had a complete change africa tarik where it was very aggressive and that led to a. an opening where there could be some room for negotiation and just before dinner meeting the singapore meeting in from issue this letter that he would not probably not meet kim jong il and then india and they met so here it might be part of the. negotiating raising the stake in order to
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get to a better positions but it's very doubtful that the reason no. preconditions i think prison term made it clear before that he doesn't want iran to interfere in middle eastern affairs he doesn't want. to destabilize cantor is so therefore i don't think that there are no preconditions the conditions are. iran should. negotiate only if they are ready to actually return to a behavior that falls in line with united states but also with. the intentions. in the region as well as israel for what it's worth noting that iran of course didn't pull out of the iran nuclear deal the u.s. pulled out of the iran nuclear deal do you believe that part of rouhani would have
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any incentive to meet with donald trump right now and even if he did. would he have the political capital to do so. you don't doesn't have any problems with negotiations iran has been negotiating about its nuclear program for the last sixteen seventeen years. in the senate i came and took two years of intensive negotiations between iran and p. five plus one so you don't is useful negotiation the only problem iran has is that the us hearing different policy ideas from washington as you pointed out president from. talks about negotiating without any conditions without preconditions this time in a press conference and then about an hour later his secretary of state comes presidents to be preconditions and then we translate those preconditions and
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fantasy the general that sense is that the u.s. is asking iran to the u.s. wrong dumbass the policy the second precondition sounds like they want us to let us run on foreign policy and the tears the condition it sounds to us. in such a way that they don't want iran to have missiles and they don't want iran to have a peaceful nuclear program which no one in iran can accept preconditions rowhani or other people will come at a political suicide if they want to entertain this type of. present action pump will talk about just a few hours ago and a couple of months ago he had a speech. providing twelve. conditions. two parties are interested in talks negotiations generally if preconditions are present
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that present twelve this. at least one or two preconditions can be met by the other side but the babies who are doing the babies preconditions presented they leave no room for anyone in iran to even if they attain talking about them or implementing them so there is a problem in terms of who literally speaks for us foreign policy it's confusing confusing signals coming out of washington and university of havana teach american history i can't remember any time in u.s. history. a u.s. president talks about talking to other another nation without preconditions and then his secretive est comes and the president speak conditions this is i don't remember. you know americans call certain countries occasion in the banana
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republic you need to apologize to hillary but it seems to me that the u.s. is tending to have the banana republic they need to negotiate between themselves and pronto need to negotiate among themselves come up with a single message and then someone in tehran can respond to that hillary if we're talking about the region as a whole i can't imagine that donald trump saying that he would agree to meet with hostile rouhani without conditions i can't imagine that that would be something that saudi arabia or the united arab emirates would want to hear how much concern does a statement like that cause for countries like saudi arabia the u.a.e. . i think it certainly causes a great deal of concern but i think that is in part trump's intention that's in part trump's strategy is that he wants to keep other states on their toes constantly trying to come to back to the united states and give the united states more trump unlike many of his predecessors and i think perhaps unprecedented in
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american history as my my calling into pointed out he is able to look at each player each state each set of interests and pick and choose what he thinks is good for the united states and even more importantly what's good for him personally what is good for president trump and so these every the saudis and the emirates i think that the white house and trump in particular have been very disappointed in what they think the saudis should have given or even promised to give the united states in terms of investment in the united states arms sales a whole range of things that in particular the saudi crown prince promised when he came to washington he was in the united states for a three week visit he promised a whole slew of things that he has not delivered on so i think in part you see president trying trying to turn up the heat on our allies in saudi arabia and in the emirates that you know that they're not the only game in town the united states
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could at a moment's notice pivot and meet with someone like president rouhani that we don't need the saudis we're not dependent on them so i think that is in part really part of the strategy. that trump is pursuing. all right the u.s. reportedly plans to create a new security and political alliance with six gulf arab states egypt and jordan it will be known as the middle east region alliance an organization similar to nato that's made up of sunni muslim allies its main job will be in part to counter iran's influence in the region and to increase cooperation on missile defense military training counterterrorism and developing regional ties sources say the plan might be discussed later this year at a summit scheduled in washington iran's foreign ministry spokesman believes the alliance won't succeed because of a lack of unity normie going to hold true the term that was used which is arab nato is wrong the reasons for creating the alliance and the countries that would
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participate it given the current conditions in arab countries clearly indicate that this term is neither true nor can it be a reality it is very clear that there is no harmony or consensus between these countries therefore an arab nato is just a symbol and nothing more mr trump is trying to take advantage of the arab and islamic worlds weaknesses in order to steal the resources of those countries john mark let me ask you about this strategic alliance first of all do you believe that this summit is actually going to happen and do you believe that this potential alliance will be discussed at this summit whereas if you kill to say there was to be a meeting with the g.c.c. earlier in may that was later can cancel because we made it clear that he would not attend the whole issue of creating a i read nato if you want it is since last year the problem of qatar at the core of a military alliance you have allies and right now you have
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a very profound rift among the arab sunni more kids beating qatar against officially saudi arabia and and the u.a.e. so for that kind of alliance to. materialize you would need to first solve this issue and as we've seen since. fourteen months the u.s. has not been able to put pressure on saudi arabia and the u.a.e. to settle their differences with we've quit are quite the contrary the second problem with such an alliance is if you take need to you have an article five which commit to the defense of your allies the policy. has been to disengage as mattress possible from its military commitment. and so here unlike europe where you have need to a needle alliance would mean that it would be very likely that the us would have
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actually to be coming under ground in the gulf region so that it would in awake run contribute to read to what president trim expect which is america's first meaning the he he wants to benefit from our allies but he wanted also to reduce american footprint. around worked in the region on more brought up the g.c.c. crisis is even possible to create this kind of a body just kind of an alliance with the g.c.c. crisis with the embargo against qatar still on go i don't think so and i don't think there are a lot of decision makers who really think that this is going to happen they did try it in the spring to see whether it was possible but i think there has been a real disillusion particularly with the saudis that their all of their foreign adventures whether it's in yemen or syria that they have failed dramatically failed
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on the world stage and so that the the idea that the united states is going to put its all of its eggs in the saudi basket to leave the united states to leave the middle east is something that i think you unwashed. inten have any illusion is really going to work and this is the problem with with with got there it dramatically shows the failure of saudi power the saudis not only are they found in yemen but i think the perspective in washington is they couldn't even take on doha that's not a winning strategy for the united states to to rest its entire security are.

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