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tv   The Stream 2018 Ep 183  Al Jazeera  November 15, 2018 7:32am-8:01am +03

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israel's defense minister has resigned from office after his government accepted a ceasefire in the gaza strip. is now calling for early elections he says his party will quit benjamin netanyahu his ruling coalition leaving it with just a one seat majority in the knesset the remains of people have been found in northern california bringing the death toll to fifty six in the state's worst ever wildfire more than one hundred people are still missing as firefighters battle to contain the blaze u.s. defense secretary james mattis has been visiting his country's border with mexico where thousands of soldiers have been deployed in recent weeks nearly six thousand of them are supposed to prevent a group of asylum seekers from entering the u.s. so migrant caravan is slowly making its way north through mexico hundreds of already reached the city of tijuana on the u.s. border. you have to say now where all the headlines are back with more news here on
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al-jazeera that's after the stream. from the very beginning. housing is not just. here their story. sanctions are. message u.s. president donald trump sent to iran on november second. today we check back in with a group of iranians to see the impact i have questions for them. and i'll bring as many as i can into the discussion but first take a look at this report. when you look past the politics what
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becomes clear is that american sanctions. people more than a change of government policies american policy some would say brinkmanship has meant economic chaos for iran. has suffered a major fall in the last year. and unemployment concerns all of this hurts low income working people first and foremost they struggle to feed their families because prices for some basic goods. leaders signed the nuclear deal they said it was the thing everyone's financial problems three years later with american promises of more sanctions than ever before the people here can hope for is that. oil to survive. u.s. secretary of state by pale has said sanctions on a while banking and transportation sectors are meant to quote starve the iranian regime of the revenue it uses to fund violent and destabilizing activities in the
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region but despite granting eight countries a temporary waiver on the import of iranian petroleum summer audience feel anxious about how sanctions will affect their lives and families so joining us now on set to help us explore what lies behind the rhetoric trita parsi is the founder of the national iranian american council and iran is a professor at the university of to run and in hindsight that us is a ph d. candidate at the university of iran welcome back all of you to this stream it's good to have you back here now we started the show with the bench the u.s. president donald trump tweeted i'll show it here just to remind you if you didn't see this on twitter so then it is only right to share with our audience the response this from the commander of iran's elite to military force cost him some money on instagram the pop culture references here are almost. like behind them are the lives of real people who are facing before and now must do so
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again tell us about some of those people. that's ok tell us about some of the people who are now facing hardships in their lives because of these renewed think. well i think most people from the middle cos are facing a lot of pressure because their purchasing power has decreased either because of the sanctions and or because. mismanagement in the economy sector but most importantly what i have seen from family members or friends is that it's very difficult to find particular medicines for diseases including cancer and it's been very stressful for families to.
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afford or even find enough supplies. it's interesting you mentioned medicine being the number one thing people are worried about their system that we've got the strain was and rights and access to medicine and medical supplies are in thai girl part of right to health and the right to life and these rights have been regarded as fundamental regrettably these sanctions have already affected people in need of these items and keeping that in mind there is also this article that was recently on al-jazeera dot com written by samir a dam of envy she says why iranian women are among the most vulnerable to u.s. sanctions she since a stream of video comments speaking about what that effect will be here's what she said. according to more than fifty academic studies and u.n. reports sanctions have affected the standard of living for ordinary iranians and has triggered public health concerns medications and medical quitman has become more difficult to access medications for diabetes cancer thyroid issues have become
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much more on affordable as well as scarce and we've also seen how expensive diapers as well as baby formula has become just a few days ago i saw a pack of diapers was about one hundred forty thousand torment and as sanitary products for women has become more difficult to access as well certain pharmacies have sold out of all of the products that they have and those that they do have in stock are exorbitant interests so how many here do you heard her list there of the things that people are worried about but of course in anticipation of these sanctions because there's been a lot of talk about them even before they were formally went back into a fact that life had already been tightening for so many people can you talk to us about what that has been like that build up yes first of all if i can point out that i find i'm donald trump's game of thrones mean announcing sanctions are coming i think it is extremely inappropriate and distasteful because sanctions are not
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something quora find it affects really ordinary or iranians especially the poorer classes and also we have to the americans say that humanitarian goods to choose drugs in food is actually not part of the sanctions in reality however because financial transactions are sanctioned and also transportation then it is really difficult to get these goods so even if they're not part of the sanctions will how can you purchase them even if you purchased them how can you transfer them to you know one. and we go to your question i think since a few months ago some people started to panic and started to i love or start. baby food or diapers etc the situation however has been a bit better in the past few weeks in the rain in riyadh has been doing slightly better in the past few weeks just because of the sanctions that came into effect on
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november fifth hadn't been as harsh is some people were expecting them to be today your take on it from d.c. . i think. prefers an was over he's absolutely right first of all when it comes to the idea that sanctions are not affecting medicine i mean some of these staples i'll be frank with you it's just preposterous we have a very very long history of looking at the effect of sanctions and how the effects societies and it's always the poor that are affected not only first but also the most because they have much lesser margins in life they have less ability to be able to find ways around sanctions governments tend to have the equipment and the capacity to be able to protect themself and insulate themselves from the sanctions and iran is absolutely no different from any of these other cases there's a joke that was being said in the state department during the iraq sanctions back before the invasion of iraq in which he said the last chicken sandwich in baghdad
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is going to be eaten by saddam essentially saying you can sanction everyone you make everyone poor but the last person that still has access to that sandwich is going to be the ruler so the administration's attempts at claiming that this is not affecting the population is not only false they're laughable but what's also interesting is this for the first time in d.c. i am seeing that because of the skepticism against trump journalist and the media are actually open to seriously listen to the voices that are saying look this is only affecting the people seriously listen to people who are saying look this is not going to change the iranian governor. calculations all you're doing is making ordinary people who have nothing to do with this quite miserable and i think that's quite interesting because washington has been addicted to sanctions it has been in love with sanctions and for the first time i'm seeing a momentum in the media and even in congress skeptical of the section that i'm
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hoping you can pick up on that because i wrote down here which said that this won't change the calculations of the ordinary average iranian person what's your take on that well i think. i would like to. first of all imposing sanctions just another form of invading. a nation and unlike where soldiers and military facilities are involved. in an economy like sanctions imposed on a nation the first people who are targeted are the people. and yes. it's not changing governments calculation because. we have been under sanctions by the u.s. and other major powers for about forty years this is nothing new and the
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government has learned its ways to evade the sanctions. or just develop the capability is within the country so although in the short run it's been really devastating. to ordinary. people's daily life but in the long run it's helping iran gain more independence. you know economy clee be become more capable. but. so. it's not going. behavior it's only going to pressure the ordinary people especially from the lower class. or. so we know that these. sanctions are targeting the lifeline really the economic lifeline of iran but we also know that eight countries are they have been granted
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exemptions if you can call them six month exe wafers from the u.s. so that they can still do business with iran this is what people online think of that this is sam here who says i'd be hesitant to view these exemptions as anything positive the way the u.s. is selectively controlling iran's development while strangling on iran's fundamental right to economic sovereignty kills awfully imperialistic he goes on to say and that is that it's a misnomer me to call these sanctions exemptions waivers do not exempt iran from sanctions rather they shift the agency of economic development away from iran into the hands of the u.s. there is effective as sanctions themselves only with a different objective. what do you make of what sam missing here. in reality if i can actually add to the previous discussion any everything has become very difficult i mean personally for example i want this grant from the european commission which is part of the european parliament and the e.u.
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was having problems transferring money to the university of tehran account in i mean this is the e.u. parliament so you can imagine how difficult it is for ordinary ukrainians i'm recording the waverers i think on washington has somewhat backed away from its initial goal where they said that they were going to reduce iranian oil exports to zero by november fifth and i think the reason they backed away a little from that is because of oil prices i mean donald trump did not want their rise of purell fuel prices before the congressional elections and out of that actually the price of oil has somewhat reduced from about eighty dollars from last month to i think it's like sixty three or sixty four dollars today so i think there are also internal considerations within the united states to that that's i think that's quite correct because we saw quite clearly this is whenever you try to impose sanctions of this kind obama administration played the same game and they
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were always very careful you have to go forward with the pressure but if the pressure becomes too hard you get a contraction in the oil markets or prices go up it actually hurts the u.s. and the benefits the iranians because yes they sell less or but they sell at a higher price which is what trump he said i don't want to and he says massively admitted what the problem was you know they had set these very high standards you know we're going to get it down to zero and then you saw eight exemptions and even though i think there's a point to what that tweet earlier said nevertheless it is a sign of the failure of the trumpet ministrations efforts to go down to zero and it is not likely i think to be able to go down to zero in the future either and here's the thing. almost everyone whether you're in tehran or whether you are in europe right now everyone is just waiting for donald trump to leave the white house so the game is about ok can you sustain the situation reasonably well for another two years making sure that the europeans are doing what they can do the iranians
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are staying within the deal and then there will be a new reality twenty twenty the assumption is a twenty twenty one in which the next administration will try to find a way to either come back into the deal or at least lift some of these sanctions assuming and actually not just absolutely i just have to say assuming of course that trump does not win reelection but clearly have a go ahead. yeah this day we have the same situation with the united states i mean latest all show that only forty percent of americans approve of drugs so i think everybody is waiting. so i like that we're talking about this and we just got this you to come in from cameron who says i live in iran and i would like to ask mr parsi what's the end game for this administration they will be lucky to last for two more years trump is a sitting duck president not sure if i agree with that last line there but i see where he's going with it what is the end game then this is what i think then the game is it is not necessarily regime change war collapse here's the ultimate end
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game the united states on the trump together with israel and saudi arabia and the u.a.e. would like to dramatically shift the balance of power in the region away from iran towards these other powers and essentially establish the balance that existed prior to two thousand and three when the u.s. went into iraq and completely destroyed the the previous balance that existed now you can achieve this through various means you can go to war you can sanction a country for five years for a decade and just cripple its economy shrink it and by that reduce its power you can go for. regime change as well but you can also go for what i think is going to end up being the compromise between these different parties the one area in which they all will achieve their objectives and that is regime collapse meaning going after the regime not do regime change regime change means that you take responsibility for the government that comes afterwards trump doesn't want to take that responsibility because it's costly and the u.s. is really not good at it but you can just go for regime change which means that you
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leave iran in chaos potential civil war and under those circumstances iran's power will be consumed internally and its ability to be able to project power in the region will more or less be eliminated that will shift the balance away from iran towards israel and saudi arabia and the u.a.e. but without necessarily the cost of going to war. the cost of actually doing regime change so i think we're gravitating towards that position so even the shifting balance of power actually want to share with you a little clip that talks about that idea this coming from our correspondent james bass diplomatic correspondent on november fifth speaking with the secretary of state mike pompei oh when the sanctions went into effect have a listen away inside j space from al jazeera english you talk about the destabilizing behavior of iran in the region how does that differ from the bad behavior of saudi arabia. so let me just go through the list underwriting lebanese
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hezbollah presents a threat to united states of america and israel underwriting the who these in yemen causing an enormous conflict to take place there in that country the efforts in iraq to undermine the iraqi government funding shia militias that are not the best interest of the iraqi people their efforts and syria the list goes on the difference in behavior between those two countries is remarkable. and of course what was not noted there but but had it come up in this underlying all of this is the killing of the journalist saudi journalist in the saudi consulate and its tumble and there's a lot of talk around that tragic incident of then what will this mean for us saudi relations u.s. iranian relations relations in the middle east take us through this do you actually see a shifting of power here and do you see. a rebalancing of things in the region. i
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mean we were not seeing anything of that sort as of yet but i mean when i was hearing my proposed list it's interesting to say that a lot of these problems actually started with the americans and it was only the ukrainians pushing back we have to remember that many of the instabilities in the middle east started with the u.s. illegal invasion of iraq in two thousand and three which actually led to the rise of isis and other extremist groups in the region has been grappling with this problem ever since in requiring saudi arabia i mean it's become very apparent that the saudi of the dealership under the writing of what i meant then someone has adopted a very foggy and aggressive policies in the region he talked point though talked about lebanon well who kidnapped the lebanese prime minister decides that a blockade against terror they just killed a saudi dissident well less than two months ago on sunday the new york times revealed that they were planning to assassinate top uranian officials and spending
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two billion dollars to create instability in the u.n. you know connie so also how does that how does that compare with the iranian what the iranians are doing. not only that i think it's really the. ridiculous to think that they're either. i mean well yes they're either difference between toady arabia and iran and that there are elections in iran the government has been . elected by the people by the majority of the people there is democracy there you've. women's rights i'm not saying everything is perfect but we have never had an issue with for example driving little on other things and. let's say what he said would be arabia doing in yemen what did they do and still try to do in syria is there any. action that you can. call.
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supported by the popular governments in those countries where did all the ousted. president of these countries in the middle east and that up showing up was it not saudi arabia supporting them and. even arming and funding the terrorists in syria and in iraq and then. i think right now almost everyone knows. the us have worked together closely to just curb iran's influence in the region but the more they have been trying the less they have been successful because anti american sentiments. have been on the rise not only in iran but also in some other countries in the region i have had friends from. these
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countries neighboring countries i have visited them and as always we all agree regardless of our religion regards most of our political inclinations. what the us is doing and the region is a very aggressive and we don't really want. in the middle east because the people here can decide for themselves they don't need an outsider to decide for them what is good and what is bad and we have problems inside iran it's none of the you us business and they better. get out of here so i thought i hear what you're saying there and i think a lot of our community online would agree but you did mention if we have problems in iran and so that is taking me to this next week this is about me are who has family in iran and he says the question should be how to contain iran through usage of iranians wealth in proxy wars and supporting terrorism iran has been using iranians well for these purposes rather than ford citizens well being and with
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sanctions or not the iranians experience more inflation daily so treated this is putting the focus back on the iranian government even if we won't see regime change there and their criticism here criticisms here what do you mean there's a lot of valid criticisms and there's a lot of valid criticism coming from people inside of iran of how the government is using funds how it's misusing funds and many other things but when it comes to some of these specific things such as he runs role in the region etc there actually is a way to constructively address that and be able to find common solutions we saw about through the diplomacy that led to the way the nuclear deal in fact if you take a look at the u.s. iran relations and weston iranian relations for the last forty years there's never been a single case in which couper iranian security policy actually was amended as a result of pressure and sanctions and threats the only time that has been achieved was when there was a diplomatic effort in which both sides gained something and both sides had to give
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something and it was much more of an equitable give and take only then have we seen something change so if we truly are interested in pursuing that change in achieving that change here is a track record of success for diplomacy and there is a miserable track record of failure when it comes to just pursuing sanctions threats and dreams of regime change trump has chosen to go down the path of failure i don't think that is coincidence i think that is because they are deliberately driving this towards a situation in which are frankly not interested let me put it this way. if the iranian government had a completely proper democracy i think there's elements of democracy but there's plenty of problems if it did and he actually had an economic system that really took advantage and utilized the talents to tremendous talents of the iranian people iran's power in the region would most likely rise notch much more than he has in
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the seventeen or so years since the invasion of iraq i don't think anyone particularly not the crown prince of saudi arabia has any interest in democracy in iran because that would only make iran a much more potent rival of saudi arabia i hear you're saying there and i want to get the last word though i want to give it to have because we haven't heard you in a second that there's mentioning one of those talents in iran we have just about twenty seconds or so in a sentence where do you see the future of u.s. iran relations going home and i don't see them going anywhere good under the ministrations of donald trump but there is always the chance for all gratian i just mentioned if there is a negotiation based on mutual understanding just as we saw on. you just heard the voice of. her trita parsi and said. i will end with this tweet from rafael university professor into iran who says what's my reaction to the iran sanctions teaching and taking care of iran's youth and their future courses
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