Skip to main content

tv   Charlie Rose  Bloomberg  July 15, 2015 9:00pm-9:59pm EDT

9:00 pm
on. charlie: what did you not get that you wanted in this agreement? the president said it's a triumph of diplomacy negotiations were give and take. what did you think you wanted that you didn't get? ben: we got the bottom lines from the framework, all the limitations we were seeking on the iranian nuclear program, all the transparency verification measures to make sure the deal sticks. i would say there was one very tough issue at the end, the un security council resolution that governs the deal, ensures the snapback of all sanctions if the iranians violate the deal, it's a 10 year resolution. that ties together all the sanctions that will have to be suspended. there were provisions where the iranians wanted them to be lifted immediately at the front
9:01 pm
end, together with the other nuclear related sanctions. we wanted to preserve those for as long as we could during that ten-year period, and we have a five-year restriction with respect to an arms embargo, and we're continuing to work to limit their activities in those spaces. that again is the nature of this agreement. they get sanctions relief, and in return we get all these limitations to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons, and the verification measures. charlie: what is your hope and expectation that we will be looking at 10-15 years from now? ben: well, here's what we know. we know that 10 years from now iran will have converted fully its reactor so it cannot produce weapons-grade plutonium in iraq. we know it will not have conducted advanced r&d that will allow them to enrich uranium. we know that for 15 years, they
9:02 pm
will shift 98% of their stockpile of enriched uranium out of the country and they will limit their enrichment to one facility. and again, we know their different pathways to weapons will be cut off. we know that's in place and we know that verification measures are in place to see if they are violating that deal. what we don't know is how iraq will evolve in these 15 years. if it will stick and be worth doing, if iran can sustain that in 15 years, we also know that a deal makes it more likely that iran will have an incentive to evolve in a different direction. we are not counting on that, charlie. that's what the deal is all about. charlie: let me just understand that. critics suggest that after 10-15 years, the iranians will have a chance to go build a nuclear
9:03 pm
weapon, that they want to do which they've given up the right to do in the initial agreement. ben: charlie, absolutely not. in addition to the limitation and the stockpile limitations for 15 years, there's a permanent prohibition from iran ever having a nuclear weapons program under their international obligation. if they try to weaponize, they will be in violation. the additional protocol will give inspectors the permanent capability to look at suspected locations inside of iran if we believe they are up to the pursuit of a covert pathway to weapons. after 15 or 20 years, we will still have that permanent prohibition on iranian pursuit of a nuclear weapon and the transparency to respond to anything we believe to be in violation of that agreement. charlie: the significant argument the president makes is that the alternative, not having this agreement, will not deliver the goods in terms of preventing
9:04 pm
iran from keeping a nuclear weapon, and secondly, the sanctions that are in place now might very well unravel. is that a correct assessment of what the president is saying? ben: exactly right, charlie. the sanctions that were built up over the last two years was meant to get them to the table to get this deal. the notions that the iranians would give up their nuclear weapons pursuit just because of sanctions is not borne out by the fact they have not capitulated under the pressure of sanctions, they have continued to pursue that program. what they have done is come to the table and make this deal which meets our bottom line. in a world with no deal, first of all, they would get up to that threshold of pursuing a nuclear weapon and we would be left with the choice of whether to use military actions or to accept their ability to obtain a nuclear weapon.
9:05 pm
if we walk away from this deal the international unity that is held together the regime would very likely unravel. charlie: what role did the russians play? ben: they played a constructive role in this negotiation. it was interesting. they did not let the very strong differences over ukraine spill over into the negotiations. they were strong with us on the nuclear related issues. there are strong with us on the verification issues. that unity made the difference in the end in terms of getting the iranians to make key concessions. the russians did, however, take the side of the iranians with respect to some of these provisions on the arms embargo and ballistic missiles. that's why we had worked very hard the last several days to ensure that those would stay in place. charlie: i was intrigued that the iranians did not bring up the arms embargo until pretty late in the game. why did they hold back? ben: we always knew it was going to come down to a discussion on
9:06 pm
those issues. they've been raising sanctions generally throughout this and taking the position that sanctions had to come off at the beginning. the fact of the matter is we were able to design the sanctions relief in a variety of other places. they would have to complete the nuclear steps first and then begin to get the sanctions released. the last detail that was ironed out was how long within the 10 year security counsel resolution we were able to maintain those provisions of the sanctions. we knew they were in a position that they should come off right away, and that was a total position in the last several days. charlie: he wanted to restrict the amount of research and development they could do, but my understanding is that there is a limit on how much you can restrict, and they can go forward with some research and
9:07 pm
development on technological improvements, centrifuges, and the like. ben: he very much focused on this in the negotiations. we wanted to make sure that they are not enriching uranium with their centrifuges in the first 10 years. they are not allowed to enrich uranium in the first 10 years. that will prevent them from making a quick transition to more advanced centrifuges after those 10 years. and then the r&d is phased in over a period of 10 years. the inspections regime will be watching very closely to make sure it is consistent with the peaceful purpose. that was the important limitations we want to get so they could not be advancing their r&d capability when we essentially want to roll back their program. charlie: the opposed to a lot of iran's activities with terrorist groups and others in its region. some had hoped that you could tie this down in that context
9:08 pm
with this agreement. ben: this was always about the nuclear program. we're making the judgment that iran with a nuclear weapon will be more dangerous and all those activities than they are today. it is worth it to set aside the other issues in this negotiation to make sure they are prevented from getting a nuclear weapon. we will still have those concerns, charlie. even on the issues of arms, even when the arms embargo is suspended in five years if they comply with the deal, we have our own restrictions on -- they will be prohibited from shipping arms to hezbollah or to the houthis. it was worth it to focus on preventing them from getting a nuclear weapon because that is the greatest danger. charlie: the argument was made that you did not pressure the
9:09 pm
iranians on some of these activities as you were too anxious to get a nuclear deal. ben: we have put pressure on them on this, charlie. we have ratcheted up sanctions on their support for terrorism. the summit at camp david was almost entirely focused on developing capabilities to counter interdiction, cyber defenses for friends and partners, the ability to develop special forces capability. we want to make sure our partners are working with us to counter the threat of terrorism from the region and isil, but also any uranium activity in the region. we will stay focused on the issue even as we implement this
9:10 pm
nuclear deal. charlie: suppose you have reason to believe that there are activities going on at a military installation that are in violation of this agreement. what are your rights to go inspect that? ben: first of all, we will be better able to inspect that -- to detect that, because we will be looking at their entire uranium supply chain, the raw material, the point being if we see any diversion of materials to a site, were going to inspect it. we go to the iaea and seek an inspection to that site. if the iranians object to the inspection, we can overrule it. if we and the europeans decide the inspection should go forward, then the russians chinese and iranians, we can overrule them and either the inspection goes forward, or iran is in violation of the deal and the sanctions snap back into place. charlie: there's considerable belief that iranians could have
9:11 pm
a nuclear capacity within three months as they stand now, and this could move it to a year. tell us exactly what that means as you see it. >> there are really two questions. how long does it take to acquire enough fissile material for one nuclear weapon? talking about enriching uranium. 14 years, given the limitations on the types of centrifuges they are operating and the numbers and the stockpiles they have in their country, the breakout timeline to get enough fissile material will go to at least a year. there's a second breakout timeline which is how long did it take to build a device, weapon to put that material into. charlie: i think the president insisted that if everything else fails, the military option is
9:12 pm
still right on the table and he is prepared to use it. ben: absolutely. iran getting a nuclear weapon is unacceptable. that's why we put the sanctions in place and got this deal. the point is, this deal is more effective than military action in preventing them from getting a weapon. a military strike would set their program back by two or three years. it would almost guarantee they would go underground and try to develop that weapon. this deal gets 10 years of limitations that are restricted, 15 years on stockpiles. that alone is far more time than you would ever get through a military option. the diplomacy is less costly than military action and you are preventing them from getting a nuclear weapon. charlie: and you have to go to
9:13 pm
congress to get this done. the president has a veto that would be hard to overrule. tell me what it is that you see and the team at the white house sees as the most difficult challenge in convincing congress this is a good deal. ben: charlie trusts iran. that's what we hear time and again. our point is going to be, it has nothing to do with trust. the whole point is to get the verification regimes in place. we will walk them through chapter and verse. it's the ability to look at what we need to see and when we need to see it inside of iran. the alternatives, as you point out, the president said, are for worse. this deal is better than iran being able to advance the program unconstrained. it's better than another war in the middle east. lastly, if congress votes to kill this deal, not only will they be killing the deal, they will be putting at risk the international sanction machine. it depends on international
9:14 pm
cooperation from the very nations that are invested in this deal with us. charlie: and how will you convince prime minister netanyahu that this is a deal that does not endanger israel's national security? ben: i don't think we're going to convince him. we believe it is good for national security because it prevents iran from having that nuclear umbrella. prime minister netanyahu said the plan of action that was reached in 2013 was a mistake. iran did comply with that deal and it has worked. many people are arguing to keep that deal in place. what we would say to people,
9:15 pm
including congress, is let's see how the deal goes. let's see if the iranians meet their commitment. many of the things iran has to do, they have to do at the beginning of the deal. get rid of the stockpile, take out those centrifuges, get rid of that reactor. they have to do that before they get sanctions released. so there is not any cost in testing to see whether iran lives up to its commitment. charlie: thank you for coming, it's a pleasure to have you, ben rhodes.
9:16 pm
9:17 pm
charlie: we continue our coverage of the landmark negotiations between the united states and iran.
9:18 pm
joining me from vienna is david sanger, national security correspondent for "the new york times." from washington, ed royce, who convened the first congressional hearing this morning to review the deal, and karim sadjadpour. finally from washington, jeff goldberg, national correspondent for atlantic magazine. i'm pleased to have all of us on this historic day. david, i go back to you first because you have been our guide from vienna and from new york and washington, trying to understand this. take us through the final days leading to this agreement. david: we all thought this agreement would be put together days ago. they got hung up, oddly enough on some issues that really had nothing to do with the nuclear program. it had more to do with the arms embargo which was imposed on iran starting back in 2006, when the first sanctions were put on
9:19 pm
iran. and the idea was to force them into negotiations by imposing a ban on their import of conventional arms and ballistic missiles. the iranians took the position this is a nuclear related sanction, so if we sign the deal, this comes off. and the american and european position was no, we want to extend this to keep you from behaving badly throughout the region. that really was the standoff for the better part of the past four or five days. in the end, it was resolved with something that will probably make no one very happy. the ballistic missile ban has stayed on for eight years, the conventional weapons for five. both of those could end earlier if the iaea comes to a determination that iran is not pursuing weapons.
9:20 pm
charlie: is this somehow a triumph for diplomacy and the credit belongs to, regardless of how you make the final assessment, to john kerry? david: it's a huge triumph for diplomacy in that three years ago, these were two countries that did not even talk to each other. instead, for the past year, on and off, they've been sitting in rooms in the hotel behind me spending more time with each other than john kerry has spent with any other diplomats in the world. for the first time, we actually have a real conversation underway between iran and the united states. what we don't know is whether or not that will translate into any kind of relationship that is broader than this nuclear deal. and there's a lot of reasons to suggest that the iranians are going to take a big timeout, try to placate the hardliners, the
9:21 pm
iranian revolutionary guard corps, perhaps by taking some of the sanctions money that's now released and allowing them to spend that on arms, on other activities, on their new cyber corps, anything other than nuclear, to show that they can exert their power around the globe. i think that's the biggest problem president obama is going to run into. a lot of the critics of the agreement that you heard today have actually been talking about iran's nonnuclear activities. charlie: we talked about that earlier in the program. jeff, no one has interviewed this president more or had more conversations about foreign policy than you have. he believes it is a crowning achievement of his foreign and international efforts in the world as president. how do you assess this? what credit does he deserve, and what likelihood does it have, in
9:22 pm
your judgment? jeff: it's an interesting question. when i interviewed him in may, one of the things that struck me, he said he understands that this is on him. he used the number 20 years, which is well after the agreement expires, if 20 years from now iran has a nuclear weapon, he knows it is a blot on his record. one of the things i've derived from this is that he's much more a gambler than some people think he is. he is willing to risk his reputation, he is willing in a more serious way to risk u.s. national security and the security of u.s. allies in the region, on this deal. it is quite an achievement. i would say this, some of the pressure came off of him in the last few weeks to get this deal, because of the gay marriage
9:23 pm
decision, because obamacare out of the supreme court, the trade pacts that were passed. i think in the white house they were worried about legacy issues. after that momentous week, he became a little less worried. i have a feeling, and maybe david can talk about this a little bit, but i have a feeling that they toughened up slightly on the iranians in vienna because there seemed to be less internal pressure to get a deal at all costs. obviously the next 60 days will be tumultuous, because a lot of people in washington and elsewhere believe the deal is fatally weak. but i do think that you have to credit him with carrying through a very dicey and high wire act. david: on that point, jeff makes exactly the right point. from secretary kerry's staff and president obama said that on many occasions in the past week, they said take the extra time, don't rush this.
9:24 pm
if you go past the limits in the congressional legislation and they have 60 days to review, that's fine, better to have a better deal. i think the president's own staff believes that came from exactly that string of victories that jeff described. the big question is, in the end, does that result in a significantly different deal? i'm not sure it did, but it got rid of some of the perception that he and secretary kerry wanted this too much. charlie: among both of you, do you have any sense of who won and lost here, or is that a question you're not even able to ascertain because you don't know how it's going to play out? >> clearly the short term loser here, and this is an important point that has to be made, the people of syria who are oppressed by a government
9:25 pm
supported by iran, as david pointed out. the islamic revolutionary guard corps and its proxies in syria and lebanon and elsewhere are going to see a windfall and be able to spend money they did not have to do the nefarious thing so you could look at the hardliners as short-term winners. but i would also say, and this is a somewhat controversial view, i would say that israel could conceivably be a winner here because the president and his allies have managed to curtail the iranian nuclear program, if this deal works. the program will be curtailed, the israelis believe justifiably that they are in iranian gun sights, that iran has perfidious intentions toward israel. so that is one winner. i know you're talking about in
9:26 pm
terms of the political players but i think regionally, you can see some clear provisional winners. charlie: you've answered the exact question i was interested in. congressman royce, give me your assessment of this, having put in context what has been said earlier. ed: charlie, one point i would make is that the pentagon, you saw secretary of defense ash carter express concerns last week. it was not understood until the very end of this process, as david has explained, that all of a sudden this issue of lifting the arms embargo, which also means lifting the embargo long-term on the icbm program that iran maintains, as general carter said, the i stands for intercontinental ballistic missile. that means it can fly from iran to the united states.
9:27 pm
the fact that russia weighed in at the 11th hour to support iran so that russia in the future eight years from now, can transfer technology, help give their assistance, and they will be paid handsomely for it, but give their assistance for that could be a real threat to the u.s. homeland. this is one of the things the pentagon has raised as an issue. the other big issue is that we thought at the outset it was going to be 24-hour inspections, maybe the right to go anywhere at anytime. now we find it is going to be 24 days. then we get into an adjudication process where we have to ask permission from iran and probably work with china and russia to really have that access. this is what undercut us on the nuclear agreement we had with
9:28 pm
north korea, this inspection issue, or lack of ability to really inspect. this would be a concern we are raising at this point as we try to get into the details of this process. charlie: because of the way the veto was written, does that enhance the president's chance of getting this? ed: i'm not sure. it's going to depend. 84% of the members in the house co-wrote a letter to the president. the letter asked that four things be achieved in the agreement, the right to go anywhere anytime on the inspections, that they be instantaneous, the fact that we lift the sanctions at the end rather than the beginning of the agreement, that it be multiple decades rather than 10 years and that the iaea have their questions answered when it comes to the previous document that shows iran has cheated in the past and worked on that program.
9:29 pm
they need that as the baseline. we will get the copy of this 180 page agreement. they are in the process of sending that over from the administration. the fact that 84% the house signed on to that letter and the fact that those four issues were not met in the agreement i think do raise concerns for congress. karim: i think as a country, we are very internally conflicted about this deal. on one hand, after a decade and a half in iraq and afghanistan everyone really wanted to resolve this issue peacefully and diplomatically. on the other hand, i think there remains tremendous skepticism about the iranian regime and its fidelity to this deal. a lot of people including henry kissinger believe that iran is compromising as a result of the sanctions.
9:30 pm
if we remove those sanctions, a year or two from now, will they remain faithful to the deal? it's a conflicting moment for the united states, but i do believe that you have to look at it in the context of where we are after a decade and a half of conflicts in the middle east. i think president obama has had a mandate to avert an iranian bomb. at the same time, the way the sanctions are set up, it basically forces companies and countries around the world to make a simple choice. that is, do you want to do business with the united states or with iran? for the vast majorities of companies and countries, that's a pretty easy choice. also the success of the sanctions regime i think was due to the fact that people saw how president obama and secretary
9:31 pm
kerry had made these unprecedented overtures to tehran, which iran under president ahmadinejad had not reciprocated. i think it's probably right that countries like china would have peeled off on the sanctions. charlie: does the president have an argument when he said the alternative is worse and more likely that they will get the bomb, or somebody will have to bomb them? ed: i understand the argument the president made, but remember this is an administration that imposed our sanctions on iran in the first place, arguing they were not going to be successful. when they were imposed and were imploding gradually the economy in iran, at this point the
9:32 pm
storyline changed and the bipartisan legislation that we had prepared in the last session where we passed it 400-20, working with treasury in the past with treasury officials we had put together legislation that would really give the ayatollah a choice between economic collapse or compromise on his nuclear program. the point i would make is that the administration decided to have senator reid hold that and not bring that up on the senate floor, even when we had overwhelming support in the senate. we went into the negotiation without it's additional leverage. we're coming out of his negotiation with real concerns from the pentagon and certainly from those who have looked at
9:33 pm
the past practice. as one of the experts said, it's in the iranian dna to cheat, and now they've been able to put in place a whole series of processes which will take us 24 days to get through, and then an adjudication process which could take us more in cases where they are accused of cheating or moving equipment around and doing testing. charlie: david sanger, could the administration have made that deal and said to the iranians, it's either ratcheting up the sanctions until you collapse, or you sign on to a deal? david: i don't think so charlie. the most convincing argument the president makes here is that the sanctions drove iran to the bargaining table, but it didn't stop them from enriching uranium. congressman royce is absolutely correct, the president did oppose some of the increases in the sanctions, but every time the sanctions increased, while
9:34 pm
the iranians were willing to come negotiate, until the process began they were actually increasing the number of centrifuges they had in place. remember there was a moment early in the bush administration, and i was covering president bush as white house correspondent, when people thought there was a crisis because the iranians had 200 or 300 centrifuges. they now have 19,000. so he had to get off of this particular track. a way to go back to question you asked earlier about who won and lost this over the longer period of time. as jeff said, it's way too early to tell that and it may take years to figure it out. i wrote in the times this morning that if you think back to nixon's opening to china, if you had asked the same question then, you had many people opposing the opening, but almost all of the issues that we worry
9:35 pm
about with china today are completely different than the ones we were discussing when china was -- when the first overtures were made in 1972. i suspect it's probably the same for iran, that the issues were going to be worried about one or two decades from now with iran may be very different from the nuclear one. charlie: jeff, talk to me about benjamin netanyahu and how he might react, and what it means in the region. will syria therefore be more stabilized so they will get more money from hezbollah or the iranians? will we see more activity in yemen? jeff: there is a mystery here. the mystery here is why the prime minister was so effective early on in concentrating the attention of the world and of the obama administration on the iranian nuclear threat. credit where credit is due, he really focused people on the threat of an israeli strike.
9:36 pm
that helped him get the rest of the world behind sanctions. so he had a very effective run. and now by being completely rejectionist, by rejecting the idea of a deal, not certain particulars within a deal, he has shut himself out of the coming debate, to a large degree. he has already expressed in very harsh terms his feelings about this deal. but he will not be able and has not been able to influence the negotiations in the way that you think he might want to. he is so overwrought about it, that i don't think the president is listening to him. certainly the europeans are not listening to him. it's a very interesting bifurcation. this is one of the huge questions. i think we have to assume, to a certain degree, that the assad
9:37 pm
regime is going to get -- we will see how their fight with isis and the other sunni extremist groups go. one could argue that assad is slipping and that isis and other groups are ascending, and maybe money coming in would help them. i don't know. it's not only the iranian money that might influence these conflicts. it's iranian legitimacy that has sunni arabs worry that iran is on the march across the region. that does not affect israel in quite the same way as it does the gulf state and what happens in syria. to be fair to the president, i don't think he's overly pollyanna-ish about iran becoming a good neighbor to some of these countries anytime soon. maybe this will set in motion a virtuous cycle. for the short-term, the big question everyone in the region has is, how hard will president
9:38 pm
obama push back against iranian adventurism, once this deal becomes reality, assuming it is ratified by the congress. the biggest question of all is what the next president of the united states does. there is this idea of snapback. to me it's who the next president will be and how much tolerance and they will have four iranian adventurism. charlie: will it be a huge issue in republican-democratic politics? >> i will say one thing, the conduct of the iranian regime itself could become an issue. this weekend, we had the annual parade and you saw rouhani marching in the parade itself. he was interviewed as the crowd behind him were chanting "death to america." the placards that
9:39 pm
were being carried translated as "death to israel." the question is, will it change the conduct of that regime? a lot of what we see in the ensuing weeks and months as iran is emboldened, the question is going to be, what does that encourage them to do with respect to their agitation against israel? as they call for death to israel and a transfer 100,000 precision guidance systems into the hands of hezbollah, increasingly is one of the reasons why ash carter, the secretary is beginning to show concern about this comment on the part of iran that they want to mass-produce icbms. charlie: tell me what the
9:40 pm
reaction has been in iran. early reports are that they are exuberant about this deal. karim: one of the paradoxes of iran is that it's the most pro-american rich society in the region and the most anti-american in the region. there has been dancing in the streets, tremendous explains of exuberance. people are very happy, and it really shows that the iranian people want to -- we need to distinguish between the population and the regime. even within the regime there is conflict between hard-line forces led by the supreme leader who are very weary of the united states and resistance against the united states has been there long time organizing principle. i don't envision that is going to change. the supreme leader is 76ers old. i don't think they will abandon their lifelong principles at age 76.
9:41 pm
on the other hand, i think the deal will boost president rouhani and the foreign minister and the more moderate factions in tehran, the ones that put the country's national interest before revolutionary ideology, but we will have to see how this plays out. i think over the long-term there a valid hope that it will strengthen the forces of moderation. but as jeff and david have said, there's a valid fear that in the short term it's going to enrich the revolutionary guards. the regime may clamp down internally to send a signal to people that it does not mean internal weakness. charlie: david, back to the principal issue of inspection. does it give the u.s. and the iaea all that it needs to
9:42 pm
determine where there are stealth projects, if they exist, and secondly, to gain the access to everything it needs to have access to? david: charlie, it doesn't give them everything they need or when they needed, but it's all comparative. just as the president said, you have to compare having the deal versus not having the deal. you have to consider having the inspection regime versus having the old inspection regime. this is not the first time the international atomic energy agency has had trouble dealing with iran. the question to resolve about potential past military activity, this list has been sitting around since 2005 or 2006. they have had many places they
9:43 pm
wanted to go visit and it took years before they could get to the impasse that resulted in going to the un security council, that resulted in the sanctions and the talks. while congressman royce is right, 24 days sounds worse than 24 hours, it's a whole lot better than five or six years to be the question is, can you maintain the momentum? if there's a lesson from the north korea example, is that you can strike a deal and fall down on the implementation, not gold pressed them to the wall, not create a crisis when there is a violation. that is what happened with north korea, and they ended up with three nuclear tests. i think the trick here is going to be not only what the iranians do, but how well does the united states and the next administration keep pressing them to actually implement this deal.
9:44 pm
it will need a separate coordinator for implementation and a lot of pressure to keep it going. ♪
9:45 pm
9:46 pm
charlie: jeff, what tools does the president have and how confident is he that he can sell the deal? jeff: i don't think they are resting comfortably. i've been thinking a lot and making a lot of calls about chuck schumer, democrat of new
9:47 pm
york, who is a pivotal figure in this going forward. obviously the presumptive senate majority leader at the democrats, also very hawkish on iran, very big supporter of israel, obviously. i've been thinking this through and it seems to me unlikely that schumer would work against the signature foreign-policy goal of a president from his party. a lot of people have their eye on schumer. as he goes, a whole bunch of senators go, perhaps. i just find it implausible that the republicans will be able to break off a sufficient number of democrats to override a
9:48 pm
presidential veto. i think right now they think they've got this, but remember syria 2013. that was tumultuous, and things shift, and details could come out about this plan in the coming days that don't sit well with people. anything is possible. charlie: does that include that the iranian regime may change, that the ayatollah's entire life has been built on the idea that iran was opposed to the revolution, and having iran become the kind of power that it wanted to be and we take any steps this is very to stop them? is any of that likely to change? i asked ben rhodes this evening, what is their expectation of the iranians? do they believe that after 10 or 15 years they will lose the interest or the wisdom or not wisdom of having a nuclear weapon?
9:49 pm
karim: i think the longer one studies the middle east, the less one is likely to make forecast about it. it is imminently unpredictable. the question that came up about china, in the case of china, mao had reached the conclusion that the fear of the soviet union necessitated a rapprochement with the united states. he decided to make that strategic shift. i haven't seen signs from iran's supreme leader that he has decided to make that strategic shift, after 36 years of enmity, to gradually embark on a normalization with the united states. the u.s. and iran do have common adversaries, and isis is one of them. in the past there has been tactical cooperation against common enemies, whether al qaeda or the taliban.
9:50 pm
but as far as we know, to some extent the inner workings of the iranian regime are a black box. just based on the public statements, i haven't seen any signs that they are prepared to embark on that strategic shift. but the supreme leader is 76ers old and he's not going to be around forever. i think his hard-line views are very much the minority. he has a monopoly of coercion, and the commander-in-chief of the revolutionary guards, he appoints their senior commanders. i think it's a relationship which is symbiotic. it is politically expedient for the supreme leader and it has been economically expedient for the revolutionary guard. they have been greatly enriched as a result of this. i think that it's difficult when you have demographics in iran in which the records of the
9:51 pm
population were born after the revolution. it's going to be difficult to continue to keep the country isolated. charlie: i asked this earlier, with the deal have happened without john kerry, that somehow his personality, his persistence, his desire to be a historic figure, all of that added to the likelihood of pulling this off? >> i don't want to engage in psychoanalysis. i'm not running for anything. the guy is unbelievable. he took all of that energy that was pent-up and frustrated over the middle east process and he threw it into this, he did this with a broken leg.
9:52 pm
this is putting aside whether or not he negotiated a deal that was too weak from the american perspective, put aside those issues. there is a quality of this guy that is just unbelievable. i think since his vietnam experience, he has believed strongly in diplomacy and that there have to be nonmilitary ways of solving problems. i think he brings that sincerity to it. but whether or not you agree with the methodology or his thinking, you have to sort of sit back and watch this guy who's not a young guy with the kind of awe at the indefatigable and t of it all. charlie: if this works, it's a historic agreement?
9:53 pm
ed: yes, it's his story, but the same individuals who worked on that agreement, i remember some of our debates at the time, i was on the committee. i remember the views of john kerry at that time. it turns out they were wrong and north korea obtained a nuclear result of result. there's a lot that is consequential about this, and that's what congress will have to look into. charlie: all of this is intriguing to me. i suspect there are thousands of stories still not told. >> we're going to learn a lot about what happened that we don't know. i'm sure it's a pretty fascinating tale. a lot of that does center on secretary kerry. this was the longest we've ever seen a secretary of state stay
9:54 pm
in one city outside the united states, working on one project in decades. charlie: i said historic figure, not nobel aspirant. jeff: although now i guess he is a nobel aspirant. don't be surprised if you see that. charlie: i wouldn't be surprised, if this thing works all kinds of awards will be offered, and if it doesn't work history will be unkind. thank you all very much. thank you for joining us. see you next time. ♪
9:55 pm
9:56 pm
9:57 pm
♪ rishaad: this is "trending business serco -- business." in singapore, a look at what we're watching. mainland markets swing wildly.
9:58 pm
all this is more companies returned to trading. greek lawmakers are approving the terms of the third bailout. they zip have no choice because the alternative was a messy default. i controversial choice, the bill would rewrite the constitution. do follow me on twitter. let's have a look at what is been going on. we have had losses, we have had gains. yvonne: what else is new? we start off with some downward pressure. we have seen down in the red with these china market as we continue to see more companies resume trade. we have some freezes this morning.
9:59 pm
overall, asia-pacific is looking pretty green right now. easing concerns that greece will leave the euro.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on