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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 25, 2014 8:00am-10:01am EST

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advancing the construction of a plutonium reduction plant. it's also excepted the most rigorous inspection regime imposed on any country in the history of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. so the international atomic energy agency that is overseeing the implementation of the agreement has verified iran's complete compliance with the plan of action in every one of its report sense that it was implemented last january. so in sum, the interim agreement has stopped the development of iran's nuclear program and it opened the way for diplomatic solutions. a final agreement, if it were to be reached, would retain all of the limitations and monitoring of iran's nuke program that i just described. but negotiations are ongoing.
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the final elements of a deal are unknown. it's very hard to predict at this stage but however i think there's widespread agreement among u.s. nuclear experts that the general contours of a good deal with established limits on iran's programs that, taken together, would limit the size of the stockpile of enriched uranium at the number of centrifuges that iran could keep to ensure that this combination would leave iran approximately one year away from being able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for a bomb. it would also be modifications to the fordow facility into a research into the site and modifications to the arak heavy-water reactor to make sure it is no longer capable to produce the amount of plutonium
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necessary to make a nuclear weapon. in addition to these account for proliferation benefits, preventing and iran nuclear weapon would also result in another key benefit, the heading off of the regional arms race. it also would serve to strengthen the global nonproliferation system. the next npt review conference will be held in 2015. the npt is the cornerstone of the post world war ii nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation regime. it facilitates cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. a nuclear deal would provide a big boost in the lead up to that review conference. the interim plan of action has also led to a market de-escalation and hostilities between washington and tehran, and the ongoing nuclear talks which were being conducted in a
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p5+1 context have provided the united states and iranian diplomats and policymakers with the channel for sustained, direct, bilateral communications for the first time in over three decades. the shattering of his decades long engagement taboo is a significant win for diplomacy. direct diplomatic engagement between the u.s. and iran has finally been tested, and the initial results are promising. reaching a comprehensive nuclear deal could unlock a channel for broader discussions between both countries on issues where both have compelling common interest, particularly in the middle east and south asia. if such a deal is reached and the iaea continues to verify that iran is complying with its commitment, it should clear the way for washington and tehran to
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engage on to security priorities that they both hold in common with the first is the fight against islamic state in syria and iraq. antisec is stabilizing the new unity government in afghanistan. keep in mind that both of our governments have explicitly stated that a nuclear deal must be concluded before direct bilateral coordination on these issues can take place. the rise of isis holds major security implications for both the u.s. and iran. since june 2014, discussions between washington and tehran on isis have been taking place on the sidelines of the p5+1 nuclear talks. the iraqi government is also asking as an intermediary helping to facilitate communications. following a nuclear deal i think we could expect these
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discussions to move to ongoing direct u.s.-iran bilateral talks. this could provide an opening for coordination and even cooperation, perhaps including exchanges of intelligence and collaboration on military action in the fight against isis. u.s. officials have already acknowledged that tehran used its influence to convince nouri al-maliki to step down in september 2014. this led to a smooth transition in power. posted i believe that the united states would be any better position to press iran to use its leverage to persuade the government to share more power with sunnis and other minorities to this could help to improve a very fragile political situation that exists in iraq today as soon you still do not feel they are representative, represent by the baghdad government and the
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military remains dominated by shiites. a post nuclear deal environment would also make it possible to test iran's willingness to put a constructive role in advancing a political solution to syria. many believe that another geneva conference on syria without iran would be meaningless. posted deal, washington could support iran's participation in a geneva iii gathering that was organized under the auspices of the united nations. within this context the united states could then press iran to put a more constructive role in relieving the humanitarian crisis in syria, particularly by extending cooperation on humanitarian access. it is unclear at this point how far tehran would be willing to go to use its leverage to bring about a political settlement that would lead to the eventual departure of assad. i think once i ran has a seat at
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the table, which it has been seeking for quite some time now, it will be forced to show its cards rather quickly. iranian foreign minister zarif four-point plan on syria, which includes a cease-fire, the formation of a national unity government, constitutional revision process that would decentralize the power in syria, at any election i think offers a good starting point for discussions. on afghanistan, there clearly are some very strong overlapping u.s. and iranian interests in afghanistan. a nuclear deal combined with a small u.s. troop presence in afghanistan would set the stage for direct u.s.-iran discussions on afghanistan. both governments have voiced strong support for afghanistan's new government under the new
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president and ceo of google up to look at both the call for the publication of national unity government agreement and the establishment and strengthening of state institutions. both also would like to see a capable afghan security force, a damaged taliban and an effective strategy for dealing with narcotrafficking. so washington should set as a high priority in developing a coalition of countries to support afghanistan's transition to a new leadership and management the period after the withdrawal of u.s. troops to pitch it speak to bring together other nations to assure the territorial integrity of afghanistan, the security and economic growth of afghanistan. of course, iran's inclusion in such a coalition supporting
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afghanistan's transition makes a great deal of sense but and there is a precedent for u.s.-iran cooperation on afghanistan. both countries work together to establish afghanistan's transitional government that emerged from the 2001 bonn conference following 9/11. i have presented to areas where there is significant overlap in u.s.-iran security interest. however, i want to emphasize that i am not suggesting that following a nuclear deal, decision-makers in washington and tehran are suddenly going to join in and start singing kumbaya. i think it was a nuclear deal, profound differences clearly will continue to exist between iran and the united states. i think iran's poor human rights record will continue to endure. tehran will likely continue to support designated terrorist groups, enabling its proxy to
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provoke a threaten israel, and a nuclear deal would also heightened concerns among the gulf states who will feel more vulnerable to iranian pressure. all of this like a very difficult for the united states to pursue a more strategic relationship with iran. what i've outlined is the potential for a calculated engagement on some very specific key issues where washington and tehran holds compelling common interest. a nuclear deal could open the way for quashes cooperation on a limited set of objectives that would serve to advance u.s. security interests. so just to conclude, i think verifiably preventing a nuclear-armed iran and avoiding a military confrontation over its nuclear program are vitally important goals. i'm happy, tragic and he
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organized this discussion today because we also need to take a bigger picture view, ma more strategic and broader view. when we do it is clear to see that unlocking a channel for broader dialogue between iran and the united states on issues where we hold common interest would also be an enormous achievement. >> thanks very much, suzanne. trita, you are next. >> thank you so much. thank you for all the in the all of the viewers on c-span. i'm going to raise a couple of issues. one is the impact of the potential deal on the internal politics of iran as well as the human rights situation, as well as the consequences and implications of the failure to get to do. before did i just want to add one thing i thought dr. hill's presentation basics and to me important because it touches on an important aspect that has almost been completely overlooked which is economic
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implications of do but i just want to add one point to that. in july we released a report that calculated using a gravity model, the cost of sanctions, there's been a lot of conversation about how much it costs iran's economy which is undeniable that is also at a cost of the sanctioning countries. the result of the report show that since 1995-2012, the united states has lost between 135-one under $75 billion, conservative estimate, simply on the loss of export revenue to iran which would've been had it not been sanctioned to that number is much like i because it is discounting the export revenue. it's a very large amount because that amounts to approximately 1 million lost job opportunities over this entire period based on
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the u.s. government own calculations. you can find a report called losing billions on our website. i strongly encourage you to take a look at it. the consequences of a deal internally in iran i think the important the impact at the end of the day this was never just about enrichment or just about the number of centrifuges. what this view will do, the internal politics of the rent is essentially defined who will determine the policy of iran for the next decade to come. will it be hardliners, ultra- hardliners such as oxygen is shouted? i will be relative -- such as rouhani and prime minister zarif. it will determine which direction iran will go for the next decade or two. this in and of itself will have significant implications on the region which suzanne covered but it will also have implications on what happens inside of iraq
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is iran. this is didn't want to open up to the rest of will but as a result they recognize again that open up to the rest of the world with out improving the human rights record but as far as you are so into rouhani's term we have not seen any particularly noticeable change in the human rights record of iran. it remains a negative on. the number of executions have actually gone up. however, when you listen to the human rights defenders on the ground, they are pretty much in consensus. they support this view because they believe the deal that reduces animosity with the western world, particularly the united states, gives iran's internal actors are pushing for more democracy, pushing for more respect for human rights greater space to be up to do what only they can do. no one else on the outside can do this job for them. nor do they want the. a need that extra space. it's next to impossible for them to have a successful campaign
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for greater political liberalization is so screwed respect for human rights under the circumstances there currently end, which is a threat of war as well as crippling sanctions that have caused so much damage to the average iranian eight becoming a figure far less about human rights and far more about their day-to-day ability to survive economically. they need this change to be able to make their case and be successful at it. beyond that i think it will open up opportunities for longer-term political change in iran because if you have a scenario in which western businesses, companies have an ability to come into iran, with that would also, value and other forms of government economic impact on iran. imagine if 1994-1995 the united states did not impose sanctions on iraq that essentially eliminated u.s.-iran trade. and by 2009 on most corners of
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the streets of tehran you would have a starbucks, mcdonald's or some more represent the american company that doesn't so bad food and you have an embassy there. you would have americans there. he would have american companies there. to think president obama's ability to have influence -- would be greater or less? i think the answer is clear. without any americans there, without any american businesses there, without any american diplomats of the, the u.s. ability of any impact on what happens post-2000 elections in event was essentially close to zero. what happens if there isn't a deal? it depends on how they negotiate or the deal collapses. if you listen to in which inefficiency right now they don't reach a deal, it is an extension or perhaps there isn't
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an extension, the new be difficult to predict exactly which way it will go. how the deal collapses will determine who will get blamed. and depending on who gets blamed for the collapse of the deal, you have very different consequences. if there is a deal and the entire international committee represented by the p5+1, countries as diverse or as different as russia, china and the united states in europe, put their signature on the submit button it comes back to the u.s. congress and the u.s. congress either sabotages it directly over the course of time does not implement its obligations under the deal such as the concert sanctions, including the blame will fall on the u.s. side and on the side of u.s. economy. that will have the effect of breaking the international consensus that has been built by
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the obama administration on iran, in the sense that international consensus is that the focus on the iran signed an international committee is working very closely together without any significant division in order to get an agreement in which the iranians cannot split from the international committee. if you have a summit at which they all agree to deal but u.s. congress does not, the blame will shift towards the u.s. side. one of the likely consequences of that is you will see the sanctions regime that has been put on iran slowly but surely falling apart. the cost of europeans has been more than twice between 2010-2012 than what used economy
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has been the u.s. has lost a lot of extra revenue to speak. the europeans have lost more than twice than that. mindful of that and mindful of the difficulty the eu economies are facing, if a deal is struck but then it collapses as a result of not iranian action that congressional action, and i think you'll see a sanctions regime essentially collapsing. bobby iranian's with another pretext of walking out of a deal at all of the constraints that the deal has put on them. in essence they would get sanctions relief a factor because the regime collapses without having any constraints. i think congress has to think very, very carefully about this. the biggest benefactor of such an action is the hardliners in iran who don't want this to to begin with because they don't want the constraints on the nuclear program but they do what sanctions relief. this would provide both sanctions relief and the actions of those constraints. i will stop there.
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>> so before we get into some of the following about what these stakes are for a different with these benefits are, i do think be beneficial to talk about the state of play today and this weekend. suzanne, do you want to talk to forget about what are the gaps that are remaining, and what we would expect to be resolved if there is, in fact, going to be a deal on monday? >> well, i think the press is reporting that the current gaps are still the level of enrichment by iran would be permitted to continue to have a number of centrifuges, et cetera, on the one hand. and the process and timing for the sanctions relief that would correspond for that. and then third issue seems to be the duration of the deal. it's kind of remarkable, jamal.
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about this whole process there have been very few leaks about what is actually being discussed by the negotiators. i think that's a very good sign. it conveys the seriousness that the negotiators from all the countries are taking, putting towards this effort. so i would refrain from trying to guess if we'll see an announcement by november 24 or not. we may hear something a couple of days later. and whether or not it's going to be the full deal that we are expecting, or perhaps another interim agreement or a partial deal that would outline a framework for going forward. i think we're all hoping that they could conclude the final comprehensive deal. but i think realistically a partial deal at this stage that continues the current restrictions on iran's program, which by the way came about in
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my opinion very limited sanctions relief, would be a win for the p5+1 in the world. beyond that i think train three is right. i do not see a complete breakdown of these negotiations. there's no indication that that would happen. so we will either get very big announcements next week or an investment of something partial. >> i appreciate that but it seems like every utterance or gesture or a facial tick of the negotiators is now being examined to try to get clues as to what is happening in the talks. the truth is there's a lot of speculation from the outside but it has been a very tightly controlled process. it does seem though there is an increased flexibility on the two sides, that some of the areas where the p5+1 did not seem eager to move on or that iran
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may be was not able to be flexible, that some of those are broken down a little bit. it does seem to be movement. would you guys agree with the? >> i think that's the nature of negotiations is the really go to the last possible minute with your maximalist position. but as we've heard i think the iranians purportedly have come up from the opening bid of 1500 centrifuges to something around 4500. and the united states -- oh, wait, that's the opposite. that would be something. the iranians have come down to about 8000. in the meantime the iranians have apparently offered to deal with any resulting stockpile, which i think would allow them to have more centrifuges. so it's still very fluid and they are really into details of the negotiation.
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>> the uk foreign minister made some positive signals that the talks have been positive, that the atmosphere is very cordial but i think it's also true outside to constantly looking over their shoulder. what they are truly third, both the p5+1 and the iranians, is the reaction back on. clearly the president has issues when it comes to convincing congress in making sure this too would be to do something positive, that it wins the support of enough people in order for it to google to stand without collapsing from his side. the iranians have a similar problem. you have a situation in which hardliners in iran will try to do everything they can, even if they don't try to scuttle the talks because they'll be too costly for them if they get blamed for it. they want to make sure this does not become a political win for rouhani and his team but they want to make sure this is very costly political decision.
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in order for their many negotiators to be able to sell a deal at home they need some sort of a sanctions relief that relatively quickly add a lot of benefit to the iranian economy. that would help them in this endeavor in which the criticism from hardliners will essentially be shouted down because people are sensing very immediate and tangible economic benefits. but mindful of the difficulty that the president has a lifting sanctions, even though he could waive some of them, that does not seem to be something that the u.s. team is either willing to offer because of a political cost back at home, but also might not even be able to offer because of the tensions with congress. i think that shows something. it shows while sanctions can be a tremendous leverage in the negotiations, they can also turn into an obstacle to deal if you don't have enough control over the sanctions instruments that you can lift it and a swift manner as part of the negotiations. this is where the tensions with
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congress and the president has moved away from being some sort of a clever and highly effective good cop, bad cop again, to something that started to become constructive previous negotiating card in the negotiations. >> david, you talked about potentially oil dropping from 50 or $60 a barrel, and you say the losers an in that sin would be russia, venezuela. what would the impact be on some of the regional players? so saudi arabia, iraq, but also how does that impact isil, who we know profits off of oil smuggling? does this impact that issue at all? >> isil does make money from oil smuggling but if we had the price fall that would cut into revenue. they would be a loser as well.
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saudi arabia and the gulf states would suffer from falling oil prices at the massive foreign exchange is so they can easily cope with this for two or three years. iraq of course would suffer because the rules on international price and they're exporting about 2 million barrels right not to like to go, they're exporting 3 million. producing 3 million, hope to go to five or six little girls over the next five years. iraq could be vulnerable as well. can be lots of winners, japan, india, european union, the u.s. they are all consumers. so i could see gasoline prices going to $2.30 or $2.40. right now we're just under $3. if we get a further shock we could have gas and prices fall and 3050 or 60 cents. that would be i think politically appetizing. >> could you repeat that? gas prices would drop -- >> gasoline prices could drop further 50 or 60 cents to we drove the gulf oil price and $55
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per bill. we've already gone 115 back in june do not just over 80. it's more like $76. that's $30. taken the price of gasoline in the last six months down by about 50 or 70 cents. we are a bit below $3. if we had a further drop into a prize, the international market, that could drive our gasoline prices down further 50 or 60 cents that would be bent around $3.30 or $3.40. >> that is reverberations around the economy spent of course it does. it would be a big boon for the airline industry. price decline we have already had. it is increasing average household income by about $50 per month. that's not a lot of money for someone who's wealthy but for a low-income person that's a lot of money. i think it will help to give us a pretty good christmas we people can go out and spend this
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money. sunoco there are many winners and their some losers. the winners greatly outnumber the losers. >> this is why they timed it to write before black friday. >> yes. >> because we are on the hill i think one of the major considerations right now is congress' response, whether, particularly if this extension, potential if there's a deal. some are saying that the united states can't impose sanctions and iran will not walk away from the table. that the iranian economy is in such dire straits and even with the sanctions iran would remain at the table. what you think about this proposition? is that the case? would iran actually just sit there and allow for sanctions to be imposed to remain at the table, or with this in fact lead to a collapse of the negotiations? >> i think that it would potentially lead to a collapse. it would be very difficult for
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the iranian negotiators to continue their jobs when their boss is back on are suffering more sanctions. they are not going to stand for that and they will feel compelled to do a counter move against that, and clearly the easiest thing to do is pull out of the negotiations. ..
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>> by and large, to a very large extent the reason these negotiations have happened is because congress has levied such strong sanctions against iran. it certainly has helped bring them to the table. i think there were other factors, of course. when the united states dropped the regime change language, that certainly helped. and when the united states also said some level of enrichment would be acceptable. but make no doubt about it, congress played an important role in that. however, jamal, i think at this point while these negotiations are at such a critical moment to come in with additional sanctions would simply just undermine the united states' negotiating position, and i just don't see when we're so close to what appears to be a good deal, what the iranians call a win/win and what we call a good deal is close at happened. so i think now -- at hand.
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so i think now the thought of undercutting u.s. diplomats is not the tomb to be thinking about -- is not the time to be thinking about this. >> do you want to chime in? david, do you actually have any thoughts about the importance of congressional signaling on this? we know that the sanctions can't be lifted without an act of congress, at least the u.s. sanctions can't be lifted without an act of congress. the president plans to use waiver authorities to temporarily suspend the sanctions. there's been some talk about, you know, if congress is sending the president sanctions bills or is potentially voting in disapproval of the deal and signaling that congress will not allow sanctions to be lifted, that that could actually have the psychological effects on markets of, you know, basically companies and banks unwilling to allow for transactions with iran and allow for some of the sanctions relief to actually be forthcoming. do you have any, do you have any sense of the role of congress in that process and how that's
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impacting market -- >> it will depend how people perceive the president's power to actually waive the sanks use -- the sanctions using his own authority. maybe getting congressional consent later. but given the political -- unless the president realized the price of gasoline might go to $2.35 a gallon. the president cannot do it through executive action, but i do think the danger is they would get in the way. or, as was suggested by that, maybe the -- by trita, maybe the europeans would lift their own sanctions? so you get a boom in european and iranian trade and investment, but the americans would not be a part of it. we'd be missing, once again, the trade and investment opportunity. but i do think there is a lot of
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pressure in europe to end these sanctions. they have been negotiating the reentry into the market. they have a lot they want to do, and i think you would see the europeans trying to find some way to escape these sanctions. if we have the outlines of a good deal. >> i -- >> sure. yeah, go ahead. >> i think it's also important to realize that the way this negotiation has been structured, one of the principles has been that all measures are going to follow the principles of reciprocity and proportionality which means that if there's a demand of the iranians to offer a permanent measure, a permanent concession -- which is exactly what we want, we want them to make sure they do something that is not easily reversible -- then it has to be matched by something that is equally permanent. sanctions relief through waivers, waivers that last only 90 days or 180 days and have to constantly be renewed including by the next president is
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fundamentally and inherently reversible. and that has the risk then of prompting the iranians to only put on the table something that is equally rereverse bl and equally -- reversible and equally less attractive to the american side. so this is a negotiation, in essence, the two sides will get based on what they're willing to put on the table. if we're only putting very limited measures on the table, we're likely only going to get limited measures from the run grab side. so if we want a good deal, the signal should be, in my view, that there is a political willingness to be quite flexible in going very far when it comes to sanctions relief. granted, obviously, that the iranians match that. so far the opposite signal has been sent, and i fear that that is part of the reason why the iranians have not matched it with something that we would think is acceptable on the american side. >> and so correct me if i'm wrong, one of the components of a deal on the iranian side in
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terms of verification would be the implementation and ratification of the additional protocol. so enhanced inspections which would require an act of the iranian parliament. would that then be something that would be tied to reciprocal action by the united states congress? is that what's being discussed? >> for the iranians to agree to the additional protocol, they have done so in the past and start to voluntarily implement it, but what we want is for them to ratify it, to make it a permanent measure that they cannot walk away from. they had implemented it for about 20 months between 2003 and 2005, and then they stopped. they stopped because the deal back then fell apart. we don't want that to happen again. we want to make sure that they bind themselves to it. but that will require action by their parliament which, um, is becoming increasingly similar to the u.s. congress when it comes to the political winds that are blowing there and the tensions between their executive branch
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and legislative branch. >> okay. so we'll open it up to audience questions. if you have a question, raise your hand, and we have a microphone. >> testing. >> we'll come to you. so who has a question? >> thank you very much. earlier this month it was widely reported that president obama sent a secret letter asking for formal coordination against isis. it seems that that offer has been rebuffed. i understand that that is a separate negotiation to the nuclear talks, but it because seem like it would have been a great opportunity to build trust on both sides. can you speak to the political calculus behind that situation? >> sure. so has that letter been rebuffed, what, if any, coordination is occurring now and what could potentially -- >> and what was in it? >> yes. >> what was in the letter, if anybody knows. >> that was going to be my first point, we don't know what was in
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that letter. that was a private letter from president obama, and even though a certain reporter from "the wall street journal" seemed to think he knew what was in that letter, i'm not convinced he did. besides this really isn't news. for years now the u.s. and iran have been exchanging letters between the leader and obama, and obama and rouhani. there was a phone call between obama and rouhani. so there have been ongoing communications. so i really don't, wouldn't venture to guess what was in that letter. it seems unlikely that president obama would be so explicit in a letter to the supreme leader and offer coordination on isis in such a way, especially when negotiators from both sides have opportunities to talk about these things discreetly. but i think as i presented in my remarks, i think looking ahead clearly if we could get this nuclear deal under our belt and
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have it implemented, this would most certainly, in my opinion, be the first area where and iran can start working with each other. both of us, both our militaries are now operating in that area, in iraq, and i think it would be the height of irresponsibility for us not to be communicating, not to be coordinating with each other. >> yeah. i know, trita, you just wrote a piece on this. >> yeah, so working off suzanne said, we don't know what's in the letter, but if we go with what "the wall street journal" reported, it was not an offer of working together against isis, it was more -- at least according to that press report -- a suggestion that if the nuclear issue is resolved, it opens up the opportunity for potential collaboration in these other areas. we also don't know exactly what the response has been except for the fact that there has been a response.
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the very idea that at this very crucial moment, just a few weeks before the deadline of the negotiations, there is a letter from the president to the supreme leader i don't think should be surprising, nor should it be viewed as something negative. at this stage the willingness to trust the deal, the willingness to take the risk of saying, yes, which is something the u.s. and iran rarely have done with each other, it's always been easier to say no, is coming to a test. and for the leader then to signal political willingness, for the u.s. leader -- by sending a letter to khamenei, i think had the calculation of being able to prove the u.s. is serious, now it's time for iran to also be serious. i assume that was the calculation, and if that's the case, i think it would be the right calculation. >> just to follow up, so we know there have been three, maybe four of these letters that have been sent over the past, you know, six years. what about on syria?
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and maybe this was never included in the letters, maybe we'll never know. but iran has not participated in the yes peeve java conferences on -- geneva conferences on syria. in the latest session iran was invited, then disinvited. anything information on the background of the interaction on that issue, maybe where the disagreements have been and including iran in that process? >> yeah. as you mentioned, jamal, there's been some complicated background noise to iran and its participation in the geneva talks. the yes peeve cra talks are a multilateral group of nations focused on forging a political settlement to the problems in syria. you know, i can understand the political difficulties for geneva ii of including iran at that point, but as i said in my presentation, i do think that even in this town most people have now come to the conclusion
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that a political settlement to the problems in syria cannot be reached without the participation of iran in some way. the geneva process offers, i think, the right forum for the u.s. and iran to be engaging on this subject. it is under the u.n. auspices. it could actually happen before a nuclear deal is concluded because of the u.n. inprim tour. but the signals from rapp on this -- from iran on this issue, particularly from the foreign minister zarif, he's put forward the four-point plan that i discussed, and it closely matches a lot of what we've been hearing, certainly what mr. brahimi had said about what needed to be done to reach a political settlement. and i think there's a lot of overlap on thinking what needs to move forward. for the iranians, their main
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concern, they tell us, on the position of mr. assad is they want to see a strategy. what is the strategy if he's to be replaced? i think their concerns that they've conveyed to the united states is that there would be a big power vacuum. and what could replace it could actually be worse than mr. assad, if we can imagine such a thing. so i think this is an lawyer that's ripe for discussion between tehran and washington and other key players, saudi arabia would have to be involved, turkey and so forth. >> and with, i mean, with the onset of isis, i think that you have, you have folks here in the u.s. who say they've been vindicated because the civil war has produced this isis phenomenon. whereas in iran i think you have some of the officials saying they've been vindicated because this demonstrates what this,
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what this vacuum and what the potential ouster of assad could mean for syria that has bred some of this instability and radicalism. do you think there's a complete difference in the way the two sides see the isis phenomenon from how it originated? >> well, i think publicly there is a big difference in how they see, how did isis emerge, how did it come about. both governments were fairly maybe not caught off guard, but didn't see the extent of the destruction that isis posed. so, of course, the iranians trace the origin of isis back to the u.s. invasion of iraq and even before and vice versa. the united states blames iran for playing a part in that, the emergence of a group like isis because it allowed maliki to continue to put forward a
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government that was so divisive. but i think, you know, we're getting to the stage where we probably need to dispense with the discussions of who did what to whom and the blame game, because this is a real serious issue facing both our countries right now and the region. so i'm hoping cooler heads will prevail, and we could get to a point where the contours of what a political settlement could look like finally is discussed. >> could i -- john, could i -- >> sure. >> i think it's important to also keep in mind that the united states and iran because of the last 35 years of tension and because of this ongoing conflict, even in areas where they actually have common interest, as suzanne explained, there's been a lot of common interest in afghanistan. when they move in a direction of trying to improve relations, they permit themselves to collaborate in these areas of
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common interest. but when their hostility defines their relationship, even areas of common interest is turned into areas of competition and rivalry. that certainly happened in afghanistan, it has also happened in iraq and to a certain extent in syria. so even when the common interests exist, they are overtaken by the larger hostility that assigns a relationship. if that larger hostility is significantly reduced as the result of a nuclear deal, that's when you will see an opportunity for the common interest to weigh much heavier than the hostility and provide the opportunity to utilize that. whether it is in iraq, whether it is in syria, whether it is in afghanistan. i think it's important to understand that aspect to fully grasp the extent to which common interests between the two sides can be explored. >> go here. >> president obama has clearly invested a lot of political
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capital in these talks, but i think the opposite is also true, president rouhani has invested even more in these negotiations. what are the implications if there is or isn't a deal for the rest of his term? what are the effects on the other parts of this agenda, including human rights? thank you. >> i think for mr. rouhani, it's not what i would call a break or make, but if this were to fail in a very negative way, it clearly would undermine his position. i think his agenda on these other issues, on advancing social development and rights would really have to be put on the back burner. it's unclear what would happen to the foreign minister who is the public face of the negotiations, whether or not he could survive a failure in talks. but beyond that i think, you know, it wouldn't spell the end
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to mr. rouhani because i think for the leader he is playing a positive role. i think the leader is happy with how he's handled the economy, for example. as one iranian insider told me, rouhani has prevented the collapse of the iranian economy. he's a stark difference b to his predecessor, mr. ahmadinejad, who now has openly spoke -- talked about in iran his management skills decimated the iranian economy, and i think mr. rouhani has proven himself to be an asset. so i don't think we'd see his disappearance, but we'd certainly see the conservatives and the hard liners come out with their knives to make a play to gain power. keep in mind that the iranian parliament has an election coming up. i think, certainly, moderates, reformists would be undermined
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in that. so there'd be a cascade effect that would not be good for those who are more reform minded. >> i think i agree with suzanne, this would not be the end of rouhani's presidency. it would, however, risk being the end of some of the orientation towards the wes that he has been pursuing. it could be an end to part of that foreign policy approach. because what it would do is that it would vindicate, in my view, the wrong narrative in iran. there's a hard line narrative in iran that says, ultimately, the west is not trustworthy, you cannot negotiate with the west, the west is only pursuing these negotiations in order to be able to find a new way of putting pressure on iran, succumbing iran, depriving iran of technology. every time iran tries to negotiate, the west sees that as a sign of weakness and actually finds a way to add pressure to iran. there's another narrative that
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says that, no, negotiations have to be tried because there are common interests. the world is changing. the main threat in the region as defined by iran itself is not the united states, but it is actually isis and the spread of radicalism and that if there is a real negotiation and if there is a give and take, if iran can show a strategic utility to the united states, a different relationship can emerge. if these negotiations collapse, it will be the vindication of the wrong narrative, and that will put back into charge the people in iran who prefer to drive a more confrontational foreign policy vis-a-vis the west. >> go ahead. >> britney from congressman -- [inaudible] office. i actually had two questions. we've been talking a lot about the difference in kind of the u.s. and iran cooperation if this deal were to go forward, but i'm just kind of wondering other than kind of these mutual
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interests what, what is the power that the u.s. gains from this, this deal? and also there was some mention of the hit, i guess, for lack of a better word the gulf states will take if the oil prices drop. i think mr. hill said a few years, three to four years, something like that, as far as being sustainable. so i'm just wondering what kind of negative repercussions could we see from those states as a result of this deal? will there be, i guess, you know, negative u.s. backlash as a result? >> do you want to address that a little bit? >> the real question is what will saudi arabia do. they can cut their output by a million barrels and that could then stabilize the price around $75 or $80 a barrel. going into to peck talks next week in vienna, there's no sign that saudi arabia wants to do
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that at the current time. they're going to protect their market share and not focus on the price. if that policy continues, then iran would face a major impact on oil prices. it's going to be a question of what response you get elsewhere in opec. this is just a scenario, it's not a clear alternative. and, of course, the saudis, the emirates, israel are all opposed to a deal because they feel it'll open the door for iran to develop nuclear weapons over time. maybe not immediately, but over time, changing the whole balance of power in the region. but saudi arabia and the emirates have large foreign exchange reserves. saudi arabia has no public debt. they can easily cope with a couple of years of low oil prices. then that might encourage recovery in demand. so by 2018 the oil price might be starting to recover after we've had this big price decline that came from ending the sanctions. >> on your first question, what would the -- how would the u.s.
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benefit beyond what we already discussed, well, i think first and foremost the threat of another war in the middle east would fade. so that's a big plus. but beyond that, i mean, when you think about the history of the u.s./iran relationship, we have not had normalized diplomatic relations for 35 years now, and i often think -- i don't always agree with henry kissinger, but i think on in this particular quote he got it right. he said something like there are no two countries on earth that have more common interest and less to fight about than iran and the united states, and i think he's absolutely right. if you've traveled there, you immediately feel that there is an affinity between americans and iranians. so i think the potential to reestablish those diplomatic relations is a big one. i would love to see us have a ambassador in tehran and for iran to have an ambassador here
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in washington. i would love to see the economic relations this that we heard about earlier come to fruition. and, you know, as much as anything i think the iranian-more than diaspora here in the united states -- which i know trita can talk as eloquently as anyone -- want to see this. they're very successful part of our population. they want to see the relationship between our two countries, our two governments flourish. and i think we would all benefit from that. and i think it's -- when we look at the past 30 years, the lack of people-to-people exchanges between our societies, i think, has hurt us. and with the deal i think we could see that move forward and build the relationships that we once had with iran.
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>> if i could just add a couple of points to that. the obvious first benefit, of course, is that the deal would close off any path iran would have towards a nuclear weapon. and that's the big takeaway, of course. that's critical. if the iranians agree to the additional protocol, they ratify it, you will have inspections that go beyond anything that has existed in the past. it would make it essentially impossible for the iranians to be able to pursue newing in secret. pursue anything in street. and this is obviously critical because we have defined a proliferation of weapons in the area as a primary national security risk. if that is gone, that certainly is a huge benefit. but beyond that, in order to understand and imagine the benefits of a deal, it would be good to assess what the costs of this bad relationship has been. if we just go back 12 or so years and we see that immediately after 9/11 the u.s.
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and iran during george bush jr.'s presidency start to collaborate and coorld nate against the taliban diplomatically, politically, intelligence wise as well as militarily. that collaboration so successful that when it comes to the effort to put together a new constitution after the taliban have been defeated, this was a joint u.s./iran operation in which the current foreign minister zarif who was back then a lead negotiator for the iranians and ambassador jim dobbins coordinated the entire conference, and they managed together to make sure that not only was the military campaign, the war won, the peace was also won. six weeks later george bush puts iran in the axis of evil. and all of that potential collaboration that could have continued and that could have led to a very different scenario in afghanistan is gone, and the u.s. and iran started competing
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in afghanistan just like they had before, before that brief period of collaboration. and we've seen what happened in afghanistan ever since. we've seen the great difficulties the u.s. has had, the major cost to u.s. soldiers, etc. imagineimagine if that hadn't h. imagine then going forward for the next ten year, that you have three more cases in the middle east in which the united states decides to compete rather than collaborate, and then you get an idea of how beneficial a deal could be. last point is on the perspective of the diaspora. diaspora, of course, has a lot of different views. the iranian-american community, like any other community, is not, is not of one view on this issue. but there is an overwhelming amount of support for the negotiations which is driven partly because of, of course, they don't want to see the spread of nuclear weapons, but very much also driven by the belief that if there is a deal, if techs are reduced -- tensions are reduced, it will ultimately
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be a big, beneficial thing for the pro-democracy activists and the human rights defenders in iran. the ability of iran to move in a more liberal political direction very much depends on the extent to which iran has hostile or nonhostile relations with the west. >> right here, third row. >> um, yeah. what's the -- excuse me, what's the impact of a deal or no deal on israel in all this? >> suzanne? >> well, obviously, i think if there is a deal, the u.s. government, the obama administration would have to continue to make a special effort to provide israel with the reassurances that it needs to feel comfortable with iran having an enrichment capacity that is internationally authorized.
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and that's going to take a lot of work. i think in recent days we've heard various positions coming out of israel that have been, well, have been consistently concerned about the direction this is going. so that's going to take a very special effort. it may mean boosting iran, israel's defense capabilities to make them feel that reassurance. but make no doubt about it, that will be a diplomatic effort that will require just as much attention as it will to probably reach this deal with the iranians. and i think it would be well worth it. my own belief is that a comprehensive nuclear deal with iran that presents it from having a nuclear weapons capability is not only in u.s. interests, but in israeli interests as well. >> if i could just add a couple of points to that.
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i think suzanne, of course, is absolutely right. the israeli government suns 1993 has -- since 1993 has made the point that seeing nuclear weapons in iran would be a disaster, a global threat, some have called it an existential threat. if these negotiations reaches a deal that would end any path towards a nuclear weapon, that clearly is a major benefit for the israelis. now, it doesn't necessarily mean that president netanyahu will view that as a benefit or at least politically that he would find a deal beneficial. i think the israeli goth, unfortunately -- government, unfortunately, has increased the costs by taking on a very, very ferocious public position against these negotiations and against the deal. if you take a look at i don't know what to call it, that graphic that prime minister netanyahu had at the u.n. not this year, but the year prior to
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that, the essential takeaway was that the israeli red line, as articulated for the first time by an israeli prime minister -- there's been plenty of israeli red lines, but they've never been articulated by the prime minister -- it was that they should not have 250 kilos of enriched uranium. at the moment the prime minister gave that presentation, the iranians had 190 kilos of 20% enriched uranium. if you enrich it further to 93%, you can build a bomb. well, thanks to the interim deal, the iranians have zero 20% enriched uranium. that entire stockpile has been eliminated. that, without any question, is a significant benefit to the israeli side. based on the criteria that the israeli prime minister himself has put forward publicly. beyond that if you have a u.s./iran deal and you have a
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reduction of tensions between the united states and iran, as i mentioned before, as that will lead to less competition and rivalry between the u.s. and iran in other theaters in the middle east, that will also have a positive impact on israel because it will prompt the iranians to be less hostile towards israel. hostility towards israel from the iranian side has very much at times been a function of their competition with the united states in the region. if that competition reduces, the utility of iran taking on a very tough position vis-a-vis israel also reduces. just take a look at the posture of iran since the negotiations began under rouhani and the posture of iran prior to these much more serious negotiations under ahmadinejad. it's almost night and day. of that's just as a result of the negotiations. imagine what that could be for israel l if there actually is a deal. >> questions?
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over here. >> thanks. so is i was wondering there have been some groups here questioning whether iran has complied with the joint plan of action, particularly with regard to testing on advance centrifuges. i was wondered if you could unpack that and just make clear is ron complying with the -- is iran complying with the joint plan of action. thanks. >> does anybody want to talk about the allegations of violations of the interim deal? i think that it was, you know, there was a think tank that said that iran may have violated by feeding uranium into the ir5 centrifuge. do you want to address that at all? >> no, no. >> well -- [laughter] so there was this allegation. i think the administration was pretty clear actually at the outset of the negotiations that
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testing of these centrifuges, the sort of r&d work was actually written into the deal as being permissible. and so that, the activity that was highlights was actually considered as this r&d work. that being said, the administration after this allegation was made, they did announce that they contacted the iranians and that even though this was not a violation, they asked that the iranians not continue to do this work, and the report is that they did. so this actually demonstrates how important that the channels for diplomacy that we actually have are in addressing these issues. does anybody -- >> if i could just add one thing to that. >> sure. >> at the end of the day, the iaea has come out and clearly verified that everything that the iranians said they were going to do, everything the u.s. and the p5+1 said they would do under or the deal has been done. the iaea is tasked with overseeing the implementation of
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this. so their statement is the final word on this. at the same time, from the u.s. pseudoas well as the -- side as well as the e.u. pseudo, they have confirmed the u.s. has lived up to their end of the bargain. there is an area outside of these negotiations between the iae, and iran in which there's been some delays, some tensions, there's been some problems. but that is outside of the joint plan of action. that's an ongoing -- [inaudible] that the u.s -- that the iranians have with the iaea, and those two should not be confused. >> and then the, sorry, the second question? >> is there any viable alternative to a negotiated solution? >> so i think this is -- [laughter] is there any universe in which there's no deal and there's some, there's some solution short of that? i know that there were murmurs that the iranians were saying that if there isn't a deal, that they would still comply
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voluntarily with some of the inspections that are happening? is there any credence to those reports? is there any signaling the sides could withstand a continuation of the status quo, meaning the interim agreement, on voluntary basis? >> i mean, short of a deal could we imagine a muddling through for a little while? probably. especially if the iranians continue to adhere to the current parking lots of the interim agreement. and as jamal said, i've been hearing that the iranians have even said even if there is not a collapse, but just some sort of extension, of course, the iaea inspectors would be able to stay in, and maybe even if there was a collapse, they would keep the iaea. but that's, i don't think, a solution. it's not a sustainable, long-term solution to getting this deal done. and if we play this out and if we have a muddling through
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approach, we can imagine those voices that have been advocating military strikes against iran's nuclear program coming to the forefront again. and i think that would be, it could be very hard to manage this time, especially if the iranians pull out of the joint plan of action. you could see a potential spiraling pack to where we were or -- back to where we were or perhaps even worse where the military option was being considered. and i think certainly from the u.s. point of view with our attention focused on defeating isis and dealing with crises throughout the world not only in the middle east, but ukraine and elsewhere, i just can't imagine that this administration would want the situation to deteriorate to that point. because once it gets to that point, there's no, there's no
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guarantee that a spiraling like that can be managed. >> if i could just add something to that. i think wendy sherman, the lead u.s. negotiator, put it very well saying if there is no deal, the name of the game on both sides will be escalation. and that is, that is the worst case scenario. what suzanne pointed out would be a relatively good scenario if there is no deal. but that escalation on the u.s. side would mean more sanctions and eventually gravitation towards military confrontation. on the iranian side, all of the limitations that have existed so far on the deal would be taken away. the iranians would probably go back to 20% enriched uranium, expanding their centrifuge count, etc., etc. so the idea that a no deal scenario leads to a continuation of the current status quo, i think, is something that we have to be very, very cautious about. it's probably the opposite. and a no deal scenario will lead
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the a deterioration militarily, diplomatically, economically. >> israel threatened 18 months ago to launch the new reactor being built. that was going to create plutonium. israel said it was purely a military plant, it was something they could attack, it was going to be above the ground in the desert. someone from the pentagon said this building was visible and had the word " attack" written on the roof. anyway, the construction of this reactor has been slowed down. it may not produce plutonium, it may produce something else. but basically, this has been removed for the time being. if the negotiations completely collapse and iran reversed to what it was doing a year and a half ago, building this reactor, that could clearly set the stage for military action by israel which would, again, make things worse. >> dade, could i ask you a question? >> yes. >> you mentioned what the price
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of gas would be -- >> yeah, yeah. >> what would it be if there isn't a deal and you have this escalation? >> well, i think if we had a military attack on iran by israel, the oil price would leap by $10 a barrel. how far would they go in retaliating? we wouldn't know. but i'd see it easily gapping upwards $10 a barrel. how far it would go would depend on how far it played out. china has a major interest in this. they are very active investors in iran. they're got a close relationship. they'd probably tell the iranians please don't close the strait of hormuz, because we need that to be open. but again, we don't know what iran would do. the radicals might once again take oaf, in which -- takeover, in which case you might get extreme reaction. we just don't know. it's a wildcard. >> well, i think an official close to the negotiations, and
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put it succinctly, failure's not an option. >> yeah. >> so we'll be watching with baited breath what happens over this weekend leading up to the 24th, and hopefully we'll be mindful of the many benefits of a potential deal. i want to go ahead and thank our participants, david hale, suzanne dimaggio, trita parsi. i want to thank the plowshares fund and the foundation for helping sponsor this event as well as congressman moran for sponsoring the room, and i want to thank all of you for being here today. talk care. [applause] >> new york senator charles schumer will be at the national press club today as democratic policy committee chair, he'll talk about the midterm election results and the democratic agenda moving forward. we'll have that live at 10 a.m.
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eastern on c-span. on c-span2, a discussion on the future of negotiations over rapp's nuclear program -- iran's nuclear program after news monday the talks will be extended for another seven months. that's hosted by the brookings institution, and you can watch it live at 10:30 a.m. eastern. and later in the day president obama will speak about immigration policy at an event in chicago. that'll be live at 5:30 eastern on c-span. >> this thanksgiving week c-span is featuring interviews from retiring members of congress. watch the interviews tonight through thursday at 8 p.m. eastern. >> i've often said the republicans do have a legitimate argument here, by the way, in that they're not being allowed to offer amendments. well, they're not being allowed to offer amendments because they filibuster bills. it's one of those chicken and egg things. best way to get rid of it is
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just get rid of the filibuster, but at the same time guarantee to the minority in new rules in the senate that the minority will be allowed to offer germane amendments to any bill that's on the floor. germane amendments to that legislation. with reasonable time limits for debate. >> the late henry -- [inaudible] probably the, well, i won't even call it probably, the most eloquent orator in the congress. henry told me one time, he said i think i remember this correctly, he said i'm not wild about this impeachment, but he said there are 23 americans serving active -- 23 million americans serving active -- and then turn a blind eye to the president? he said, i can't do it. and i'll always remember henry saying that. >> and also on thursday, thanksgiving day, we'll take an american history tour of various
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native american tribes. that's at 10 a.m. eastern following washington journal. then at 1:30, attend a groundbreaking ceremony of the new diplomacy center in washington with former secretaries of state and supreme court justices clarence thomas, samuel alito and sonia sotomayor at 8:30 p.m. eastern. go to for our complete schedule. >> nsa director admiral michael rogers testified on capitol hill about the risk of cyber attacks against the u.s. he appeared before the house intelligence committee about attacks against u.s. infrastructure by nations like china and russia. this hearing is an hour, 15 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> the committee will be called
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to order. we have got competing hearings with some of our members. there'll be members coming in and out during the course of the meeting. admiral, we appreciate you being here today. the house intelligence committee meets today to convene a hearing on the advanced cyber threats facing the united states as well as ongoing efforts to protect our nation and our economy from these dangerous threats. our witness for today's hearing is admiral mike rogers, the commander of the u.s. cyber command and directer of the national security agency. and as we have said multiple times, we're -- you can't have enough mike rogers in the national security space, i think. admiral rogers, we appreciate you appearing before us today. as the congress comes to a close, i wanted to take this opportunity, talk with the american people one more time about one of the most significant national threats that we face. i was a member of the hip city for several years before i became chairman, and i had the opportunity to see those cyber threats grow in volume and complexity over that time.
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as i took the gavel as committee chairman in 2011, i was determined to do what i could do to help american companies deal with these threats, and dutch ruppersberger and i sat down to try to, i think, craft a measure that dealt at least with a significant portion of that problem in a cyber sharing bill. i started talking publicly in as great of detail as possible about the countries like china and iran that were preying on american companies and wanted to raise awareness among companies being targeted and also advance the debate about what the united states government needs to do to address these threats. the highlight of that effort for me was the committee's october 2011 open hearing on cyber where both the ranking member and i called out the chinese government for its industrial-scale campaign of cyber economic espionage against american companies. the brazen chinese government campaign was no secret in the united states government or the private sector cybersecurity
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community, but no one was talking about it publicly at that time. the united states was unwilling to call beijing to account, and u.s. companies feared that chinese government would punish them with crushing cyber attacks for having that public debate. after we opened that debit here and -- debate here and called china out, we were able to have an honest conversation with the american people about the cost of this chinese campaign and what needs to be done about it. china's a economic cyber espionage has certainly not diminished in that time, in fact, it's grown expo exponentiy in terms of volume and damage done. chinese intelligence services that conduct these attacks have little fear, because we have no practical deterrence to that theft. this problem is not going away until that changes. china's economic cyber espionage is not the only threat we face now. iran launched very challenging distributed denial of service attacks on our financial
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networks in 2012. with the ddos tactic, it's not new, and it's certainly not the most sophisticated of attacks. the scale and speed of which this happened was unprecedentedded and made the attacks very difficult to defend against. a sophisticated virus wildly attributed in the press to the iranian government also wiped out more than 30,000 computers in aramco. there's been a lot of talk over the years about hypothetical dangers of a cyber pearl harbor, and it's certainly become a bit of a cliche in cybersecurity circles. i would argue, however, that the threat of a catastrophic and damaging cyber attack in the united states' critical infrastructure like our power or financial networks is actually becoming less hypothetical every day. the iranian attack on saudi aramco shows the intent and capability to launch attacks. moreover, there are growing
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reports of attempts to breach the networks of our electric power operatorrings. foreign cyber actors are probing americans' critical infrastructure networks and in some cases have gained access to those control systems. trojan horse malware that has been attributed to russia has been detected on industrial control software for a wider range of american critical infrastructure systems throughout the country. this malware can be used to shut down vital infrastructure like oil and gas pipelines, power transmission grids and water, distribution and filtration systems. not aware of a case yet where a hacker has gained access and use used it, but i wouldn't take much comfort in that. i believe our advanced nation-state adversaries have the ability to cause such damage. these nations lack a strong motive at this moment to conduct such an attack and are deterred only by the fear of u.s. retaliation. our critical infrastructure networks are extremely vulnerable to such a damaging
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attack, and we can't count on a deterrence if we're already in an adversarial position with a nation like china or russia. and we can't count on the fact that less rational actors might also gain access to those critical systems. it's not hard to understand how difficult it would be if the power or the water was shut off, but imagine if one of our adversaries was able to shut down key financial transactions. our economy would grind to a halt. even worse, imagine if a foreign cyber attacker altered or deleted key financial transaction data so that we couldn't verify account balances or what companies owe each other from day to daty? -- day to today? most of our critical infrastructure providers are doing their best to secure their networks, but if they get attacked by an adversary like china, russia or iran, it certainly isn't a fair fight. the u.s. government has an obligation to help the private sector by sharing this threat information about potential
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attacks before they happen. i'm glad we have the opportunity to talk to the american people today about this vital issue. i'm hoping this hearing can focus members' attention on the need to pass legislation before the end of 2014. we must be ready for a damaging cyber attack against our critical infrastructure. if the senate does not act swiftly, both houses of congress will have to start from scratch next year moving new bills. given the cyber threats we face, this could be an unnecessary and dangerous delay when we are so close to an agreement that protects privacy and our economy and our national security. again, admiral, thank you for being here, and i want to now turn it over to the ranking member for any remarks he'd like to make. >> first, mr. chairman, thank you for having this open hearing. it's important we let the american people know how important this cyber net is. thank you, admiral romers, you have a -- rogers, you have a tremendous job. you're ready for the job. i know you've been in, what, six
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months now? about seven months? we're ready to work with you to make sure you get the resources you need to protect our country from the threats we're talking about. this committee has been sounding the alarm on the cyber threat for years and has twice led the house passage of critical cyber legislation. but the threat has not waited on the full congress to act. in 2012 we warned of the coming danger as a huge saudi oil company, and the chairman referred to this in his comments, suffered a devastating cyber attack. the million ware erased -- the virus. then the threat hit our shores. we continued to warn as cyber attacks hit the united states. government computers including at the department of defense, the u.s. sentencing commission, the u.s. treasury, and it goes on. but still the full congress did not act. the threat then spread further, now to our private networks. target was struck.
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then as our banks, jpmorgan was hit as well as visa and the bank of america. in fy-2012 department of homeland security responded to 198 cyber incidents across critical infrastructure sectors. and of these, 40% were in the energy sector. the energy sector continues to bear the brunt of our country's cyber attacks because hackers recognize that the energy sector is our country's achilles heel. the effects of an attack would send a shock wave through our economy. remember how a single fallen tree in ohio back in 2003 triggered a blackout for nearly 50 million people. just think about what a cyber attack would do. it could be catastrophic. we're watching the threat grow and spread. attacks have hit the state department and the white house. the danger is not waiting. so what's the full congress waiting for? thanks to chairman rogers' leadership and this bipartisan committee, the house passed its cyber legislation. this legislation would fix a
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dangerous gap in our nation's cyber armor; the inability to share threat information between the public and private sectors. the private sector owns about 80% of the internet which makes it difficult for the government to help protect our networks. right now if your house is broken into, you call 911, and the cops come. but if a company gets cyber attacked and billions of dollars are stolen -- which has happened in the united states and is happening -- they can't call a cyber 911 line in the same way. on the other hand, the government may have cyber threat information but currently there's no legislative framework in place to share it with the private sector. it's like being able to see hurricane sandy heading up the east coast but not being able to warn anybody, anyone that it's coming. that's what our cyber legislation does. it enables this crucial, two-way information sharing of cyber threat information. it's the description of the burglar, it's the trajectory of the coming storm. that's what's being shared, not
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private information. the senate has its own cyber legislation which is very similar to ours but which has not passed the full senate. chairman rogers and i have been working very closely with chairman, with senator feinstein and senator chambliss on these issues in the senate. we need to move quickly to reconcile the two, these two issues and pass this legislation. the threat is not going to wait. so thank you, admiral rogers, for taking the time today to come before us about the cyber threat, and chairman rogers, again, thank you for having this open hearing so we can educate our american citizens on this threat and what we need to do. thank you. >> thank you very much. admiral rogers, the floor is yours. welcome. it's good to know in seven months you haven't bumped into anything too significant. congratulations. >> well, chairman, thank you very much. vice chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to talk to you today on a topic that clearly is of critical importance to the nation and to each of us here today. i'll keep my opening remarks very short as i think the
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interaction between us will generate the greatest value. i would start by, first, thanking representative rogers for your time, and this'll be the last time, i suspect, that i'll be testifying before the committee during your tenure as the chairman, and i just want to say thank you. i thank you as well as your fellow leadership with representative ruppersberger on the truly nonpartisan nature that you have created. i this that's a great -- i think that's a great example for all of us. it serves the nation well, and as an individual that interacts with your committee on a regular basis, it certain hi makes my job easier and gets to better solutions which is what i think we are all about no matter where we are in this room. >> i would start out by highlighting i don't think there should be any doubt in anybody's mind that the cyber challenges we're talking about are not theoretical. this is something real. it is impacting our nation and those of our allies and friends every day, and it is doing it in a meaningful way that is literally costing us hundreds of
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billions of dollars, that is leading to a reduced sense of security and that has the potential to lead to truly significant, almost catastrophic failures if we don't take action. it also highlights to all of us, i think, that there is no one single group or party -- party in the sense of whether it be government, whether it be the private sector -- the challenges here are so broad that the idea that one sector or one individual organization is going to solve this, i just don't think it's realistic. it is going to the take a true partnership between the private sector, the government and academia to address the challenges we have. i think the work that you have done on the legislative side is critically important, because we need a legal framework that ebb ables us to rapidly -- enables us to rapidly share information machine to machine and at machine speed between the
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private sector and the government and do it in a way that provides liability protection for the corporate sector as well as insuring the very valid concerns about privacy and civil liberties are addressed. i think we can do that. i think you've done that. the challenge, clearly, is achieving the political will and consensus to pass that. i leave that up to you fine men and women. what i'll try to focus on is, so, what do i think within the realm of responsibility of u.s. cyber command and the national security agency, what do we need to be doing? in my hat as the national security agency, i'll talk about that first. primary roles for us, to insure we are generating insights that aid the public sector as well as government, the private sector as well as government in terms of what's the cyber threat out there, what's coming at us. how can we give timely, advanced information that help us be in a position to respond and defeat those efforts getting into our systems, whether that be on the private side or in the government. in addition, nsa has a primary
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role in insuring its information assurance expertise is available to help both the government and the private sector in defending its systems and generating the standards and approaches to how you defend capability and unsuring that our expertise is -- insuring that our expertise is available to help. from the u.s. cyber command perspective, three primary missions for us. number one, to defend our department's networks. i find myself, just as the private sector does, responsible for defending the cyber infrastructure of a large global organization. we're taking a series of steps in the department to do that. it never goes as fast as you would like, but i'm very comfortable about the rate of progress and the plan we have to do that. the other thing we're trying to do at u.s. cyber command is we're tasked with generating this cyber mission force, if you will. the men and women who are going to be addressing the department's -- [inaudible] from the defensive to the
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offensive. .. we have about 40 years to generate that capability. we are about halfway through the journey in time. we are about 40% in terms of generation of the force to date and is progressing well. we continue to learn insightful lessons as we continue to this. remind people this will be an
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inner journey and we are right now is not necessary where we will end up. we are all trying to learn. cyber is an environment that continues to change. with that i think i will answer any questions on any topic you might have. >> thank you, admiral. your last comments, your efforts of recruiting and retaining, the folks that you need to defend as those attacks assuming they get the orders to do. given that the skill set in the colloquialism doesn't look like a clean-cut, shorthaired wearing a white uniform kind of person, how do you fold and go find folks with mindset to be able to do these kinds a specific technical things and also have the mindset to be a good sailor
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as an example, or a soldier? >> thank you, sir. i would make a couple comments. first, the workforce will be composed both military and civilian. one of the comments i make to people is that gives us an opportunity to have a broad swath of individuals. if you come out today you'll see people come long ponytails, t-shirts, blue jeans, very casual different approach to doing things as opposed to what the military force looks like. that's one of the advantages of the military and the civilian component. we can to a broad range of background. they don't all have to be the same. they don't all have to meet in a compartment in terms of physical fitness, standards is uniform and others. when i started working in cyber in the department 10 plus years ago, my number one concern was how are going to be able to recruit and retain the men and women we need to execute this mission? within the constraints we have within the department the 10
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plus years now into this and the commander of the u.s. cyber command i would to heaven pleasantly surprised by our ability both in uniform element of the workforce and the civilian element. >> i understand in an essay you have that blend but an actual cyber command itself and in in the field, would you have a blend of their as will speak as u.s. cyber command is the same model. military and civilian. the ratios are different. 80% military, 20% civilian. >> is there pay differential between the two workforces? >> i've never heard that. that issue raised. >> about retention, we've got a great cyber training facility as well as a beautiful air force base. these are all uniform folks.
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a lot of money and a lot of time giving these kids the tools that are very valuable in the private sector. what's the retention issues that you're dealing with? >> not gone would, to take retention has exceeded our expectations. we are not going to get beat on the basis that they. where we're going to compete is we will attract people who have, would be attracted to the culture. this idea of serving something bigger than yourself. we will attract people who like the idea of service to the nation as a core part of what they do in life. we will attract people who are attracted to the idea, you're doing something matters to this nation and to helping to defend this nation. we will attract people and places of we will let you to some really neat things. we are attracting and retaining people on the basis of in our
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culture, in a model we will give you responsibility at a pretty junior or young age. this seems to have really resonated with both military and civilian parts of our workforce. >> i asked this question at goodfellow. we used an m-16 and then i don't really well but it's pretty clear when you leave they don't take that weapon with him back to the private sector. is there an ethics element to the seaside retreat folks? they will take that skill set with them. they could go broke if you don't have the right mindset. is there some training and constant reminding we're giving you tools that if improperly used and the private sector to do great on? >> ethics is what we do as an organization. it's the same challenge for example, when we provide military members sniper training. we remind them you're given this capability, we do this training under specific set of its
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resource pacific mission. it's not legal appropriate to use otherwise. we do the same thing in a cyber mission setting. >> thank you. appreciate your work. yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, admiral, for being with us. we heard last week from general cartwright that more needs to be done to sit international norms, something analogous to the laws of war with respect to cyber. i'm wondering if you could take a few minutes to give us some sense of some of the day-to-day makes about what some of the key principles might be for those international norms? i am worried in the absence of such agreements or norms it may take a catastrophe and a retaliation to a catastrophe to force people to the table. could you give us a sense both what you think those norms would look like, and secondly how we could help catalyze that agreement around the world and?
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>> first lady, i would strongly concur with general cartwright. we have yet to develop a set of norms our principles for behaving in a space. absent that kind of thing, being totally on the defensive is a very losing strategy to me. it will cost a significant amount of money. it leads to a much decrease probability of mission success. that's not just a good outcome for us in the long run. as you yourself referenced, and chairman rogers did in his opening state, there doesn't seem to be a sense of risk among nationstates in the behaviors we see in cyber that you can just do literally almost anything you want and there isn't a price to pay for it. that's not a good place i would argue for us as a nation that i would argue more broadly force internationally to be and. so what we are trying, i'm not the primary in this, but we
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we're trying to make an argument collectively, we need is develop a set of norms and behaviors that we can fundamentally agree with as a starting point for how we're going to behave and act within this environment. i've seen an initial set of points at the white house has developed and, in fact, has shared, then raise a couple united nations forums. we talked about things like every nationstate should have a computer emergency capabilities left alone but every nationstate that we see stabilizing come you what every nation has the ability to respond. you want to take a capability way. we need to define what would be offensive, what's active or? those are all issues were trying to come to grips with now. any absence of any current definition or any current expectations and behaviors, now we are left in place where we're trying to guess the intent so we're trying to guess how far things are going to go.
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that's just not a good place for us to be. >> so in addition you highlighted to get some sort of agreement not to attack a nation's emergency response capability. what else would you suggest? obviously there's a difference between taking down a sovereign internal id capability and trying to steal the commercial sector. there is probably in the laws of war some difference there, so what else in addition to isolating emergency response capability? >> there is discussion about what to put a standard for critical infrastructure for a nationstate. if you're going to go down that road that's a step beyond these norms and behaviors and, therefore, you're opening yourself up potential repercussions for the idea of critical infrastructure, some discussion about nationstate applications against commercial sector is a way to steal intellectual property for nationstate gang. we have always argued that is
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not within the u.s. vision. we don't do that. it's not appropriate. i think that would be among them. going after, as i said, infrastructure, if you look at going after things that could lead to loss of life, if you looked at going after things that could lead to loss of control, that's outside the norms of behavior or those are the kinds of things we're having discussions about, how do we build the framework if you will. >> as you sort of look at the discussion international happening here do you have any confidence this debate over this discussion is going to advance? in particular are we going to be able to draw in bad actors like china and iran, or is it going to take some demonstration of capability against them to get them to the table? >> i know is the short answer. i'm hoping it's not the latter. clearly there's ongoing dialogue.
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the other complicated or in this is often hear people use the nuclear analogy in terms of how we are able to do the overtime concept of norms and behaviors. i tried to buy people, remember the challenge of a nuclear analogy is when we started most of the work back in the 1950s and 1960s, you had the capability come in this case nuclear weapons that were controlled purely by nationstates, no individuals or groups, by a very small number of nationstates, with initial discussions. that's very different from the cyber dynamic and how we will be dealing with nationstates and groups and individuals. dealing with a capability is relatively inexpensive and so easy to acquire, unlike the nuclear kind of model. that makes is really problematic. >> thank you. >> admiral, reese witherspoon some disclosure of trojan horsee malware on power networks and
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critical infrastructure. can you talk about what the intention may have been? can you talk about the threat a little bit? if you have any attribution to any organization or nationstate in the event and called? put it in context about what this really means for the national she could interest of the united states. >> we have seen instances where we are absorbing intrusions into industrial control systems. what concerns us is, taxes, that kabila can be used by nationstates, groups or individuals to take down that capability. as you saw with a ramco, to be destructive with the capability. we clearly are seen instances where nation states, groups and individuals are aggressively looking at acquiring the capability. what we think we are seeing is reconnaissance by many of those
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actors in an attempt to ensure they understand our system so that they can come if they choose, can exploit the vulnerability within those controlled systems. those control systems are fundamental to how we worked most of our infrastructure across this nation. it's not just the united states, but on a global basis. they are foundational to almost every network aspect of our life from her water to our power to our financial sector, to the aviation industry just as an example. they are so foundational to the way we do, we operate complex systems on a national basis. it's one of the areas when people often will ask become so what are the coming trends that you see? i think the industrial control system and the state of peace or big growth areas of vulnerability and action we'll see in the coming 12 months and among the things are consuming the most. this would be truly distracted if someone decides that's what they want to do.
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>> it was determined that about what was on those systems. can to be more definitive and what does that mean? if i'm on that system and a want to do harm, how does that impact the broader spectrum? do the lights go out? do we stop pumping water? what does that mean? the fact that it was there, does that mean they already have the capability to flip the switch if they wanted to? >> let me ask the last part first. there shouldn't be any doubt in her mind there are nationstates and groups that have the capability to do that. there are systems and industrial control systems that can shut down, forestall our ability to operate our basic infrastructure, whether it's generating power across this nation, whether it's moving water in fuel, whether it's moving -- i will highlight those because those tend to be the biggest focused areas that we have seen. once you're into the system and
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able to do that, it enables you to do things like, if i want to tell power turbines to go off-line and stop generating power, you can do that. if i wanted to segment the transmission system so you couldn't is to be the power that was coming out of power stations, this would enable you to do that. it enables you to shut down very segmented, very tailored parts of our infrastructure that forestall the ability to provide that service to u.s. citizens. >> and you determined nationstates have that capability? >> yes, sir. >> there was a public report that referred to chinese, a tribute to the chinese government, hackers been on some of our critical infrastructure systems. is there any other nationstate people it has been successful in getting on those systems? >> there's probably one or two others. i apologize if i considered
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classified in opening hearing, i apologize but are not comfortable spelling of specifics. but i would say there's more than one nation that we watch but we believe has these capabilities. >> the thrust of the question isn't to say that this is a one off according to the public report, there are multiple nationstates who both had the capability and have likely actually been on those networks? >> definitely more than one. the other point is we're watching multiple nationstates investing in that capability. >> can you talk about what that means? this is important i think. >> when i say investment in capability, we see them attempting to reconnaissance our symptoms, generate how our networks are structured but we see them doing research in this area. we see them attempting to steal information on how our systems are configured with very specific schematics of most of our control systems down to
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engineering level so they can look at where the bonneville is, how they're constructed, how can i get i in and defeated and aree using multiple nationstates invest in those capabilities. >> he mentioned this next group. you have seen the international organized crime organizations certainly starting to develop their capabilities, and we seem some cases been using nationstate like techniques. can you flesh that out for us? you've highlighted the nationstates. this word i would argue the next one down the gives us pause for concern. can you talk about that and what it means and why to difficult for the private sector to try to defend themselves against those threats to? >> what we have traditionally seen in the criminal sector was criminal actors, games, penetrating systems and trying to steal information that they then could sell or use to generate revenue. so credit card information, something personal information.
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there's a market out there to sell personal information on individuals. they had been stealing, we've been watching, and observing them stealing data associate with generating methods. the next trend i think we're going to see in the coming near-term is you will start to see i believe in many instances some of those criminal actors now engaging not just in the theft of information designed to generate revenue, but also potentially as a surrogate for other groups, other nations. i'm watching nationstates attempt to obscure, if you will, their fingerprints. one of the ways to do that is to use surrogate groups took him to execute. it's one reason for example, while we are watching from actors start to use some of tools that we us requesting
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nationstates using now, you are starting to see criminal gangs in some instances using those tools which suggest to us that increasingly in some scenarios you will see more linkages between the nationstate and some of these groups. that's a troubling development for us. >> so cyber hitman for hire really for nationstates. i had a lot more on threats by this would ask this last question. in this cyber shame regime which he talked about, certainly one of legislation proposes, there are concerns that i think they are bound without the understanding of exactly how it worked, the sheen to machine real-time aliens a piece of information or packets at the speed of light. how can we assure americans that their personal information is not being read or collected or used by the nsa in the real-time machine to machine sharing that
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would allow you to share what you know with your malicious source code with the private sector so they could protect their own networks? >> i think there are a couple of ways. first of all i remind people this is a computer network and not about intelligence. totally different mission with totally different objectives. the second point i would make is we need to very publicly sit down and define just what are the elements of information we want to pass to each other. we want to make a public. these are the specific data fields but this is the information we need both with the private sector needs and what does the government need. from my perspective ask the director, when we add, for example, private information into this, that complicates things for me because their specific protections i must provide a u.s. person dated a close lost them. that's not what we're interested in. that would be a negative for us
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to it will lead to a slower sharing of information and that's not what we want but i think sitting down and having a very public discussion detailing exactly what we're talking about when it comes to information sharing, is one way to do that. on also highlighting what we're not talking about. this is not what we want to see. i don't want people's personal data. i'm not interested in i want names and addresses, that's none of the things kind of things we're talking about in this scenario. >> this is not the nsa plugging into the private networks of the united states and monitoring -- >> which is exactly what we need to do this. my comment is look, you don't want innocent in the private network. therefore, i'm counting on the private sector to share with us. so what i'm interested in for the private sector is, what i think i would go the private sector is here's the specifics of the threats we think are coming at you, here's what is
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going to look like, here's the precursor activities we think you'll see before the actual attack. here's the composition of the malware we think you'll see. here's how we think you can defeat the what i'm interested in learning from the private sector is, so tell me what you actually saw. was the malware you detected written along the lines that we anticipated? was a different? how was it different? helping understand when he responded to this will work for you and what didn't work. how did you configure networks? was effective? what can we share so the insights of one now come to the aid of many. that's the kind of back and forth we need. >> you made an interesting point which is one of the biggest perception problems of this whole debate. when you said the nsa is not on those american private sector networks. can you take just a couple of sentences and explain that again? i think that is so important.
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because unfortunately i think people believe the nsa is on the private sector networks. it's not which is candidly why the bad guys have so much opportunity to swim around in the. this to me as with most important points we can make clear to the american public debate about what we are trying to do and why that part, whether that you're not on there and don't want to be on there is so important. >> the nsa is a foreign intelligence organization. it is not a domestic intelligence organization. the article constraints placed on us when it comes to collection against u.s. persons. u.s. persons include the definition of use entity in the form of a company. we are specifically legally limited from doing that. we do not have a presence on u.s. private networks inside companies. that's not what we're about. that's not what our mission is. it's because of that lack of awareness if you will on her
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part that i'm saying i need a partnership you. we need to exchange information. you don't want us on those private networks. if i was a ceo, pick a major bank, i wouldn't want to be telling my shareholders, nsa is inside our network. but i would want to tell my shareholders look, we have a proactive sharing relationship where we are getting the benefit of the insights that nsa is generating in terms of what is likely to come at us, and we are getting with them here's what we're doing, here's what's effective, here's what hasn't been effective. that's the relationship i think we need. >> important point to the nsa is not on american domestic networks that the russians, chinese, iranians and multiple of the actors are. mr. ruppersberger. >> i think the chairman has raised an important issue but it's one of the things we been dealing with in developing legislation to protect our country, to protect our
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businesses from losing billions of dollars. we spent a lot of time negotiating thanks to this committee and the chairman's leadership, we have put together a bill that unfortunately has not passed in the senate about the fisa bill that gives you the authority to do what you need to do that what i would like to do is to get for you in this open hearings of the american public can understand what the checks and balances are for the nsa and the fact that again your focus is not on american people, and the argument from privacy is what could happen to i think that debate is good. i'm glad in this country we have privacy groups who focus on at and debate that's a we can come together and learn and develop legislation that deals with the issue of privacy, protections and if, in fact, someone at nsa breaks a law, they will be held accountable. the bill that we passed an unfortunate hasn't gone in the senate dealt with a lot of
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issues of both collection. the perception of the american people is because the government controls so much, a phon phone number, nobody seemed to know his address at their still a perception of the public and, unfortunately, the media pushed it out that some of nsa was listening. it wasn't the case. this committee came together, develop legislation to take boca collection the way, and how if, in fact, you will find a terrorist situation in yemen and you get that information and you turned over to the fbi because you don't have jurisdiction in this country, and then with this legislation we have pre-judicial imposed judicial review for the op-ed basically to move forward and attempt to protect us if, in fact, we need to be protected. we are not listening to americans at all and we are listening to amec as a target. we have a judicial review. the same thing we do in the united states with criminal cases. we get the court if we need a
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siege on search or wiretap, that's a second house. the checks and balances we have in this legislation are the most stringent of any country in the world. it's important i think the message that has to get up now is that we do have privacy concerns. we do have constitutional issues and to our checks and balances. if, in fact, someone does break the law they will be held accountable at i'd like you to get into more specifics on what happened if you do break the law and why you checks and is that you not going to be listening to americans, you don't have the jurisdiction to begin with and that's turned over to the domestic side with the supervision of the court. privacy groups are overseeing it, that type of thing. it's a long question. short answer may be. >> in broad terms the legal aspect to this in terms of there is a court of law whose authority and permission we must again, we have to formally
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petition the court if we're going to be focus collection against a u.s. person. to do that with to prove to a court of law that there's either connection with a foreign nation so they're acting as an agent of a foreign government or they are connected with a terrorist organization or an entity that is attempting to do harm to u.s. or u.s. persons to we have to make a legal case to the court. we have to present level of evidence that suggests the court should grant as a position to do that. >> that is reasonable suspicion. >> right. so first there is a label control on just we can collect against u.s. persons. in addition by congress as the delete elected representatives of the citizens conducts an oversight investigation to the idea that our elected officials we briefed on what we did and have oversight and knowledge of what we di do and how we do it o act as the represents of our systems to ensure there was an
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external party party party what we're doing having awareness of what we did, being briefed on what we do, he notified issue of what did i do formal notifications to the committee. hey, as a matter of record want you to we're doing this, we're doing that, the following challenge because oversight mechanism to this. in addition internally we have created a pretty extensive oversight and compliance set of mechanisms that govern things like how we control our data, who has access to that data. there's training requirements for every one of our employees that has access to any of that data. we control the number of implicit access to the data. if you look at the bulk of record, the phone issue for example, under the patriot act, section 215, it was something on the order of approximate 30 people out of a position that numbers tens of thousands. we don't retain that they intend
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to. we have defined windows as to how long we can retain data. once we complete the data we remove it. we don't hold data forever. we also are required to ensure that we maintain protection of the data from the moment we collect it to them a week purge it so we don't sell data. ..


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