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tv   Heritage Foundation on Iran Sanctions  CSPAN  November 8, 2018 5:55pm-6:58pm EST

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presidents even before i wrote the book. it occurred to me that there might be something all these presidents had in common. after they were forgotten but perhaps they were significant in some way. >> this weeks, university north carolina constitutional law professor, michael talks about two of his books, the forgotten presidents and impeachment. >> i think bill clinton did a lot to marry his own impeachment. i thank you really members of congress were looking for him to make mistakes. then when he made the mistakes, later testified under oath and away at his fault, so which he was later held in contempt for perjury, bill clinton made his impeachment almost inevitable. >> sunday night, 8:00 p.m. eastern, c-span's q&a. the united states has reimposed economic sanctions on iran. this comes following the withdrawal of the u.s. from the
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nuclear deal last may. next, a conversation on the future of u.s. iran relations. posted by the heritage foundation. a welcome heritage today. i'm glad so many people coming through the rain, through the voting obligations to get out to vote. if you haven't done so yet, we are approaching a selection. you've been confrontation. yesterday, the trump ministration reactivated nuclear sanctions that it had initially reimposed last may. the second sanctions targeted iran's oil, shipping and banking sectors. this time around, it's supposed to crisis with iran with the arm, and ministration, there's
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not as much by and with the international sanctions. that has led to more uncertainty about the likely impact of those sections. and the way iran is likely to react. it believes it can write out the sanctions and outweigh the trump administration. it's refused since may to negotiate on the nuclear issue. undoubtedly hopes to have a new administration after 2020. to negotiate with. i think for that reason, iranians officials will be washing this election as much as americans. we are fortunate to have with us today, expert channel, to look at a number of issues on this panel. this panel will include mark, the ceo of the defense for democracies. michael of boston institute.
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and patrick. we'll be looking at the likely impact of sanctions. what additional u.s. policies are needed to deal with the wider range of iran's behavior. what needs to be done, if anything, to get to an approved nuclear agreement. is that in the cards? i'll introduce the speakers in order of speaking. our first speaker is patrick. he is the senior fellow and director of research at the washington institute. he directs the irvine security initiative there. he's widely consulted as an analyst and commentator. he's authored more than 150 articles. he is author and editor of 18 books or studies on iran.
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he appears frequently on television and radio. he has major american newspapers. he's also testified before congressional committees more than 20 times. he has served as an expert witness in more than 30 federal cases. prior to joining the washington institute, he was a senior research professor at the national defense universities. institute for national studies. he also was a senior economist at the international world bank. a research scholar at the foreign policy research institute. to get away, patrick. >> the sanctions that were u.s. is, they are going to work most effectively in the united states form a broad domestic consensus. i can demonstrate effective
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enforcement of these sanctions. these are all going to be big challenges. i'm going to leave it to my colleagues because that's their greatest interest. my comparative advantage here is talking about developments inside iran. let me discuss that. the challenges that we face about making our sanctions policy work effectively to persuade erin to change its behavior, a really the difficult political environment inside iran where there is two factions, each dedicated to republic to have different ideas about how to do that. they spend most of the time and effort against each other. that sanctions gets caught up in the. so what we have is a group of
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people -- these are people committed to the republic. : : : the revolutionary guards at really quite delighted the country's economic problems and ever since the iranian we all started to crash in march they have mobilized their media and speeches by their leaders to contrast the successes that iran has been having in the regional policy, which they run. in places like syria and yemen.
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the failures of the economic policy for which there romani team has a course possibility. this theme that i see we can do it come the revolutionary guard can do a good job but those guys can't. those guys the technocrats, told us that when they replaced ãbsomething of a buffoon, that we would have a competent team running things but we haven't. and i would say the irani team tub incompetence has been stunning. the revolutionary ãbare saying there is a very good position where if the economy does poorly as a result of sanctions they can say, you see that's irani's fault. he misdiagnosed things when he told you he was running for
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president in the way to solve iran's economic problems was to do a deal with the west, that's just not true. this shows that irani is nacve and we should listen to him. on the other hand if the economy does well, then the irt c said we can told you that resistance economy is the way to go and that we don't need the west. and that in fact our policy of resistance is what makes sense in the economic sphere as well as ãbthe economy does badly the irt c will get credit, if the economy does well they will get credit. meanwhile romani is somewhat in the opposite situation. he did promise that and did say when he was running for president that the congeries from another problem was it easy economics situation and promised he could solve it and
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he actually did have an okay economic performance for a little bit but in general the economy is not gone well under his presidency. the average irani and households budget, according to iranian government sources, is down about 10% from where it was and he took office. that contrasts the previous decades in which the average household budget rose by about 20%. if you go from a decade of 20% growth, six years and decline, you're not a happy camper. that's the situation irani faces and frankly most of the problems are because of their own corruption and mismanagement and the political deadlock, makes it impossible for the irani team to make even the most modest and obvious structural reforms. but sanctions isn't going to make this easier. so what we've seen is that whether it's the irani and modulus research center or international institutions like
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the world bank and the ims, all agree that they change their forecast from in march they were forecasting the iranian economy would grow quite briskly over the next three years and now they are all saying that iran is already in a recession and recession will be worse. so irani is in a tough situation. and that is going to be the environment maneuvering about whether or not to resume negotiations with the united states without an additional deal. i think that jim put it very nicely when he said that the basic strategy is the irani team is going to be to outweigh trump. my talks with iranian officials that in the spring were very nervous now they are extremely confident. that confidence is that they
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think, we've sustained bad sanctions in the past we can do it again. and we are well-positioned to control the population if there are going to be any kind of protests. and we can outweigh trump. so the challenge for the trump administration is shaking that confidence. >> thank you patrick. on time, unusual for a speaker. our next speaker is mark divits, ceo of the foundation for defense of democracies. he is the chief executive at fdd, it's a washington dc based nonpartisan policy institute where he leads projects on iran, sanctions, and nonproliferation. mark is an expert on iran's nuclear program and global threat network and widely recognized as one of the key influencers in shaping sanctions policies to counter
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effects from the iranian regime. according to the new york times, markedb& campaign to dra attention to what he saw as the flaws in the iran nuclear deal has taken its place among the most consequential ever undertaken by a washington think tank leader and that must cost you a lot to get them to say that. take it away mark. >> thank you so much. great to be here with patrick and with mike. i want to actually begin today's election day talking about the challenge, jim, that you raise. the possibility of a bipartisan. iran policy. and what is the iran policy look like potentially if the iranians are right and they can wait out trump and there's a new president in the white house in 2021. i want to begin there because i think it's important for us to acknowledge that the iran issue
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in some respects has become very partisan and polarizing. in other respects it's has a deep bipartisan foundation to it. the foundation to it is the concern that both democrats and republicans have about iran's nonnuclear behavior. support for terrorism, missile program, human rights abuses. support for exogamous slaughter in syria, and its destabilizing activities in the middle east and around the world. that's where a new president will begin, facing an islamic republic that continues its aggressive and destructive behavior and a sanctions structure that will be predicated on all of this behavior and be very difficult or left as a result. the other reality that this president will face in 2021 is that a number of the restrictions that are in the jc poa will be coming to a head. so in 2021 the arms embargo
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that's in the un security council resolution 2231 that essentially impacts the jc poa internationally, those arms embargo, that arms embargo will be sunsetting and iran will be able to engage in almost unlimited purchases of weaponry from countries around the world. in 2024 the restrictions and iran's missile program the un missile embargo will sunset. iran will be able to procure parts and components from its missile program from countries around the world. but at least not facing you and restrictions. the irt c restrictions that are in the un security council resolution as well as a number of ãbrestrictions are going to sunset and then in 2024 iran will be able to semi-industrialize so these are the more powerful that will iran will start to install more
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powerful machines. fewer numbers which makes it easy to hide so iran begins to develop an easier advance power to climb the stein sneak out option. in 2026, so just in that presidents second term, early in their second term many of the restrictions go away because that's the 10 year mark of the jc poa. which we date from implementation date in january 2016. that's a number of very important restrictions on nuclear missile military and irt c activities that will come off in the first term of that new president or early in the second the political and national security reality is whoever is in the white house in january 2021 is going to be facing the necessity of
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combating iran's destructive activities and putting in place and iran policy that's the deal with the reality of these flaws of the jcpoa were the key restrictions start to go and at that point it's not 10 years away, it's a few years away. i think that is the wake-up call for anybody sitting in the white house and i think that's a wake-up call for people sitting in iran who are thinking they can wait out donald trump in the view that the next president coming into office is going to be very flexible, lift all the sanctions, and walked be using instruments of national power at combat. i think that's a bad strategy for the iranians and i think they are in for a big wake-up call regardless of who's sitting in the white house in january 2021. what about this administration?
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this administration has at least two years, potentially six years to implement the iran strategy. there iran strategy is very much modeled after the strategy that ronald reagan used against the soviet union during the cold war. which is to use all instruments of national power, to weaken the regime, to neutralize it, to rollback its influence regionally and globally. with respect to all instruments of national power, the one you heard most about, as patrick has talked about and probably reading all about the past few days, is financial economic power. you can talk a lot about sanctions and other instruments of financial power but it's clear this administration is fully committed to financial warfare against the islamic republic and the sanctions that came back yesterday and the sanctions that came back six months ago are powerful and are having the impact that all of you have been reading about with respect to iran's domestic activities. that does leave the open questions about other estimates of national power. i know mike is going to talk about iran's role in region and what the united states is doing to combat that. at the other instruments of national power besides financial, economic coercion, include political and
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information warfare they include cyber warfare, covert action obviously what's happening on the military side and they are the administration has developed a comprehensive policy, it's developed a policy detailed interagency policy and some of that is visible to us and some of it is not, particularly with the agency is doing under leadership of mike andrea, who is headed the iran team at the cia who was put in place by that cia director pompeo to really put the agency on a much more aggressive footing with new authorities, with renewed old authorities that lapsed under president obama to really engage in covert action against the islamic republic including psychological warfare. there's been a lot of recent reporting on cyber including just recently some reporting that there was a major cyber attack against iran's
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telecommunications facilities and infrastructure. i'm not sure where that comes from but it's clear that there are people out there if not in the u.s. but elsewhere you are engaging in offense of cyber warfare against the islamic republic, as is the islamic republic engaging in cyber warfare against the united states and our allies. on the political warfare side i think ãbis in particular the lead and most eloquent spokesperson for an information operations campaign against the islamic republic. through his twitter account, through speeches, through the oa persian, through florida and through the constant drum beat about this regime and its destructive behavior that is at least the overt side of this campaign, which i would expect to see more and more of. my only concern and i will and with this is is there a robust military plan to really neutralize and rollback the influence of the islamic republic in the region?
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is there a plan with the u.s. military is prepared to provide a measure of deterrence to send a clear message to the islamic republic that if they escalate in the region there will be serious consequences? or are we essentially subcontracting this to countries like israel, the uae, saudi arabia as well as surrogates on the ground. are we backing them up with the intelligence they need are we backing up with the support they need. certainly in terms of public reporting the israelis have done significant damage with over 200 strikes in a year and and a half and it's every indication that that will continue to despite many complications that israel obviously is going to have with russia in that very crowded airspace. i will just conclude by saying this, my expectation over the next two years, if that's all the trumpet administration has is that this will be a relentless and unrelenting campaign of pressure against the islamic republic, will they
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cracked the islamic republic in two years? most experts say they want but i will remind you that in 1983 when ronald reagan unveiled national security directive 75 to really target the soviet union, most experts predict that the soviet union would crack six or seven years later. >> thank you mark. and our cleanup is michael garon, the senior fellow with the hudson institute. where he specializes in middle eastern security issues. he served as senior director of the national security council. in the administration of george w. bush. and he was responsible there for helping to devise and coordinate u.s. strategies on a variety of middle eastern issues including arab israeli relations and u.s. efforts to contain iran and syria. he's also served in the bush administration as a senior advisor in the state department and deputy assistant secretary of defense and the pentagon.
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before coming to the hudson institute he was a senior fellow with the brookings institution and he's also taught at nyu, princeton and the university of central florida. his latest book ike's gamble is out there and soon to be a major motion picture may be. i don't know but michael, take it away. >> i wish that was the case. thanks jim. i like to start by just putting it the trump policy and the widest possible perspective there are two, i think, ideas out there in the world about how we should be dealing with the iran challenge. for the sake of discussion i'm going to call one of the european plan and then the
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european /obama plan and then the american plan. these are ideal types in talking about i don't think any country has a perfect representative of what i'm talking about. they are two different theories of iran. the european and obama idea was that the way to deal with the iran challenge is to entangle iran in a web of international agreements and mutual dependencies i often in the last few years i've been going quite frequently to berlin. i think what i'm calling the european and obama plan is best typified by the foreign ministry of germany. the germans have a set of assumptions about the world that are diametrically opposed to our own. we believe in general americans are tended to believe in hard power competition with rogue regimes and we believe in hard
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economic competition with rogue regimes. the german attitude is where the problem is, the answer is money. and you invest in these countries and you entangle them in economic dependencies and that changes the calculus in the capital whether it's moscow or tehran. leaders even if their hardline leaders who are hostile to the west they start to out of their own sense of self interest and own economic interest they start to shade some of their options more toward engagement than toward confrontation. similarly with hard military competition you want to show these countries that you are not inveterate lee impeccably hospital to them that we can
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work together on certain common projects so you tend to tone down the deterrence or outright confrontation in the military. that was as i understand it that was the theory of the jc poa. the trump administration has come in and really leading hard at least rhetorically with the other view, which is that the way the deal with the rogue regime like iran is to wear it down through hard economic and military competition. i chose my words carefully when i said rhetorically because i don't think of these as a scale with the german foreign ministry over here and andy ãb who was on this end of the scale? ronald reagan. i don't know if ronald reagan is on the scale. john bolton as is understood in the new york times. the administration i don't
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think is way over to the right. it's more toward the center moving toward the right and i will explain what i mean. mark already kind of foreshadowed what i was going to say when he asked the question is there a military component to this strategy? my answer is going to be, not really. not as much as one might think. let's go back and list some of the major changes since the obama administration who left office. i think they are major. i can't hide my own views. i want as robust ãbas the american public will accept. and i had been in the argument in the last few days with my friends who share that view who actually i don't think we are seeing a lot of this in the
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press but they are in morning, the waivers that the administration gave to the six countries to import iranian oil and some of the waivers about civil nuclear corroboration with iran has led them to believe that the trump administration has completely capitulated. i don't see it that way at all. i think this is a robust economic and military competition strategy but not as robust as i think some people were hoping for on the basis of rhetoric of the administration. what's changed since obama? number one the rhetoric has changed completely and iran is no longer identified as a potential partner. it's an adversary. number two, the administration has worked closely with allies in the region in the middle east and outside the middle east to begin to rebuild an
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anti-iran coalition most notably with saudi arabia and israel. as mark noted, that is not just a diplomatic implications but also has military implications as well particularly with the country like israel which has significant military capabilities used in syria against the iranians. the israelis can use that power now with the confidence that the united states will support it diplomatically. and the support which it needs particularly with respect to moscow. the israelis can act with greater impunity and also in the clandestine world we don't know for a fact, mark said we now know that there are covert actions being taken against iran's nuclear program. we don't know who it is but
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presumably the israelis are in the mix. the israeli covert action against the iranian nuclear program was shut down under the obama administration. and presumably now nobody is talking about it but presumably the prohibition from washington has been lifted. thirdly our military posture in the region has changed. you see this most notably in syria where it is now part of the stated policy of the united states to remain in syria until the iranians leave or stripping syria of iranian led forces was one of mike pompeo's 12 points with regard to iran. and we are now going to keep forces in syria until we are satisfied on that point.
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it striking to me that both israel and the united states now in terms of their rhetoric say that it is the goal of their policy to ensure that syria does not become an iranian base. that the outside regime is simply an arab face to iranian power. i don't see two things, however, one is the actual military strategy by either the united states or israel that will achieve that goal, the israelis are taking significant action to cause the iranians pain in syria but if present trends continue it doesn't look to me like those actions are enough to prevent the iranians from turning syria into what
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turning syria into what the iranians already have in lebanon. that's a forward base with forces poised to strike israel. the americans and the israelis are hoping that putin will help them here and that putin will conclude that it's not in his interest to have the iranians playing that role in syria my personally am skeptical that that's going to work whether you are skeptical or not skeptical, i think we can all see that the military strategy is not there to achieve the stated goals. the second thing that's striking to me is that the united states and israel have the same stated goal with respect to iran and syria. but they don't have any kind of significant military coordination between the two of them to achieve that goal. in fact, the messaging that's coming from u.s. centcom and even from the secretary of
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defense at times, is really that we are deterred by the iranians. particularly because we fear that if we compete too aggressively in the military sphere with the iranians and syria we will pay a price for that in iraq. we are not seeing, although we and the israelis are saying we want exactly the same thing and we are cooperating to achieve it, i don't see that cooperation in the military sphere, at least not to the level that one might expect given the otherwise level of agreement. then of course finally with respect to how things are changed we can see all that my colleagues here discussed about the changes and attitude toward sanctions and the jc poa and so forth, what is it really clear to me about the new strategy is what its goal is.
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the obama administration sought an agreement with iran, some kind of accommodation. the trump administration has bent over backwards to say that it's not carrying out a regime change policy. the europeans don't believe us. they look at mike pompeo's 12 points and say that is a regime change policy and all of that name and they pointed to john bolton as national security advisor and they say this is really a regime change. personally i don't believe that. because of the personality of the president i think donald trump ideologically as opposed to regime change. this is one of the ways in which he has distinguished himself consciously from george w. bush. and just sort of character logically sees himself as a great negotiator.
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my best guess i don't know better than anyone else in the room what he wants but is that trump actually wants a deal. what we will never know if you will keep it in his head is what the deal that he would accept with the iranians? but the fact that he wants a deal, in my mind, also moves that if you go back to the spectrum between the germans and the american hardest of hardliners it moves it our policy in the direction of the germans although i think we are definitely in the hardline sphere here of the spectrum. but i'm not as confident as mark that this means in the next 24 to 27 months we are going to win. what i personally would like to see is a complete reversal of the obama strategy and i would
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like the trump administration to ensure that by the 2020 elections they've made it as hard for the next administration to overturn what they've done as the obama administration did to those of us who didn't like what obama did. and i'm not convinced, given the way things are at the moment, that if trump were to lose in 2020 and the obama administration too was to come in in whatever form whether president devol patrick or kemal harris, that they could adjust very quickly return back to the obama policy then to the jc poa because that's what the europeans and democrats are hoping, they hoping to work with the iranians to keep it on life support until they can come back and revive it.>> thanks mike. were going to open it up to questions and to give the
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interns time to get around and going to ask the first question. that would be to basically everybody on the panel. if you are in the place of the nsc advisor to talk to president trump, and you could only emphasize one or two points, what would be the major take away you would leave with the president on how to increase the economic or geopolitical pressure on iran? we talked about re-imposing past sanctions but there is a lot about the new sanctions that the administrations has hinted about. >> broaden the basis of support for the sanctions. for instance, the administration and its actions did not call these ãbalmost all sanctions were from those done for counterterrorism reasons, some for human rights reasons, and that offers a border basis for getting
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support from democrats here in the united states and a broader basis for getting support for europeans, especially since the iranians are stupid enough to be carrying out terrorist actions in europe. to the extent to which you can remind democrats and europeans that we share, all of us, common objection to iran's behaviors and supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region, you're more likely to form the kind of consensus about sanctions which is going to outlast this first trump administration and that's what is going to most persuade the iranians that come back negotiating table if they think the sanctions are going to be around for a long time. my advice, mr. president, is frame what you are doing in terms that are going to get the maximum degree of support from democrats and from europeans. >> if the advice is only
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limited to sanctions, then what i first recommend is to be much more aggressive in going after the regime on human rights grounds. yesterday's designations there were 700 designations, 300 new ones. i counted only two human rights designations and i think there is a lot of opportunity for this administration to go after iran's leadership to go after the brutal repression, the corruption, the ftd just put out a report on iran's so-called dirty dozen with the 12 most abusive iranian officials with respect to human rights on corruption i was pleased to see that the designated $95 billion corporate conglomerate the execution of the imam communities orders but that's only the beginning.there are
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a number of them ãbthere is a lot of foundations that the supreme leader controls that have been valued by experts at over $200 billion-$300 billion so i go after the corruption and laughter those on a hedge fund and foundations and corporate conglomerates. my general advice to the president is to be careful. ãbis just itching to get you back in the room for negotiation, despite the interviews he's giving that they won't negotiate with the trump administration until the u.s. is back in the jc poa, i don't believe that. i think both the reason rathi can't wait to get back in the room and the president has to be very careful because the irradiance had been trapping american leaders in negotiations for years. i can see them using those negotiations to significantly undermine the maximum pressure campaign and i think the worst
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thing that could happen is to have donald trump with the lame-duck president like romani at some summit in ãb discussing some comprehensive deal because i think he will potentially get rolled. >> couple of words i would remark as mark just said, i too would expect them to want to get into negotiations if only as a tactic to string the administration along, not necessarily to reach a deal but to wait out the administration. add forestall any harder policies by the us. the issue that i would like to see greater attention given to is the military competition and in particular i would like to see the united states define defeating the hezbollah model as a goal of american strategy.
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we want to challenge iran's line influences the common refrain you here. the malign influences built on the hezbollah model and using proxy militias in neighboring countries to hold the governments of those countries hostage or to take over those countries. iran has perfected through its experience with hezbollah, this model. it's now building on it and in iraq and in syria and in yemen and it's now brought ballistic missiles into the equation. and we have not, we have never focused on this issue. it's perfectly within our capability to come up with answers to everything that iran is doing. were far more powerful but we never define it in those terms and amazing things happen with no response from us. just one example ballistic missiles in yemen that can hit
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rhe hot, saudi arabia is our ally. iran escalated in yemen and put missiles in place to threaten our ally and what price did we make iran pay for that behavior? yemen is particularly egregious because it's not like in the case of iraq neighboring country iran can say we have vital interest, iran is not been historically been active in yemen. and yet it chose to escalate there. and we did virtually nothing in response. i would call that superpower malpractice. i'd like to see us focus on that. one last point, mark said that we have been the iranians have out negotiated us historically. i disagree in one sense and that's that we have out negotiated ourselves. it's not that they are so clever, they are clever
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talented people there's no doubt about that but we have come to this relationship or this conflict and i cannot explain why. but we have come to it with the most nacve assumptions about this country imaginable and it's something deep in the american character and it's not just republicans or democrats, we think that there is some kind of clever formula by which we can open up the dial on the back of the irradiance and move it a couple notches and suddenly they're going to become our friends again like they were at the time of the shaw. the fantasy has dominated our diplomacy on both republican and democratic side for three decades. and i'm mystified by it but i would like to see that change. >> with that we will open it up to the floor for questions. >> my name is kevin, retired
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navy officer. question you talk about yemen. i was going to ask the impact of yemen, the issues with carter and the other gulf states. how does that play into our strategy, what can we do to amend those riffs? and the second part would be are the iranian americans that are ex-patriots living in american, what role can they play in trying to achieve our goals? >> with regard to the split it's not just with the calories it's also with the turks. as i see it, we can't have a successful containment strategy of iran or any serious competition and for not working with the saudis and the turks. i would like to see i'm sure
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this is the goal of the administration but i would like to see the administration work to soothe the differences particularly between turkey and saudi arabia, more importantly then between qatar and saudi arabia. i think what that is going to mean though is is going to mean some concessions to the turks. my reading of erewhon could be wrong my reading of erewhon is that his conflict with saudi arabia is also a conflict with us about syria and he's trying to move us into a different position and in syria. if we don't have the turks and the saudi's at least having amicable relations with each other and a blurry but general agreement about where we want to go in the whole region, we
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can have a lot of trouble containing iran. >> i would like to say on the question about iranian americans, i grew up in toronto. which was known as toronto. in my experience with the iranian-american and iranian committed canadian communities the only place in the world where iranians don't succeed is the islamic republic of iran. their incredible immigrants, incredibly successful and more educated and entrepreneurial and community conscious so i think the administration is doing the right thing in particular pompeo reaching out to the iranian-american community. he gave a speech at the reagan library in the summer, which was an important speech not only because it was at the reagan library, his speech really reflected channeling ronald reagan with respect to
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how to deal with iran but also reaching out to the iranian-american community and three quarters of the room was full of iranian-american. i think some of the things that the administration can do from a policy perspective would be important, one would be to lift the travel ban on iranians. i think there's nothing more counterproductive to our public messaging to the iranian people that you have a travel ban that makes it almost prohibitive for iranians family members to come here and if it's up to me i would give 100,000 green cards to qualify iranians who can demonstrate no connection to the regime. that would be a critical move and also in terms of opposition groups that we support, the administration has to be very careful in who they are supporting. i think they should be supporting more opposition groups. i think they should be doing more of the covert side but also very careful about how that plays inside iran. >> let's try this man down here in the front. >> and peter humphrey, former diplomat. we consistently miss a pulpit opportunity in pointing out that everything that iran does is supposedly on behalf of god
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and we don't throw that back in their face. or say it to the rest of the world every single day. if we did decide to go for broke, can each of you assess quickly the opportunity, what the probability would be in the age of twitter of deposing the regime from within without external military activity. >> there has been quite a lot of work done by the intelligence community and by academic analysts looking at what is our success rate in predicting revolutions. there is a very broad consensus on both parties that we have never accurately predicted a revolution. in the last 200 years. that should be a warning that we are unlikely to know whether or not the regime in iran is or is not ãbi can give you a dozen reasons on either side of the equation back to tell you right now that it would be
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quite inappropriate for the united states government to base this policy on the assumption that it knew what was the answer to that question. and i would rather frame our policy in terms of how can we get the changes that we want in iran's policies such as pompeo's list of conditions, whether or not the regime stays in power or not. by the way, there are lots and lots of indications that this regime and iran is much more revolutionary regime and much more run by the military, especially revolutionary guards, then it is by men of god. people of god. in fact, the clerical influence over the regime is slight. whereas the revolutionary guards in ãbthis is much more of a revolutionary military regime then it is an islamic
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regime. >> can i just ask the question to patrick, what does that fact mean to you? the revolutionary rather than clerical with respect to the question of regime change? >> ãbit's opposition of the west. so therefore any idea that we are going to have some kind of good relations with this regime
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is nacve and inappropriate. >> i would say this, i think it's a positive development that this regime is transforming public clerical dictatorship to a military dictatorship. i think it's important because it no longer has legitimacy of an islamic government abuses islamic revolution to try and attract the support of millions of its coreligionists in the middle east. it becomes just another brutal middle eastern group of autocratic dogs, those governments in the middle east haven't done very well. does that suggest it's going to survive for decades? perhaps. patrick is right we have no idea how long this regime will last but it certainly has an
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ideology that is today's bankrupt. i think we could do more of what secretary pompeo did at his speech at the reagan lot library is quote ronald reagan and channel his westminster speech where reagan said early in his presidency it is inevitable that marxism, leninism, and the soviet union will end up on the ash heap of history along with other charities. reagan didn't have an explicit soviet regime change policy, his view is that it was inevitable that the soviet union would collapse because his ideology was bankrupt, the economy was bankrupt and couldn't sustain its aggressive expansion as policy for decades on the back of a bankrupt economy and ideology. i think that's a very good way of looking at the islamic republic. for those of us in washington who ultimately believe that the only answer to this question really in the long-term is a change in government, peaceful change in government where iranians have the opportunity to vote and have their future advance and respected by the government, we should be advancing that theory of the case.
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it's not regime change but it's inevitable that this regime is going to end up on the same dust heap of history. >> i agree with all that. and i agree with patrick's two points that an explicit regime change policy or policy designed to carry out revolution brings about more problems than it's worth. also it's just not going to happen in the trump administration as donald trump has ideologically opposed to that. it also alienates our allies. it commits us to actions that i'm not sure the american people in general are willing to take. am very much chastened by what we've seen in syria as the asad regime near to collapse the russians moved in and the iranians moved in to say that i
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think that if the iranian regime nears collapse we will see the chinese and the russians move in to say that i don't think we are going to be to remake it. we are going to want to directly. but we should be aware of that possibility. i also agree and i think it's the most important thing to remember is what patrick ended with that this regime, this revolutionary regime, is inveterate we hostile to us. the hostility to the united states and to the west is at its core of its identity. any deal we make with it we have to recognize we are making with a regime that sees us as an enemy and always will. that's one of the things that was profoundly wrong with the jcpoa is that it was embedded in the jcpoa was the notion that we are going to transform these guys from devils into angels and that's not going to happen. >> we may not be committed to a regime change policy but i
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don't think there's anything wrong with the regime thinking we are. i also think there's anything wrong with a policy that is dedicated to severely damaging the regime severely weakening the regime to undermining its capabilities of influence and nefarious behavior. i'm not of the view, maybe you guys are, that we should adopt the view of confidence building measures. in order to ensure that the regime will trust us to honor the deal that we sign and we can take a very sort of obama state department view through confidence building measures we can bring iranians to the table to get a comprehensive agreement that permanently cuts off the pathway to nuclear weapons. to me that's illusion and nacve. policy should be based on not confidence building measures but fear inducing measures.
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>> i don't disagree with any of that. >> ãbthrough a soft overthrow, through cultural and vision it is often said that hollywood is much more dangerous than washington. and that the real danger of regime change comes from western culture and not from the actions of the united states government. this is a man who is deeply convinced that people to people exchanges and those kinds of measures are part of the plan of washington regime. for him when you see michelle obama up there giving me an academy award to argo, this is an example of how washington and hollywood work hand in hand to bring about the overthrow of the islamic republic works isn't that an argument does not actually support the obama theory of the case? that we should seduce the hard man of iran?
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>> is impossible. he really thinks that everything we are doing to seduce them is into our effort to overthrow them. he is convinced that the things which we see as benign measures to create competence he sees as part of our plan to overthrow him. he is convinced that the people who are trying to promote more exchanges, more students, that they are real effort is to overthrow the islamic republic. where we see this as benign kinds of things you should do to build confidence, he sees this as the mortal threat to the islamic republic. >> he sees hollywood as ãbas i do. [laughter] >> a little bit disturbing. any other questions out here? we have room for one more. that gives me a chance to also throw in my two cents. i remember i told him and he said he feared u.s.
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universities more than the marines because of the values they taught and that was one of the reasons why hezbollah targeted so many professors at american university in beirut to use as hostages. they really do see those as transmission belts for values that are going to bring down the totalitarian islamist regime. at that point let me just wind up the panel and thank you all for coming and join me in giving our speakers a very big hand. [applause] coming up this weekend on booktv, saturday at noon eastern the southern festival of books from nashville with
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author adam parker in his book "outside agitator, the civil rights struggle of cleveland feathers junior" followed by a discussion of the political divide with jennifer kavanaugh and michael rich, offers a "truth decay", on sunday covers continues 1:00 p.m. eastern with elliott gorn in his book "let the people see, the story of emmett till" and author bob spitz on reagan, an american journey. at 8:05 pm eastern new york times magazine jeanmarie lasker's talks about her book "to obama with love, joy, anger and hope". >> the women with the gold tooth was in greenwood south carolina at a rally for obama in 2007. the rally was a bust. no one there but a small gathering of local folks meeting something to do. obama was looking out at emptiness. fired up ready to go the woman was a gold tooth abruptly shouted. and as if on cue, the people around her repeated her words began to chant and in an instant the rally went from
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dismal to glorious. it shows you what one voice can do, that one voice can change a room, obama said at a campaign rally over a year later recounting the story. and if a voice can change a room, it can change a city. >> then at 9:00 p.m. eastern on afterwords republican senator ben sass from nebraska talks about his book "them, why we hate each other and how to heal". he is interviewed by arthur brooks, president of the american enterprise institute. >> wrote the political tribalism is the story of the moment i think political tribalism is filling the vacuum of declining local tribes and the kind of tribes that make people happy, family, deep friendship, long-term shared vocations or meaningful work, local worship and community, although things are being undermined by the moment we are at in technological history. >> watch this weekend on c-span2's booktv. >> join us sunday veterans day at 11:00 a.m. eastern live on
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c-span, the riesling ceremony at the tomb of the unknown at arlington national cemetery. and at 5:00 p.m. eastern, live coverage from the national constitution center in philadelphia. the presentation of the annual liberty metal, to president george w. bush and laura bush. on american history tv c-span3, all-day coverage commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the end of world war i. sunday veterans day on c-span and american history tv on c-span3. >> as your primary source for campaign 2018, we brought you candidate debates in the most competitive races only on c-span. over 160 races from across the country. the voters have not decided on the new congress. watch the process unfold on c-span.
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>> 85-year-old supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg fractured three ribs in a fall in her office wednesday evening. she was admitted to george washington university hospital for treatment and observation. the supreme court isn't scheduled to meet for oral arguments again until november 26. the court heard a case involving a settlement in a class-action suit against google for sharing information with businesses. the district court approved site pray award that distributed settlement funds to a number of law schools and institutions studying internet privacy. some people, including theodore frank, objected to the settlement agreement because it gives no money to individuals in the class action lawsuit. here's oral argument in the case frank v gauss.
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