tv Washington This Week CSPAN December 7, 2013 4:00pm-6:01pm EST
use of chemical weapons was -- the good folks at the opcw, the international inspectors for chemical weapons, they implement the chemical weapons convention, they operationally destroy, they just -- they render it inoperable, things like mixing production equipment, filling equipment for chemical munitions. the fact of the matter is that there are still a lot of chemical munitions, weaponized munitions on the ground, as well as delivery vehicles in syria. that is a grave threat. the timeline for destroying the things in the middle of 2014 is a lot of people do not think they will be able to meet the timeline. the current plan is that foreign countries will have to use their ships to take these chemical weapons, the weaponized munitions, move them to a third country port where then a u.s.
ship takes it, and they use a hydrolysis machine to get rid of these, destroy them at sea, and dump some of the less toxic stuff into the ocean and to get rid of the more toxic byproducts elsewhere. they are supposed to be able to do this, get rid of the entire chemical weapons program by the middle of 2014. two issues -- the timeline. two, the assad regime has made declarations of its chemical weapons program. it is not clear whether they have made both correct and complete declarations of their chemical weapons program. there are a lot of questions, a lot of devils in the detail of this framework. your second point about china, and i will make this point real quick, pedro. china has unilaterally declared an air defense identification zone over the east china sea. part of that extends over the sun -- part of that extends over
the senkaku islands, which china and the ban -- and japan are debating over who owns it. i was in japan a couple of weeks ago. i got to meet with folks from the government and the japanese parliament, as well as going to okinawa and visit some of the military facilities out there. the u.s. is positioned on these senkaku islands, and they fall under the u.s.-japan treaty because japan has demonstrated control over the senkaku islands. -- has administrative control over the senkaku islands. withchina is trying to do the air defense identification zone is to argue that japan has administrative control over the airspace and those islands. on the one hand, president obama ordered the military to fly b-52 bombers, they were arty planning -- already planning to go through there, but he went through with it to signify that they do not recognize it. it is a problem that unlike , japan and the republic of south korea, the obama administration has had a different position in terms of
civilian airliners going over that. the problem with the air defense zone that china has asserted is it goes far beyond the normal practice. normally when a civilian airliner goes over in the air defense identification zone, they'll have to collaborate with , in this case, china, if they are in the sovereign territory. if you are landing, china says you have to come through. i personally agree with japan and the republic of korea that china needs to roll back the air defense identification zone over the east china sea. host: how would you grade or rate secretary kerry on how he is administering it? guest: a couple of caveats -- i'm always uncomfortable with grades. they can be kind of flippant. any tech -- any secretary of state, republican and democrat,
will enjoy successes and failures. if i have to grade him, i will do it two ways. first, secretary kerry's performance, putting aside the prudence of policies that the president has asked him to push forward, i think secretary kerry has been very active. he has traveled almost 300,000 miles, he traveled and visited 36 countries. yes had 128 travel days just since february 2013 -- he has since8 travel days just that is important. february, 2013. i think it is important for the secretary to show his face, but at the same time, he is having to sometimes push policies, which even he doesn't always seem to agree with. for example, in syria, the reporting shows that secretary kerry was much more forward leaning in terms of doing more to help moderate members of syrian's armed opposition, to combat assad.
secretary kerry was one of the most eloquent advocates of using military force to respond to assad's repeated use of chemical weapons. he was disagreeing with the chairman, the joint chief of staff general martin dempsey. i think folks at the dempsey and the folks in the white house security council, including the president, who decided not to use any military action -- to go a different way. secretary kerry has a time span, had to push policy which he maybe doesn't fully 100% endorse. that is the job of the secretary. you serve at the pleasure of the president. earlier this year when he was visiting china, he said, secretary said -- secretary kerry said he wanted to have a "special" relationship with china. there is one country that the u.s. has a "special" relationship with and that is britain.
that is a term that churchill coined. we want to include china in that small club goes far beyond where that relationship is today. china has a lot to do. it is a key stakeholder. to quote robert zoellick, we want to see china become eventually both responsible and a genuinely constructive stakeholder. china is a long way from doing that. that is one of the worst moments tenure, calling china a potential "special" relationship. we are a long way from that. host: you mentioned syria. cbs reports that the government denies claims by opposition activists that the government used poison gas in the attack on the previous day on the rubble compound of nabek. -- rebel compound of nabek. what is the current status of u.s. involvement in syria and what are your thoughts on it?
guest: during the debate over the potential authorization use for military force, i was talking with a lot of intermediaries who deal with the moderate leaders of the moderate armed opposition of syria. among the leaders, general salim idris, and the message that secretary kerry was reporting out with do not worry, we have this taken care of, we will get this authorization for use of military force through the congress, we will help you. mind you, a lot of these folks like idris and -- wanted to make their case. in fact, a lot of leaders from the free syrian army cannot even get visas to come here to make the case. on the other hand, there was a recently a nun who was very pro- assad. some accuse her of being basically an apologist for the assad regime. she was given a visa, and she visited arizona among other states.
it makes in my view little sense why we are allowing pro- assadists to come to the u.s., but those who we give humanitarian aid, we do not allow them to come make their case and to prove to policymakers and lawmakers that they are worth supporting. again, and i think moderates in syria, they think the obama and -- administration just does not care about them anymore. all it wants is the problem to go away. assad regime to have these talks in geneva for some sort of peaceful revolution -- resolution, which may never happen, or if they do happen may just stretch on for a long time. my personal feeling is policy, the obama administration policy on syria has been replaced with international process, a process for a framework to get rid of chemical weapons, but we do not
really have a clear strategy for helping those on the ground. i think that is a tragedy. host: james is up next in brandon, democrat line. caller: good morning, james. i want to say one thing -- barack obama is doing a good job, mr. kerry is doing a good job, you are doing a good job. who got us in the war? george bush. who is going to get us out of it? the good lord above. barack obama was created by god just like you and me. because of the color of his skin, people hate him, they call him muslim or whatever. just like i tell the people in my church, how can you call the president a racist, somebody they hate, somebody they see on tv. i joined the army when i was 17 years old. i volunteered when i was 17. my brother went to vietnam. i did not get to go to vietnam. they discharged me. i am 62 years old, i have been on disability for 30 years that
-- 30 years. i want to get off of it and go to work. they kept sending me to the hospital. they put pig valves in my heart. host: james, what would you like our guest to address? what do you want to ask him? caller: i just want to ask him why they are against a black president we have in the united states? guest: let me first say, james, i am a minority. my parents came from the philippines, immigrated here for better opportunity. in general, i am glad to see people, regardless of their race or creed or whatever, getting more involved in politics and just this debate. any differences i have with president obama and the administration has nothing to do with race or who he is or his personality. personal things. they have to do with issues of substance. substantive difference is a matter of policy. that is what a debate needs to
be. i'm happy to engage with folks on issues of substance, but you know, certainly -- of course there will be people out there, i am not one of them, who do not like obama for really personal and probably wrongheaded reasons, but i try to be a constructive critic. i think the president has done some good things and he has done things that could have been done better, but that is the case with any president. host: what about mr. rouhani -- hassan rouhani? how is he different than the previous president? does that change negotiations with iran, and should we change that tack because of him? guest: that is a good question. rouhani is not mahmoud ahmadinejad. their style is very different. he has put out a velvet approach to foreign policy. netanyahu has said recently, rouhani has an iron fist sheathed by a velvet glove.
rouhani was a nuclear negotiator, and he even bragged that he had used at the cover to advance iran's nuclear efforts. while he may be president, he is not the supreme leader, which is khamenei. the guy who at the end of the day really controls the shots is ali khamenei. rouhani was chosen by a special, very small group that khamenei had picked. they chose acceptable candidates within a narrow band of political thought. i think people do, people i work with look forward to the day when people in iran have a genuine choice between alternatives politically, but they are a long way from it. to your point, in terms of how
much wiggle room rouhani has, the iranians have two big goals. >> you can watch the rest of this online at the c-span video library. we will move onto the willard hotel for remarks by secretary of state on kerry at the brookings institution save and -- brookingsisrael forum onon save anban u.s.-israel relations. >> thank you for the generous introduction and for the great work you are now doing at the center.nter -- saban i have been noticing the rumors of people. -- the numbers of people. i don't know who else gets the president of the united states as an opening act, but i will take it. [laughter] it is a pleasure and a great honor for me to be here with all of you. as i'm looking at the faces
particularly in the front row ,ere, general allen and others it is as though a budget last time work hours -- time warped ourselves from a meeting in jerusalem to here. who haveo all of you traveled from israel and from .he territories it is a pleasure to be here. i am so personally graced by their friendship and got to know them well during the course of my elected political life. but it is really nice to be able to come here today and congratulate both of them in person for the incredible work than they have done to further strong relationships between the united states and israel. um, as all of you have seen in the last 24
hours, has become an invaluable expression of not just their personal commitment, but our ability to come together to talk about complicated issues. it is already the 10th anniversary. during that short span of time, it is safe to say this has become the premiere venue for a u.s.-israel public dialogue. surpriset is no because there is a lot to talk about. -- i will just share are you quickly, haim and i about the same age. when we were each in high school, haim in tel aviv and me in new england, we both picked up the bass guitar and we dreamed of making it big as rock stars. if you ever heard the music that my bandmates and i made, and you can go on youtube and actually that my you would know first true act of public service was when i stopped playing public gigs. [laughter]
maybe that is why i wound up as secretary of state and haim became a hollywood mogul. from garage band the present is quite a journey. i am looking at this front row here, mr. foreign minister. it is a pleasure to see you here. you and i will have the privilege of having breakfast tomorrow morning. i congratulate you again on coming back to these duties. i look forward to working with you. it is going to be very important. i am also privileged to see our money -- our minister of justice. we have become great friends and worked very closely together over time. she took me to where i saw those rockets that come out of the gaza strip. we have spent many hours together sharing thoughts about possibilities. mr. prime minister, wonderful to see you again, ehud,. -- ehud. thank you for continuing to be a voice in this process.
the leader of the opposition, as having been in the opposition and been in the majority of know the important role that he plays and will play in the future -- in the majority, i know the important role that he plays and will play in the future. i also recognize our president of the brookings -- where is strobe? you.e, thank great service, not just here, but obviously as former deputy , i value hisy counsel. he has come over to help me frozen conflicts. i am privileged -- we all are privileged to have his continued public input. congratulate you on taking over from martin while he is now with us. i am grateful for his dedication
and willingness to do some very difficult, time-consuming, and patients-requiring -- patience -requiring work. i will share some thoughts with all of you on a number of things. there is nothing i love more than the give and take. i love to take the questions. i know you have plenty of them. it would serve well, probably, to be just answering questions. but unfortunately, i have to go from here to the kennedy center honors, which i preside over this evening, so my time is a little bit limited. i apologize for that. as was mentioned by tamara in h er introduction, late last night i got back from my eighth visit to israel. mr. justice, it is wonderful to see you here. red sox nation fan and all of
that. [laughter] my eighth visit as secretary of state. now, i am not a masochist. [laughter] i am undertaking this because i believe in the possibilities. as many of you know, i have spent almost 30 years in the united states senate and i am proud of my 100% voting record for israel, but i'm proud also that i built up relationships in the mideast with leaders and with arab countries and elsewhere who learned that they could come to trust me. and i believe that i approached this great challenge with a huge sense of responsibility. about building trust and, ultimately, building a process that will test and provide guarantees to people about this concept called peace.
on this visit, i spent most of the time focused on israel's security concerns, because for years and years and years it has been clear to me and every prime minister that unless a prime minister could look the people of israel in the eye and make it clear to them that he had open for israel's security to a certainty, he cannot make peace. it is a prerequisite. for anyone who feels somehow there might be an unfairness in that, all you have to do is look at the history and understand why that is a fundamental reality. and i mean all of the history. every time i visit, i can feel in my gut and i see it as well just howt first hand vulnerable israel can be and just how important it is for the united states' commitment to israel's security to remain ironclad. spanss a commitment that
decades. in 1973, it was the driving force behind the 32-airlift that the united states conducted -- that the united states conducted to deliver vital forces to sit -- to security in israel to turn the tide in the war. about a decade later, our commitment to israel's security spurred the u.s.-israeli development of missile defense technologies to keep israelis safe from rockets and missiles. those systems and newer technologies continue to protect israelis from the range of threats that they still face today. i -- and ibama and think you heard this from the president in his q&a earlier today -- remain deeply committed. ensuringtermined to israel has the ability to defend itself by itself.
that is why in fact, by any measurement, president obama's administration has done more than any before to make israel more secure, including funding iron dome, which i saved untold lives by intercepting hundreds of rockets that might otherwise have struck schools, hospitals, or homes. deepening our day today security security on anay ongoing basis. negotiating a new, long-term, never -- long-term memorandum of understanding to lock in long- term military assistance for the future. providing access to the most sophisticated u.s. military technology, such as precision munitions, the f-35 joint strike fighter, the v-22 osprey. israel is the only country in the world to receive it from the united states. extensiveng in trading and joint exercises --
training and joint exercises in areas of special operations, missile defense, and search-and- rescue. unprecedented levels. these examples and a lot more should make crystal clear our commitment to preserve israel's qualitative military edge so that israel can defend itself by itself against any threat. and when israel, or if israel were to come under attack by terrorists on its borders or by an international organization, we will always stand up for israel's right to defend itself. and the united states is always particularly prepared to be the first and fastest to israel's side in any time of crisis. we approach this challenge believing that israel has to be strong to make peace, but that peace will also make israel
stronger. and we are convinced that the greatest security will actually come from a two-state solution that brings israel lasting peace . shared prosperity throughout the region, good relations among neighbors, peace of mind for the people of israel and for palestinians alike -- none of this is possible without addressing israel's budget amid security concerns and ensuring that as a result of peace -- legitimate security concerns and ensuring that as a result of peace they are more secure, not less. security led our agendas in jerusalem and ramala this week. i want to make it clear, we have been up -- at this since april, when we announced the resumption -- ands in the months
the months preceding were dedicated to trying to get there. by necessity, we have had to do some groundwork, some due diligence in order to be able to address these legitimate concerns and questions in a way that they have never been addressed before. this week, we engaged in that discussion as well as in jerusalem. general john allen, sitting right here in the second row, has done extraordinary work. he commanded our coalition forces in afghanistan, trained 350,000 troops there, not to mention the tens of thousands in iraq. this is a man who knows how to build capacity. he recently retired as a four- star marine corps general, and he is one of the best military minds in america. and he has been asked by the president and me and the secretary of defense to lead this effort of a security
dialogue with the idf. he is helping us make sure that the border on the jordan river will be as strong as any in the world so that there will be no question about the security of the citizens, israelis and palestinians, living to the west. now, i will tell you point blank, and i have read all of the history of these negotiations and i have lived part of the history of these negotiations. i was on the lawn when the famous handshake took place. i have had many, many a meeting over time as chairman of the foreign relations committee and as senator. -- has thee -- ever united states conducted such an in depth analysis of israel's security requirements that arise from the potential of a two- state solution. never. understanding the importance of this analysis, we are examining
every potential security on theo, something border, something in the future, terrorism in the future, the weakness -- whatever it might be. we are coordinating with the jordanians and the palestinians to create a layered approach that both guarantees israel's security and fully respects palestinian sovereignty. that is the threading of the needle, but it is a critical threading of the needle that has to happen in order to achieve an agreement. general allen is joined by think thererally, i are about 160 people, military experts, intel experts, and others working to analyze this tiered what we put on the table is deadly serious, real, because these stakes are real. and we have highly qualified defense officials working with dozens of organizations in the united states, including the office of the secretary of defense, the defense security
and cooperation agency, the defense threat reduction agency, darpa, which is the pentagon's research arm that created the internet, not to mention the joint staff and the united force,army, navy, air and marines. they are all hard at work analyzing what began, frankly, b a limoneiraas analysis was made, now it is becoming state of art as we ramp it up for this possibility of peace. they are all hard at work in close consultation with their idf counterparts, and we will engage in further close evaluation with every aspect and with palestinians. and with the palestinians, which is critical. we have a separate team assisting -- assessing palestinian security needs in the context of statehood. we anticipate that the united states will continue to play a leading role in building,
helping to build palestinian capacity, helping to build their capabilities, to maintain law and order, to cooperate in an effective judicial system, to counterterrorism and smuggling and manage border security, customs, immigration. needless to say, for a period of time, this will obviously involve israeli participation. it has to. but they're also have to be objective standards by which we measure -- but there also have to be objective standards by which we measure performance. ed davis, who is widely respected in the law-enforcement community, was in the west bank in august offering his strategic counsel. this aswork with professionally as anybody has ever done. we will not leave things to chance. there is a serious responsibility that comes with statehood. notionave shared that with my friends in the west bank, and they take it seriously. they do.
it will take time to train, build, equip, and test palestinian institutions to ensure that they are capable of protecting palestinian citizens. their primary responsibility is that. and also preventing their territory from being used for attacks on israel. now, i have heard all the arguments. we pulled out of lebanon. look what we got. we pulled out of gaza. look what we got. we got rockets. yeah, we did, but we also didn't settle any of the issues. unilateral is not an answer. you have to resolve the fundamentals of this conflict. and if all of you take the time to examine the history of white plantation, madrid -- why all the efforts before -- what happened is they always left the final status agreement to the future.
mischief.eaves it to and it leaves it to all the worst forces that could fill a vacuum. it is essential, in my judgment, to reach for a total agreement and to have a framework within which we can try to work for that. after waiting so long for statehood, the palestinian people deserve effective state institutions. israel and jordan must know that they will have a reliable and responsible neighbor, not a failed state living between them. now, i believe and president obama believes that strong diplomacy is essential. make no mistake -- security is only one essential part of this equation. backed by the unquestioned potential of our powerful armed forces and alliances, we have to also engage in strong, smart diplomacy. and that is diplomacy backed by
which can achieve outcomes that force alone often .annot actually produce diplomacy, for example, is today succeeding in removing the threat of syria's chemical weapons. as the civil war was raging just north of major population centers in israel, prime minister netanyahu raised with me his concerns about those weapons potentially falling into the hands of our new struck him , alaeda -- of al-nusra qaeda, this is a real threat. falling into the hands of hezbollah or any other al qaeda- affiliated terrorists. we were growing in our concern of that. incidentally, so were the russians. we consulted closely with israel about those contingencies.
aankie, neither of us had perfect solution. as much as some urine for a military strike on syria -- and i have heard -- some urine and militaryearned for a strike on syria -- and i have heard it all -- it would have entailed enormous risks to innocent civilians. onlye point, that was our option. at best, we believed if we could deter and degrade syria's chemical weapons capability through targeted military strikes -- don't forget, president obama made his decision and announced public we that he was ready to take action -- publicly that he was ready to take action. in the end, it was diplomacy that resulted in a peaceful process of accounting not for some, but of giving us the ability to account for all of these weapons and eliminate these weapons that pose such a threat to israeli citizens and others in the region. the process to remove and destroy those weapons, i can report to you today, is on track
to be completed by the middle of next year. and we, the united states, will provide the capacity to destroy those weapons. we are working with the russians to contain them and move them and ship them to take them out of syria itself, proving that diplomacy can be so powerful it can diffuse the world's worst weapons -- can defuse the worlds's worst weapons. that brings us to iran. we are using diplomacy to fully identify and address the threat brought to us by iran's nuclear program. it is a real threat. we have no illusions. let me restate something that president obama has made clear since day one and reiterated again this afternoon -- we will not allow iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, period, not now, not ever. now, believe me, the united
states fully understands that israel perceives a nuclear air and as a nexus essential threat. s a --perceives -- perceive nuclear iran as an x essential -- as an existential threat. why? because it is. as we move forward in this negotiation, we will continue to consult very closely with israel , as with our other friends and allies in the region and around the world, whose input is critical to us in this process. this week, prime minister netanyahu's advisor will travel to the united states with direct conversations -- for direct conversations with our iran expd erts. as we enter negotiations for a final, comprehensive agreement, we absolutely do so with our .ise -- our eyes wide open
we are as yet unconvinced that iran will absolutely make all the hard decisions necessary to reach such an agreement. but these negotiations will not -- that these -- these negotiations will not be open- ended. aven the history with iran, hidden mountainside site, faster, more effective centrifuges -- we have a right to be skeptical. that is why this is not about trust. not about words, about actions. it is about testing the process, testing their commitment. this is about living up to verifiable, transparent, internationally-accepted standards, and only diplomacy can get you to the place where you establish what that is. let me make something else clear
. i am convinced beyond any doubt that israel becomes safer the first-step agreement is implemented. let me repeat that. israel will be safer the day this begins to be implemented then the day it was -- than the day before. we will sit down with our p5 unitede -- p5+ colleagues and iran for the comprehensive discussion that prime minister netanyahu has always said he favors. we will do so with all due respect with one important prevented -- important advantage. we will have ensured that iran's program will not advance while we negotiate. iran willtiate, forfeit its entire stock of 25% which wasranium,
highlighted in a speech to the united nations, which is relatively a short step away from weapons grade. as we negotiate, it ran will be unable to grow its stock of 3.5% -- iran will be unable to grow its stock of 3.5% enriched uranium. we will, for the first time, be able to inspect and go into the workshops and storage facilities for these items. internationale, inspectors will have unprecedented access to a ran -- to iran's key facilities on which we don't have today. we will have daily access, regular access to the heavy water reactor site. they are required to give us the plans for that site. iraq negotiate, the facility, which is still under construction, and which could have provided an alternative path to a bomb, will be
prohibited from installing any new components whatsoever or testing additional fuel. as we negotiate, our treasury department will remain absolutely determined to enforce our core sanctions, architecture which has deprived iran of more than $80 billion in oil revenue since 2012. we have deprived them of $80 billion. in this deal, we will let $4,000,000,000 be released? you think that makes a difference? they will still be deprived. none of it happens all in one day. it happens sequentially as the process is implemented. we also have prevented, as you know, access to the international banking system. we will work with our international partners to ensure that that commitment does not waver. as we negotiated, i have
personally instructed every bureau at the state department and each of our missions around the world to remain vigilant for is sign that any sanction being skirted. we will continue to be perfectly clear that for iran, the price failing toiance, of satisfy international concerns about the nuclear program, will be that we immediately ratchet up new sanctions, along with whatever further steps are needed to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, including, as president obama just made clear, a military .ption if that were necessary so, there shouldn't be an ounce of doubt. this is a debate we shouldn't be having. the real question is what is going to happen with the final agreement. the united states stands squarely behind our israel he friends and allies in the region
and in the world. the result of all these steps we are taking is that iran's breakout time, the period required to produce enough weapons grade material intended for nuclear weapons, will have been increased because of our diplomacy. we are obviously well aware that even a comprehensive agreement would not solve all of our problems with iran. we don't pretend that they do. it wouldn't address their support for hezbollah. it won't deal with syria, although it would have some impact, ultimately. it doesn't deal with other terrorist organizations or their attempt to destabilize our partners throughout the region. whatever the outcome of the upcoming negotiations, iran will still have much work to do. but i am convinced that we have taken a strong first step that has made the world and israel safer, even as we work to solve this problem once and for all. once again, i want to emphasize,
a careful balance of strength bestiplomacy gives us the chance to reach our common goal and to do so without having to resort to force. i want to come back to the peace process for a moment, because there is another existential threat to israel, that diplomacy .an far better address i'm referring to the demographic dynamic that makes it impossible for israel to preserve its future as a democratic, jewish state without resolving the israeli-palestinian conflict in a two-state solution. defuseannot defeat or the demographic time bomb israel's current state of -- timebomb. israel's current state of relative security and prosperity does not change the fact that today's status quo will not be
tomorrow's or the future's here the only way to secure israel's long-term future and security will be achieved through direct negotiations. end all claims. establish an independent, viable palestinian state, achieve recognition of israel as the homeland of the jewish people. we are committed to reaching a final status agreement that recognizes two states for two peoples living side-by-side in peace and security. there is no mystery about what a two state solution looks like -- two-state solution looks like. for many years, the broad contours have been absolutely clear. they were crystallized for the world in december of 2000 when president clinton laid down the parameters for a final status agreement. they were reaffirmed through the annapolis is processed during the bush administration, a basic
framework will have to address all of the core issues, borders, security, refugees, jerusalem, mutual recognition, and an end of claims. and it will have to establish agreed guidelines for subsequent negotiations that will fill out the details in a full on peace treaty. our strong stuff of diplomacy when it comes to peacemaking. norhe united states cannot should we make all the hard decisions. only the leaders themselves, the governments themselves can do that. but we can serve as facilitator, the honest broker, and the full partner in the effort to reach agreement. and for all the talk about our disengagement or declining influence in the middle east, just ask yourself about my trips -- eight trips.
in the middle east, the fact is that both parties still look to us to play this role. we are doing so. we are deeply engaged and we will remain so through thick and thin you'd i understand there are many who are skeptical of whether american diplomacy can achieve this breakthrough to peace. steps that destroyed trust, by continuedike settlement activity and incitement only feed that skepticism on both sides. but i believe that if you indeed care about israel, and everybody here does. if you care about it security, if you care about its future, if you care about palestinians achieving their legitimate aspirations for self- determination, which we do also, we need to that peace is .ossible we all need to act on that belief. after so many decades of disappointments, i am not a
starry eyed pollyanna-ish idealist. difficult.d it is if it were easy, it would have been done. it is no surprise that skepticism, even cynicism is widespread. doubts that peace is possible regrettably often blind people to even having a good discussion about all the benefits that peace can bring. i ask you to imagine what a two- state solution will mean for israel, palestine, jordan, and the region. imagine what it would mean for trade and tourism, what it would mean for developing technology and talent for future generations of israeli and palestinian children. imagine israel and its neighbors as an economic powerhouse in the region. it is long past time that the people of this great and ancient part of the world became known for what they can create and not theyhe conflicts
perpetuate. it is long past time that jerusalem, the crucible of the world's three great monotheistic religions becomes non-not as the subject of constant struggle, but as the golden city of peace and unity embodied the aspirations of israelis and palestinians alike. peace is possible because we have courageous leaders who have already taken significant political risks for peace. the time is approaching when they will have to take even more . they have shown real courage, nd primesident abbas a minister netanyahu. the president has made tough choices. he has stayed the course, despite people in his team saying you ought to get out of here, look at those settlements, they are making a full of you. leave me, that battle has been going on. i deal with it every week. time, there has been israeli soldiers shot and killed
and other actsk of incitement. prime minister netanyahu has made tough choices. just this week, he reaffirmed his commitment to a palestinian state. he said israel is ready for an historic peace. because possible today the arab league has also made tough choices. for the first time, they came to washington. they met with me. they came out and announced that the new map will look different than the 1967 borders. it will accommodate realities on the ground. the air of peace initiative peaceout -- the arab initiative holds out the possibility of strengthening peace and security in the region. think how much more secure risk -- israel would be if it were surrounded by newfound partners. think of an end to the unjust
but inexorable campaign to delegitimize israel in the international community. the united states has fought alone, atrts, often every opportunity. most recently in our successful effort to secure israel's entry, this week, into the western european and others group at the u.n. in geneva. we fought hard for that. but think of the new markets that would open up and the bridges between people that peace would build him a think of the flood of foreign investment and business opportunities that would come to israel and how that would change the lives of everyday people throughout the region. fischer, the former governor of the bank of israel said, a peace agreement with the palestinians could boost israel's gdp in a short period of time by as much as 6%. israel would also enjoy a normal peaceful relationship the moment this agreement is signed with 22 arab nations and 35 muslim
all.ns -- 57 countries in it is not beyond our imagination to envision that a new order could be established in the middle east, in which countries like jordan, morocco, a newly independent palestine and an internationally recognized jewish state of israel joined together to promote stability and peace. new from the start that if his young state were to do more than just survive, if israel were to succeed, it would need more than just strong defenses. he said israel would need strong ties throughout the middle east here he wrote as much in the israel declaration of .ndependence promoting bonds of cooperation with israel's neighbors. that did not happen right away,
of course, but israel has always known it is strongest when it extends its hand in peace, when it is in the high moral ground. that is why the declaration of independence of israel went on to state from day one that israel would "do it share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire middle east." that was the vision of the founding fathers. now, i understand that some think the current upheaval in the region makes this an inopportune time to try for to agreet i happen with what prime minister netanyahu wrote in a rather remarkable open letter to the citizens of israel that he wrote in the beginning of these negotiations. he wrote that the dawn of a new era in the region is exactly the right time to recast israel's relationships and to change the narrative with a new generation
that is starting to make its heard.s heard -- voices recent events have created incentives and opportunities to pursue peace urgently. meet today on-- ,he anniversary of pearl harbor a day that reminds us and reminds the world of the horrible costs that war entails. ike so many israeli citizens, including many of you in this room, i wore the uniform my country. i have seen war. that is part of what makes me such a passionate advocate for peace. as someone who has been committed to israel's struggle for peace and security for 30 years, i also know that diplomacy doesn't happen without strength. i am proud to see how israel has used both sides of this coin in order to become a powerful, beautiful country, an amazing entry, blooming out of the
desert. technology as it can be used throughout the region. and how israel is fighting to keep alive a flame that makes it a light unto nations. to build its first class defenses and alliances that allow it to negotiate from a position of strength. we know that diplomacy without strength is blind to the world perils -- the world's perils. we also believe strength without diplomacy is blind to the world's promised. it is diplomacy backed by the credible threat of military force. if it can prevent the menace of nuclear weapons in iran him a if diplomacy can solve the x essential -- in iran, if diplomacy can solve it threat --l if we can fully address the reasons -- these threats without going to war, israel and the world will be more secure.
so will the united states. my friends, as everyone here knows, the world is mourning the loss of a great leader right now, nelson mandela. mandela was a stranger to hate. he rejected recrimination in favor of reconciliation. and he knew the future demands that we move beyond the past. just think of the lessons that he taught the world, which have special significance at this moment in history. he said it always seems done.ible until it is all of us who seek peace, the skeptics who think it cannot be in mind should bear those words. as the sun sets on this sabbath, let me leave you with a favorite line from the psalms that i understand is recited in the evening prayer service here there is a prayer for overcoming danger, a prayer that we might , true security.
as maines wrapup at the sab -- as things wrap up at the saban center. earlier, we heard from president obama as he talked about changes taking place across the middle east. [applause] >> hello. >> how you doing? >> i'm good. hello, everybody. >> all of your staffers said you were in a great mood this afternoon. we are doubly blessed. i would like to thank you very much for being here today, mr. president. on its 10th anniversary, is honored to have you join this conversation, and i am personally honored that you insisted that i have this conversation with you, even though i never set foot for any conversation for 10 years. thank you.
i am very honored. should we start with iran? >> we should. >> ok. good. [laughter] mr. president, polls indicate israelis don't believe this nuclear deal will preclude iran from having nuclear weapons. this is an existential matter for them. what can you say to the israeli people to address their concerns? >> first, let me say to you, haim, thank you so much for the great work you have done. i think the savan -- saban forum and center have done outstanding work. it provides us a mechanism where we don't just scratch the surface of these issues. the challenges in the middle east are enormous. the work that is being done here is terrific. i also want to thank you for hosting us here today.
and all of you here am a some of the outstanding members of the israeli government, some friends we haven't seen in a while. thanks for having me. let me start with the basic premise that i have said repeatedly. it is in america's national security interests, not just israel's national security , torests or the region's prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. let's remember where we were when i first came into office. iran had gone from having less than 200 centrifuges to having thousands of centrifuges, in some cases more advanced centrifuges. there was a program that had been advanced to the point where their breakout capacity had accelerated in ways that we had been concerned about for quite some time. as a consequence, what i said to
my team and what i said to our international partners was that we are going to have to be much more serious about how we change the cost benefit analysis for iran. we put in place an unprecedented regime of so sanctions that has crippled iran's economy, cut their revenues by more than half. have put enormous pressure on their currency. their economy contracted by five percent. it is precisely because of the international sanctions and the coalition we were able to build that the iranian people responded by saying we need a new direction. and that's what brought president rouhani to power. he was not necessarily the first
choice of the hardliners inside of iran. now, that doesn't mean that we should trust him or anybody else inside of iran. this is a regime that came to power swearing opposition to the united states, to israel, and to many of the values that we hold dear. but what i've consistently said is even as i don't take any options off the table, what we do have to test is the possibility that we can resolve this issue diplomatically. and that is the deal that, at the first stages, we have been able to get done in geneva, thanks to some extraordinary work by john kerry and his counterparts in the p5-plus-1. so let's look at exactly what we've done. for the first time in over a decade, we have halted advances
in the iranian nuclear program. we have not only made sure that in fordor and natanz that they have to stop adding additional centrifuges, we've also said that they've got to roll back their 20 percent advanced enrichment. so we're -- >> to how much? >> down to zero. so you remember when prime minister netanyahu made his presentation before the united nations last year -- >> the cartoon with the red line? >> the picture of a bomb -- he was referring to 20 percent enrichment, which the concern was if you get too much of that, you now have sufficient capacity to go ahead and create a nuclear weapon. we're taking that down to zero. we are stopping the advancement of the arak facility, which would provide an additional pathway, a plutonium pathway for the development of nuclear weapons. we are going to have daily
inspectors in fordor and natanz. we're going to have additional inspections in arak. and as a consequence, during this six-month period, iran cannot and will not advance its program or add additional stockpiles of advanced uranium enriched uranium. now, what we've done in exchange is kept all these sanctions in place -- the architecture remains with respect to oil, with respect to finance, with respect to banking. what we've done is we've turned the spigot slightly and we've said, here's maximum $7 billion out of the over $100 billion of revenue of theirs that is frozen as a consequence of our sanctions, to give us the time and the space to test whether they can move in a direction, a comprehensive, permanent
agreement that would give us all assurances that they're not producing nuclear weapons. >> i understand. a quick question as it relates to the $7 billion, if i may. how do we prevent those who work with us in geneva, who have already descended on tehran looking for deals, to cause the seven to become 70? because we can control what we do, but what is the extent that we can control the others? >> well, haim, this is precisely why the timing of this was right. one of the things we were always concerned about was that if we did not show good faith in trying to resolve this issue diplomatically, then the sanctions regime would begin to fray. keep in mind that this was two years of extraordinary diplomatic work on behalf of our team to actually get the sanctions in place. they're not just the unilateral sanctions that are created by the united states. these are sanctions that are
also participated in by russia, by china, and some allies of ours like south korea and japan that find these sanctions very costly. but that's precisely why they've become so effective. and so what we've said is that we do not loosen any of the core sanctions; we provide a small window through which they can access some revenue, but we can control it and it is reversible. and during the course of these six months, if and when iran shows itself not to be abiding by this agreement, not to be negotiating in good faith, we can reverse them and tighten them even further. but here is the bottom line. ultimately, my goal as president of the united states -- something that i've said publicly and privately and shared everywhere i've gone -- is to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. but what i've also said is the
best way for us to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapons is for a comprehensive, verifiable, diplomatic resolution, without taking any other options off the table if we fail to achieve that. it is important for us to test that proposition during the next six months, understanding that while we're talking, they're not secretly improving their position or changing circumstances on the ground inside of iran. and if at the end of six months it turns out that we can't make a deal, we're no worse off, and in fact we have greater leverage with the international community to continue to apply sanctions and even strengthen them. if, on the other hand, we're able to get this deal done, then what we can achieve through a diplomatic resolution of this situation is, frankly, greater than what we could achieve with the other options that are available to us.
>> let's all hope we get there. >> absolutely. >> you have hosted passover dinners at the white house. >> >> i have. >> and you know this famous saying, "why is this night different than any other night? " in that context, i would like to ask you a question. with the best intentions and all efforts, president reagan vowed that pakistan would not go nuclear. didn't happen. with the best intentions and all efforts, president clinton vowed that north korea won't go nuclear. why is this nuclear deal different than any other nuclear deal? [laughter.] >> well, we don't know yet. no, we don't know yet. i think it's important for everybody to understand this is hard. because the technology of the nuclear cycle, you can get off the internet; the knowledge of creating a nuclear weapons is already out there. and iran is a large country and it is a relatively wealthy country, and so we have to take
seriously the possibility that they are going to try to get a nuclear weapon. that's what this whole exercise is about. having said that, if you look at the history, by the time we got an agreement with north korea, they essentially already had a nuclear weapon. with respect to pakistan, there was never the kinds of inspection regimes and international sanctions and u.n. resolutions that were in place. we have been able to craft an international effort and verification mechanism around the iran nuclear program that is unprecedented and unique. that doesn't mean it's easy. and that's why we have to take it seriously. but i think one of the things that i've repeatedly said when people ask, why should we try to
negotiate with them, we can't trust them, we're being naïve, what i try to describe to them is not the choice between this deal and the ideal, but the choice between this deal and other alternatives. if i had an option, if we could create an option in which iran eliminated every single nut and bolt of their nuclear program, and foreswore the possibility of ever having a nuclear program, and, for that matter, got rid of all its military capabilities, i would take it. but -- >> next question -- >> sorry, haim, i want to make sure everybody understands it -- that particular option is not available. and so as a consequence, what we have to do is to make a decision as to, given the options available, what is the best way
for us to assure that iran does not get a nuclear weapon. and the best way for us to assure it is to test this diplomatic path, understanding that it's not based on trust; it's based on what we can verify. and it also, by the way, does not negate the fact that iran is engaging in a whole bunch of other behavior in the middle east and around the world that is detrimental to the united states and detrimental to israel. and we will continue to contest their efforts where they're engaging in terrorism, where they're being disruptive to our friends and our allies. we will not abide by any threats to our friends and allies in the region, and we've made that perfectly clear. and our commitment to israel's security is sacrosanct, and they understand that. they don't have any doubt about that. but if we can negotiate on the nuclear program in the same way that ronald reagan was able to negotiate with the soviet union
even as we were still contesting them around the world, that removes one more threat -- and a critical, existential threat -- takes it out of their arsenal. and it allows us then to ultimately i think win them -- defeat some of their agenda throughout the region without worrying that somehow it's going to escalate or trigger a nuclear arms race in the most volatile part of the world. >> unfortunately, you're right it would. tom friedman had an interesting perspective in one of his columns. he said, "never negotiate with iran without some leverage and some crazy on your side. we have to out-crazy the crazies." do you think he has a point? [laughter.] >> well, tom is a very smart observer. and i know that my friend, bibi,
is going to be speaking later, and if tom wants to characterize bibi the way you just described, that's his -- >> i didn't say that. >> that's his prerogative, that's not my view. [laughter.] prime minister netanyahu and i have had constant consultations on these issues throughout the last five years. and something that i think bears repeating -- the united states military cooperation with israel has never been stronger. our intelligence cooperation with israel has never been stronger. our support of israel's security has never been stronger. whether you're talking about iron dome, whether you're talking about trying to manage the situation in gaza a little over a year ago, across the board, our coordination on the concrete issues facing israel's security has never been stronger.
and that's not just my opinion; i think that's something that can be verified. there are times where i, as president of the united states, am going to have different tactical perspectives than the prime minister of israel -- and that is understandable, because israel cannot contract out its security. in light of the history that the people of israel understand all too well, they have to make sure that they are making their own assessments about what they need to do to protect themselves. and we respect that. and i have said that consistently to the prime minister. but ultimately, it is my view, from a tactical perspective, that we have to test out this proposition. it will make us stronger internationally, and it may possibly lead to a deal that we'll have to show to the world, in fact, assures us that iran is
not getting a nuclear weapon. it's not as if there's going to be a lot of capacity to hide the ball here. we're going to be able to make an assessment, because this will be subject to the p5-plus-1 and the international community looking at the details of every aspect of a potential final deal, and we're consulting with all our friends, including israel, in terms of what would that end state look like. and if we can't get there, then no deal is better than a bad deal. but presuming that it's going to be a bad deal and, as a consequence, not even trying for a deal i think would be a dire mistake. >> well, personally, i find a lot of comfort in the fact that even though the united states and israel may have red lines in different places, we are on the same place as far as the bottom line goes -- >> absolutely.
>> and iran will not have nuclear weapons. fair to say? >> absolutely. that is more than fair. >> good. thank you. should we move to these israeli- palestinians -- we should. >>we should. okay. >> [laughter.] very obedient president i have here today. [laughter.] this is the saban forum, so you're in charge. [laughter.] >> i wish. [laughter.] or cheryl is in charge. >> >> you're more on now, mr. president. it is cheryl who is in charge. that's exactly right. >> >> anyway. [laughter.] first of all, before i ask the first question, i would be remiss if i didn't, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your continuous effort to achieve peace in the middle east. thank you so very much. [applause.] the president: i appreciate it. thank you. >> so people talk about an imposed american solution. we've heard these rumors rumbling around for a while. the u.s. has always said it doesn't want to impose.
what would you propose? >> well, first of all, this is a challenge that we've been wrestling with for 60 years. and what i've consistently said is that the only way this is going to be resolved is if the people of israel and the palestinian people make a determination that their futures and the futures of their children and grandchildren will be better off with peace than with conflict. the united states can be an effective facilitator of that negotiation and dialogue; we can help to bridge differences and bridge gaps. but both sides have to want to get there. and i have to commend prime minister netanyahu and president abbas for the courageous efforts that have led to very serious conversations over the last several months.
they are not easy. but they come down to what we all know are going to be the core issues. secretary -- security, refugees, and jerusalem. and there are not a lot of secrets or surprises at this point. we know what the outlines of a potential agreement might look like. and the question then becomes are both sides willing to take the very tough political risks involved if their bottom lines are met. for the palestinians, the bottom line is that they have a state of their own that is real and meaningful. for the israelis, the bottom line is, to a large extent, is the state of israel as a jewish state secure. and those issues have been
spoken about over the last several months in these negotiations in a very serious way. and i know tzipi livni is here and been participating in that, and we're very grateful for her efforts there. and i think it is possible over the next several months to arrive at a framework that does not address every single detail but gets us to a point where everybody recognizes better to move forward than move backwards. sometimes when you're climbing up a mountain, even when it's scary, it's actually easier to go up than it is to go down. and i think that we're now at a place where we can achieve a two-state solution in which israelis and palestinians are living side-by-side in peace and security. but it's going to require some very tough decisions. one thing i have to say, though, is we have spent a lot of time
working with prime minister netanyahu and his entire team to understand from an israeli perspective what is required for the security of israel in such a scenario. and we -- going back to what i said earlier -- we understand that we can't dictate to israel what it needs for its security. but what we have done is to try to understand it and then see through a consultative process, are there ways that, through technology, through additional ideas, we can potentially provide for that. and i assigned one of our top former generals, john allen, who most recently headed up the entire coalition effort in afghanistan -- he's retired now, but he was willing to take on this mission -- and he's been working to examine the entire set of challenges around security --
>> has he concluded anything? >> well, he's come up to -- he has arrived at the conclusion that it is possible to create a two-state solution that preserves israel's core security needs. now, that's his conclusion, but ultimately he's not the decision-maker here. prime minister netanyahu and the israeli military and intelligence folks have to make that determination. and ultimately, the palestinians have to also recognize that there is going to be a transition period where the israeli people cannot expect a replica of gaza in the west bank. that is unacceptable. and i think we believe that we can arrive at that point where israel was confident about that, but we're going to have to see whether the israelis agree and whether president abbas, then,
is willing to understand that this transition period requires some restraint on the part of the palestinians as well. they don't get everything that they want on day one. and that creates some political problems for president abbas, as well. >> yes. well, i'd say my next question of what was the reaction of the prime minister to general allen for john kerry. >> yes, ask john kerry, or ask the prime minister. >> okay. >> i don't want to speak for him. [laughter.] >> they won't tell me, but, okay. [laughter.] >> that's probably true. >> my last question: the palestinians are two people -- one in the west bank, led by president abbas that is negotiating the deal; and one in gaza, led by hamas that wants to eradicate israel from the face of the earth. president abbas, as far as i know, says he won't make a deal that doesn't include gaza, which he doesn't control.
how do we get out from this labyrinth? >> well, i think this is going to have to happen in stages. but here's what i know from my visits to israel, my visits to the west bank: there are people of goodwill on both sides that recognize the status quo is not sustainable over the long term, and as a consequence, it is in the interests of both the israelis and palestinians to resolve this issue. there are young people, teenagers that i met both in israel and in the palestinian territories that want to get out from under this history and seek a future that is fundamentally different for them. and so if, in fact, we can
create a pathway to peace, even if initially it's restricted to the west bank, if there is a model where young palestinians in gaza are looking and seeing that in the west bank palestinians are able to live in dignity, with self- determination, and suddenly their economy is booming and trade is taking place because they have created an environment in which israel is confident about its security and a lot of the old barriers to commerce and educational exchange and all that has begun to break down, that's something that the young people of gaza are going to want. and the pressure that will be placed for the residents of gaza to experience that same future is something that is going to be i think overwhelmingly appealing.
but that is probably going to take place during the course of some sort of transition period. and the security requirements that israel requires will have to be met. and i think that is able -- that we can accomplish that, but ultimately it's going to be something that requires everybody to stretch out of their comfort zones. and the one thing i will say to the people of israel is that you can be assured whoever is in the office i currently occupy, democrat or republican, that your security will be uppermost on our minds. that will not change. and that should not mean you let up on your vigilance in terms of
wanting to look out for your own country. it does -- it should give you some comfort, though, that you have the most powerful nation on earth as your closest friend and ally. and that commitment is going to be undiminished. >> that was my last question. >> i promised -- we worked something backstage where as long as haim's questions weren't too long, i'd take a couple of questions from the audience. and he was very disciplined -- [laughter] -- so let me take one or two. this gentleman right here. why don't you get a microphone so everybody can hear you? mr. president, i used to be a general in the israeli air force, in intelligence, and now running a think tank in tel aviv. looking into the future
agreement with iran -- i put behind me the initial agreement, and what is really important is the final agreement. two questions. what is the parameters that you see as a red line to ensure that iran will be moving forward -- moving backward, rolling back from the bomb as much as possible? and what is your plan b if an agreement cannot be reached? >> well, with respect to the end state, i want to be very clear there's nothing in this agreement or document that grants iran a right to enrich. we've been very clear that given its past behavior, and given existing u.n. resolutions and previous
violations by iran of its international obligations, that we don't recognize such a right, and if, by the way, negotiations break down, there will be no additional international recognition that's been obtained. so this deal goes away and we're back to where we were before the geneva agreement, subject -- and iran will continue to be subject to all the sanctions that we put in place in the past and we may seek additional ones. but i think what we have said is we can envision a comprehensive agreement that involves extraordinary constraints and verification mechanisms and intrusive inspections, but that permits iran to have a peaceful nuclear program. now, in terms of specifics, we
know that they don't need to have an underground, fortified facility like fordor in order to have a peaceful nuclear program. they certainly don't need a heavy-water reactor at arak in order to have a peaceful nuclear program. they don't need some of the advanced centrifuges that they currently possess in order to have a limited, peaceful nuclear program. and so the question ultimately is going to be, are they prepared to roll back some of the advancements that they've made that would not justify -- or could not be justified by simply wanting some modest, peaceful nuclear power, but, frankly, hint at a desire to have breakout capacity and go right to the edge of breakout capacity. and if we can move that
significantly back, then that is, i think, a net win. now, you'll hear arguments, including potentially from the prime minister, that say we can't accept any enrichment on iranian soil. period. full stop. end of conversation. and this takes me back to the point i made earlier. one can envision an ideal world in which iran said, we'll destroy every element and facility and you name it, it's all gone. i can envision a world in which congress passed every one of my bills that i put forward. [laughter] i mean, there are a lot of things that i can envision that would be wonderful. but precisely because we don't trust the nature of the iranian
regime, i think that we have to be more realistic and ask ourselves, what puts us in a strong position to assure ourselves that iran is not having a nuclear weapon and that we are protected? what is required to accomplish that, and how does that compare to other options that we might take? and it is my strong belief that we can envision a end state that gives us an assurance that even if they have some modest enrichment capability, it is so constrained and the inspections are so intrusive that they, as a practical matter, do not have breakout capacity. theoretically, they might still have some. but, frankly, theoretically, they will always have some, because, as i said, the technology here is available to any good physics student at pretty much any university around the world. and they have already gone through the cycle to the point
where the knowledge, we're not going to be able to eliminate. but what we can do is eliminate the incentive for them to want to do this. and with respect to what happens if this breaks down, i won't go into details. i will say that if we cannot get the kind of comprehensive end state that satisfies us and the world community and the p5-plus- 1, then the pressure that we've been applying on them and the options that i've made clear i can avail myself of, including a military option, is one that we would consider and prepare for. and we've always said that. so that does not change. but the last point i'll make on this. when i hear people who criticize the geneva deal say it's got to be all or nothing, i would just
remind them if it's nothing, if we did not even try for this next six months to do this, all the breakout capacity we're concerned about would accelerate during that six months. arak would be further along. the advanced centrifuges would have been put in place. they'd be that much closer to breakout capacity six months from now. and that's why i think it's important for us to try to test this proposition. i'll take a couple more. yes, sir. right over here. >> mr. president, israeli journalist from isreal hayom daily newspaper. mr. president, i covered the negotiations with iran, nuclear negotiations -- geneva 2009, istanbul 2010. and i came back now from geneva again, where you could see the big change was not only on iran's side, but also on the p5- plus-1 side, meaning they were very eager to reach an agreement.
coming back from geneva, we learned, and some of us had known before, the secret talks america had with iran. and we know the concern you have on the israeli security -- e're very grateful. but how does it coincide with your secret negotiations washington had with tehran? thank you. >> the truth is, is that, without going into the details, there weren't a lot of secret negotiations. essentially what happened -- and we were very clear and transparent about this -- is that from the time i took office, i said we would reach out to iran and we would let them know we're prepared to open up a diplomatic channel. after rouhani was elected, there was some acceleration leading up to the u.n. general assembly. you'll recall that rouhani was engaging in what was termed a charm offensive, right, and he was going around talking to folks. and at that point, it made sense for us to see, all right, how serious are you potentially about having these conversations.
they did not get highly substantive in the first several meetings but were much more exploring how much room, in fact, did they have to get something done. and then as soon as they began to get more technical, at that point, they converged with the p5-plus-1 discussions. i will say this -- the fact of rhouhani's election -- it's been said that there's no difference between him and ahmadinejad except that he's more charming. i think that understates the shift in politics that took place in this election. obviously, rouhani is part of the iranian establishment and i think we have to assume that his
ideology is one that is hostile to the united states and to israel. but what he also represents is the desire on the part of the iranian people for a change of direction. and we should not underestimate or entirely dismiss a shift in how the iranian people want to interact with the world. there's a lot of change that's going to be taking place in the middle east over the next decade. and wherever we see the impulses of a people to move away from conflict, violence, and towards diplomatic resolution of conflicts, we should be ready and prepared to engage them --
understanding, though, that, ultimately it's not what you say, it's what you do. and we have to be vigilant about maintaining our security postures, not be naïve about the dangers that an iranian regime pose, fight them wherever they're engaging in terrorism or actions that are hostile to us or our allies. but we have to not constantly assume that it's not possible for iran, like any country, to change over time. it may not be likely. if you asked me what is the likelihood that we're able to arrive at the end state that i was just describing earlier, i wouldn't say that it's more than
50/50. but we have to try. last question. and i think it's -- the young lady right there. >> mr. president, i'm a reporter for israeli channel two. i have been listening to your analysis of the iranian deal, and i can only imagine a different -- a slightly different analysis given by our prime minister netanyahu. >> i think that's probably a good bet. that's more than 50/50. [laughter.] >> israelis are known for their understatement. [laughter] and i try to imagine a conversation between you two. and he would ask you, mr. president, i see this deal as a historic mistake -- which he has already stated -- and i think it's the worst deal the west could have gotten. and you would have told him, bibi, that's where you go wrong. what would you have told him? that's one thing. and then, perhaps to understand the essence of your
conversation, he would ask you, mr. president, is there one set of circumstances under which you will order your b-52s to strike in iran? what would you tell him? [laughter] is there any set of circumstances in which you will order your fighter pilots to strike in iran? what would you tell the prime minister? >> let me make a couple of points. number one, obviously, the conversations between me and the prime minister are for me and the prime minister, not for an audience like this. and i will say that bibi and i have very candid conversations, and there are occasionally significant tactical disagreements, but there is a constancy in trying to reach the same goal.
and in this case, that goal is to make sure that iran does not have a nuclear weapon. as president of the united states, i don't go around advertising the circumstances in which i order pilots to launch attacks. that i think would be bad practice. [laughter] i also would say, though, that when the president of the united states says that he doesn't take any options off the table, that should be taken seriously. and i think i have a track record over the last five years that indicates that that should be taken seriously. it's interesting -- in the region, there was this interesting interpretation of what happened with respect to syria. i said it's a problem for syria to have chemical weapons that it uses on its own citizens. and when we had definitive proof that it had, i indicated my willingness potentially to take military action. the fact that we ultimately did
not take military action in some quarters was interpreted as, ah, you see, the president is not willing to take military action despite the fact that i think mr. qaddafi would have a different view of that, or mr. bin laden. be that as it may, that was yesterday, what have you done for me lately? [laughter] but the point is that my preference was always to resolve the issue diplomatically. and it turns out, lo and behold, that syria now is actually removing its chemical weapons that a few months ago it denied it even possessed, and has provided a comprehensive list, and they have already begun taking these weapons out of syria. and although that does not solve the tragic situation inside of
syria, it turns out that removing those chemical weapons will make us safer and it will make israel safer, and it will make the syrian people safer, and it will make the region safer. and so i do not see military action as an end unto itself. military action is one tool that we have in a tool kit that includes diplomacy in achieving our goals, which is ultimately our security. and i think if you want to summarize the difference, in some ways, between myself and the prime minister on the geneva issue, i think what this comes down to is the perception, potentially, that if we just kept on turning up the pressure new sanctions, more sanctions, more military threats, et cetera that eventually iran would cave. and what i've tried to explain is two points: one is that the
reason the sanctions have been so effective -- because we set them up in a painstaking fashion the reason they've been effective is because other countries had confidence that we were not imposing sanctions just for the sake of sanctions, but we were imposing sanctions for the sake of trying to actually get iran to the table and resolve the issue. and if the perception internationally was that we were not in good faith trying to resolve the issue diplomatically, that, more than anything, would actually begin to fray the edges of the sanctions regime. point number one. and point number two -- i've already said this before -- you have to compare the approach that we're taking now with the alternatives. the idea that iran, given
everything we know about their history, would just continue to get more and more nervous about more sanctions and military threats, and ultimately just say, okay, we give in -- i think does not reflect an honest understanding of the iranian people or the iranian regime. and i say that -- by the way, i'm not just talking about the hardliners inside of iran. i think even the so-called moderates or reformers inside of iran would not be able to simply say, we will cave and do exactly what the u.s. and the israelis say. they are going to have to have a path in which they feel that there is a dignified resolution to this issue. that's a political requirement of theirs, and that, i suspect, runs across the political
spectrum. and so for us to present a door that serves our goals and our purposes but also gives them the opportunity to, in a dignified fashion, reenter the international community and change the approach that they've taken -- at least on this narrow issue, but one that is of extraordinary importance to all of us -- is an opportunity that we should grant them. all right? well, thank you very much. i enjoyed this. [applause.] >> thank you so much. thank you, mr. president. you've been very generous. [applause.]
" looking ahead, our guest on newsmakers" is adam smith. he talks about automatic spending cuts for the pentagon. every sundayrist on c-span. >> in a survey of major the kansasin 1909, city star was rated more in favor of reform than major metropolitan newspapers in the united states combined. as nelson told an interviewer, i do not want the editorials to be a lot of literary essays.
i want to get things done. pastllowed up on performance with editorial that rejected the notion that roosevelt was a man on horseback who had seized power and become a dictator. after roosevelt's arrival from africa amid talk of his candidacy seeing -- amid talk of his candidacy, -- impact on president roosevelt's campaign to win back the white house. >> things escalate so quickly. a moment that seems so loving can turn and be so out of
control. this is one of those days. it ended with adam packing to leave. is the deal? i just want to take this and sell it. i'm going to need some money. on top of the other pressures, they have no money. gun, and hed the came a with a shotgun, and try to jam it at her. just so she would pull the trigger and kill him. , shedescribe in the book wanted to. >> the return home is half the story. david finkel follows the men of the second battalion 16th infantry. aboutt, a discussion initial disclosure requirements for state supreme judges.
>> joining us now, the senate republican -- , from the center for public integrity, and she is joining us from that program. tell us a little but about the organization. guest: we are a nonprofit investigative news outlet heard and set up like a newspaper, we have a website, and we partner with other news outlets and they run our material as well. we are doing investigative work, looking primarily at being a watchdog of corruption in the misuse of resources. host: on the front page, it had the title of your lates report -- a justice of secured. this one targets the state supreme court judges. what is the interest? there's a lot of attention when they run for election, is there any influence , taking campaign
dollars, and we look into their personal finances to see whether not they had any kind of complex in a stock holdings, the real , real estate. these people are surely important, they make life-and- death decisions, they make multimillion dollar decisions, and they have a really important role in our system. host: are these people elected generally? guest: sometimes they are cured some are elected, the more important, and some have a combination of the deed of where they have a retention election after they have been in office. so we felt that whether or not they were elected, it is worth taking a look and seeing what is in their personal finances. you drew of the things decisions upon with the role that federal justices have to face as far as thomas f do tell a personal one is as compared to what state justices have to say. what are some of the differences? guest: the federal rules are much more comprehensive.
those judges have to fill out a pretty lengthy form, they have to detail their stock holdings, whether or not they had transactions with no stocks, they have to explain real estate that they own, gifts they receive, reimbursement for travel it take to a conference or something like that, and the state rules really very. -- vary. some states are not require any disclosures. three states, utah, my senate, and idaho. and some states are pretty -- baroque. it really varies so much. host: a judge on the federal side at some interest in what are the dollar amount, say, are they required to recuse himself from the proceedings? guest: yes. they have one share of direct stock in a case comes before them involving neck of a, they are required to recuse themselves. but that is not a ready state level.
it is largely up to the judge to decide whether they'd think they need to recuse themselves paired we ran into cases where there were judges who had up to $1 million of stock where they were rolling on cases, and one judge we talk to had at least $10,000 of stock in three companies and said this is an insignificant amount, it should not make a difference, i was able to rule on the case fairly. one other comparison as far as disclosure. for a federal judge, how easy is it to find out about the personal holdings of a federal judge? guest: the federal forms are not online, which is actually something that we talked to some experts and they said they should become it is 2013, they need to make them at as accessible as possible. you can request those forms and see them, and some states actually do have there's online. but getting them from all the states is quite a challenge hurt is hard to find out which agenc ies have them because of available to all forms.
the forms are not always say that much. host: the partisan financial disclosure rules for states supreme court judges is our subject for our guest, kytja weir of the center for public integrity. if you would like to ask a question, here is how you can do so --(202) 585-3881 for republicans, (202) 585-3880 for democrats, (202) 585-3882 for independents. tweet us your questions or comments @cspanwj, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. we talked about some of the broad areas of the report. we have attached the report to the c-span website. if you want to go to the website , it is the justice of secured article. let's take a call from shannon, republican from new york. good morning. caller: as usual, chipper morning. i would like to validity other
side -- when is it ever been different in terms of the oversight into personal finances? i spent about 22 years of a course for -- as a court stenographer. the highest data television personality right now is judge .udy, $47 million a year not enough if you ask her. jokes aside, let's go back to what we are really obscure in here. i grew up the son of a lawyer who later became a judge, and dropped off.ler apologies for that. 42 states and the district of columbia came -- got a failing grade of disclosure laws. 35 examples of the questionable gifts and entailment, -- and
entanglements, and 14 instances where judges heard in the companies where they had stock in. how do you determine a failing grade on this type of profit? what we did is we got the form from every state and came up with a grading scorecard based on the federal standards, and then went through them and said ok, do they require them to fill out any iteration about stockholding, real estate? are they retired -- required to talk about outside income, and we went through like you would grading paper for my high school sudan go through and gave them great, and we had three reporters do this, and that we compared our findings, and then came up with a final grade for each of the states. host: how did most of the states do greaade wise? guest: it was shockingly bad. of 43 states, only eight passed,
and undead as well as the federal standards. the federal standards got an 84 on our measures. the best grade we had with a 77 in california. host: which states do the better job in these type of issues when it comes to disclosure? guest: california was by far the best. they had a really thorough forms, a lot of information, and also it system online, which makes them accessible which is great in a state like california when you have lots of people, very axis -- were easy to access the forms. maryland also did well, they have great forms. to get the forms, you have to go in person and get them. and so they got some points offer that because we thought that was a hurdle that made it hard for people to get to the actual information. host: just to be clear come i for want to find out about my state's supreme court judge, i can go and do that, and not in an easy manner, but in a short manner as for the ability to
find the information? guest: yes. we have posted all of those findings, those forms online. so now you don't have to go to annapolis and get them yourself and maryland. you can go and look on our website and see them for yourself. host: here is milton, philadelphia, pennsylvania, democrats line. caller: good morning ann thank you for taking my call. i do not know if you are familiar, but in pennsylvania we have a supreme court justice, ron castillo, and a couple of years ago, it was a controversy can scandal involving him going on trips and gifts like that. it breeds corruption. also, in pennsylvania, judges have to run for election. that means they have to go out and solicit funds for their campaign. to me, that just breeds corruption because who are they getting this money from other than people that are going to come before their bench to have, you know, that have to come to the court? i think the system in
pennsylvania needs to really be changed, and i would like to get your opinion on it. guest: thank you for the question, milton. there has been a lot of discussion about the elections and the influence that contributors may have on campaign. i know the senate -- the center for public integrity has done a lot looking at not who is just directly intervening to the campaign but also any outside groups that may run issue ads. some of the rules are little fuzzy as to whether or not that has to be reported. you could have millions of dollars funneled into some of these campaigns. there have been a lot of questions as to how fair is that and how is it affecting the judiciary. host: danny, ohio, republican line. caller: i think what our founders form the u.s. government, they had two separate houses -- one the senate and won the congress for the congress -- that with the peoples house.
that is what the states were supposed to go by. in any that the senate, which is more of a federal -- and then you have got the senate, which is more of a federal branch, and that is how we got the electoral college. as for the state legislature goes, i do not see where it is anybody's business how people or their legislatures judicial appointments and those kinds of things. we fought a civil war over this once before, you know, and i just don't think it is right. who --tion would be -- president obama when he severed -- when hed look for sat for 20 years and listen to reverend wright? guest: you know, i'm not quite sure how to answer that qu