tv Iran Nuclear Negotiations CSPAN November 24, 2014 3:25am-4:26am EST
will be a final nuclear agreement. as we go into this pivotal weekend and look forward to the money forth in what may or may ot be announced -- to the 24th in what may or may not be announced -- there are dynamics. there is of course the congressional dynamics. the domestic, political dynamic is. how will both the president's onstituents and folks in washington, as well as domestic forces inside iran treat this eal? how will they react? what will that -- how will that play out for those trying to have a deal at home? what does a nuclear agreement ean for the middle east? what does it mean for that challenges that confront the united states as well as iran? how will this deal impact those hallenges?
finally, there is that economic component of the deal. this is one that isn't talked about very much in the .s.. what will a deal of potential sanctions and iran's reentry into energy markets, what will that mean for the united states economy? we know iran stands to benefit, but as you will see there is also significant benefits for the u.s. and the global economy. to discuss these issues, we have three of the best experts who can talk about these issues. far right we have dr. farsi. he is the author of two books. he will be discussing some of the political elements of these final negotiations. next we have suzanne imaggio.
she has been involved in track two discussions involving iran re many years now. she has engage directly with he iranian side. suzanne is a senior fellow at the new america foundation. she recently authored a piece for foreign-policy discussing what the region looks like when your after a potential -- one year after a potential deal you'd we hope for her to expand n that in her remarks. next we have david hale. he is the chicago-based conomists. david recently wrote a piece in national interest discussing the potential economic benefits of a deal in which he detailed how iran's reentry into international energy markets
could actually be the equivalent of a 400 and dollar tax cut -- $400 billion dollar tax cut. so, i will give it to david to discuss some of the potential economic benefits of a nuclear eal. >> thank you. i think if we could end the sanctions next week and remove the sanctions iran has been suffering from, it could have three major consequences. first, the oil market itself. it could increased output after 12-18 months by at least one million barrels a day. this could drive the price down per barrel. it would generate $400 billion dollar tax cuts from oil consuming nations.
japan, india, western europe, and the u.s.. e are producing a lot oil, but we still get imports because demand is so great. this would be de facto stimulus at a time when many countries are strained by budget deficits and cannot engage in stimulus hemselves. nigeria would suffer major budget problems. the reality -- oil price of the skill could cripple russia. russia gets a percentage from gas. 44% of tax receipts from oil.
it be had a big price decline, it would be a major fiscal shock to russia. the russian finance minister said publicly we cannot afford to increase defense spending next year if oil prices keep climbing. this would constrain putin's freedom of action. 2008, oil prices fell per barrel because of the impact of the global financial risis. they are currently running a fiscal deficit of 18% gdp. the oil price collapses, that
number could double. they would have to fund the government at that point and create the risk of yperinflation. a might also jeopardize venezuela's -- it spends billions giving ow-cost oil to cuba, nicaragua, and other countries. this is very much their foreign-policy. if we had a price decline, i think all the programs would be at risk. it might set the stage for the region -- regime to suffer a ownfall. next, the iranian economy itself. it has almost 80 million people. it's adjusted gdp is about 1.2 rillion dollars. iran also has large, natural resources, huge oil eserves.
it could easily go to three or 4 million barrels over the next ive years. iran also has mineral ealth. those could be developed. of coarse, to have a manufacturing industry. i could see a lot of western investment in a variety of sectors that would revive business across the board. also, iran has a large stock market. the second-largest in the middle east. at the current time, foreign investors own 0.1% of the stock market. they are basically invisible. the turkish market by contrast s 50%.
if we end sanctions, i could see the iranian stock market being 30%. take advantage of a boom made possible. think iran attracting a lot of foreign investment would change the political egime. the iranian people know that. i don't like the fact they have a pariah state -- they don't like the fact they have a pariah state. the iranian people want to end the sanctions, open up the economy. if we do have this boom, it would very much reinforced that process. thank you very much.
>> thank you. suzanne? >> thanks for helping us organize this and of course thanks to the national iranian merican council for your leadership eliminating so many issues that matter to iranian americans. many thanks to all of you for joining us here today or what arguably i believe is not only the biggest foreign-policy challenge, but also the biggest foreign-policy opportunity facing our country today. we meet here this afternoon. u.s. diplomats are in vienna working tirelessly to reach an agreement by november 24 that would prevent an iranian nuclear weapon, but also avoid another war in the middle east. against this back drop, i have been asked to make reef for marks on security and benefits -- make brief remarks on security and benefits.
i think we should recognize first off that the interim greement, joint plan of action that was reached by the p5 plus one group and iran almost one year to the date has resulted in one very key an important progress towards international counter proliferation goals. iran has ceased when he percent ranium enrichment. enrichment at that level is easier to weaponize. since the agreement went into ffect, iran has enriched uranium over 5%. it has resulted in them eliminating their entire stock pile of 20% in your enriched -- in enriched uranium. it could quickly be urified.
iran has not installed or operated additional centrifuges. it has refrained from plutonium production plans. it has accepted the most rigorous regime imposed on any country in the history of the nuclear nonproliferation reaty. the international atomic energy agency that is overseeing the mplementation of the agreement has verified iran's complete compliance with the plan of action and every one of its report since the deal was implemented last january. in sum, the interim agreement has stopped the development of iran's nuclear program and has opened the way ford diplomatic solutions -- four diplomatic solutions. it would retain all of the
inflammations of iran's nuclear program that i described. egotiations are ongoing. it is hard to predict at this stage. i think there is widespread agreement among u.s. nuclear experts that the general contours of a good deal would establish limits on iran's programs that taken together would limit the size of the stockpile enriched uranium and number of centrifuges that iran could keep to ensure this combination would leave iran approximately one year away from being able to produce enough in reached uranium for a omb. here would also be
modifications to the research and development site and modifications to the heavywater reactor to ensure it is no longer capable of producing the amount of plutonium necessary o make a nuclear weapon. in addition to these proliferation benefits, or venting and iran nuclear weapon would also result in another key benefit, the heading off of the regional arms race. it was served to strengthen the global system. the next conference will be held in 2015. it is the cornerstone of the post-world war ii nuclear disarmament. it facilitates cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear nergy. a nuclear deal would provide a big boost in the lead up to that conference. the interim plan of action has led to a market de-escalation in hostilities between
washington and tehran and ongoing nuclear talks that was being conducted in the p5+1 context has provided the united states and uranium diplomats and policymakers for sustained, irect, bilateral communications are the first time in over three decades. the shattering of this decades long engagement taboo is a significant one for diplomacy. irect the black engagement between the u.s. and iran has finally been tested and initial results are promising. reaching a company ounces new deal could unlock a channel for broader discussion between both countries on issues where both have compelling common interest, particularly in the iddle east and south asia. if such a deal is reached and
they continued to verify that iran is compliant with this commitment, it should clear the ay for washington and tehran to engage on to security priorities that they both hold in common. the first is the fight against the islamic state in syria and iraq. second is stabilizing the new unity government in afghanistan. deep in mind both our governments have explicitly stated that a nuclear deal must be concluded before direct bilateral coordination on these issues can take place. the rise of isis hold major mplications. since june 2014, discussions between washington and tehran on isis have been taking place on the sidelines of the p5+1 nuclear talks. the iraqi government is act as an intermediary helping to acilitate medications.
pollen in nuclear deal, i think we could expect these discussions to move to ongoing direct u.s.-iran talks. this could provide an opening for cordon nation and cooperation, perhaps including exchanges of collaboration on military action in the fight against isis. u.s. officials have acknowledged that tehran uses influence to convince my lucky - malaki to step down. this led to a smooth transition and power. post deal, i think the united states would be in a better position to press iran to use its leverage to persuade the government's share of power facilities and other inorities. as it helps improve a very fragile, political situation that exists in iraq today. hey are represented by the
baghdad government and the military is dominated by shiites. a post nuclear deal environment would also make it possible to test iran's willingness to play a constructive role in advancing a political solution o syria. many believe another geneva conference without iran would be meaningless. post deal, washington could support iran's participation in a geneva gathering organized under the offices of the united nations. united states could press iran to play a more constructive role in relieving the umanitarian crisis in syria, particularly by extending cooperation on humanitarian ccess. it is unclear how far tehran would be willing to go to use leverage to bring about a political settlement that would
lead to the eventual departure of assad, but once iran has seated at the table, it will be forced to show its cards rather quickly. the four-point plan on syria which includes a cease fire and the formation of a national unity government and constitutional revision process that would decentralize the power in syria and a new election i think offers a good starting point for discussions. on afghanistan, there clearly are some very strong overlapping u.s. and iranian nterests in afghanistan. the nuclear deal combined with a smaller u.s. troop presence with set the stage. both governments have voiced
strong support for afghanistan's new government under their president. both have called for the full implementation of the national unity government agreements and establishment and strengthening state institutions. both would like to see a capable afghan security force. a diminished taliban, and effective strategy for dealing ith narco trafficking. washington should set as a high yorty developing a coalition of countries -- high priority developing a coalition of countries. it should seek to bring together other nations the integrity and economic rowth.
there is a precedent for u.s.-iran relations. i have presented to areas where there is significant overlapping in the security nterest. however, i want to emphasize that i'm not suggesting that hey are suddenly going to join hands and start singing cumbaya. profound differences will continue to exist between iran and the united states. i think iran's poor human rights record will continue to endure. iran will likely support designated terrorists.
although this will make it difficult for the united states to pursue a more strategic relationship with iran. what i have outlined is the potential for a calculated engagement on some very specific key issues where washington and tehran holds compelling common interests. nuclear deal on objectives that would serve to advance u.s. ecurity interests. just to conclude i think verifiably preventing a nuclear rmed iran and avoiding a military confrontation are vitally important goals. i'm happy you organize this iscussion. we need to take a more strategic and broader view. t is clear to say that
unlocking a channel for broader dialogue would also be an normous achievement. > thank you very much. you are next. >> thanks very much. want to add one thing i thought dr. hale's presentation touches on an important aspect and almost completely overlooked. i want to add 1.2 that. in july, we released it report
that calculated using a gravity model the cost of sanctioning countries, there has been a lot of conversations but also have the cost on the sanctions. the results of that report hows since 1995-2012, the u.s. has lost billions of dollars simply on the loss of export revenue to iran. that number is likely much higher because it is counting the export revenue. it is obviously a large mount. you could find that report on our website.
i strongly advise you to look at it. t is very important. at the end of the day, this is never it just about enrichment or the number of centrifuges. that this will do is essentially defined who will determine the policies of iran for the next decade to come. will be ultra hardliners? or relative moderates? this deal will determine which direction iran will go. this have significant implications on the region and also have the occasion of what happens inside iran.
we recognize that they cannot open up to the rest of the world without improving human right. we haven't seen any particularly noticeable change in the human rights record of ran. it remains a negative one. the number of executions have actually gone up. when you listen to the human rights defender on the ground, they are pretty much in consensus. it gives iran internal access pushing for more human right and greater space to do what nly they can do. they need that extra space. it is next to impossible for
them to have the successful campaign. they have a threat of war and crippling sanctions that has caused so much damage to the economy that they care for less of a human right and far more about their day-to-day ability to survive. they need this change to be able to make it out to be uccessful at it. if you have a scenario in which this -- western as mrs. have an ability to come into iran -- imagine if the united states didn't impose sanctions on iran that essentially eliminated --
by 2009 on most corners of the streets in tehran, you would ave a starbucks, and mcdonald's, or some american company that doesn't sell bad food and you would have an embassy there, americans there. you think president thomas ability to have an influence on what was taking place would be greater or less. i think the answer is clear without any americans there or diplomats, the u.s. ability to have any impact on what happens post-2009 elections was essentially close to zero. this gives us an opportunity to change that. what happens if there isn't an? it depends on how the negotiations or the deal collapses. if you have a scenario in which in the negotiations they don't reach a deal it will be very difficult to predict which way
t will go. how the deal collapses on determine who will get lamed. depending on who gets blamed the collapse, you have very different consequences. if there is a deal in the entire international community represented by the p5+1, countries as diverse or different as russia, china, the u.s., and europe, but this signature on the agreement and it comes back to the u.s. congress and they sabotage it or doesn't implement its bligations under the deal, hen clearly the blame will fall on the u.s. side and on
he side of the u.s.. that will have the effect of breaking the international onsensus that has been built by the obama administration on iran in the sense that the consensus is the international community is working closely together in order to get an agreement in which the iranians cannot split this national community. if you have a scenario in which they all agree to a deal, but u.s. congress does not, the shift -- blame will shift to the u.s. side.
one of the likely consequences of that is you will see the sanctions regime slowly, but surely falling apart. many countries agreed to the sanctions. they have paid a very heavy price. the costs for the europeans incidentally has been more than twice between 2010 and 2012 the with the u.s. economy has paid. the u.s. has lost a lot of revenue. mindful of that and the difficulty that economies are facing, is a deal is struck and that it collapses as a result of iranian action -- i think you will see them essentially collapsing. in essence, they would get sanctions relief without having any constraints. i think congress has to think carefully about this. the biggest than a factor of such an action is the hardliners in iran do not want the constraints on the nuclear program, but they do on sanctions relief. this would provide it was sanctions relief and the absence of those constraints.
i will stop there. >> before a follow up on these benefits, i think it would be beneficial to talk about the state of play today and this weekend. i want to talk about what are the gaps that are remaining. and what we expect to be resolved if there is in fact going to be a deal on monday. >> i think the press is eporting that the current caps are still the level of enrichment that iran would be permitted to continue to have the number of centrifuges, etc. on one hand. the process and timing for the sanctions belief that would correspond for that. third issue seems to be the duration of the deal. t is remarkable.
throughout the whole process, there have been few weeks of what is being discussed. i think that is a good sign. it contains the seriousness that the negotiators from all he countries are taking. i would refrain from trying to guess that if you will see an announcement by november 24 or not. we may hear something a couple of days later. whether or not it will be the ull deal with are expecting or partial deal that would
outline a framework for going forward, i think we are hoping they could conclude the final comprehensive deal. i think realistically, a partial deal that continues the current restrictions on iran's program -- which came about very limited sanctions relief -- would be a win for the p5+1 and the world. beyond that, i do not see the complete breakdown of these negotiations. there's no indication that would happen. will either get big announcements next week or an announcement of something partial. >> i appreciate that. it seems every utterance or gusher -- gesture is being examined to get clues. the truth is there's a lot of speculation, that has been a ontrolled process. it does seem there is an increase the stability on the two sides. some of the areas where the
p5+1 didn't seem eager to move on our that iran may be wasn't able to be flexible. some of those have broken down little bit. would you guys agree with that? >> i think that is the nature of negotiations. you go to the last minute with your maximalist position. i think the iranians reportedly have come up from the thing bid to something around 4500. he united states -- wait, that is opposite. the iranians have come down to about 8000. in the meantime, iranians have offered to deal with any resulting stockpile which i think would allow them to have more centrifuges. t is still very fluid.
>> the u.k. foreign minister made some positive signal saying talks have been positive. i think it is true that both sides are constantly looking over their shoulders. both the p5+1 and iranians is the reaction back home. aking sure that this deal is viewed as something positive. that it wins the support of enough people to stand without collapsing. the iranians have a similar problem. hardliners will try to do everything they can. they want to make sure this does not become a political win for rouhani and his team. make sure it is a costly political decision for them.
for iranian negotiators to sell a deal at home, they need some sort of sanctions relief that adds benefits to the iranian economy. it would help them in a scenario in which criticism will be shouted down because people are sensing immediate and tangible economic benefits. mindful of the difficulty that the president has in lifting sanctions, that doesn't seem to be something the u.s. team is willing to offer because of the political costs, but in a be able to offer because of tensions with congress. i think that shows something. sanctions can be a tremendous leverage, but also turned into an obstacle if you don't have enough control in which you could lift it in a swift manner.
this is where the tensions between congress and the president has moved away from being a sort of clever and highly effective good cop bad cop game to something that becomes a card in the negotiation. >> david, you talk about potentially oil dropping 250 or $60 a barrel -- to $50 or $60 a arrel. what with impact be for regional players? saudi arabia, iraq. how does that impact isil? they profit off of oil smuggling. does that impact that issue? >> they would be a loser as ell.
saudi arabia the gulf states would suffer from oil prices, they have massive reserves. they could cope for two or three years. iraq would suffer because they rely on international prices. they like -- they are exporting barrels. so, iraq would be ulnerable. there would be lots of winners. japan, india, european union, the u.s. i could see gasoline prices in the u.s. going to $2.30 or $2.40. right now we are at three dollars. that would be politically ppetizing. >> could you repeat that? gas prices would drop. >> gasoline prices could drop further.
we have gone 115 to just over 0. that is taken the price of gasoline down by about $.50 or $.70. we are bit below three dollars. if we go further, in the international market, that could drive gas prices down further. >> this has reverberations throughout the economy. > of course it does. the price decline we have had. it is increasing households incomes. for a low income person, that is a lot of money. a very good christmas season when people can go out and spend.
many winners and some losers. the winners outnumber the losers. >> this is why they time to right before black friday. i think one of the major onsiderations right now is congress's response. some are saying the united states can impose sanctions and iran will not walk away from that table. even with new sanctions, iran would remain at the table. what do you think about his proposition? is that the case? were they allowed sanctions to e imposed? >> i think it would potentially
lead to a collapse. it would be very difficult for the iranian negotiators to continue their jobs when the bosses back home are suffering more sanctions. they aren't going to stand for that. they will be compelled to do a counter move. the easiest thing to do is pull out of the negotiations. beyond that, if we look at the upcoming budget, what they have put in that budget doesn't include any sanctions relief. they are proceeding with what they call a resistance economy. for the economic planning for the next couple of years, they have not input or factored in what relief -- that gives you an indication of what they're willing to do to get to a deal they think is fair. as for congress, we need to keep in mind by and large the
reason these negotiations have happened is because congress had levied such strong sanctions against iran. it has certainly helped bring them to the table. i think there were other factors when the u.s. drop the regime language and when that u.s. also said some level of enrichment would be cceptable. congress played an important role in that. i think at this point while these negotiations are at such a critical moment to come in with additional sanctions would simply undermine the united states negotiating position. i just don't see when we are close to what appears to be a good deal of what iranians call a win win and what we call a ood deal is close at hand.
the thought of undercutting their efforts of u.s. diplomats is not the time to think about this. >> david, do you have any thought it's about the importance of signaling? we know the sanctions can't be lifted without congress. the president plans to use waiver authorities to suspend sanctions. there has been talk if congress is sending the president sanction bills or voting in disapproval and signaling fungus will not allow sanctions to be lifted that that could have the psychological effect on markets unwilling to allow or transactions. do you have any sense of the
role of congress in that process? >> it will depend how people perceive the president power to waive the sanctions. maybe getting congressional consent later. i think the congress has to enacted this, the president cannot do it through executive action. the danger is they would get it -- get in the way. or maybe the europeans would decide they had a deal they could live with and lift their own sanctions. you get a boom in european uranium trade and investment, but americans would be missing the trade-off opportunity. i do think there is a lot of
pressure in europe to end these sanctions. they have a lot they want to o. i think you to the europeans trying to escape these sanctions. >> go ahead. >> i think is important to realize the way this has been structured is all measures are going to follow the principles of reciprocity and proportionality. if there is a demand of iranians to offer a permanent measure which is exactly what we want, then it has to be matched by something that is equally permanent. sanctions relief through waivers that last only 90 days or 180 days and have to be
renewed is fundamentally an inherently reversible. that has a risk of prompting iranians to only put on the table something that is equally reversible and equally less attractive to the american side. this is a negotiation the two sides will get based on what they're willing to put on that table. if we are putting limited measures we are likely only going to get limited measures from the iranian side. the signal should be there is a political willingness to be flexible in going far when it comes to showing since relief that -- granted that iranians atch that. i fear it that is part of white they haven't matched what we think would be acceptable. >> one of the components of a deal on the iranian side would
be the implement tatian of the additional -- implementation of additional protocols. it would require an act of the iranian parliament. without be tied to reciprocal action by the u.s. congress? is that what is being discussed? >> for the iranian supreme, have done it in the past -- for the iranians to agree, they have done it in the past. they have implemented it for about 20 months. because the deal fell apart. we want to make sure they bind hemselves to it. >> will open it up to audience questions.
>> testing. >> who has a question? >> thank you. earlier this month it was reported president obama sent a secret letter asking for formal coordination against isis. it seems that offer has been rebuffed. i understand that is a separate negotiation. seems it would have been a great opportunity. >> sure. has that letter been rebuffed? what or any opportunity happening now? >> and what was in it. >> we do not know what was in that letter.
that was a private letter from president obama to the supreme leader. even though reporters seem to think he knew what was in that letter, i'm not convinced he did. this really isn't news. for years iran and the u.s. have been exchanging letters between the supreme leader and pressed obama. -- president obama. the have been ongoing communications. wouldn't venture to guess what was in that letter. it seems unlikely president obama would be so explicit in a letter to the supreme leader and offer coordination on isis in such a way, especially when negotiators had opportunities to talk about these things discreetly. s i presented in my remarks, clearly if we could get this
nuclear deal under our belts and have it implemented, this would most certainly be the first area where the u.s. and iran could start working with each other. both our militaries are now operating in that area in iraq. i think it would be the height of irresponsibility not to be communicating with each other. >> you wrote a piece on this. >> yes. we don't know what is in the letter. if the go over what "the wall street journal" reported, it wasn't an offer of working together against isis. it was more a suggestion that if the nuclear issue is resolved, it opens up opportunities for potential collaboration. we also don't know what the response has been except the
has -- the very idea at this crucial moment there is a letter from the president to the supreme leader should not be surprising or viewed as egative. the willingness to trust the deal, to take the risk of saying yes which is something the u.s. and iran have done, it is easier to say no. for the leader to signal a political willingness, and have the calculation of being able to prove the u.s. is serious. i assume that was the calculation. >> just a follow-up, we know there have been three or maybe for letters sent in the past six years.
what about on syria? maybe this wasn't included. iran has not participated in the geneva conference is on syria. iran was invited and then disinvited. any information on the background with that issue? maybe where the disagreements have been? >> there has been some complicated background noise to iran and is participation in that ginny of it talks. it is a multilateral group of nations focused on forging a lyrical -- political -- i could understand political ifficulties. for geneva to of include iran at that point.
but as i said in my presentation i do think that even in this town most people have now come to the conclusion that a political settlement to the problems in syria cannot be reached without the participation of iran in some ways. the geneva process offers i think the right forum for the u.s. and iran to be engaging on this subject. it is under the u.n. auspices. it could actually happen before a nuclear deal is concluded because of the u.n. premature. but the other thing, the signals from iran on this issue, particularly from the foreign minister, he has put forward the four-point plan that i discussed. and the closing matches a lot of what we've been hearing, certainly what mr. brahimi had said about what needed to be done to reach a political settlement. and i think there's a lot of
overlap i'm thinking of what needs to move forward for the iranians. their main concern fatalities on the position of mr. assad is a want to see a strategy. what is the strategy if he is to be replaced? i think there are concerns have been conveyed to the united states that they would be a big power, power vacuumcome and what could replace it could actually be worse than mr. assad if we can imagine such a thing. so i think this is an area that is right for discussion between tehran and washington, into the keep your place, saudi arabia to be involved, turkey and so forth. >> with the onset of isis, i think that you have, there are folks here in the u.s. who say they have been indicated because the civil war has produced his isis the number of the but with iran i think if some of the official site they have been vindicated because
this demonstrates what this vacuum and what the potential ouster of assad could mean for series. -- for syria. that is, have spread some of the instability of radicalism. do you think is a complete difference in the way the two sides see the isis phenomenon from how it originated? >> i think publicly there is a big difference in how they see, how did isis how did it come about? both governments were fairly, maybe not caught offguard but didn't see the extent of the destruction the isis post. of course the iranians traced the origin of the isis back to the u.s. invasion of iraq and even before, and vice versa, the united states blames iran for playing a part in that come the emergence of a group like isis because it allowed maliki to continue to put forward a government that was so
divisive. ut i think we are getting to the stage where we probably need to dispense with the discussions of who did what to do and the blame game. because this is a real serious issue facing both our countries right now, and the region. some hoping cooler heads will prevail and we could get to a point where the contours of what a political settlement could look like finally is discussed. >> can add to that? >> scheuer. >> also keep in mind that the united states and iran because of the last 35 years of tension and because of this ongoing conflict, even in areas where we have common interest, there's been a lot of common interest in afghanistan, i think afghanistan is a good example. that when they move in the direction of trying to improve relations, they permit
themselves to collaborate in these areas of common interest. but when their hostility defines the relationship, even areas of common interest is turned into areas of competition and rivalry. that's certainly up in afghanistan. it is happening in iraq and to a certain extent in syria. even with common interest exists, there overtaken by the larger hostility that defines the relationship. is that larger hostility is significantly reduced as result of a nuclear deal, that's when we'll see an opportunity for the common interest to a much heavier than the hostility and provide the opportunity to utilize that, whether it is an iraq, syria, or in afghanistan. i think it's important to understand that, to fully grasp the extent to which,common interest between the two sides can be explored.
>> president obama has clearly invest a lot of political capital in these talks but i think the opposite is true that president rouhani has invested even more in the negotiations. is this a make or break moment for him? what are the implications if there is or isn't ideal for the future of the rest of his term? what are the effects on the other parts of his agenda including human rights? >> i think for mr. rouhani it's not what i would call a break or make, but if this were to fail in a very negative way, it could would undermine his position. i think his agenda on these other issues, on advancing social developments and rights would really have to be put on the back burner. it's unclear what would happen to the foreign minister who is the public face of the negotiations, whether or not he could survive a failure in talks.
but beyond that i think for a ladies playing a positive role. think the leader is happy with how he has handled the economy for example. as one iranian insider told me, rouhani has presented the collapse of the iranian economy. he is in stark difference to his predecessor, mr. i put in a shot, who has now openly talked about in the rent -- ahmadinejad compos mentis skills decimated the iranian conomy and i think mr. rouhani has proven himself to be an asset. so i don't think we would see his disappearance but we certainly see the conservatives and the hardliners come out with their knives to make a play to gain power. keep in mind that the iranian parliament has an election coming up. i think certainly moderates,
reformers would be undermined in that but there would be a cascade effect that would not be good for those who are more reform minded. >> i think i agree with suzanne. it would not be the end of rouhani's presidency. he would, however, risk being the end of some of the orientation towards the west that he has been pursuing. it could be in and to part of the foreign policy approach. because what it would do is it would vindicate, in my view, the wrong narrative and iran. there's a hardline narrative and i've and this is ultimately the west is not trustworthy. you cannot negotiate with the west. the west is only pursuing these negotiations in order to be able to find a new way of putting pressure on iran, depriving iran of technology. every time i ran try to negotiate, the west sees that as a sign of weakness and find a way to add pressure to iran