tv C-SPAN Programming CSPAN August 3, 2015 10:00am-10:59am EDT
the hill newspaper reporting on tougher climate change rules for power plants that the obama administration is releasing today. u.s. power generators will be required to cut their carbon dioxide output by 32% in the first ever limit. senator majority leader mitch mcconnell says he is making it a priority to fight that rule and that it threatens the life blood of the economy. multiple states also planning on filing their lawsuits. here is the video announcement from the white house. president obama: our climate is changing in ways that threaten our economy, security, and health. this is not opinion, it is fact, backed by decades of carefully collected data. it has serious indications for the way we live now. we can see it and feel it's, hotter summers, lighting street -- rising sea levels, deeper
droughts, and longer wildfire season, all disasters that are becoming more frequent, expensive, and dangerous. families experience it too. asthma rates have more than doubled and as temperatures warm, smog gets worse, and those americans will be at greater risk of landing in the hospital. climate change is not a problem for another generation, not anymore. that is why my administration will release the final version of america's clean power plan, the most important step we have ever taken to combat climate change. until now, there have been no federal limits to the amount of pollution power plants can dump into the air. we limit the amount of toxic chemicals like mercury and sulfur and arsenic in our air and water, and are better off.
existing power plants can still dump unlimited amounts of harmful carbon pollution into the air we breathe. for the sake of our kids health and safety of all americans, that is about to change. we have been working with states and power companies to make sure they have the flexibility they need to cut pollution, all while lowering energy bills continuing reliable service. if you believe like i do, that we cannot condemn our kids and grandkids to a planet that is beyond fixing, i am asking you to share this message with your friends and family. push your own community to adopt smarter, more sustainable practices. remind everyone that protecting the world we leave to our children is a prerequisite. join us. we can do this. it is time for america and the world to act on climate change. >> some of the republican
presidential candidates have been commenting on the new admissions role. ted cruz says climate change simply is not happening in the temperature data proves it. marco rubio says he does not disagree with the science but that the rules will hurt the economy. jeb bush says the rules are unconstitutional and will not survive court challenges. president obama will be talking about those new epa rules today at 2:15 eastern time. c-span will have live coverage of his remarks from the east room of the white house. the administration has also been working on gathering support on capitol hill for the nuclear deal with iran. we heard more about that agreement from an assistant deputy director of the middle east and former acting cia director, john mclaughlin. they took part in the aspen security forum.
>> good afternoon. my name is claire york and i'm a phd student in the war studies department at king's college in london, and i am also a 2015 aspirin security firms caller -- aspen security firm scholar. this month, we witnessed the agreement of a deal between the p5 plus one and iran on iran's nuclear capabilities, however many questions remain. is it a historic agreement that sets the term, and will it strain nuclear ambitions, but what does it mean for the region more broadly? this panel will address the threat of a nuclear iran. it will assess how best to cancel them and how this deal already constrains our mission.
moderating this session is michael probably, -- probably, a politico senior correspondent. besides joining politico, michael was chief foreign affairs correspondent with time magazine. he is reported from more than a dozen company -- countries including iraq, egypt, mexico saudi arabia, turkey, lebanon, and ukraine were things are often busy from time to time. michael: thank you so much for coming. i am glad to see a good turnout. this is going to be a great panel and needless to say, this is a topic on everyone's minds. we are going to go little bit beyond some of the things you have been hearing for the last 10 days and try to look forward at what the iran deal means for
the u.s., iran, and the region. we will talk a little bit about the mechanics of the deal and if people want to ask about that, that is fine. for this panel, we will not spend too much time on centrifuge count and 24 days. starting on my left is john mclaughlin, former deputy director and acting director of the cia. next to him is matthew spence, who recently departed the pentagon where he was deputy assistant secretary and a special assistant to the president, advisor to two national security advisers. alan spent 25 years in government, including as vice chair of the intelligence council. john, let me start with you. secretary kerry got quite a grilling from committee, in which, among other things he was told he had been fleeced
bamboozled, and was likened to a hotel guest who left nothing -- left with nothing but the hotel robe on his back. do you agree? give us your take on the deal. john: i would say, leaving aside all the details about centrifuges and percentages of enrichment material, we can come back to that. i would say this deal is not as bad a deal as the critics think and it is not as good a deal as we would like. i think on the whole that it is better to have this deal than to not have a deal. and i can see it unfolding in about three different scenarios. anyone who tells you they know exactly where this is going to go in today's middle east is delusional. we can come back to the
scenarios later, but i would leave it at that, it is better to have this deal than not. host: ellen, we will get to you. give me your initial take on the deal and i'm going to follow up with something you wrote about what the deal could become. just measuring the agreement for what it is. elle i think it is a remarkablen: diplomatic achievement. i think the iranians still has some hard choices to make of whether they will comply as fully as the agreement obliges them to do, but i look at it through the prism of, does it change the dynamics for regional security? i think once we get past this position of theory alex -- their tricks and drama, and people have an emotional reaction as to when -- as to whether they trust the iranians are not, i think this is a net positive. >> let me follow up from the
get-go, because you had a pretty ambitious take on what it could become. you said this deal is a great moment of opportunity for the arab world israel as a silent partner, to strike a deal with iran. can you explain what you mean by that? can we really expect more arab cooperation? >> the agreement in a way is a narrow technical agreement on only some of the ron's -- iran's behavior that we found problematic and most harmful to american interest. we would have security obligations and the need to respond if iran went further along the path of becoming a nuclear weapons capable state. the countries in the region were telling us it was an existential threat for them. we then jinned up a very high risk strategy with our u.n.
partners and got to the finish line on a plan that does limit iran's, and virtually prevents them from becoming a nuclear weapon state for at least a decade to a decade and a half. it is still a little bit confusing to me, and as you say the other reasons why there is turmoil and violent and distrust in the region are clearly creating an environment where people are only looking at the downsides of the agreement. they are not looking into potential up sites. what i was trying to do in april, when we look out over the horizon, how might this change regional relations? i think arabs should see a net security benefit to them to know that there is not another nuclear weapons state in the region, but it will be a. of adjustment. it is not the first -- a period of adjustment. it is not the first time the united states has tried to
establish a new modus operandi. how they talk about the agreement and their long-term relations with iran. >> met, you were on -- matt, you were on the inside as this in folded. did you think the deal would go through russian mark were you surprised -- go through? were you surprised and what should we be thinking about? matt: the one conclusion, had the negotiations been in aspen instead of switzerland they would still be going on because no one would have wanted to leave. it is a far better place to talk about these hard issues. the way i think about it, i was pessimistic about whether a deal would happen because i was not sure if the iranians would get to the place they needed to be.
if you look at the tremendous amount of pressure they were under manifested by the election of the president which showed the dissatisfaction of where the country was going they were definitely under pressure. it was unclear if internally test internally iran could reach a place. i am thinking about the adage that this is really at the very most, the end of the beginning and only got. the two things i'm most concerned about, verification and inspection, and what happens if there is cheating. second, recognizing that any arms control agreement is just dealing with that, arms control but the nuclear piece is just one part of broader issues of the ron -- iran's behavior in
the area. how do we deal with their other bad behavior and how do we think about a strategy past the nuclear agreement? dealing with a whole other range of things that iran is trying to do. >> i want to go away from that and talk about it in more detail. i want to talk about events this week. ash carter just visiting netanyahu and then he went to riyadh. what do you think those conversations were like, and what could at carter be telling the israelis and saudis that they have not heard 50 times? matt: i think probably i have been there 30 times in the last few years and in a sense, something similar to what they have heard before but it is important that they keep hearing it because it has the advantage of being true. the united states knows that you
ron more than an arms control issue. iran has regional hegemonic interests. they have the largest conventional military in the region and a huge amount of asymmetric threats. when all this means is that the united states is not going anywhere just because a deal has signed. in some cases, even though i think the likelihood of war has decreased and the likelihood iran will get a nuclear weapon has rapidly declined america's commitment is still there. the message to israel and the saudis the united states will have an enormous commitment in the area. we have 34,000 american forces stationed in the reason, over 10,000 deployed troops, some of the most advanced aircraft's, missiles, and technology that that region and the world has ever known.
that is not going anywhere and because of that, there's a huge amount of concrete manifestation of america's commitment to resisting the range of the ron's -- iran's behavior. we will be there to deter them from doing bad things. >> john, talk if you would about the role of the intelligence community. two different types of intelligence that will be important. one is the kind of close monitoring of iranian facilities and suspected facilities, and the question of verification, will we catch them if they try to cheat. the other is an analysis about iranian domestic politics and what it's intentions are. do we really have visibility into what direction the country is headed? why don't you take on the first question and talk to the extent that you can about the role the intelligence community will have
in backstopping this deal in a way that the administration cannot talk about in a lot of public detail? john let me just elaborate on one point that that made:. i find that israeli opinion is a little more very gated on this issue than one might think. as far as i can tell, those israelis think this is not a good deal they do not all speak of it quite as harshly as you netanyahu does. they see a short-term advantage and the basic fact is that iran will be less nuclear, after a 90 day transition. . the deal does not really take effect for a while yet, but it will be nice -- less nuclear capable than they were. they were two to three months away from a bomb. they will be a year away from a bomb if the steps occur.
he is really concern is more about the longer-term and we can talk about that, because at the end of 15 years, the game is up. on your question, i think what we will see here is a kind of -- and let me make clear i am not speaking for the intelligence community so i'm not giving away something that i should not, but i probably will because it is hard not to hear it -- hard not to. >> please do. john: i think you will see a synergy between the technology -- the intelligence world and technology. intelligence will be looking very carefully at iranian behavior, and we are pretty good at this, to detect suspicious activity or cheating. i would remind everyone that in 2002, that is exactly what we
detected in the case of north korea, which had an agreement with the united states made in 1994 to stop their nuclear activity. we detected they were preparing to acquire the materials for a uranium enrichment path. they have been using plutonium. i think intelligence will be very good at this. i want to say a few words about the iaea. they are pretty good. they're probably undermanned for this job at this time, but they have a record -- and they are going to be, by virtue of iran at some point in the next three months, accepting what is called the additional protocol to the nonproliferation treaty, they will have authority to be much more intrusive in what they do in iran that they have been now, which is something that israelis have noted to me that has an advantage. there will be more intrusive monitoring. if you look at, even the issue
-- here is where the problem will come on that side. the first time we detect some sort of suspicious activity somewhere, and iran does not want us to look their -- there there is an elaborate procedure that can stretch out over 24 days of negotiation about whether we can look, and everyone is assuming that during that period of time they would sanitize that site. i want to say the iaea has pretty good records of that sort of thing. there are instances in both iran and syria where they have gone in after israel had bombed a suspected nuclear facility, and managed still to determine that nuclear activity had been underway, largely because what they do is take miniscule squab -- swabs of various things that could be suspected to be nuclear associated. they did this in iran when they
were previously lying to us about an electrical factory that was also nuclear related. the bottom line here is, it all works as it is supposed to work the intelligence and inspection part of this i think will be pretty effective. but i also suspect that is the first place where it can break down. because of iranian objections to somewhere we want to go. one of the most worrisome aspects of the iran suspected program was that a place where it was thought that they were doing conventional explosive testing with a substitute for nuclear testing, and they have not allowed us to go there. in the agreement it says very little other that there will be a separate arrangement between the iaea and iran. there are a lot of negotiations. >> a separate agreement has
become a point of contention in congress. ellen: intelligence coverage of the iran issues may shift a bit in the good direction. as you all know, think about capabilities and intentions. at least on the softer human side, there are at least some relationships. we have been able to establish some kind of human contact with at least some of the key players in iran. we're not anywhere close to the supreme leader, we do not know what happens in the inner sanctum's, but at least there are now channels that i think will be a breath of relief after so many decades where we were following iran remotely and knew that we could follow large movements of military forces, but we really felt handicapped at not knowing enough about the internal politics. we all know this agreement was negotiated by the good guys of
the ron, if you want to believe that the president and foreign minister, but there is a whole other part of the iranian system that probably takes a whole another view. i am not suggesting that the time secretary kerry has spent that somehow that is sufficient but it is a big improvement on what we have had. >> i think intelligence people are certainly aware of what others are aware of. those who visited a ron and spent a lot of time there. there is nothing in this agreement that guarantees a transformation in iran. having said that, iran has competing power centers, it has a quasi-democracy. 40% of the university graduates are women. it is still very repressive at the top, that we saw as recently
as 2009, a reform movement the got squashed but hovers the need the surface. and i think the election of rouhani, he was not supposed to win. the expedient council determines who gets to run. in the last go around, they did not even let ross on johnny run r --afsanjani run. rouhani was the one person who is thought to be a little off-center in terms of the regime, and he won, which tells us there is some sort of yearning there for engagement with the outside world. that being said, those of the top still call the shots so my point is, there are competing power centers. and if this agreement goes well, what do i mean by goes well? if rouhani gets what he was
bargaining for, sanctions relief, which can also be seen as a detriment, but if he gets sanctions relief, and the parliamentary election i would expect his faction to have some traction and maybe gain some votes. what does that mean? maybe the balance in their parliament starts to shift a little bit. these are gossamer concepts but it is kind of what you are working with. >> matt, do you think that is too optimistic? for my experience, people in the pentagon take a dimmer view on these. do you want to jump in? matt: if i was doing my job right at the pentagon, no one would ever accuse me of being an optimist. i would say i agree with what ellen and john have said, we need to understand the potential impact of having so many contact s between the united states and
iran. the united states communicated with iran through the swiss protected power, the u.n., and occasional, high-level letters. now you have senior u.s. diplomats talking on their cell phones, spending weeks at a time having intense negotiations. those types of things are not going to change interests in international conflict, but the fact that we do not have -- that provides channels to test issues and see if there are channels we can talk through. we should not underestimate the possibility that we are talking to them at all. with the iranians, more openness is only in our interest, even if we recognize we are not speaking to the full spectrum. >> is that enough? you had some interesting thoughts that i read about our history of misjudging iran, so
we do not really see the islamic revolution coming. we continually overestimated the influence and promise of the moderates and in burned by it several times in the past decade. is this time different? do you think these talks really give us reason to think it is different, or is there more we should be doing? do we need to recognize our limitations? how do you think about it? ellen: when the revolution came and there was after actions in the 1970's and 1980's, there was a painful acknowledgment that we let the shaw tell us we could not talk to the opposition in iran. very hard in a country that went from authoritarianism to this very messy and all -- attractive revolution. there was a period in transition or the united states was the most powerful foreign power.
we were involved in every aspect of iranian life, and they were our great partner and friend in the region along with saudi arabia and israel. think how much has changed. the recognition that even with a large embassy, we had censored ourselves a bit because of that special relationship and did not deeply understand the society. this is, i think, an ongoing challenge for analysts and democratic countries around the world of not just ours, but i think our european partners probably face some of the same dilemmas, that you are always balancing how much you want to get along with the incumbent regime, and how you want to be making sure you are scanning the horizon for what might change and who are the other actors, and who are some of the rising voices in this country question mark we sometimes center
ourselves, sometimes we have no access. i am not suggesting that the switch has moved 180 degrees. this will be a very gradual, incremental process. in this period, during these negotiations, the state department and other parts of our public-private world have been able to open the aperture for civil society exchanges. there are some amazing things going on at the nongovernment level between the united states and iran. berkeley enchiladas university have an exchange, but it is all nongovernmental. there are exchanges on environmental issues. there are joint projects on teaching the iranians about urban resilience because they are earthquake prone and have some of the same natural disaster issues that we have. we are trying, which is why i think we want to go back to, even though the president was very scrupulous in saying this
deal was only about the nuclear activities we made no promises and it was not contingent, the iranians may have wanted that more comprehensive approach but we took a very -- technocratic approach. i think there is a bigger box in which this is happening and that is beginning a process of trying to engage more openly with iranians for the long-term whether the revolution survives or whether eventually it is replaced by a more open regime. >> anecdotally, this is probably a small part of it, but i have seen journalists getting to know each other on twitter and sharing notes and starting relationships so maybe there is a little bit of twitter diplomacy happening. ellen: let's acknowledge that the journalists who go to iran are at high risk. >> having said all that, i think about the fact that most, if not
all of iran's neighbors who are in real proximity to think this is crazy talk and naïve. despite that, i was surprised to see ashton carter say that king solomon had expressed his support for the nuclear deal. this comes after a year and a half or more of the saudi's railing against it and saying it is crazy. so first of all, i'm surprised to hear the reaction. and i want to talk about more specifically some things we're doing to reassure the saudi's. what was your reaction to that? mr. mclaughlan: they were never so hard up against a deal that they threw down a red light and we couldn't do this. -- mr. spence: they were never so hard up against a deal that they threw down a red light and we couldn't do this. if there's a deal, we heard resources are stressed, we heard about the pivot to asia, are you
really going to be here if the deal is done? i think they are savvy to realize the deal that happened right now, the question is what is next. the what is next is the most important thing happening right now. everyone talks about president obama gathering the leader of the gcc states in camp david talk about with that means. there is an effort that goes well past year before, or 18 months and two years before, which i remember working a lot on, about what can we do to build up the capabilities of the gcc, and what can we do to assure them they can deal with the threat? the threat they worked on were cyber security, maritime security and the closure of the strata vermouth, and air and missile defense. all of those things that iran poses a threat. we need to intensify efforts and use the deal is an opportunity to get the gcc countries to work more closely together because all of those threats are reflected action issues.
no one country can deal with them at one time. you can try and find an opportunity to bring about some of the cooperation that has been incredibly hard to do since the founding of the gcc a long time ago. mr. crowley: did you want to chime in quickly? ms. laipson: i think the u.s. has made a lot of progress with the gcc. the invitation to come to camp david made a difference. within the gcc you have different approaches to iran. the united arab emirates is a major trading partner, there's a person community that lives there. you have a spectrum of views on the sectarian sunni shia problem, and on dealing with iran in general. if you give it the high level of security and deterrence, i agree. when it comes to economic interaction with iran, they have different policies. mr. crowley: john were you going to -- mr. mclaughlan: go ahead. mr. crowley: let me ask about
how we strike the balance. what matters suggesting us as a result of this deal, in some degree you have to flex more muscle in the region. we have to not only reassure allies like the saudi's, but demonstrate to the iranians that they can have the run of the place. how do you find a balance between doing that without stumbling into a confrontation that blows of a nuclear deal, blows up whatever fledgling relationship we might have? do you think we can walk that line? mr. mclaughlan: it's going to be hard. one way to get out that question is to say -- remember, these negotiations and been going on since 2007 in one form or another. the middle east that we are seeing today is so dramatically different than the middle east we had in 2007. we have a middle east now that is in conflict on at least 45 dimensions. the persian arab, sunni shia
reformer versus traditionalist terrorist versus regime. i can probably add fifth terrorist versus terrorist. we have never seen that before. so the kind of task you are sketching out for the united states here is extraordinarily difficult. you could say that the middle east right now is experiencing something like the -- i don't know, that 40 years war in europe. back in the 17th century. that was about religion, commerce territory, and ultimately it was sorted out after all those years, 30 years. it may be that is what we are seeing in the middle east now. for the united states, almost anything we do is going to provoke and opposite reaction somewhere. i think we're going to have to handle this very carefully. in the inspection process there
are going to be disputes. we talking about this as if it is a done deal. the delicacy here is going to appear sometime in the next 90 days. for example, most people i don't think realize that iran still has to work out with the iaea a kind of roadmap for how the iaea will behave and what it will have access to, and how inspections will actually work. that is going to be contentious. inevitably we going to want to look at something they don't want us to look at. at that point, i think we have reached the crunch point. because iran's view, which they have expressed, is if we back away from this agreement, then all bets are off with them. they start enriching again. and they quickly become, i
think, a nuclear threshold state again. we're going to have to calibrate all of this. mr. crowley: what if things go off the rails and there is talk about a military option? you warned in 2012 u.s. strike on iran would be a very bad option. since then, the military has this massive ordnance penetrator, 15 ton weapon that can probably, possibly, some debate, hit other underground sites. does that change the way you feel about it? mr. crowley: you can -- mr. mclaughlan: you can do it surgically, if by that you don't have to follow-up with 20,000 troops. here is my first caution about that. when you look at the history of warfare, one thing stands out above everything else. when you inflict violence, you don't know where it is going. you don't. you might think you do, but you don't.
so that's the first thing. if we do that, we had better prepare very carefully for option b, option c, option d. so that we have some idea where this could go, what scenarios could come out of it. second, military strike would do functionally exactly what this agreement is doing. it wouldn't for all time destroy the nuclear capability, it would delay it. in this agreement, by the way, what it does everything but bias time. that's all it does. if you believe that tend to 15 years from now, assuming the iranians follow the rules and play the agreement out, they would then have the capacity, as the president having knowledge, to become a nuclear state. we bought that time. given the past for and just guest out of the middle east that's not a bad thing. we don't know where the middle east is going to settle out.
we talk about the saudi's and for example, i'm not sure why king solomon is saying what he is saying. but they are in a kind of funny situation now because our very close relationship with saudi arabia, egypt, and the closer relationship with israel postdates the fall of the shop. prior to that, iran was her big partner in the region. now the saudi's and the egyptians in particular must be looking at this whole arrangement and saying is there a tectonic shift occurring here, potentially, in which our relationship with the united states, our overall positioning in the middle east is less than it is? if we look ahead here, if you were going to cite the certainties, i was a one certainty out of this is iran is going to become more powerful, for better or for worse. they're going to become more powerful in the region. either with this agreement without it. but particularly with it. mr. crowley: matt, what is that
going to mean? i know you spend a lot of time looking at these scenarios. what are couple of the friction points we have to be careful of? we've already had a little bit of tension in the last few months to read is that going to escalate? mr. spence: i agree with what john said. iran will have an increasing population, and increasing youth population, even if you hold a sign nuclear issue, this is not a disarmament agreements. this is iran is still growing in the region. the thing you talked about is, i think the major concerns are what they can do with maritime security, but they can do with cyber issues and other asymmetric issues. i.r. number being on an aircraft carrier, going through the strait of her moves and seeing these small iranian fast boats which are both the look like they could have contraband were a waters gear behind them, or potentially something to be very
deadly to ships going through. those of the types of things that iran still will have that we need to be very wary about what they are doing. it's not iran's issue to shut down the streets right now because of oil doesn't flow, it's bad for them particularly now is there getting back on the market as much for us. the fact that they can have that threat and that uncertainty, and we're still not clear about the decision-making of who controls what within iran, those of the issues are think we really need to be -- mr. mclaughlan: let me give you an assessment from an israeli former intelligence officer. this is what i agree with. it also will perhaps puncture the impression that i've given that i'm a starry eyed optimist about all this. i do see potential for good things coming from it, but this former intelligence officer from a very senior, sees it this way. three scenarios, i will mention them in terms of the least likely first. and the most likely last.
first scenario, transformation. in other words, what i think the administration is hoping, and to degree, betting on is what all of us have talked about as a possibility, that is that iran, through all of these contacts through the changing nature of that society, 60% of the people in a society have grown up since the revolution. a general disenchantment with the mullahs that exist, even though they still are all-powerful, transformation could occur. it's conceivable. second scenario. because of the north korea scenario. they play along for a while follow the terms of the agreement a year or two, things are going well. then they either break out of it, or they are caught cheating, and the whole thing breaks down. that's essentially what happened with north korea in 2002.
after an agreement in 1994. cease their plutonium production. scenario number three -- he calls it strategic patience on iran's part. what does that mean? he says they play the game of. in his view, he says this is the most likely. they play the game with minor bumps, hiccups along the way. we get through the inspection process, they do what they are supposed to do, they hold their enrichment 3.67% for 15 years and in years 10 to 15, they have the opportunity to experiment with more sophisticated centrifuges. they play it out, and that your 15, they become -- they move them towards becoming a nuclear power. the operational implication of all of that is that even if i
have the or he has the order of things wrong, we probably need to prepare in our operational planning and diplomacy for all three of those scenarios if we want transformation, how do we help bring that about? if we want to avoid the north korean scenario, how do we do that? if they play it out and 15 years from now, what does that mean? we need to think all of those scenarios through. mr. crowley: limit cut you off there. edit people have a lot of questions. i invite someone who really doesn't like to deal to chime in here. i think there's been a little bit of optimism, in the green shirt there. >> i'm gordon chang. there has been substantial evidence that the north koreans have been sharing nuclear weapons technology with the iranians since perhaps the beginning of the century. and that means that in effect,
iran could have this material in north korea and probably has plans for the north koreans have developed for the devices themselves. the question is, how does that affect our ability to inspect this agreement, especially because many people have said that is the critical factor going forward. mr. spence: the way i think about that would be, to take a step back and look at what you need to have for a deliverable nuclear weapon. that's the biggest threat. you need enough nuclear material , you need to actually make a nuclear device that is testable and actually works and effective delivery message -- method icbms or missiles. those are three very difficult things to have. we are incredibly paranoid to make sure that we are looking at the shortest hole in a tent, to actually don't have any of them. the thing we need to realize is, iran needs to get all three.
and once we have in this new world, where you have much more contact with iran, with iaea inspectors, as much harder for ron to do those types of things, whether they're working secretly with the north koreans or anyone else. even if you get that knowledge which, once it's there, that knowledge exists and you can eliminate the knowledge to create nuclear weapons. the most we can do is try and stop and regular sleep regulate the behavior and make sure that even if we don't know what iran's intentions are, we can make sure we're not going to trust them to and do everything we can to crack down the behaviors. that's the approach we need to take through this. as i look at the agreements, the same way i approached iran, it was distrust and verify. in no way did any of the behavior depend on trusting iran. he was using pressure to get them to the table, looking for opportunities, and along the way, doing everything we can to keep them honest because we don't really know what they're going to do. mr. crowley: anyone else want to chime in? ms. laipson: we haven't quite gotten to the
broader perspective on nonproliferation. i think there is more the united states could do to delegitimize nuclear weapons. i think we're going in the other direction again. we are re-validating that nuclear weapons are the mark of very advanced countries. i think there is doctrinal debates that happen inside united states, we're watching in pakistan, india, and china increased their arsenals. i would say that we miss the opportunity to change the psychology of any aspirants to nuclear weapons. one other point is that some iranians, and are not suggesting that i believe everything they say, say that all along, we have not been listening. that iran's goal is to be like japan. which is to stop short of actually assembling or deploying nuclear weapons. but to demonstrate the technological ability so that only in extremist scenarios where they felt that their existence as a state was a risk,
they would accelerate a program and go to the finish line. it took us a long time to trust japan. we are not ready to give iran that level, we don't have that level of confidence in iran. but i think we may be making some very glib assumptions that everybody in iran wanted to go all the way to a weapon, and that there is no internal constraints on them, in terms of going that far. mr. spence: we conflate a nuclear iran, and a nuclear power rhonda nuclear weapon. there's a difference between wanting nuclear power, and going through all of the talks to become a nuclear weapons state. i think for us, this is the opportunity to really test that. that's what it is built around. and to make sure that we understand it's not a homogenous view within the iranian population, it's not a homogenous view of nothing or nuclear weapon. there are gradations. mr. crowley: general hayden had
a question, don't know where he is. >> matt, i agree totally. the trying use that weaponization delivery systems and trying to explain the 2007 niv. if ballistic missiles are one of the critical pass coming going into negotiations with lisa quite publicly, they had to be included in any final agreements , and we took them off the table because of iranian insistence, how did they then enter back into negotiations during the last two weeks in vienna? and we're not going to lift sanctions on the ballistic missile program in eight years or sooner, if the iranians meet certain conditions. mr. spence: i was in the room during those parts of negotiations. the nature of the negotiation
and what you can get and what you can't, there is a maximalist addition the united states wants. we remain concerned about the bliss of missile program of course, regardless of there's an agreement or not. the way a look at this is without an agreement, iran can have an incentive to accelerate production of ballistic missiles and do much more. the fact that we are able to have some amount of reduction on that, at the same time, that's just in the terms of the agreement itself. i would say while the agreement itself is going on, the united states essentially has more insight into the program, even though we are not inspecting military sites, but just having the discussions with iaea. the other key part is, as you know, trying to increase the amount of integrated air missile defense, ballistic missile defense technology, and provide more of the technology to the region needs to proceed apace at exactly that same time. we need to see what's possible within the framework of sanctions, and what we can actually hold together with international sanctions on that,
and effectively see what is possible with the negotiated outcome. but while doing that, make sure we're doing everything we can on the side come on the defensive side to prevent our own technology and make sure we can monitor and it was much as they are trying to do on the delivery side. mr. crowley: i see eli lake, who i think we can count on to object. eli lake: the supreme leader of iran has issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons. as anyone seen it, and why hasn't this been published? ms. laipson: i understand they submitted to the united nations as a formal document, so the text exists. i just don't know whether anybody knows how to legally and politically accepted as a legitimate document that would have influenced the policy choices of other countries. he has done it, but most people say that he can also issue a fatwa to the contrary. i do think there is a discourse
in iran that says nuclear weapons are on islamic. the iranians intermittently take that fatwa very seriously, and sometimes i think it doesn't quite make the threshold of being an important development. the fatwa exists. it was submitted -- i will try and find it for you. my understanding is it was submitted to the united nations even before these negotiations reached a very active phase as to explain the position of iran on the nonproliferation treaty. mr. crowley: unless either of you sees the fatwa, i'm going to take the next question. >> i'm with the american bar association. i want to thank you for as always a very thoughtful panel. two quick questions. the first is what impact do you think this deal is going to have on the nonproliferation regime? a lot of people are saying the 15 years, given if you are
correct, where ron stance that other entities will want to be more threshold like. and given the links of -- the len of the agreementg,th some recommend to their my the requirements to help monitor this over the next 15 years, maybe the creation of an executive and let us later committee the way we had in the helsinki accords, so we would have an ongoing group and expertise, a defense by it board talked about the lack of expertise we have. i'm curious about how you feel about those points. mr. mclaughlan: that would be a good idea. i would personally support the idea of a group like that, particularly a group composed of scientific knowledgeable people keeping their eye on the progress of this. on the nonproliferation regime, that's a hard one. i can see it cutting both ways.
one positive thing about the npt with regard to iran, it's a signatory. north korea quit, as you know. if they accept the additional protocol, and they stay in the npt regime, at 15 years, this particular agreement expires but the npt membership does not. nor do the privileges of the international iaea, to inspect them and monitor, they don't expire. if they stay in the agreement. so part of what we have to do is monitor their appearance to the agreements very carefully. now, if they shift to threshold status at 15 years, yes, others i think will want to do that. although it is hard to peer into the future about the worth of nuclear technology 15 years from now. right now, i would say why
wouldn't iran want nuclear weapons? from the standpoint of their national interests. countries look at what happened in part of the world, pakistan and so forth. and now north korea has done three nuclear tests. and by all accounts, they are able to assemble 12, 15 nuclear devices, probably they can put one on a missile. and that has to make us a little more guarded and how we deal with north korea. people observe that. as will be a constant struggle i think, over time. it will require more constancy of commitments and we have shown to limiting nuclear weapons. it has been a fad, almost. we make a few speeches and we convince conferences, and then we go back to whatever else we're doing. mr. crowley: time for a couple more. right there. >> pamela brown, fox news. i received a statement from a
doctor, i'm think you mentioned pakistan. this is the statement -- personally i feel iranian leadership has very wisely and pragmatically save their country from bad situation. call it a disaster, if you like. i would like to hear any personal reaction. -- personally, i feel that the iranian leadership has very widely and pragmatically saved their country from a very bad situation. call it a disaster, if you like. as is in response for me asking him about the p5 plus one. mr. mclaughlan: i would have to assume that what he meant was, in the absence of an agreement like this, and in the presence of strong u.s. and israeli commitment to prevent them from having a nuclear weapon, that it was plausible prior to the agreement that a military operation might have been
carried out here in. you asked if i still have the same opinion, i give you half an answer. i think one of the problems with the military operation is that apart from not knowing where it's going to go, you would probably drive the iranian people together in support of the regime. i don't think you would create anything else. i think that is probably what he is talking about. mr. crowley:mr. mclaughlan: it's a good thing for an airplane ride when you need some shut up. the last 50 pages are mostly names. the point i want to make is we sanctioned the hell out of them. the last 50 pages as lists of things we sanctioned. we sanctioned everything except maybe children's toys, not even sure of that.
that got them to the table. interestingly, it didn't keep them from getting to within two to three months of a nuclear weapon. mr. crowley: anyone else want to weigh in? right there. >> laura lauter. hasn't the train left the station on this? what would be -- what would happen if the vetoproof majority in congress veto the deal? they have begun releasing sanctuaries -- sanctions already. the genie is out of the bottle. what is congress thinking about what his next? we can't reinstate those sanctions. mr. spence: you raise an important part. i firmly believe in this agreement and think it makes the united states safer now than
1015 years, and generations to come. i also firmly believe we need to have a robust and open debate about what this means. this is an important part of america's national security that we need to have a debate that recognizes that people on both sides where their concerns. that said, i think it would be a tremendous mistake for congress to vote this down. and for congress to pull back the freehand the president has had this negotiation. i think we need to go in. part of the reason we need to have this debate will become stronger as we go through this. as we talked about on this panel, the types of resources the united states needs in the region are cheap -- aren't cheap, and they aren't free. under our types of other problems we have right now particularly with the defense budget, i think conversation debate this issue understand what is in it, but also commit to understand what it means for america to have a commitments to our own interest, to her allies within the region. only by having that debate, we get stronger coming forward. mr. crowley: i think