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tv   President Trumps Iran Strategy  CSPAN  October 16, 2017 12:01pm-1:17pm EDT

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you're just an acter. but there's a long history of actors and entertainers who are popular getting involved. there's been some protests that they don't want to be sidelined just because they're entertainers the them opposed trump and i think same way to have their voice actors don't want to be sidelined. they're going to weigh in to politics. the wine steen thing is a connection that sort of short circuited this whole relationship between hollywood and politics. but i don't think acterors are going to want to sit out going forward. host: jeremy bar, you can read his work at hollywood >> live now coverage from the national iranian american council. they will be discussing think this certification of the iran nuclear agreement. some comments recently made by president trump. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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>> hello, everybody. hey. such a fantastic crowd. and you all are so young, it is freaking me out. seriously, like you are so young, it is terrifying. hi. nahal toosi. i am pleased to welcome everybody here today. let me introduce our panelists. i doubt i can do justice to all of their compliments. rob malley is the vice president
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of policy at an international group. he previously served in the , who servedstration as the coordinator for the white house for the gulf region. emailged to obtain rob's address, but for the longest time, i was too shy to reach out to him. and then i reached out to him because he is really a nice guy. i do not know why i did not do it before. jong to the other end, glaser is the director of form possibly -- foreign policy at the cato institute, a libertarian think tank. grandterests include strategy, u.s. foreign policy in the middle east, the rise of china, and the role of status and perceived motivations in
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international politics. that sounds like everything. talked to john before, so i was doing research on him, and i found out there was also a john glaser who is an actor who used to write for conan o'brien, but you are not that guy, right? mr. malley: he has no h in his day. toosi: and trita parsi. the after decertification: the future of the iran nuclear deal has asked me to thank people
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today and also the rockefeller brothers fund. ok, can you hear me? so let's set the table a little bit. last week president trump announced he was going to decertify the iran nuclear deal, but for now the u.s. remains in the deal unless and until congress reimpose his sanctions on -- reimpose his sanctions on iran. they are looking at legislation that says if iran takes certain actions, including nonnuclear actions, that would trigger a reimposition of sanctions. at the same time the president wants congress to pass legislation that the united states considers part of the deal that are supposed to be limited actually be permanent. the goal is to get the international community and iran
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back to the table to negotiate an additional agreement that addresses what the trump administration says is flawed in the nuclear deal. the administration is looking at other ways to counter iran's activities in the middle east, which can be argued as many, tom human rights abuses backing terrorist organizations. i will ask a couple rounds of questions, and depending on the time, we will open it up for questions. feel free to get into the ms. nation -- into the minutia. ok. john, let's start with you. let's talk about the merits of the administration's arguments. doesn't the administration have a port that says that the way the iran deal is structured, it will make iran stronger and want
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certain limits are lifted on iran it will be able to return to some nuclear program while being stronger. congress toot ask address these flaws and pressure the international community to devise a new approach? mr. glaser: it is true that the sanctions that were lifted will allow iran to build its economy and improve things for itself. -- i think that there is a bias among both sides in american politics that there is this picture of iran of being implacably in pursuit of a nuclear weapon. i do not think that is the case. i think they have made a decision which is taking go the route of greater engagement with the world and develop more trade with world, east and west, actually, i improve things domestically for themselves, and
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get sanctions lifted and this kind of stuff by not pursuing a nuclear weapon, or go another route, which is doggedly pursuing a nuclear weapon and be isolated from the world, sanctioned by the entire world the way north korea is, and they would have their security guaranteed by nuclear insurance, but they have made the decision that the former route serves their interests more than the latter. and that does not mean we should give up. we should still have a robust inspections regime. we should not trust that will always be there determination. i actually disagree with the notion that we need to have deception and the presumption that iran is doggedly in pursuit of a nuclear weapon and it is only a matter of time and a matter of how you delay it or prevent it.
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we have to recognize their choice. ms. toosi: why should we trust the iranian government? this is a government that imprisoned americans, executed ridiculous numbers of people, is backing terrorist groups across the middle east. why should we trust anything they said? mr. glaser: if this deal was built on trust, it would never have been a deal to begin with. the united states would not have signed that. mr. parsi: they do not have must trust for the u.s. government, and that mistrust has been significantly deepened over the course of the last week. this was never built on trust. this was built on verification and being able to assess whether
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the iranians are living up to their word or not. if anything were trusting the inspections regime that the united states helped design to ensure that in the iranians are not cheating, we have to remind ourselves because we are within the narrative in which we say we can never trust iranians. part of the test here was for the iranians to prove they can be trusted, and that is why they lived up to the end of the bargain a times in a row now. has issued a report saying the iranians are honoring the agreement. entire premise was over the course of the next 15 years the iranians would prove they can be a responsible player within the international agreement by living up to the end of the bargain, and he would come out of the position they were in before in which they had been in violation of the agreement and bed to be a path for them to in good standing in. live up was, can they
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to their end of the bargain while we are verifying and inspecting the capacity to do so and be able to catch them if they are not? everyone, we are thinking they are untrustworthy. i'm not saying they are wrong. look now who is violating the real and talking about killing and walking out of the deal. we have to face the fact that unfortunately if there's going to be a violation, now it is more likely that that violation will be first committed by the united rather than by the iranians. those are interesting points, but if i was a member of congress, one of the arguments i would probably make it something thatnikki haley has said, there are hundreds of sites the iea has not been able to get
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access to in iran and all sorts of things we do not know about what the iranians are doing. what would you tell that number of congress, because -- it is one thing to say to the iea you cannot access the site, but you cannot access the military site? to make a comment to what is the core of this debate. why are we going to do this deal? the whole point of the sanctions was to pressure iran to get to the point where they would agree to stop or at least put constraints on the nuclear program. that was why we impose sanctions. once the agreed, the only reason they would do it because they would that some of the sanctions. if we are not prepared to give them any economic benefit, what was the argument about imposing
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the sanctions in the first place? that is number one. they will get some benefit, because that was negotiated. if the iranians got out of it, some economic benefit, but nowhere near what some of the critics claimed would be. point to two, and you mentioned the fact -- and that is quite young toy, too remember when the entire western world and israel were focused on nucleare of iran's program as being an existential issue. but thate hype there, was the issue, and that is the issue the obama administration was determined to shut down would not face that binary of a nuclear iran or bombing iran. the price was they took some of the sanctions to get the
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concessions. you ask about our their flaws in the deal about inspections of sites? this is one of the canards. this is one of the issues that robustly negotiated. there are no military site that are off-site, that the iea cannot inspect. if somebody else provides to the iea and says we suspect -- and not on some kind of white w -- kind of a whim --that there was activity at one site, there is a process for that to happen, much tighter than what exists with virtually any other country. the notion that there are hundreds of sites that the iaea cannot inspect, it is true what the iranians to the pond is you cannot go on a chase and say we think there's a nuclear device in the supreme leader's bathroom
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so we will inspect it. that was something they said they were worried about. iaea to not want the inspect it. thatu have some evidence, they refuse access and refuse any of the compromises, then we are in a different world. we are not there yet. there has not been a single incident at a request for inspection of a site by the iaea that iran has refused. this is one of those that is hard to come by at -- to combat because there are so many of them. ms. toosi: john -- quick point make a about the premise of your first question. assume there is a strategic calculus behind trump's decision, and there is not. heart of the recently know that
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is the entirety of his national security team urged him to certify. there was no strategy behind decertification. all the strategizing that went on was by his national security team to try to figure out a way mp's irrational the state -- irrational this taste for the deep. it is notable that trump did not impose sections and sell. it is notable he did not announce a formal withdrawal from the deal, she has the right to do. that is because virtually the the iaea, the europeans, russians, chinese, u.s. intelligence community, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, head of u.s. strategic command, james mattis, rex tillerson, h.r. mcmaster, everybody agreed that not only is the deal working and iran is complying, but it is in the u.s. interest to stay in it.
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he has put us in a position where we have less leveraged than we initially vitiated the deal, which means we cannot get more punitive arrangements or more concessions on iran, and they have signaled, made clear to congress they are not asking nuclear-related sanctions, which would be the thing that constitutes a formal violation. explicitaking decertification is not instrumental. it is not to achieve anything other than broadcasting trump's distaste for the deal, and his babysitters and the white house have tried to make it as easy on iran as possible. ms. toosi: that was my next question, but i want to make something clear. a lot of people do not realize the united states still has numerous sanctions on iran. the only sanctions that were
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lifted were nuclear have a related sanctions. we still have sanctions related to their ballistic missiles, human rights violations, and support for terrorism, which means it is not possible for most businesses to do business with iran. love people think that the u.s. -- a lot of people think that the u.s. has list the all sections on iran. now theuestion, john, president has thrown this into the lack of congress. how will this play out? how do you predict this will happen? mr. glaser: when he made the announcement and there were rumors floating around about a proposal from tom cotton and bob corker that would move the goalposts on the deal itself and to to you to matter early -- unilaterally alter the deal which would constitute a
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violation of the deal, but before that, the question was, will congress reimpose nuclear-related sanctions, that they have to do with in the 60-date window if the deal is decertified, or will they ignore trump? and it looked like there was increasing omentum in favor of not -- momentum in favor of not imposing sanctions. jeff flake said it would be unwise to unburden iran from the burdens of restrictions. rand paul said something similar. similar,said something that we should enforce the deal. there's instant be even among the politicking that occurred 'after the deals signing a recognition that the deal is working so long as iran is complying. it might be the case that reimposedoes not
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nuclear-related sanctions, but it will be a close fight. mr. malley: a little nuance. i never thought that the present administration or congress would reimpose sanctions because that would be such a plate violation, that would isolate the u.s., that those in congress who wanted -- on this issue would not go down that road. i thought a different route was being played out. exactly what the president announced, which is he wants congress to pass legislation that would tie the reimposition of some sanctions to actions that iran would take that are consistent with the deal. deal somee, under the restrictions get lifted after a year. that thelation administration is pushing and some in congress are supporting would say if iran engages in an
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activity after those constraints have been lifted, which are consistent with the deal because the constraints would have been lifted, we would consider that i'm acceptable and would impose sections. that would be a violation of the deal. the test for congress is, if we do legislation that says if we impose sections, that would be the case, because that is what the deal says. for congress to say we are going to impose sanctions that have been lifted, if iran it engages in activities that are outside the agreement or it takes actions that are permitted givee jcpoa, i would iran every incentive to violate the deal. every expert including the government, says it working, path to a bomb, that be gone, and the argument it is not a violation because nothing happens today, then what
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would we say if tomorrow iran announced we are going to abide by the nuclear research is, but in two years if the u.s. does not withdraw from iraq, all bets are off. that would be completely unacceptable. trust announced and say if they engage in activity that is permitted and sanctions are coming back, that would isolate us from europe, that would strengthen the hardliners in iran, and that would put us in violation. >> if i could add one thing. trump iswhat the working with the senate on right now is a measure that would be a violation of the deal, looking for things that absolutely ensures that iran will say no to it. the idea that you can have permanent punishment of iraq and expect iran to sign it while you're giving them no sanctions is preposterous. the path he is suggesting is one
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of one sure the deal will be violated and the deal will fall apart. then he also said very clearly if congress does not do this, that i will terminate the deal myself. so here you have it. both paths that trump is proposing would lead to the deal being killed. to he has not killed it because he did not do it on friday, it is saying the only way to kill in two moves,g it but he is still killing it. what john said earlier, this is what rex tillerson said over the weekend and one of the interviews. he said the real endgame is regime change. so now we are starting -- ms. toosi: i do not think those were his exact words. did he say the goal is to get the iranian people to get their government back? that is a different thing. let's be clear about that. if you're throwing these things -- looking to see that
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regime is gone, this is starting to look like iraq again, where we are pursuing regime change and a policy that will end up getting the united states getting into a military confrontation with iran. combined with the fact with what john said that his own opposition is irrational because every one else inside his own administration disagrees with the decertification and with the fact he is presenting congress not with an option to have any choices of what to do, but ensure that congress becomes complicit with killing the deal. >> not even 10 seconds -- basically what the president has done is let's pilot the deal together or i will violated alone. i do not think that is a deal that congress should take. ms. toosi: you guys can tell that this panel is a little bit -- on one side. let me play the devil's
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advocate. speaking as one who does not eal, the saudis do not like this deal. do notends the israelis like this deal. should we care about what our friends think? but it is an overstatement saying our friends the israelis -- we have senior defense officials who say the deal is -- a former defense minister said it was a big mistake for the united states to decertify. i do not think he speaks for israel. at this point, the alternative to this deal is far worse for israel's security. thats netanyahu he said
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iran was increasing its enrichment capacity government saying this is what we have to stop. president obama stopped it. stacked panel, but there is a reason. we like many others who have supported this deal, not a spectrum at any sympathy. in terms of our other allies, saudis have an agenda against iran which we understand, and we have supported the military ily. it does not mean we have to subcontract decisions that involve the u.s. the ones that are going to be fighting iran are not the saudis. they will be the united states. it is a compromise. it is not an act of surrender. it is a compromise. if that thing we want to talk about, terrorism, ballistic
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clause, thee sunset way to address this is not to tell the iranians the deal is no good if you do not accept these things, because iran may walk clay, plus we will have an iranian nuclear trigger that will accelerate today, not in 15 years. the way to do it is let's implement the deal in good felt for a number of users -- i've years and then you want to talk about iranians about neutral trust him and say, there are things we still want to address. your ballistic missile program, your support for terrorist organizations run the world. some limitations that have expired. you mentioned the primary embargo. they want that lifted. to have that negotiation, you cannot have it when the ink on the deal that has just been signed is not even drive and when you're sending the message to the iranians our word is not worth the paper it is written on because the next day or the next administration, we're going to walk away from it. deal on the deal that exists,
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make sure iran does not move forward beyond what the jcpoa constitutes, and there are other issues we have to address because we have a pretty hostile relationship with them. ms. toosi: i have to ask a question, and i'm sure you will get your point in. here's the thing -- i have a difficult time envisioning this deal surviving. the question is this -- should i go ahead, and i'm going to address this to john, should i write the eulogy for this deal? let's say this holds up for the next 10 years or whatever, and then you guys are thinking, maybe now we need to come up with an additional agreement and the long-term. the iranians have seen the united states is willing to elect someone who is willing to completely overthrow the previous administration's decisions. if you are iran, when you write
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now be making the calculus that, look, i do not care if this deal falls today or 10 years from now. we are going nuclear because we cannot rely on the stability or consistency of the americans. mr. glaser: they would be justified in coming to that conclusion. thehould not underestimate extent to which trump has given here. favor he is on the road to isolating us from the rest of the world. and iran is still at this moment at least able to continue to trade with these countries and engage in robust diplomacy with them and improve relations. iran in a certain sense, i am sure they are nervous about the extent to which they can abide by the deal, but they are also in an interesting strategic position that we had given to
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them on a silver platter. said you talked, you are going to enforce long answers -- ms. toosi: i said i was going to cut you off. mr. glaser: i'm going to say something that is controversial that does not bring me a lot of friends, even fellow jcpoa. iran'ss a consensus that other activities are a threat to the united states, and that is an argument in favor of the jcpoa. now we can ably work in front iran on its other activities whether it is support for reality is that none of a ron's regional behaviors poses a serious threat to the u.s. none on ron regional behaviors -- iran's behaviors poses a
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serious threat to the united states. only under the most expansive definition can you frame these issues. -- iran's regional behaviors -- we are sticking a nose in our region whose importance has been massively overstated for generations. excessive overinvolvement has been terrorism and oil. >> those are important things. doesn't the -- doesn't need the united states. terrorism being the most egregiously inflated threat in the history of foreign
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policy, the application of military force is not all that effective etoile in addressing the -- a tool in addressing the problem. low probability threat of an american being killed by terrorists in this country. that is an extremely unlikely scenario. rivals,ran's regional many of whom have far superior military capabilities, also want to keep that space open. we have capabilities that can respond to such an likely contingencies from offshore. we can take a step back and not damage our interests.
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iran's supportow for hezbollah threatens the united states, how? >> that is the libertarian in you speaking. you mentioned we should listen to our firiends, to the brits, germans, french, south allies, to all of our who support this deal. >> they support the deal because they have business interests there. >> if you think the europeans are going to sacrifice the american market, they were never genuine about liberation.
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that is an insult to our friends. mentioned, --he you mentioned, in the case of israel, it is not the security establishment. it is the prime minister. and the governments or parts of their government have been on at timesnadvertently supporting military action against iran. deal, are killing this deal that prevented iran from getting a nuclear rep and -- weapon, that option is back on the table. that, whye the point would the european union's ever pick the iranian -- why would the europeans ever pick the
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iranian market, i would be like look, we can to certify and suppose -- and put the sanctions back on. >> perhaps that would work. if it was just economics. might work. that is why i am worried about this deal. i hope that others will stand up. it is possible -- is it possible that the administration goes through with this? who knows. point, if they have to live under the constraints of the nuclear deal, where they are not getting the economic benefits, why would they speak to it? we will be in a position where i
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ran would say, thank you very much -- iran would say, thank you very much. and then go home. and then be in the situation where netanyahu was saying this was an existential threat. if the administration's ms., we're going to try to pressure iran to change its terms, we will not work. ae only way you can have supplemental deal is by implementing this one in good faith. that for me is a nightmare scenario where you're going to see iran saying -- i don't see where we have a better alternative on offer. >> put your thoughts in the mind
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of someone who opposes the steel. a member ofadvising congress about what to do. what strategy would you give them. >> you want us to give advice? >> i do. i was actually quite surprised at doing this debate in 2015 and still today. unlike many of the other many of the arguments are, we don't have the access to these sites. factually incorrect. policy of the united states pursuing if this dealf iran ends.
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is a major player in that we will have a more effective strategy if we recognize that and try to talk to them and make a deal with them rather than using an all-out containment strategy. from the perspective of the , i would have a variation of that of saying, i think the strategic value of the re--- region has plummeted, for a variety of reasons. the fact that getting involved in this week -- region financially has skyrocketed. it is a completely different proposition. it could have two additional states and it in the next couple of years. next couple ofe years.
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you are responsible for that region. the united states global priority has to be to make sure there are no competitors emerging that can challenge the united states. someone that can challenge the united states on a global scale. there is no country in the region that can do so. forget about iran. there are countries in east asia that can. states getsted bogged down in a strategically marginal conflux, the less of a , the less- conflict of a capacity it will have to address these issues. arabia doesn't figure in. you cannot bounce -- balance iran on your own, so you want
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the united states to do the job for you. i am not seeing the question being answered in washington. what is in it for the united states? trump'sre using argument that there should be an america first approach to everything. >> i am not. >> there is this inconsistency about what he says with national interests. it is one thing to have a black and white approach that we are saying, if it is good for the rest of the world, it is bad for the united states. not how the world works. there are win-win solutions. that is why we have allies. positiveing about situations for ourselves and
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others as well. you are saying, i am for america and against the world. you're not answering my question. some of these congressmen are what to want to know strategy they would have that they can justify. >> i want to piggyback off of something trita said. this deal is working ineffective. he talks about something crucial, the real value of this deal is not what it literally accomplishes. the role back -- what it accomplishes is the rollback of iran's nuclear program. that is what it literally
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accomplishes. the actual value to the united states is that it arrives a psychological barrier, the united states going to war with iran for imaginary reasons and conflicts of interest. part of the position in the region has been to subordinate our own interests for the sake of other peoples. inis true that israel private meetings with united states officials used a more andtary approach to iran, saudi arabia urged us to cut the head off the snake. we should think about our own interests. it is a pity that trump has muddied the waters with different ideas about foreign policy. to have ideas about foreign
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policy have to actually know something about the world, and he doesn't. i think conservatives who don't like the deal should take the approach that the extreme right-wing hawks that support the deal, condoleezza rice, jim isn't code pink in the trump administration. they are arguing we stay in the steel because it rolls back i stateld in this in the we should stay steel because it effectively rolls back iran's nuclear program. thought -- weys are not against the deal. we're just trying to improve it on the margins. we don't like iranian terrorism , who does?
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they suffered from one major flaw, the cat is out of the bag. they want out of the deal. not only that, but there are sometimes hints of her gene change. regime change. the president said, if i don't get my way, we are leaving the deal. a makes it very hard for member of congress who would like to get out of the deal, but then't want to be viewed as united states being responsible to play that game. the president has made it clear, the objective is find a way for us to get out of the deal particularly all the benefits iran is going to get from it. don't know that you can make
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that clever argument anymore. it was alluded to from the globalistshat the hate the deal so they are going to find a way out of it. anyone with any questions? please tell us your name and to you are with. -- and who you are with. i amwa senator udall -- with senator udall's office. this deal being killed have on the negotiations with the next administration? would even on be more or -- iran be more or less likely to cooperate. >> it would make them less likely to negotiate because see -- they see the united states is
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less trustworthy. trustworthy. something i have to re-reference. if you were trying to renegotiate aspects of the deal, and if the rest of the world thinks it is working and we should stay in its, we had less leverage than we had. the obama administration knows a lot about this at a granular -- level. they have been making very significant concessions. alone, there is no way you can get more out of the country with less leverage, it doesn't work like that. it is very challenging for the next administration, how to fix
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what trump has set up. >> there is an all you toll a -- iran with a huge smile on his face. aid,hardliners in iran s negotiate. they will not be true to their word. the view of many people in the country right now, even those who strongly oppose the ayatollah's past skepticism of the u.s., that is now vindicated. the expense of the modernists in the country who said, let us strike a deal. perhaps there will be additional changes in the policies of both sides. floor insteadthe of the ceiling, the beginning of
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additional changes rather than making sure nothing else can happen. this is going to be very -- very difficult for anyone in the makean political elite to the arguments for negotiations with the united states. something dramatic needs to change. >> i agree with everything. theng the negotiations, iranians would complain about some of the tougher requirements in the deal. that there could be a change, a new supreme leader. they would say the same to us. we have a system in which by tradition, presidents respect the legacy of precedents.
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suspect there would be an illustration that would come around and say, we are going to tear this up. trust us?iran why would those who didn't trust us now? -- who did trust us now? how can you get a better agreement? >> next question. i need your business cards. that is the price of admission. >> i am with congressman williamson's office. it is unfair to discount concerns by israel when there is rhetoric calling for israel to be what golf the math -- white math. wiped off the and there are sides that we didn't know about.
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and we do. just address those two things. >> can take that one? clear -- theres is a controversial view that is worth being articulated. let us take your question at face value. it is true. is, is israel more moving -- weran may not entirely agree on how to approach iran. we will suremum, that iran can't move without us knowing right away.
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that is better than the alternative. the past reparations of iran's military country -- military operations were addressed. there was no evidence of suspected -- suspected activity taking place in the country. if that evidence is put forward, and the country says, no. this is a real problem if is not resolved, and we are in our rights to say iran has violated they deal. if iran barred us to military
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sites, that is one thing. but no one has come up with that evidence. this is similar to the iraq situation. and we have to be careful of being manipulated. >> i don't want to see anything bad happen to israel. commentsnetanyahu's get more attention of the attention- get more than the experts, people are going to say things. >> i am the director of policy and government relations in americans for peace now. it is a pro-israeli
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organization. to flipion is, i want this question on its head. advise opponents of the deal to kill it? as someone with an organization working to save the steel, -- save this deal, what advice might you have about which in mine cannizations like push people in congress who are on the fence about the deal to give them backbone, such they might save it? you for what you have been doing on this and many other issues. able to to actually be not only save the deal, but to make sure there isn't a war and
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a nuclear weapon program in iran means don'tt, that engage in any conversation or negotiation try to say, how can -- that would try to say, how can we get some form of toctions in place in order make sure they are not in violation? if you truly want to strengthen thing should do the one that has worked in the last 37 years. there are plenty of concerns on the american side of about the country. many of them legitimate. there is only one example in which the united states has successfully managed to change for policy insignificant -- in a significant way, through multilateral negotiation with america's closest allies.
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tended tolse has only make the conflicts more difficult. optimistic about the effect of our sanctions, and why do we still have all these problems today after 30 years of sanctions? according to the hawks, the iranians are in a stronger position the may ever have been. >> the sanctions didn't bring them to the negotiation table. >-- did bring them to the negotiation table. >> i would disagree. the united states played -- states wase thunited willing to accept enrichment on iranian soil under very strict limitations in 2013.
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we have only one example that worked. plenty of examples that did not. if we truly want to strengthen the steel and make sure that the security of israel and other things are effectively addressed, why are we choosing the path that has not produced results? next question. , i am the office of congressman lynch. theof the arguments that opponents of the deal have been making is that, we are seeing iran continue to do the ballistic missile testing, etc.. one of the arguments that folks in favor of the deal were making, if we can get the nuclear issue off the table, we can focus on these other things, do you think there may have been something we could of done right after this deal went through to
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start working on these other issues? because then maybe we could have done something to do with them and we wouldn't have this excuse opponents are not -- are now using to try and find other ways to kill it? was there an opportunity missed? didn't during the -- we did it during the deal. you can go back and watch -- look at how much was discussed in terms of how much we can other activities, whether it was cyber or ballistic or in the gulf. we were trying to do things to make sure allies would be comforted, because they were worried about the deal. we didn't wait for that now. we didn't talk to the country about these other issues.
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i suspect he talks to be ongoing -- the talks to be ongoing about and welear program, still have not addressed the other issues. this is going to be very tough. i don't think the irans are ready for that discussion. said, weme leader don't trust americans. maybe because of conversations if it works. secretary kerry tried many times those othert the -- issues, and could only go so far because the foreign minister of iran didn't have that authority. former president obama was very ballistic -- was very realistic. expect a
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transformation by the end of his menstruation. -- by the end of his administration. need to make the iranian government for them. they have strong views. it will be a discussion that means to be had. we may be setting the stage for an even more difficult discussion. follow-up, there is this other issue of prisoners held in iran. that upsets a great deal of members of congress. these are american citizens the iranian government is holding. ofmanaged to get a few i'm in fullbut --
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agreement. it is an outrage. some are people trita and i have known for many years. these are people who were being held as pawns. all of that is true. as you said yourself, many sanctions are still being imposed. if iran wants to have a better relationship, they will have to release detainees. i don't know how sacrificing the nuclear deal is going to help getting american back home. government is
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made up of various factions. who is really in charge? dynamic, domestic political situation. if you are thinking about getting them to make concessions, how? there are some people who believe that only browbeating sanctions and hostile rhetoric are likely to get a positive response. they will either capitulate for continue to be a pain. there are more sober minded people who understand that inside of a domestic political situation, there are hardliners and moderates. if you do things like conceded to the other side where you make -- like conceding to the other side to make hasromises -- now trump
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said the hardliners in iran are proven right. these are the guys that warned against trusting america, and we're satisfying their priors. >> one of the arguments some people have been making is that we should empower the hardliners. if you make them be more hardline, it will anger the iranian people enough that they will take the government back. this flies in the face of every bit of scholarship that is known about this kind of situation. around thege a rally flat affect. sanctions and -- flag effect. sanctions and other things only create this rally around the flag effect.
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don'tons on their own have a lot of utility as a foreign-policy. you have to offer people a way out in exchange for improved actions. hypothetical we have to have. a theoretical conversation about what would happen in what the people want. = -- and what the people want. every time, iranians have voted for the least hardline option, precisely because they don't want to go down that route. we want to see an opening with the united -- they believe they are in a better position to talk about what they want and what they think would work. would strengthen
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the voices inside the country that want interaction with the outside world and they will marginalize more hardline elements. the hardliners in the countries partly agree with that. fearfulwhy they are that there would have been united states businesses coming in. the arrested people before deal was struck in order to terrify people in picking, the deal is struck, businesses are going to come in. apple and google decided to kick out all of the apps in their store that have been produced by the engineers in iran. iran has their own i.t. sector, which has become an important part of their economy. thebecause of changes in law, but because of interpretation of the political
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context of the law. both companies decided they will , which was ae apps death knell to many of these different companies that have become quite successful. who are we hurting? these apps are being by iran.ed by kids in you are not going to see pictures of the ayatollah if you go to their office. you will see pictures of steve jobs. this policy is hurting them, not hardliners. one of the most hardline newspapers in iran said y esterday that trump gave us a gift -- this hardline approach is undercutting the moderates and embarrassing them because their gamble did not work out,
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while causing the rally around the flag phenomena john mentioned. xperience --me experience promoting hardliner leaders in iran. it didn't work out. that is the regime we're dealing with, the reaction to our excessive meddling in this country. it is hard to tell innocence in iran -- innocents in iran, why don't you suffer under a worse ,ictatorship than you are now even though we are really looking out for your interests? we talked about the united states will do. of, whathe question
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would you recommend to conservatives, what would you recommend to the leadership of iran? deal and stick to the say you would remain with your european partners? do, if you were advising iran? >> one of you go ahead. >> it would be a wise course to stick to the deal and put the and on the united states say, we are the good guys here. and living by the deal. the united states is not. i think they will do that until the economic beneifts of the --
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benefits of the deal start drying up. not only is the united states violating the deal, it is having an effect on their economy. if i were an iranian leader, i and convince them to continue to do business in spite of the threat of secondary sanctions. the secondary sanctions -- a lot of the united states sanctions that were imposed on iran to get them to come talk secondaryifted were sanctions which were imposed on companies in other countries that would do business with iran. secondary sanctions is to punish firms outside of iran that might want to do business with them.
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they hold over companies in europe this idea they will get punished if they do any business with iran. that is a significant point. i am going to share with you what i think they are likely to do. part of it is good in the sense of making sure the deal doesn't get killed. it would be bad if it was. there are keeping a relatively low profile. because of their calculation. trump is isolating the united states and they have no interest in interfering while he is doing that. is thea i worry about regime change. that will lead to a much tougher region, of iran in the where we will see them become
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more aggressive in the region as a result. concernw a lot of your is about preventing nuclear war. what is it like on a personal level to see something you work on so hard in the previous administration, all these things you helped build, come under threat of being thrown out? how is it personally to watch this play out in the white house? >> i try not to personalize it. there are some issues on which there is policy that says -- thisy not have gotten
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entirely right. i don't understand, other than those who think, we should try iranians- squeeze for a better regime change. it is never good to see several years of work -- others will suffer more than i if there is a confrontation, if the regime uses this to crack down. if the iranians retaliate in iraq or syria. my personal feelings are not the primary thing. at the international crisis group, whose motto is to put ourselves in other people's shoes. it is hard for me to understand the argument. those who think, we should never
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have made concessions to iran, talking about those who think we should approve this deal. why put a gun to their head and make them come to the negotiating table? it is not the way you do business. we are presenting the stories to this choice to the iranians, which basically they can only say no to. >> one more question. >> i am confused. there are nuclear related relateds -- non-nuclear sanctions. you said that if either those --
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either of those would be bad. but the -- if there is nothing, trump says he will undo the deal through these nuclear related sanctions. isn't it better to have nonnuclear related sanctions, or can congress do nothing in the next 60 days? should try toe make sure nothing goes to the floor. >> someone urging congress to do nothing. fascinating. >> i think it is important to keep in mind, it is not just so if you have nuclear-based sanctions that that would be a violation. sanctions, even if they are on the basis of any other issue, it is actually targeting iran's general trade. -- that is not going to
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work. that is a violation. that is where i think there might be some difficulty. everything the united states is looking at is going to be difficult to find. the sanctions have to be continued to be waived every 120 or 180 days. -- there areroach plenty of other things that can be done. we can respect the deal and honor it and good faith and reengage in diplomacy to impress those same issues that people say legitimately our concerns. >> i want to end this on a somewhat light note. president trump referred to it as they arabian -- the arabian
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gulf. there is no way to make iranians more united against you than refer to the persian gulf as the arabian gulf. he lost iranians with that. >> he lost them overwhelmingly with the muslim ban. the vast majority of people affected work iranians. there was no security basis engagingr of iranians in lethal terrorist era. letheraal terrorism. they are laughing. >> he has nothing to lose. thank you all so much. we appreciate it. give us your business cards.
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>> we will be hearing from the white house. a briefing with the press secretary, sarah sanders, scheduled 15 minutes from now


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