tv Hudson Institute on Iran Sanctions Protests CSPAN August 19, 2018 4:01am-5:31am EDT
relations committee meets on u.s.-russia relations. and the senate banking committee will hear about the effectiveness of sanctions against russia. both hearings are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. eastern. tuesday, a senate judiciary subcommittee hearing on cyber threats. live at 2:30 p.m. eastern. next, the trump administration's newly announced maximum pressure campaign against iran and its affect on the country's economy and civil society. from the hudson institute, this is about one hour and a half. >> thank you all for being here today. welcome to the hudson
institute. today we have a panel on the situation in iran appeared we will at the protests, the sanctions, the regime. >> and a research fellow from the foundation of independent democracies. mary m is the cofounder and codirector of the new learning institute for iranian civil society. to the left is a senior fellow at the center for strategy and security atlantic council. they have a book coming out called temperature rising, iran's revolutionary guards and
wars in the middle east. thank you all for being here today. we will run this like a sunday morning roundtable. we'll talk about iran, and then we will go back and forth. you will not hear opening dialogues, we'll have a live conversation. we hope to cover all of these topics and hopefully educate the administration on what to do and what not to do and how you can go for. i start with today's new york times article, where the supreme leader's throwing president romney under the us -- bus. blaming him for crossing red lines. it is an interesting position for the supreme leader to take. i would like to throw it to you first. talk about the current situation and what you think is going on. and we will just start the discussion. >> that is a large question,
what is going on. the country is in a pre-revolutionary state. ideology, the islamist ideology and the governing principles of the , both in butylc days and a moderate stance, are not working. people have lost support, their trust of the government. they are showing that through the massive demonstrations in the country. asking for regime change. personified by the slogans of how many, it reminds us of the shop from the younger years -- s hah from the younger years. the regime has been unable to
resolve the economic problems, political, and military situation it is facing. we will go over all of those as the panel discusses these points. line, people have lost confidence in the regime to resolve the problem. you do not trust the regime because of corruption, you do not trust the regime because of failed policy for both factions. this is a prerevolutionary state iran is in. i would add that the resentments towards the moderates, the reformers, than theis maybe more so-called hardliners. they pretended a lot of things, promised a lot of things, war a lot hats, and none of it has come true.
so the resentment of people who have always considered the most that have been -- the poor, the working poor. with a lot of overlapping social crises, addition, prostitution. severe social problems they are the ones who, in late december, revolted. and they continue to fuel the uprising that really is nationwide. but it really includes everybody else as well. has the result of several moral crises that are overlapping. a time when people expect some kind of dividend from the nuclear deal, even those who oppose the nuclear deal. many of us opposed it because we
this is going to satiate society in a lot of ways. it will be a buffer to the state when it needs it to be able to solve its economic crises. but they did not do it. basically, they pocketed the money for themselves, they paid assets, they continue to fund foreign adventurism and terror. and people saw that. not only did they not get better , they got significantly worse. this economic situation that is added on top of this theory that has lasted for 40 years. it is an explosion. that, it is off of no secret there is social, economic little malaise in the republic. it comes with the territory, the reason you have such a chasm between state and society. but why the december protests matter and the different
iterations matter is that, even though the skill has been smaller, it is the social base of the regime. who were people expected to show up to the friday rallies. people who are expected to chant death to america. and when you cannot get them to revolt, it is a conceptual problem, he government takes the raison d'etre away. it exposes the authoritarian nature, the core skeletal military structure, of what was once called the clerical oligarch. there is that moment happening in the republic. when you see different iterations of protests, the social classes that have been coming out, you saw the women's hijab movement, a backing off of the movement from the summer, escalating in february. ,e saw the environmentalists farmers in march, truck drivers,
unionists. is -- they are the people who bankrolled the revolution. there has always been a revolution between them and the clergy, but once the clergy came to power, that is when they saw their social status weakened. you have them marching on parliament, chanting the same slogans, if not more aggressive slogans. then you begin to realize this regime is in trouble. the place to keep your eye on is not society. i think society is gravitationally pulled away in a way that will not be irreparable. what you need to look at with the sanctions is the security -- how the have each regime has crumbled so what security forces are defecting?
learning, why they deployed law enforcement here? why do they appoint vigilantes? what does this tell you about the security forces? these are the ones on the frontlines. it is up for them to decide if the regime stays or goes. because of sanctions, many in the regime are turning against each other. there was a theory there would , aa rally around the flag number of options were written about it. but, clearly, we're seeing the opposite. not only are iranians not rallying around the flag, they are turning against the new regime. as the regime fights against itself.
even if the regime can't unify on the issue of how to resist the pressure, i do not think we can be expected to control the population for that much longer. we have not seen major defections from the regime. december, this expectation , thatn, and outside something major and dramatic would happen that would just turn things around completely. that has not happened. whether it is this certain faction being crushed even more aggressively and turning against the regime, or other figures. even defecting to the west very public. publicly. there have been reports of massive capital leaving, which
is telling. reports of families being sent abroad. not so much the united states, but canada and europe. [laughter] >> the door is closed. >> right. butll these indications .othing has happened i would agree that the security forces matter a lot. assumptionways this that they would withstand the fight and go until the bitter end. i question if that is true. there is not a lot of hard evidence, unfortunately, to show whether they are committed.
but i think that will break sooner than later. november is the key month. iran will, under economic blockade. you do not have warships blockading, but for all intents and purposes, there will be a full financial blockade of iran. economy, it is essentially a physical blockade. so for the u.s. administration, or rather the trump administration. intentional or not, adopted a regime collapsed strategy. but there is no follow-up in terms of what comes after. it is one thing to say is up to iranians to determine their future, i think the united states is very invested now.
because it is strangling iran's economy. if i iranians rise up and coming into the streets by the millions , it will be key what the united states will do and what kind of signals it sends. and what kind of policy. sanction, andg to the u.s. has done that very well , but it is a another to support opposition groups or decide, very solidly, whether washington is going to engage the regime, to enforce another deal. or whether, once and for all, they will figure out what to do. in tandem with the iranian people. thank you for that. i would like to thank c-span for being here today. that i heardesting
today is that we are in a pretty revolutionary state. there is resentment towards the moderates. the regime is losing its social base. and he said it was conceptually in trouble. is it actually in trouble? , put this to all four of you what should the u.s. due to accelerate it? or stay away from? >> one thing that is smart, and i know all lost of people disagree. when trump says he is ready to meet any time, that is very smart. pressure, not a zombie leader, but all of iranian society. they say he is ready to talk, so why aren't we moving. on one hand, there is enormous financial pressure. i don't know what the regime lobbyists in town are talking about how this only hurts society, not the regime.
yet right -- yeah, right. if that is true, why are they doing all of this lobby? >> say that again? >> if it is true that the regime does not care about the sanctions, then why are all of these regime lobbyists in town writing these articles and talking about how the sanctions are meaningless. do they spent 17 years of their life at the national iranian american council lobbied for one thing, the removal of sanctions. give me a break, sanctions have worked. they have gotten the regime to the negotiation table, they are working right now. extentot know to what the leader is authorizing indirect talks, even right now, but we know that he knows. and he knows because he has seen the past, and he can see the future, just like us, that he is in deep trouble.
the only way out is if he negotiates. those 12 points are being discussed the regime. and how can they meet the demands of the united states government. i will speak for myself only. press a responsibility to very hard for iran not become a venezuela scenario. what is a venezuela scenario? extreme economic collapse, the likes of which has never happened in a modern economy. venezuela is very similar to iran in its region. very advanced, socially and economically, with plenty of foreign investment. and then it went to the very bottom of the region on so many indicators. what is venezuela today? majora -- madura is still in power, and society is in chaos.
we do not want that to happen to iran. ,hese sanctions are extreme they are happening all at once. and the hope is that they will have effect of once. -- at once. and we will see the iranian regime beating those 12 demands. but for people like us, who are focused on civil society and aspirations for democracy, for there to be regime change. for this government to go in for a transition to a democratic government that is the will of the people of iran. >> one quick question. when the president be making a mistake if he met with the supreme leader? so far, the supreme leader has played a good game of being these younger people, and have these negotiations whenever
he wants, he can say i do not trust, i will not accept it. of course, the trump administration knows that and if the regime says to indicate that they will adhere to the 12 demands, then maybe the administration has to say i will talk to rouhani. ideally, they should be at the negotiating table face-to-face. because that is a humiliation for the iranian regime. >> definitely. >> the islamic republic is in trouble. not just because of the troubles, but also the region. has policy towards iran been really focused on what is going on inside iran. with the sanctions, they are hoping to change the behavior of the regime, which is impossible. any way forelp in regime change.
missing u.s. policy is is iran's regional intervention. we pay lip service that we will oppose intervention. example. for intervention to oppose the sunni opposition. those goals were achieved. still, iranians state in syria. parlay they wanted to their victory over the opposition into a permanent base in syria. to be a permanent presence in syria. and to challenge israeli power and influence in the region. the u.s. should say that is not acceptable to us either. and iran really has no place to
permanently base itself inside syria. same thing in yemen. some commanders have started is behindt suleiman th the mischievous affairs of iran in the region. of course, we knew that. >> all of those things were happening inside -- >> all of that. so they have to translated into policy. aside from what the united states can do internally, i agree with my colleagues about how the sanctions can affect the behavior of the regime and can affect the protesters on the streets. but we should not forget about the regional that mention, the intervention of direct -- iran. if you want to hit iran, not being necessarily connect, hit
politically, it militarily, you can do it in syria. you can do it in iraq, in yemen. do, you are going to help the opposition to have much more effective ways. >> hasn't that started already? the protesters are say no more syria, no more iran. so the u.s. government should listen. is not that the commander is probably identifying him as the commander and the problem. but i have not seen that to be translated into policy. >> mhm. >> the regime is under severe stress. by november, it has to make hard decisions in terms of if it supporting theue
assad regime hezbollah and hamas , and these militias. overopulation is very well -- aware. sanctions are also putting tremendous stress on iran. not think the united states needs to do anything dramatic, slept these things play out. there is no reason for trump to meet with anybody. no reason for the u.s. to hit iran anywhere in the region. it's whole position is under tremendous stress. and the internal unrest is feeding that. the u.s. is in a good position if it does not mess it up. >> if you look at the u.s. banksry, any iraq he doing business with iran will be subject to sections.
that is the kind of pressure we can put on regional allies. >> very telling. iran is supposed to be the major the iraq he government cuts off financial ties. what does that say about iranian influence? >> exactly. quickly on that point, and the broader of the discussion. issue, i still would not underestimate iran. if you need any proof of the power of the deterrent effect of u.s. secondary sanctions, look at the exodus of the european and foreign firms leaving iran. for those of you familiar with the academic literature, especially stuff that came out in the mid to late 90's, a lot of that focus on primary sanctions. and the debate in washington
after 9/11, after banks and businesses begin to develop robust compliance, risk and due haveence mechanisms, you seen the deterrent effect of the secondary sanctions become a tool of u.s. national security policy in a way that it wasn't. the academic literature has to catch-up to the way this tool is evolving in washington. this is one broad stroke. on iraq, one big reason for the when they say we do not like sanctions but we will week, andights one says iran's access to the u.s. dollar. in the interim, you had all of these militias come out. -- saying that we are going to break the sanctions. outof these guys are coming , chastising the national government of iraq.
takingunited states is its strategy off the shelf to implement it is policy, you need to go after these actors. that actually forestalls conflict with iran. it will be emboldened, it'll affect neighbors. it takes the path of least resistance. my fear for iraq is not the national government, because the leader may not say that law, but the national government may make a decision. but the ironic militia network, its proxy network, its influence on seminaries, the influence on business, may help buff those sanctions. and even when we saw international political buy-in in 2012, nato allies like turkey helped establish these massive sanction testing scheme. scheme we have to
look at what countries are primary jurisdictions for sanction busting and close loopholes. >> well said. we are looking at indicators to regime instability. you all mention some indicators and the metrics you are seeing. what are some of those? military,about the vigilantes, the regular army. focusing one able the conventional forces. they thought that the conventional military will side with the people. and then you have the schism. paid,wer ranks are barely and they can side people as well. one of two generals leaving high ,ositions, leading these forces
would be an indicator of the exit. we are talking about capital flight. what are some of the things that we would expect to see from this force if the regime collapsed? could it become how on steroids, havoc?ng -- wreak briefly, for several years has tried tome scare the iranian people away from agitating for their rights. they point to syria and say look what happened to them. , their freedom, their livelihood, and look what they got. implicit if that is a threat that we will do to iranian society, our own people, what we have done to the innocent syrian people. whether or not they will, it
on plugging the holes in terms of the financial infrastructure. need to plug the holes in terms of security right away if there is a change in iran. that is one thing we should have learned from iraq. once the regime has been toppled, through whatever means, hopefully through nonviolence, civic resistance, but even after that. once the regime goes, there may still be networks, ways they can terrorize the iranian people, throughout the region. we need to have the intel, the preparation, the will to be in there and doing the things that are necessary to prevent that. the issue of putting pressure
and the armed forces in iran is key to the future development of the state. people on the street are putting pressure on the regime, by demonstrating, by voting. -- voting a vote of no-confidence. it is a vote of no-confidence in the regime. people are doing what they have to do. to surprise the regime. more and more, it looks that they are organized and coordinated. i did not expect to have the same kind of slogans against the regime being pronounced in every single city during any phase of demonstration, almost simultaneously.
coordinated.re the nature of society is not that people can organize and open. they have to organize underground, coordinate underground. and the social media is helping them with that immensely. but it is much more organized and coordinated that the regime would have expected. if we put pressure, if the u.s. puts pressure outside of the pressure would aboutthem to think twice what is going on and what would be their position in iran if the demonstrations get out of hand. and that is when we will look at who is going to really cross the redline and effect.
it is important to put the pressure on them in syria, in iran, yemen, everywhere they are doing it. would help, not just the demonstrators, but pressure from outside light coming from the u.s.. fisher within.t when israel bombs the bases in syria, and so he says, yeah, we decide those benefits go up in smoke, all of that money meant to help iran, all of these people lobbied for the iran deal, saying don't you care, don't you care? first of all, there was no peace. the people of syria were being annihilated. what the iran deal was in effect, we saw the money go to syria. and that israel bombed it and it was gone. >> important point.
the may 10 israeli attack on the iranian position in syria really showed how unprepared it was. billion in annual , they throwin syria 40 rockets towards israeli front positions, and then israel came proportional, and there is no response. imageught down the whole that i rgc is dealing with itself that they are all-powerful. they are not. after all of the things about fighting israel, liberating jerusalem, israel hits them on may 10. yet. is no retaliation that brought the whole image down.
>> plus that campaign, where they thought those russians were there to protect the offense of operations. the schism it created was there. it is felt in terror run, felt on the ground. >> and people in parliament started talking about how we do not like the russians. immediately, it fell apart. >> what is fascinating about , it is probably, right now, the biggest civil disobedience event i can think of happening in the world. it has progressed quite a bit since december. in recent weeks, we see massive protests in stadiums. tens of thousands of people, protesting. and the iranian people are actually way ahead then we think
they are. in recent months, actually, the protests have become more organized and synchronized. they are happening in interesting ways. , they arer strike still in the second round. there is still a lot happening we do not see. it is good to have debates on , but i u.s. harnesses it think the democracy movement in iran is way ahead. if it can turn out massive amounts of people onto the street, it can be very effective. that could very well happen in the next three months, given what we have seen.
if everybody turns into the street, you would have tens of thousands of people in one spot. >> i want to get back to on that, but i have a follow-up for you. very briefly, because the conversation is being held in washington. as critical as we want to be, is important to understand the iranian threat. we do not have this demonstrated capability, we do. that is why the balance of result in the u.s.-iran contest is always more important. the balance of capability is permanently slanted in the u.s. favor. model,u look at iran's it is at least two decades old, that when you look at iran's network, look for depth and not brett. readth. -- b
ever since arab spring, there are a couple of theaters they are involved in. other areas like yemen, bob bahrain.bob crane -- ofis iran's instrumental use these theaters against u.s. interests and partners in the region. toshould not build them up be this dinosaur, when there is a balance of capability heavily slated on the other side. . >> it is the willingness to use it. going back your comments about the biggest civil disobedience campaign we have seen, and under the threat of violence. if we look at the u.s. elections, the day after the president took his oath of office, we had a big protest parade in d.c., yet it represented less, the physical presence was less than 0.001% of the population, yet it received
24/7 news media coverage. , moves peopleds in a position away from the trump administration. aree protests in iran estimated at 5% of the population, probably more. they are starting to be organized, they were organic and wickedness, now there is more momentum. and 5% of the population protesting would be the equivalent of 22 million americans marching on d.c.. that would be a chaos event. that would change government. and if it had been recovered from the international community, it would replace the government. so what is lacking in iran? media coverage? these feel like they are built for western media support, yet we are not seeing it. and what can be done? what do the protesters need? media coverage, western support?
>> i want to get to media coverage briefly, but i also want to inject some estimates of. -- pessimism. there is still a large amount of cohesion in the security forces. their royalk about army, you can get conservators. -- conscription. that is why they are likely to go. but it is important to note there's still a deal. the number is dropping of those who support the regime, but the security force is the place to look at. unfortunately, they are quite adept at repression. it has learned from every successful iteration of protest. if you look at the 94, they did not fire. the ir gc and 99, law enforcement together with university approach. 2009, it was not libya, for
duffy's on the streets. it was right police, men on guns. i am simply reporting how they are learning. and they are learning. first, they are shocked by the protests, and they react quite quickly. 18, the get to 2017, use of lps is instrumental. the law enforcement. it would behoove the trump administration to go after the interior ministry. we went after the interior ministry turkey sections, they are not sanctioned in iran. it is interesting that after all of these depressions, you are still seeing mass protests. this week is the 30th massacre ofof a iranian political prisoners inside iran.
there are tens of thousands of political prisoners who were serving their time. there were put in front of a firing squad and killed. fromy, tens of thousands, all kinds of groups. members of the ethnic minorities in iran. after 30 years, people are coming onto the streets. it is getting out of hand for the regime. be verye, we have to careful to see how security forces are going to use all of this pressure under their control. do some ofer they situation is getting out of hand.
situation with a season people on the street who are not going to come out. they are doing it. >> under the threat of violence. on the threat of disappearing. ofone thing i was reminded with the anniversary of the prison massacre is that there have been many anniversaries and remembrances of the past. i'm surprised that we never once iran's modernizer, the nation builder. his name is being called in protest after protests throughout the country. by the power base of the islamic republic. recently, we have the anniversary of the assassinations of the last prime of these errors, kind
of renaissance men, beloved, respected. his corpse was found and it created all kinds of very cathartic remembrances of the past. a yearning for the past. we had messages by a lot of musicians on the outside, whose music is listened to on a regular basis inside the country, but very much centered, while giving video messages of support to people who are protesting inside the country. we have the death of a prominent actor before the revolution who was blacklisted. funeral, there was this mass of catharsis for the whole nation, of all that has been lost, all of the opportunity, the national identity. the iran that has been lost.
a prominent beloved human rights defender, who has been basically imprisoned for so long, his while he has been in prison, his 30-year-old daughter died of a heart attack. how moneyou about people suffered for every one person who is a political prisoner. , everybody was so aware of all of the pain this regime has caused the people. all of these things are happening at the same time. ,ut it is very important that wherever it happens, the whole country and everyone is aware. thesed argue that protests are not so well organized. maybe what it is is that when something happens, it goes on social media so quickly, that the same slogans, the same kinds of people are out on the street everywhere else. it does not take that level of
organization anymore. >> briefly, that is what it is important not to call the protests, especially from december and on, as merely economic protests. they are distinctly political. they are not saying give me a more favorable exchange rate, they're saying things like death to palestine. to morey is looking publicly grab the third rail of this regime. they said we know we can say to death to rouhani. so we will fill up the stadium and say it. we know you are investing heavily in syria, so we will say get out of syria. , for 40 years, have been saying america's the enemy, so we will march on the parliament building and safety enemy is here. -- say the enemy is here. this is the balance of resolve.
the iranian state knows it is winning the battle of resolve, but the people are increasingly winning. by saying and doing these things. >> you asked about the media's role, and i think it would be great if the media paid attention. a lot of reporters say we do not have access, we are not based in iran, we cannot confirm events. we cannot have a presence there. and that might be valid to a certain point, but i find it surprising that in this day and age of information, the media cannot be more creative about reporting, about civil disobedience and mass protests. chance forid, the these families. there has been some reporting, but nothing major.
1979, the revolution got so much media attention. later, you have this mass uprising in iran and it barely gets any media attention. communication has improved so greatly. and there are many different reasons you can speculate as to but i also think that media, in general, has been in this probe jcpoa mode. i was talking to a senior u.s. official recently, i asked him why doesn't the u.s. get more from behind every in opposition? said you have to consider all of these years the u.s. bureaucracy was geared towards promoting and enforcing jcpoa. and i feel like that applies to any group of people. their mindset has not changed.
for quiteging slowly a few in d.c., but we are not there yet. >> a lot of the people funded by the u.s. government democracy , onhuman rights portfolio their social media, it is either a project funded by taxpayers, they do not share the videos of the protests. that is some kind of sense echoing the voices of the people is somehow dangers. because trump is the president. what is the one have to do with the other? if you believe that people who wants to be free should be free, you should be echoing the voices of those people. you should be sharing those videos. it should not matter who the president of the united states is. billed for western democracy support. these are women's issues,
minority issues, gay issues. these are issues western media is built to support, somehow, and i have talked to reporters, that there is this thinking that if you criticize the regime, somehow you are disloyal to the jcpoa campaign or the obama administration. is anou mentioned, what important because obama is no longer president, to continue to somehow shield what this regime is doing. agreed thatof us the jcpoa fueled this adventurism. forcesas not for the activities outside iran, there would likely be a jcpoa today. there was little evidence iran treated, but there was all the evidence that annexes fueled this adventurism. and a chance for the iranian people that he squandered the economic opportunities on this
adventurism, instead of focusing on us. it is something we should be able to get behind as a media, and as a government. again, this is built for western support. >> going back on the point of how intelligently these demonstrations choose their slogans. to really hit the regime hard. mentioned they are for, or as a shop -- rezasah. people are not loving him from dictatorship, people love him because he opposes the clergy , he200 years of coalition single-handedly and the coalition. checked the clergy out of the
imperial court. that is why they are calling his name, not his son who actually brought back the coalition in a limited sense. who gave a more freedom and much more freedom to the clergy. he said they would be in his favor against the left. at the end, those were the same .lergy that caused the collapse , you can see note that the slogans are very intelligent, based on the history of iran. economic, theyst are highly political. that is what i really think this is pretty revolutionary. so is the narrative that if the u.s. gets behind the protesters, that will move people towards the regime. none of you agree with, right? >> no. >> if they got behind the
protests, would it move it back towards the regime? >> the united states government is already behind the protesters. these sanctions are a huge boost. whenever i talk to people inside the country, and as the two very different kinds of people, there is an expression. you asked how are things, and they say: thankfully, things are really bad. they say thankfully, things are bad. --are in economic connects collapse, thank goodness. that is what is fueling things. they do not blame donald trump. they realize the reason they have been suffering. they understand the sanctions are a direct result of what the iranian regime is doing. is alreadyvernment behind the protesters, it has a regime change policy.
what we need to be careful of is that it maintains that and maintains moral clarity as we move forward. unfortunately, we do not have a who, ineagan, somebody his bones, believes in the power of freedom. universal aspiration for freedom, equality, justice. that is not a good thing. but we do have pompeo, nikki haley. whenever nikki haley talks, believe me, iran loves it. it is there. what we have to be careful about is to make sure that the iranian government does not manage to have the united states convinced they are abiding by this and that, and that donald trump does not get really happy about wanting to make a deal. >> what mistakes could this administration make? >> mixed messaging. and that has already happened to some extent. >> with the media to rouhani
statement? >> i do not think it is necessary. i think of the united states making a public gesture would be very helpful. special official for ironic matters would be helpful. overall, i think considering what comes next is very important. not just for you, but for all parties involved. and the kind of opposition to the u.s., the support should be very clearly designated. andit has to be secular democratic, fully democratic and representative. no more of these guessing games. firm,policies need to be more than anything. those it be my recommendations.
-- would be my recommendations. >> we have a two-year window if trump does not get reelected. well the regime and try to play the waiting game? >> it can tried, i do not know how it will survive. they need an economy to survive. and the iranian people are not going to put up with the administration for two more years. if they do, it will be chaos. we talked about potential scenarios. people site syria and iraq. i do not think that is a question for iran. for a lot of reasons, the regime in iran created a situation in syria. there are other scenarios as well. europeanan eastern style collapse, what happened in the soviet union or south africa. regardless, it will be chaotic the next two years. there will be massive violence.
or a lot of actual factional fighting, with new groups emerging. say new groups will emerge. someone asked me if i had heard about the anarchists in iran. we said, who knows. there is so much in use anger. -- youth anger. anything could emerge. my prediction is simply that it will not be smooth. i think we will see things that will shock us. the last few months, we have seen things that are very surprising. that cost everybody by surprise. -- cost everybody by surprise. >> an example? >> the dynasty was surprising.
not only in the wholesale rejection of the islamic republic, but the clergy as well. one thing to consider for the united states, or any opposition group, is how to allow the clergy to melt away. it can't be all punishment. there has to be a positive reason for people to defect. clergy, as a class of people, are deeply in trouble, more than anybody. somebody was telling me that in not see oneid cleric in the entire city, because they are afraid to come out. that is important as well. it can be a situation where you have the pacification. de-pacification.
there are things the u.s. can do. >> it might push them into insurgency. house should, once and for all, make a decision. the people of iran do not want regime change in behavior, the want a different regime. experienced 30ve years of so-called moderation and reformism in iran. from multiple leaders to rouhani , it does not work. ,he moderates, the reformists cannot change regime of behavior. to change very hard regime behavior. they failed. because that is how the structure of this regime is. part of theal
republic is entrenched and in power. ago, the not that long word regime change was a dirty word. [laughter] >> so i think the white house should, for once and all, say that this is not about regime behavior, it is about the regime. will do it,people but the u.s. government should do everything in its power to help that. including limiting regime including limiting outside influence in the region. >> i think regime change still is a dirty word, which is why there is so much of this gray space in what the administration's policy is. my advice to the administration is pushing weight from the table
-- push away from the table on that debate. it is up to you to change the paradigm. you will set up the region with a slightly better deal or the region will collapse. it is up to the administration, but the administration must be able, and willing to take its cues from the street when necessary. i did not fall for the administration in its 12 points. those are all about iran's foreign security policy. the u.s. has had issue with iran's security -- foreign security policy. these are the manifestations of the failure of the policy does far. there is an absolute need to change the regime's behavior.
once you get to supporting the iranian people, you should be able to stand up for the iranian people rhetorically. and they are going to rally around the flag. next you have to do targeted sanctions against keep members of the regime, right? you can have not just cannot have a nato allies --. we have to go after all the regime officials. three, make sure the communication support is still there. you want to major they can communicate freely, because the assumption is that if they communicate freely, the things that result from iranians on the streets is more in line with
u.s. interest. publicly accentuate the cleavage that already exist between state and society. what the islamic republic of iran habitually does is not in the national interest of iran. we have qualms with the trump administration in the middle east, leave it or not, but no administration has made this point more than the administration. the government of iran is not putting iran first. when you are putting the assad regime over the well-being of your own people, you are not putting iran first. when you are having this mediocre, watered down deal about the fate of the caspian sea, you're not putting iran's interest first. the islamic book of iran is a poor steward of the -- republic of iran is a poor steward of it iranian national interest.
never is more in common with the iranian and the american government and the american people than meets the eye. >> so i wanted to say something about 10 sentences ago. it doesn't make any sense now. i wanted to go back and say, we have regime changes. you are telling the administration to stay away from the regime change in order to assuage reporters. >> you have to get the policy off the ground. i don't know if the policy is regime change. >> the policy is regime change by not calling it regime change, which always gives us that -- it is brilliant. >> give the best of both worlds and a lot of flexibility, openness. it leaves the door open for the
iranian regime to think that it can actually meet the 12 demands and have the sanctions lifted. if you say from the get-go that you are for regime change, why would they do anything about the 12 points? why would he do anything? i wouldn't. >> the 12 points don't change anything we're talking about. it would shore up the regime, though. wouldn't that be a mistake by the administration to say that the 12 points have been met, and the regime is fine? >> obviously i would love tomorrow to have a democratic republican in iran and this be over with. it would be a significantly different kind of government. it would still be an oppressive regime. i don't know how many people are familiar are remember what most of which was bombed by made of -- most of which was bombed to
write -- milosevic was bombed by nato. he was toppled two years later. everybody looked at him and said, you are weak and ineffective committee were corrupt -- ineffective, you are corrupt. we have nothing because of this bombing. the 12 points are like the nato bombing of syria. >> even a regime change in baghdad, they go to the negotiation table and take that seriously. it is not that if they think that u.s. is in favor of the regime change. they are not going to sit and negotiate. even in baghdad, the regime change they sit down and negotiate. i guess we are beyond that, in a sense that people are saying that even if the regime accepts as well points, keeping the repression in iran is not acceptable to them.
>> i think we are beyond -- i think we are beyond, let's do some reform here, some moderation there, some change in foreign policy here and call that iran policy. that is a nonpolicy. and then they are talking about regime change but they really want to have regime change? i don't see that. it doesn't take much. >> when i saw the 12 points i thought this is not going to happen. [laughter] i still hold to that. i don't think it's going to happen. in terms of setting u.s. policy, it is smart. >> 12 points are huge. >> i am concerned about the -- making. >> they could take their time making -- i think each point
might take six months to one year. they want to engage that process. >> that would outlast the trump administration. >> any administration. >> but the sanctions won't be lifted, so as far as the regime is concerned, they aren't getting anything. >> on the question of regime change, gene sharp talks about what is happening in iran basically. a country can have a civil disobedient movement or political defiance and still be supportive from the outside. just because iran is having a democratic movement does not mean that u.s. involvement in any way means that the u.s. owns it or it is invalidated. that something we have to keep in mind when we use the words regime change. >> so it's a mistake to say regime change? >> we are very loaded to call into mechanized u.s. divisions
rolling into a wreck. -- iraq. we are not talking about that. >> this is different. there are a through z options. we have the will doing this to people doing this -- people doing this. >> the u.s. assigned it nonproliferation agreements with the soviet union and still -- the soviet union, as did moscow. there is no reason we cannot apply pressure. >> i think that is the model here. >> -- came to power with the mother of our regime changes. those guys are not the ones who are saying regime change. they came to power through a
regime change. so a regime change in the islamic republic did not include 135,00 u.s. troops in the streets of toronto -- tehran. it did involve millions of people on the streets protesting. the regime changed is not necessarily mean that you have to put --. >> not at all. >> nobody is calling for that. it is interesting that the regime that came to power through a regime change, not to them regime change is a dirty word. >> it's always like that. totalitarian regimes tend to be the result populist uprisings. the populist uprisings become these totalitarian regimes that anything they do is towards preventing a popular uprising. one thing to keep in mind is that there has never been a democratic movement that has
succeeded without outside support, without at least solidarity. the american revolution supported by the french. south africa, the sanctions were called for by the people of south africa. the whole world was mobilized. the fall of the iron curtain and the fall of the berlin wall, and the break with coming is a command free, -- break with communism, was strongly supported by reagan. i remember it all in the nightly news. all of this stuff was the nightly news. why are the iranian people supposed to be different? why is it that it is bad for the united states government to say to a muslim society, that you deserve better, we know that you know that you deserve better, and we are here to help you, we want to help you.
all of this is bridging lobbying -- regime lobbying. all of the academic experts have listened to this lobbying. when the green movement happened, we had these great professors, probably really great hearts who wanted to do the right thing, but they went and told the obama administration, don't do anything come don't say anything. that's exactly what the obama administration wanted to hear. he had already started secret negotiations. the only thing he wanted was the iran deal. >> let's look at what the elites thought, what influenced them most. we know very openly what
influenced the people on the street, but do we know what the national security decision-making apparatus thought in poland, romania, in iraq, in the soviet union? let's study iraq, gorbachev. [laughter] study what kind of fear? how did the clerk look at sentience -- sanctions? that is my two cents. he knows all the tricks in the books. >> i don't think he studied? >> he's a literary fan. he's at least read it that -- some of the great russian literature. >> is he implementing a strategy that will keep the regime in place? >> i think his strategy is continuing the strategy, a regime belt on that many contradictions, a could collapse
50 years from now, i have no idea. the success of that is continuing on many line cash the -- like -- the -- line. >> it's going to be a total failure. >> right. >> maybe he will die first. >> it will be judged a failure now and it will be just a failure when he is gone. >> will rouhani survive? >> physically? [laughter] >> no. that's another option. how could he go away? he could be asked to resign or the other way. >> he is being scapegoated. -- in his latest speech defended staying in power, saying that the enemies want to -- you know, they are the ones behind the collapse of the government. rouhani more and more is becoming a nonentity in iranian politics. >> these people who know how to speak english, they are pistols, -- his tools, and he uses them when he needs to use them. the question is whether he will use them now.
is a different time? how many times it is -- going to go to europe and be told nice things but no contracts? >> right. >> you know. >> yes, i think rouhani is already done. what he offered iranians was a possibility of a better life to what he called moderation. that failed completely. he has really nothing else to offer at this point. if the other alternative is something more -- worse. like his last opponent in the election. is. going to get worse the economy
is going to shut down come november, so was the difference. -- what's the difference? those offices are basically nonnegotiable, so he might just stay out. it does not really matter that much, to be frank. whether even the guards take over officially or not, and make the decisions already, they are terrible decision-makers when it comes to the national interest. so is rouhani it his own regard, and his own weight. >> right. what mystics -- mistakes could regime make? are they making them now? >> can i say this publicly? [laughter]
>> tell the regime how to succeed but daily and -- by failing. >> or how to --. >> i never got around to answering the other question, which was the trump administration. all of this is driven by strategy and goals. so take the goals, push away from the table on the regime change. you have to move swiftly towards the goal. that is more -- what she said about the soviet union is the more adept response. don't just think reagan, think truman under george h.w. bush. rocks crack on the street overtime. they are pretty sturdy but they crack over time. concrete cracks over time because of the drastic changes in the chemical weathering. there could be change introduced by form pressure, and giving
offset to the form pressure. think this strategy, but know that if a rock -- iran says i want to stop missiles and flight test, know what a bad deal is. we did not use the word uranium once. all of this situation was begun by leaving the nuclear deal. the men in iran know how to hoodwink american democrats or republicans. you come in and look at this carpet, i can save this, no offense. don't expressed a lot of interest in this type of deal. keep the high bar, keep the pressure. the fact that the u.s. would sit down with iran to offset the pressure system the europeans, we also need to help -- says to the europeans, you also need to help. the europeans have not designated a single entity since 2012 or 2013 that was on the wmd, nuclear, terrorism file.
why? they were going to designate 15 and decided not to in the end. now we have a bit of a transatlantic split. the weight of u.s. intentions is going to be driving the train here, but we have other interests in the world besides iran. you have to adjudicate what is important and when. the regime has not begun to test the full range of its missiles get. there have been zero naval harassment in the persian gulf. >> those actions lose your. those actions -- europe. those actions lose support. >> the one thing that would lose europe is formally stepped out of the boundaries of the jcpa.
>> what i do like is a disconnect between european governments and european private sector. european private sector says note, european governments -- no, and european governments say go into iran. ofac, big a very small group in the u.s. government was whispering don't. >> including american banks, even didn't listen to kerry. >> the regime has a big appetite. >> right.
>> at the 19 somebody eight vienna convention -- 1978 the and a convention -- 1978 vienna convention --. it was a treaty signed between lenin and a --, making caspian sea both surface and floor 50-50 between the countries. that treaty was re-signed when the soviet russia became ussr. until the day of the collapse of the ussr, that treaty was enforced. iran could have argued that still principle of continuity would mean that iran would keep its 50% and the other 50% would be divided among the four parties in the neighborhood. they could have argued that because they had the convention in vienna in 1978 on their hands. they did not.
this is becoming another thorn in their side, because corruption and political repression was the ones that people were mentioning about what this regime is capable of doing. of what they had promised. they are -- they are incapable of doing it. at least they thought this regime was --. the mistake they made in the caspian sea, they are really pulling the rug under their feet. the regime can make mistakes, all in all, including a europe. airbases in iran. >> it that a mistake for the survival of the iranian regime?
or is it a survival for the iranian national interest? >> the regime did that because they need russia. they are ready to fail iran? >> they don't care about iran. they care about staying in power. it's like a mafia. >> during the high of the demonstration, you do these things and are now telling the public that you are not only corrupt, but are also in the pockets of the big powers, like russia. >> that vindicates the argument. the islamic republic of iran is a poor guardian of the iranian national interest. the united states does not have issues with that the national interest of iranian. it has issues with the way the leaders of the islamic republic acts on those issues. this is the greater talking point.
>> i think the biggest mistake the regime could make is when it comes down to the time it has to make a major decision on massive use of force, that if it goes in that direction, it's not going to really solve the sense of crisis. i think that's the worst decision it could make, for itself and for iran if it goes down the road of violence, because you have a very deeply frustrated society that will explode if it's confronted with violence. i don't think iranians are just going to fall back that easily. people like rouhani that claim to have -- to be more logically inclined than their opponents within the regime, if they realize that i think that's important that there is no continuation if they use force. i don't expect people like that to want that ultimately. i think the regime has a lot of
crazies that have said they will burn iran down to the ground, and they will. as a whole, if the regime goes down to the ground, that would be very unfortunate. >> so far i think it's very clear that -- has learned from history. i think he is a student of history. >> not a very good student, though. >> i think he is, actually. i think soviet and russian history he has studied deeply. he realizes it is the age of social media and has not allowed massive violence and the kind of visuals that can relate cost him legitimacy and lose europe as you said. i think we can expect him to maintain that sort of discipline for the regime. i think to answer your question about what kind of mistakes, we are at a fortunate position in that we have all this civic mobilization, this galvanize a should of popular will test galvanization of popular will against the regime. not because the regime has made a tipping point kind of mistake lately. it has been the outside pressure, the economic -- the
weight of 40 years of totalitarian rule that can only get you to be worse and worse and worse in terms of the morality of the state, the corruption of the state, in terms of the ability to respond to crisis, the environmental crisis, the social crisis. it's the weight of the 40 years of that kind of totalitarian power that is causing the regime, not a specific kind of mistake. if anything, i think he has been very smart, very astute about history. i don't think he is going to make these big mistakes, but i think he is going to lose, because the weight of 40 years of totalitarian tyranny combined with these massive economic sentience is just too much for any kind of totalitarian regime to be able to sustain. >> regimes could change without any violence or without much violence. that's what happened to the soviet union. >> we can think about all the possible negative possibilities,
but we can also think about all the ways that encourages kind of dissolve. we have a transitional government and them a clinical -- democratic rule. the iranian regime is not worse than the soviet union or czechoslovakia. those were very repressive regimes. >> i agree. it could go on that correction -- direction, but thinking back on the history of iran, i can't think of any historical event where there has not been major violence. even the revolution there was a lot of violence. >> not a lot of violence. it was a nonviolent revolution. >> no. >> there was some violence during the revolution. >> that's not mass violence. >> go read " fall of heaven." it's really well documented.
i don't think there's going to be a peace boat collapse of the regime that peaceful collapse of the regime -- peaceful collapse of the regime. that is one possibility among several. >> in the time it takes for the regime to collapse, we won't see coming and it would just go. >> you have to consider that iran is a very deeply divided society. there are still a lot of people who believe in the regime and its message. they will beat up a skype was -- scarf less woman. there are people there like that in iran. just give them arms. they will defend what they have to defend. i don't see how that all goes away. that this regime has built database the regime has built -- base that the regime has built completely shrinks away. >> it has happened many times in history.
>> we have a heart stop that 1:30. i hope this has been interesting to everyone. my favorite quote of the panel thankfully is really getting better -- "thankfully, it's really getting better -- getting bad." i would like to thank all of my panelists for being here today. [applause] it was great. thank you all for coming. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] announcer: looking ahead to monday, first lady melania trump
will be speaking at a cyber bullying prevention summit in rockville, maryland. you can watch it live at 9:15 eastern time on c-span2. later in the day, president trump honor officials from the agencies that handle customs and border protection, live at 1:30 p.m. eastern, also on c-span2. announcer: c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, american prospect senior writer paul wolfman and politics editor jim mantle discussed the political news of the day, and will discuss the proposed changes to the endangered species act. and brett hartl of the central for biological diversity. be sure to watch "washington journal," live at 7:00 a.m. eastern this morning. join the discussion. announcer: next, a look at court
rulings on claims for publicity rights for college athletes, convicted criminals, actors, and politicians. the claims deal with the rights of an individual to control the commercial use of their name, image, or likeness. a panel of the ninth circuit courts yearly conference debated the right of publicity versus the right of free speech. is is an hour and a half. or personality. >> good morning, everyone. thank you so much for being with us. we know it is early thursday morning, the final day of our conference, so we are so glad you are here with us for this panel. the title is "from human cannonballs to county fairs: how issues of rights of publicity law."