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tv   Quadriga  Deutsche Welle  May 17, 2019 2:30am-3:01am CEST

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you never believe sea level rise by at least one meter in this century it's really frightening. why aren't people more consigned. to the 1st w. . welcome to bud rica savors or rattling once again in the middle east as the standoff between the united states and iran intensifies the trump administration has sent an aircraft carrier into the persian gulf and is updating the war plans over what it says are iranian threats to american troops and interests this follows iran's announcement last week in response to tighter u.s. sanctions that it will partly reduce its commitment to the nuclear deal
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unilaterally rejected a year ago by washington iran also issued an ultimatum to the remaining parties to the agreement giving them 60 days to find a way to keep trading with iran despite the u.s. sanctions could u.s. pressure put it produce a new and better deal as washington claims or will it result in war that's the question we pose on this edition of quadriga and here are our guests who will answer it it's a pleasure to welcome tori tausig she's a political analyst for the brookings institution currently on a robert bosch militia in berlin and she says tensions between the u.s. and iran are escalating signals coming out of washington and tehran indicate things won't cool down any time soon. and we're very glad to have shined arche on on the program he is a political analyst and on iranian and shia affairs and he's editor in chief of iran under is a german language magazine specialized in. reporting on iran he says europe
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shouldn't see iran only as a threat rather it county when tehran as a partner and it's a pleasure to introduce rick novak he's a berlin based correspondent for the washington post who covers international politics and he says both sides know that a u.s. iranian war could become more catastrophic even than the iraq war president trump could have few firm allies at home for such a confrontation. so i'd like to start out by trying to figure out if these drumbeats of war that we're hearing are in fact leading to that or whether they're simply scare tactics on both sides and for that purpose i'd like us to listen to some sound from both parties. what they should be doing is calling me up sitting down we can make a deal a fair deal we just don't want to have nuclear weapons not too much to ask and we want to help put them back into great shape. would look at of negotiations with the
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us or poison as long as the us has what it is and has not come to its senses. talks with the us or poison and with its current administration it's a double poison him. the tories how sick you said in your opening statement that things won't cool down soon but trump is hardly sounding there like he's ready to go to war and the fact is that he was elected in part on his assertion that he would bring home u.s. forces from the middle east and not intervene anymore in that region that's exactly right president campaigned in 2016 on bringing troops home from the middle east ending america's costly wars in the region and also withdrawing from the iran nuclear deal and renegotiating a better deal with iran's leaders over not only its nuclear weapons and its progression of nuclear weapons but also its destabilizing activity in the region the challenges that there are hard liners in the white house that have
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a very different objective when it comes to iran and that is pushing tensions to the point where we are today that i think requires us to talk a little bit about those hard liners vigneault act in your opening statement you mentioned the iraq war well the fact is that one of the chief architects of that conflict is now the national security advisor to president trump and we're told that iran policy is absolutely in his hands so what are the implications of that let's say the president doesn't want a war how does john bolton feel about it well john bolton certainly has been advocating for military options potentially or at least a very strong stance against iran but it is unclear to what extent trump actually agrees with that assertion or with that stance of we have actually been hearing over the last few hours today that the trumpet has been quite opposed to some of the statements he has made. sure there are can you say that the u.s. can win iran as a partner but if we listen to that sound bite from how many they it doesn't sound
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like he's ready for any kind of discussions and haven't in fact hardliners in the regime in tehran been gaining sway in recent months i have to correct that isolates of europe or in iran the support i'm not so u.s. . at the moment the relationship but there in tehran the washrooms too complicated for such perspective. you'll say the hardliners in iran but they're saying in this regard we have really hard liners in iran because if you look at the presidential and parliamentary elections no politician in iran demand to have nuclear weapons to pull out from the deals or what we know seeing is let alone those so-called top line as what you see is so even the rough reformers those centrist in iran want. pressure as a centrist government of mr rouhani. to increase the iranian and to
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suspend some obligations and to just a few a i want to come back to that in a moment but can you just say a word about the latest u.s. claims regarding iranian threat to u.s. forces in the middle east we are seeing reports today that the u.s. says it has credible evidence that missiles have been loaded on to small boats in the persian gulf and that the revolutionary guards the hard liners in iran are behind this now in april the iranian parliament declared u.s. forces in the region terrorists isn't there some good reason to be concerned in washington about what the implications of that could be i don't think so it depends on the international comment and to the international wanted to can have 3 votes with sanctions that's the moment. it's not the moments that you want us most into the wonder you want to listen to love then it can for example blocks through the
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whole most significant. person goes by there's a moment i don't sing that iran is interested in military conference i also think it's also not interest the. military conflict. what we're seeing is a loss there's this more. missiles to prevent investments and business in iran because no business man wants to deal with the county runs there's a fear that the next days there would be a well let me ask the 2 of you how you interpret these u.s. claims about having new and credible evidence of a qualitatively higher risk torito 6 you mentioned the hardliners in the white house john bolton. certainly everybody remembers the evidence that he and others presented in the run up to the iraq war is that what we're seeing here
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a similar situation exaggerations or do you think this is more credible to be honest it's a little hard to tell what we're dealing with here because it did seem to appear somewhat out of nowhere about a week ago we had a scheduled visit from secretary of state mike pompei 02 berlin which was called off at the last minute so that the secretary of state could travel to iraq to meet with counterparts there to discuss what the administration said were credible threats of iranian proxies planning an attack on u.s. resources and military assets in the region we saw a very quick movement of u.s. military assets to the region and all the sudden we're in this tit for tat moment of escalation between the iranians and the americans and yet when u.s. officials such as mike pompei i have tried to make the case of credible evidence to european officials. it's been met with increasing skepticism exactly rick no act europeans definitely pushing back on this point even
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a british general saying yesterday he doesn't buy the evidence he's seeing and that is quite remarkable as as you know britain is part of the 5 eyes alliance partnership and and clearly a dispute over evidence the u.s. claims could potentially justify military strikes and potentially a war with iran and the u.s. the u.k. official denying that that is quite striking and i think that is not going to help the u.s. make its point here in europe especially but also in other countries meanwhile shown archaea iran is saying that it will no longer comply with the limits on production of a rich to radio that were part of that nuclear agreement that the u.s. and the 5 permanent members of the security council together with germany all signed up to so what exactly does that mean how quickly can iran rev up its nuclear
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program are we now in imminent danger of seeing it essentially restart its own program. first of all let me say this. is into the is a just appraise a just. give the right to iran to the sepia ways the name of that nuclear agreement just like you. give iran's a right the also spends a right to redraw its obligations if the laws of the do not come it. is not to. tool resident rohani. not to destroy that agreement but that agreement. puts the ball in a crowd also international community especially if we but also russia and china to find a mechanism. it was the
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germans ok and we will come back to the sanctions a little bit earlier but let's take a closer look at this deal at this j.c. the away as you said that at the time it was side to trump's predecessor barack obama called a historical triumph for diplomacy the deal was signed in 2015 after 13 years of wrangling the 5 permanent members of the u.n. security council on the one side and iran on the other agreed that iran would cease activities that could result in nuclear weapons production and allow robust monitoring and its spec should in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions europe russia and china say iran has made good on its commitment under the deal so far so tory what exactly is it that the u.s. is objecting to. so if we go back to the $2016.00 campaign and president trump's criticisms of the iran deal he said time and time again that this was
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a poorly negotiated deal it was done and acted against a rogue regime and that iran had no interest in maintaining its end of the bargain president trying to renegotiate this deal said that it was going to renegotiate a deal to focus on iran's destabilizing actions in the region in addition to its nuclear program however if we go back a year ago just over a year ago today the united states unilaterally withdrew from that deal saying that it could again renegotiate a better deal with iran what it did not anticipate was that the europeans and the iranians would both stay in the deal and try to make good on again iran putting off its nuclear ambitions for reduction and relief from sanctions and so the u.s. has been i think increasingly isolated in its attempt to try to get iran back to the table to renegotiate a better deal so sure among the things that the trump administration accuses iran of are threatening u.s.
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interests in the middle east as we talked about the idea of the missiles on the boats in the persian gulf that could perhaps be aimed at us forces encouraging aggression by shiite militias in lebanon iraq and syria shipping missiles to hutu rebels in yemen and allowing iranian iran's naval forces to behave belligerently in the persian gulf it's quite a long list and it's by no means fiction. i don't think so for example if you see as a case officer here monroe iran has so hard highroad. regard. even the state department told. before the war but the. iranians told them who just do not invade or this is very r. rated the influence of iran is on the rehman. saudi arabia knows that iran has no lobby in west and often use the iran as a pretext to legitimize
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a policy that does not also do so there are many other countries that the that the legat to mys its policy. by by taking iran as a pretext and if you compare for example the role of saudi arabians the region and the role of iran in the region i do not see is that iran's will in the region is really destabilizing i see it. supported as i saw there i. take this prime minister hostage and pressure him to step aside so they are things only problem between. those arrests or iran is. a case of if you want to salute this solves this problem we have to make peace but when its word and pelisse them and then iran come to
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a damn think so make no act the europeans have said. essentially the nuclear deal contains iran's nuclear program and if we bring iran out from in from the cold if we reintegrate them into world markets if we reintegrate them into international diplomacy that eventually will have levers to work on these other destabilizing behaviors that i listed there the fact is you could say given that that geopolitical stitch you ation in the middle east with this head to head rivalry between saudi arabia and iran wasn't that pretty naive to think that we were ever going to see iran cease that kind of behavior well you could argue so and in fact for for people critical of the deal the evidence has been terror attacks or killings in europe blamed on iran over the last few months now there isn't any evidence really for that but some of claimed that this sort of indicates that iran
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won't stop its behavior and in fact it might feel emboldened by the fact that there is more money there is more economic prosperity but the europeans have been quite calm and stuck to that agreement not even really commented on on those attacks or those killings and europe to try to at least give it a chance at least try it out if it could work and that's the reason why they've set up for instance a clearing house to facilitate trade between european companies and iran even after the u.s. pulled out of that agreement so i could just add to this very briefly i don't think that there were allusions on behalf of the obama administration that iran was a good actor in the region and all of the malign activities you mentioned were met with clear eyes by washington this iranian nuclear cord was meant to deter iran's
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nuclear ambitions and that in itself there was a lot of criticism with a. in washington and elsewhere at the time that it didn't address enough of iran's destabilizing activities in the region but again this deal was meant to deter iranian nuclear ambitions and what i worry about now is that we are back to a time where we have one you know 2 potential paths one iran kind of restart its nuclear processes or 2 were in a point of heightened tensions of confrontation between the united states and iran both of these paths the deal was meant to avoid in the 1st place let me ask you about one aspect of that and it goes back to what sharon archaea said about this historic rivalry between iran and saudi arabia the u.s. is now positioned itself very very firmly on the side of saudi arabia what impact does that have on these tensions with iran is that one of the reason we're seeing things heat up now and what consequences do you think will come of that well
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certainly it does send a message was especially after the killing and the war in yemen that the u.s. still stands by saudi arabia and sends a message not only to iran but to a lot of other actors in the world but i think in terms of iran specifically yes it does embolden saudi arabia in a way to to get tougher on it and to think it was saudi arabia wants hot war with iran. i think nobody wants war necessarily at this point what do you think hardware related we see also as the late moderate king of. demands from the u.s. to attack iran as. such documents. it's not you know that saw the urbanist will always try to push us pro or against iran so let us talk briefly about where things go from here and as i said earlier the
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incentive offered to tehran in the nuclear agreement was sanctions relief but over the past year the u.s. has reimposed sanctions tighten them up and now threatens to tighten them even further including both minerals and steel let's take a look. after all steel is the 2nd lifeline for iran's economy now this sector 2 must fear for its future the really 2000000 iranian citizens work in the metal processing industry. it's not just me everyone's worried we're just praying it all comes to a good end because everyone's being hurt by the sanctions and it's affecting everybody. the u.s. isn't only sanctioning iran but also any foreign company seeking to do business there this is why more and more firms are now leaving the country. this has dealt a critical blow to the economy in the past weeks prices have doubled making fruits
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and vegetables an affordable for many. years yes not enough you know the prices have been going up so we need to adapt rents are skyrocketing we've been saving on food and i was not sure. as poverty grows so does the people's anger with the u.s. and europe. this could strengthen hardliners in tehran. could further sanctions force iran to its knees. shine arche on what are you hearing from friends and relatives in tehran in iran about the situation there . scientists are imposing off those u.s. your military sanctions.
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it was there for example as a prize goes high $45.00 present compering to previous years. as approximately 40 per cent but. we don't. really should not have illusion because iran has expert 40 years' experience and in very. doing sanctions yes the sanctions hurt iran but it will not bring iran to the knees it won relating to what will come 20. $2020.00 in the next us presidential election there's basically 2 definitions of bringing iran to its knees one is whether prolonged hardship would possibly cause the population to rise up promote a resistance against the regime and the other one is whether it would essentially force the regime to make concessions you're saying neither because if you also look at soros also university of maryland you see since the sanctions.
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people in iran. the people in iran do not like more to have negotiation for us that is this if you really come from eyes but so you if you give more. the u.s. wants more becomes it's becoming popular. people most of the suffering comes from the sanctions in the past people think it was. too high a person mismanagement but it's not sukkahs more torito sic has issued an ultimatum to the remaining parties to the nuclear deal but especially to the europeans demanding that they find a way to evade the u.s. sanctions and trade with iran in a meaningful way within the next 60 days any chance that's going to happen this ultimatum puts the europeans in a very difficult position in terms of what to do next it either can continue to do
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business with iran and try to make this deal stick or it can decide that its business with the united states is too important and let that kind of financial ties between iran and europe fade if europe does so i think iran has within its power the interest to develop closer relations with russia with china to. look elsewhere outside of this western multilateral framework for economic and financial relief could russia and china really pick up the slack to the degree that tehran is clearly hoping no i mean if we look at the economic bite of these sanctions just over the last year international estimates said that the iranian economy was already going to shrink by 6 percent over this year and i really do think that there is this deepening economic bite within iran in which it needs europe to comply the terms of the deal in order to get out of this economic catastrophe rick know what the europeans took a pretty extraordinary step this winter they created
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a new payment system to try to create essentially a space for european countries to trade with iran without having to go through u.s. based payment systems in itself a pretty extraordinary step these of an hour i think u.s. but apparently it hasn't worked very well is there any chance that this could be expanded and made really substantive in the next 60 days well that's a really good question and it is highly interesting experiment and frankly is being watched very carefully by diplomats around the world frankly because it does come down to what you just said the u.s. and the dollar as the dominant currency and there's no way around it it is however questionable whether it is going to have an impact that could preserve that deal because the iranians have gotten very frustrated over the last few weeks that it's still not really up and running and a lot of companies have pulled out and it is uncertain if they would be willing
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especially if you have a a major company a global company a 2 to risk being part of those and lose the u.s. market for instance or sanctions right we're just about out of time but let me come back to the question posed in our title let's jump ahead 60 days ultimatum has expired are tied. well was deal or war where you think will be more because. if you look at the history of us walsall you'll see us all there is only a tech come true. but false or myhrvold look up you go look up the walk was gonna stumble and be wrong or slow couples are jailed red lips close i suppose some good for example well. the best thing we can hope for is for the iranians the americans to come back to the table and talk to one another in the next 60 days for not might still be in the same position we're in today really thanks very much to all of you for being with us thanks to you out there for tuning in see you said.
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