tv Documentary RT February 13, 2013 9:30pm-10:00pm EST
hello and welcome to cross talk where all things are considered i'm peter lavelle talking the talk for serious in meaningful negotiations this is the question i always asked when it comes to the western powers approach to iran's nuclear program soon the two sides will meet again in search of mutual agreement other too many red lines and toxic history for this to happen and who really needs to unclench their fist. to cross talking when's nuclear program i'm joined by mohammad marandi and turan he is a professor at the university of tehran in tampa we have. day he is a foreign policy expert and president of the international american council and in
washington we cross the porter he is an investigative historian and journalist or a gentleman crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want professor marandi and if i can go to you first the two parties are going to meeting kazakhstan what's different this time around if anything. well i don't think much has changed the united states has increased pressure on iran has increased sanctions that has had a negative effect on ordinary iranians the fact that. senior government officials including the former secretary of state have said that the sanctions are there to force to put pressure on ordinary iranians to bring about change i think in iran is seen as something quite. uncivilized and inhuman to try to hurt ordinary civilians to put pressure on the government i don't think it's going to change i have no doubt that it will not change the policy of the iranian government so in general nothing has changed the iranians feel that there's a general an assault on the country cyberattacks scientists being
assassinated the iranian central bank being shut down by the europeans and americans making it difficult even import export medicine and food stuff and because of a shortage of some medicines people have died so iranians feel blood is on the hands of the americans and the you. under such circumstances the iranians feel that they really cannot give anything at the negotiating table because the europeans and americans will interpret this as a sign of weakness so the iranians are going to wait and see if the europeans and americans make any reasonable change in their policy in tampa if the americans go there with good intentions do they really want to be agreement or is it just talk the talk. well i'm just going to compare a little bit this administration with the previous and i think you said ministration we can say i think it's been more willing to negotiate with a ring and when obama came to power i think they extended their hand they sent
letters to the supreme leader ayatollah khomeini and i think they didn't get responses i think they try to use diplomacy track to i think they would be much more willing than previous administration to use i think to engage iran interim solution but i think the problem here i think it's it's more deep i think we can't just cherry pick this event and focus on this and i think we have to look at the broader context and what is. happening i think the underlying principles of the islamic republic of iran and the reason for its theirs on the table and therefore it's survival it's the enmity toward the united states i think the iranian government cannot afford having a relationship any gauge with the united states and the reason is that if they if they have a relationship with the united states that would mean that they cannot suppress and they cannot crack down on the opposition inside the country by labeling them
american. american conspirators or foreign bad american backed groups i think one of the stride is that the iranian government in the news i mean i grew up in that country i worked there i studied there and besides us academic quarter i have experience of living in that country i think the iranian government order to survive they need to any to call the united states as the enemy otherwise if they make that relationship i think that we're in danger of the survival of the regime so they will use the engagement policies what they what they're been using. to resent talking about engagement policy is more i think a tactical i think strategy in all. it just to. buy time i think bailing on me is very i can't come at all i mean it happened like in six min you know the program buying time gareth go ahead jump in well yeah i also think that we
need to take a longer historical perspective on this current situation of talks on the nuclear program and the only difference that i have is that i think you have to begin with the radical. imbalance of power between the united states and iran as the key factor that has shaped the diplomacy between the two countries from the beginning now you know i understand that there was a lot of hostility over the. shah particularly in one thousand nine hundred eighty nine and that created illwill from the very beginning but over the last thirty years i think we have to understand that fundamentally it has been the preponderance of power of the united states over iran and it's over confidence that it could coerce iran with that had germany had amount of power that has really
been at the root of the problem all along that is to say the problem of diplomacy with regard to the nuclear issue i'm writing a book on this right now and what has struck me in my research is the degree to which the united states government particularly. since two thousand and one has but i would say going back to the clinton administration has had this overweening self-confidence that it could coerce iran because the iranians must be afraid of american military power and of course this was particularly true during the bush administration when they invaded and occupied iraq i have several sources have told me that. the or bush administration was extremely overconfident and that's why they made no effort whatsoever to negotiate they refused to negotiate at all with iran despite the fact and and here i differ with my on the idea of that or
iran refuses engagement with the united states the bush administration refused to even consider or accept. to acknowledge the receipt of the two thousand and three diplomatic initiative and that could have indeed begun a very meaningful interaction in my view is so i think that that's really the fundamental problem it's like i could tell you the nominee i think all very interesting that is that the americans that want to legitimize the regime in turn around that's it it's the other way around. yes i think it's quite obvious i mean first of all when mr obama became president and he spoke about talking to iran the iranian leader ayatollah khomeini's while he explained the grievances that iran had from the coup d'etat nine hundred fifty three the support for the shah chemical weapons for saddam hussein and so on he said if the united
states changes we will change he was very clear on that and we have had previous experiences in iran with the united states during mr rafsanjani period as president of iran awarded conoco a contract in the persian gulf an oil field iran the united states slapped iran with sanctions in afghanistan iran spoke with the united states then iran was labeled the axis of evil when the brazilian president and the turkish prime minister came to tehran with a letter from obama stating the conditions in which he would agree with a negotiated settlement settlement with iran and the iranians and the turks and the brazilians within that framework signed the declaration immediately obama went back and impose sanctions on iran and basically stopped the brazilians and the turks in the face so the iranians have on numerous occasions tried to find a solution to the problems with the united states but it's been the united states has that has more or less that has basically behaved aggressively and irrationally
in response the iranians feel that the problem really is that the united states has never come to the recognition of iran as an independent country with an independent foreign policy and that the united states is fearful that this virus would spread throughout the middle east now right now the iranians are willing to resolve the situation but the problem is is that the united states is carrying out all sorts of hostile actions against iran in fact the united states is now and the year e.u. is now blocking iranian television stations and persian arabic english and. anish across the globe euro sat sat all of these have stopped broadcasting iranian television so the iranians are no longer even allowed to speak out press t.v. and other t.v. channels are no longer allowed to be viewed in the united states so american hostility really has gone to extraordinary extremes ok much if you want to reply to that in tampa well first of all i mean there are
a lot of points at that i want to reply but i think we don't have the time but first of all. when we talk about the sanctions we were just just saying the united states not just you know that it's an international consensus that even russia china is for a round of sanctions there have been international consensus and second of all when they will get a little speak clearly not i'll tell you how it's saying and saying ok not all countries have the same sanctions this is be clear ok go ahead i mean i mean there are the u.s. has unilateral sanctions but i think. robust sanctions they've been international consensus but i think the point is that what i was talking about the weaker legs i mean we saw that regional countries except syria. except syria regional countries they expressed their concerns about iran's hegemony and visions in the region they expressed their concerns about iran's pursuit of nuclear weapon capabilities and there. are those who really show that it is now ok is always.
good to get opinions ok they're not necessarily facts so they were it's not opinion i mean they were pushing the united states to to really address this problem i think can we say all these countries in the region are wrong all these worst round of sanctions that done by all five members of. america there they go marjorie could i just cannot just go ahead in granbury story with a break here and go ahead before the break go ahead. yeah on this point of the attitudes of. arab people in the in the middle east toward the iranian nuclear program i think it's pertinent here to point out that opinion polls that were done by the people. people in the rest of maryland have shown that a majority of a clear majority of arabs around the middle east who are carol let me jump in here leave generally and i'm going to have to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on iran
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is a. welcome we're all things considered i'm peter lavelle we're talking about the west of the red. ok guys i want to go back to you i had to cut you off before the break go ahead and finish your point and then i want to talk about. what negotiations should really be about go ahead yes thanks i just i was just saying that it seems very pertinent to point out that opinion polls taken by u.s. polling organization over the last few years have shown that a clear majority of arabs have regarded the. that iran has a an absolute right to its nuclear program they disagree with the policy of the united
states and its allies on this issue so i don't think that it's really quite accurate to simply take a broad brush on this question of the views from the middle east on on iran's nuclear program ok well i mean i don't you know it's change of subject here i mean what does the you know what kin iran give up that hasn't already given up and they have always had the perception the americans want iran to simply surrender they will have an agreement. well i answered this but i just quickly have to say that the international community actually supports iran because the nonaligned movement consists of three fifths of the countries of the world and from the very beginning of this issue decade ago they have repeatedly supported iran's position and they oppose all sanctions and as you pointed out most of the very harsh stanching sanctions are directed at ordinary people are american in the e.u. sanctions but i think with regard to what iran would have to give up the iranians i think are quite willing to open up to give more be more open about their nuclear
program to allow more intrusive inspections but the problem is that the iranians don't see an end game the united states constantly wants iran to give concessions and to give nothing in return and that's what we saw in the run declaration for example in for two years iran completely halted nuclear enrichment and allowed intrusive inspection inspections and effectively accepted the protocol and after two years almost all of the major issues between iran and the i.a.e.a. were resolved under mr al baradei in fact right now the party chain complex which is being discussed was already visited twice by i.a.e.a. inspectors and they were able to visit wherever they wanted to and they discovered nothing but after two years of cooperation the iranians got nothing in return just more pressure and more expectations from the west so what the iranians are saying is that you have the west basically has to make the first step they have to show
goodwill if they show goodwill then the iranians will take a step forward and a step by step approach will be it will resolve the issue but the iranians believe that the united states and the europeans simply are not serious it is there any good will in washington. well i think we can say that united states foreign policy is a pragmatic i think foreign policy they've been able to make a relation become i mean the invasion of iraq. i think perfect example go ahead i think i think what i think was just going to pour i think it may have made a relationship with china i think they come to china so i don't i don't think there is really. any i think negative sides from the united i think it's the iranian government that again i said they can't afford having a relationship with iran and i just. go back just one of the points that your is major i think it's we're talking about some of the things that iran should give up
i think one of the things that it's just the basic human rights that we're talking about i think we're talking about just if iran can really respect i think the aspiration of people i think if they can stop executing gays if they can stop stoning people for adultery if they can i mean. if they can just a low people to have freedom of so i mean we're talking about literally a monarchy of two men and get out of maybe into ran does that maybe we will stop the droning program would that be fair killing innocent people while iran will not disarm and right always use the iraqi were not because it's hypocritical. well i mean when human rights are not going to he railed in this what your human rights are not going to be raised by the united states under any circumstances that's simply not going to happen i think that's extraneous to the issue it has never been a factor in u.s. policy in the middle east under any circumstances it's not going to be now and it shouldn't be under the present circumstances we need to focus on finding
a fair just and reasonable solution to this problem of the nuclear and guarantee lastly what would that be there and do something then i guess what your formula well i think there's there's been an awful lot of literature laying out a reasonable proposal or a set of reasonable proposals for a solution by a lot of people outside the u.s. government. they've all said that first of all the united states is going to have to recognize the right to enrich and and in return iran is going to have to agree to some limitations on how much and at what level it can enrich and of course agreed to very stringent conditions in terms of i.a.e.a. surveillance and again i agree with dr marandi that the iranians have signaled more than once the willingness to agree to that kind of solution and the details.
you know can be worked out if the united states is really ready to make a deal i think again i go back to the fundamental point that i make that the obama administration is still sort of caught with the legacy of the past in terms of u.s. policy toward iran which is a policy that in fact does not acknowledge the legitimate interests of iran in the process of making proposals it simply has never been allowed that washington. in fact it recognizes that iran doesn't fact have legitimate interests in the middle east it has a legitimate interest in self defense and in basically being. accepted as a player a seat at the table if you will in middle eastern politics that has been denied
systematically over the years i think that's still the problem with the obama administration even though you know one one can hope we can always hope that that can change and the departure of dennis ross certainly has a positive but the fact that the white house apparently still continues to have conversations with dennis ross is quite a negative in that regard mohammad everything the gareth just said you said the winning government agrees to more or less. yeah i think that it's obvious that the iranians are quite willing to cooperate within the framework of the n.p.t. and i and the regulations of the i.a.e.a. iran does not want any rights beyond those that exist in international law and they will not accept anything less and i think that the problem with the united states has nothing to do with human rights iran has a constitution america's closest allies in the region like saudi arabia and qatar do not even have
a constitution they do not even have elections iran has elections just recently you had rallies throughout the country on the anniversary of the revolution there was a high turnout this is this sort of thing it's quite clear i mean if we want to speak about human rights drone attacks is just the tip of the iceberg the united states invaded iraq afghanistan they helped create a civil war in syria they they with the with the help of nato they destroyed the infrastructure in libya now we see what's going on in mali israel's cities that israel commits in lebanon and in gaza the siege of gaza for years was supported by the united states in the e.u. basically preventing people from being able to eat and properly and to have medicine so and i personally i'm a survivor of two chemical attacks are in the ring the iran iraq war these chemicals were provided to saddam hussein by e.u. countries e.c. countries at the time and the and the united states the technology and the support
the u.n. security council blocked any condemnation of iraq so you know the crimes that have been created against humanity when it come is really we have to look to europe in the united states to see the real culprits and while it wears the iranians have never engaged in an attack iran even never even used chemical weapons when chemical weapons were used against iran iran never you can produce chemical weapons so i think that at the end of the day it's quite obvious that the united states its policy towards iran is. base upon an irrational form of hatred and i think that unless people begin to speak out against this sort of policy the united states may once again attempt to drag the region into a greater crisis the iranians don't believe that the united states will attack iran again because the united states is on the decline they have economic crises in europe in the united states people are tired of war but pushing for greater confrontation at a time when the home middle east is in political uproar is something that no
sensible leader would pursue yet we so far we have no we see no sign that the united states wants to behave more humanely towards iran and more reasonably go ahead jump in all of the syria. syria so i was in syria i did research you see how nice that is syria to i think i think there is no doubt that one of the. syrian war is exasperates iran iraq iran. is iran iran your support for the regime i think there is no doubt about that. i grew up in these two most notorious governments of. harmony i think. i think when we're talking about democratic they said democratic god is iran is a democratic government i think if you if you are the guardian council from the beginning if you are not supporting best they were just they would strip you away from their election
a second of all i think many in the constitution he did the president is not the powerful person in the country. powerful as many he has the right to veto to abolish to spawn to suspend any laws in the country i think this is this is called some sort of getting out of the little. gang that are a guarantee to sharon. as to who has the clenched fist here. well i this is it's clear that the united states has the bigger clenched fist and the longer lasting clenched fish the one that goes back farther and i would there's one way in which i differ from dr marandi is analysis and that is that i don't think that this is fundamentally about irrational hatred by the united states i think that it is related fundamentally to the needs of the national security state of the united states by which i mean going down the anchor i'm going to have to just hear this
i never knew adam lanza in person but i was in the same high school as adam he was younger than me just going to be younger. i always thought he was different i always into something funny he rarely talks and you don't use a shy kid. i don't know of anyone who is friends with him i also don't know of anyone who is particularly mean to the what i do know is that it was very clear that this person was not like everybody else. can imagine the level of mental illness that would be present to murder children. america's you know so when you go on news there would be an american bond every tree with a gun. i think for kids growing up in this environment is
good for them at an early age to least see the gun and respected because they need to know what kind of damage it can do. this is our first task as a society. keeping our children safe. this is how we will be judged. wealthy british style. that's not on the president's right listen. markets why not it's going to. find out what's really happening to the global economy with max kaiser for a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines tune into kinds a report.