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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  August 3, 2015 11:30pm-12:01am EDT

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john seigenthaler reporting. the top prize is an 8-day national geographic expedition to panna ma thank you for joining us, i'm antonio mora. luis suarez is next with "inside story". have a great night. distrust and animosity between israel and iran are nothing new. and the pending nuclear deal with iran stoked the flames, as the obama administration tries to sell the deal do congress and the world, israeli fears have not subsided. is the deal a threat to israel's existence, or could it make israel safer in the long run.
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nuclear pressure, it's "inside story". welcome to "inside story", i'm sheila macvicar in for ray suarez. secretary of state john kerry was in guitar on monday, making the case for the iran nuclear deal to arab countries, a place not on his itinerary is israel. they have called the deal an historic mistake posing threats to israel and the region, he contends that lifting the sanctions iran will embolden tehran. binyamin netanyahu's concerns have been echoed by u.s. l
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lawmake lawmakers, obama's team facing opposition. >> the agreement is not basements on expectations or understanding about what will be chosen to do. >> secretary of state john kerry is the salesman in the middle east, meeting in qatar with a number of gulf states, he is trying to convince quitics that the agreement with iran is not a threat. >> this agreement to some people's criticism did not focus on issues that we knew might take five years, 10 years to resolve. we focus the exclusively on iran's nuclear programme and the potential of iran having a nuclear weapon. >> this international effort follows weeks of grappling at
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home. president obama's chief negotiators have been trying to make the deal. it's not sitting well. >> as i review the deal, there's a number of issues that are troublesome. >> reporter: the clock is tick the republican-controlled congress has a few weeks to prove or disapprove. the administration has a tough road ahead. >> if this agreement goes through, iran gets a cash bonanza, a boost to standing, and a lighted path towards nuclear weapons. >> at times during the hearings. john kerry could not hide frustration. >> do you care more about the deal are american sovereignty, and the approval through duly
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elected representatives, mr secretary. >> i don't need lessons from you about who i represent. i represented and fought for our country. >> god bless you for our service. >> let me make it crystal clear. this is america's interests. it's the principal guarantor. particularly with respect to some of our friends. >> the secretary of state, the head of the treasury tried to convince others that this is the way to prevent iran obtaining a weapon. >> there's no sunset in this agreement, no sun set ever. >> secretary of state john kerry says pulling out of the agreement will give iran a free pass to double the pace of iranian enrichment. and warns it could isolate the
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united states. >> if we walk away, we walk away alone. >> america was played like a 5-string quartet. you don't have the power to surrender our greatness. >> the white house hpport, before the house leaves washington for a 6-week recess. >> for more on the iran nuclear deal, and what it means for israel. we are joined through 2001 and 2005. he's a professor of middle east policy, and the deputy assistant secretary of state for iran, and the author of negotiating with iran, wrestling the ghosts of history, as a young u.s. diplomat, he was held hostage in iran in 1979.
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ambassador, let me begin with you. help us understand what it is that binyamin netanyahu sees in this deal, that is so threatening, beyond the lang gauge that this is a path for obama. >> i think binyamin netanyahu is tapped into a deep seated vulnerability. they faced threats from the next lair of the neighbourhood, hezbollah, and arab states, and the real threat that is described to the people for more than 20 years, has been a possibility of a nuclear armed iran. that's exacerbated by the propensity of leaders. mahmoud ahmadinejad and others that called for israel's destruction, and denied the hollow caused. all of a sudden the people see a foe potentially armed with
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nuclear capabilities. and their prime minister is determined not to allow that to happen. what is strange is that he has decided to fight this agreement which the president of the united states believes will help secure israel's future. that helps to explain the israeli concern here. >> you were a long-time student of iran, and as daniel kurtzer mentioned we saw iran going through cycles, where mahmoud ahmadinejad, the language, the ret joric was harsh. >> does israel, in the make-up of iran, have something to be afraid of. should he be fearful. if i was an israeli, of course i would worry about a country where the president or the former president, at least, denied the holocaust. and talked about being whipped
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from the pages at the time. within iran, he came under criticism. iranians, whether they thought they liked israel. it does not serve our interests, and is dangerous. the story going around is that it became much more difficult for the israeli prime minister to make his case about iran being hostile, and iran being a manifestation of nazi germany when mahmoud ahmadinejad was gone, and the level of the rhetoric went down. is there not a risk, ambassador, that israel could find itself isolated here; that you have the united states, p5, the russians, the french, the british, the europeans, you have some of the gulf states moving towards accept arranges that it could
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be -- acceptance, that it could be israel that is out of step. >> that is possible. if this agreement is not passed by congress, israel will have do accept a large degree of responsibility for what happened next. since most people assume that the situation is not good, following the end of this agreement, israel will bear the brunt of that. some of the gulf states are starting to come around, we heard the saudi foreign minister, secretary kerry is in the renaling jorn, trying to build more support. i think binyamin netanyahu is basing some of his ideas on a sense that may be israel has a new relationship with the gulf. you heard the director-general of foreign ministry come to washington and say israel has arab allies. i think that is overstate ght the case. these are -- overstating the case, these are countries that will manoeuvre, so they don't
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end up on the wrong side of whatever happens. they are at great risks for binyamin netanyahu and the strategy they are pursuing. there's no question about iran's continuing support, and arming of hezbollah, there's no question of iran's continuing support and arming of syrian president bashar al-assad. we have examples of iran doing other things that are more or less helpful in the battle against i.s.i.s., is there a suggestion that this deal could lead iran on another bath, where it would -- path, where it would be less of an immediate threat to israel by reducing its support for organizations like hezbollah. >> iran is already on another path. >> in what way? >> we are seeing the way that the united states and iran are talking to each other professionally, productively,
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positively. two years ago was inconceivable, that such a thing could happen, whether you like the deal or not, you can't deny that this relationship has already changed. it's on a different foundation. he had moved away from accusation, from threats, from this insults that we went through for 34 years. i would know that this is something that then senator obama was urging back in 2008. he said "we need to talk to our adversaries." it isn't that we like the iranians or trust the iranians, that is we talk to the iranians - we talk to the iranians as we talk to many az versaries. >> before we do a break, do you think if congress votes against the deal.
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the dialogue could be lost. >> it could be. what it would do is reinforce the position of some true believers, hardliners in tehran, who simply say "you see, we told you so, you wasted your time, you wasting your breath in talking to the americans, but at the end of the day you can't trust them." gentlemen stay with us, binyamin netanyahu, prime minister, reiterated that israel is committed to stopping iran from arming itself with a nuclear weapon. if he is convinced the nuclear pack fell short. how far is he willing to go to live up to the promise. nuclear brinksmanship. it's "inside story". >> what did you see when you went outside last year? >> there was a dead body in the middle of the street... for 5 hours. >> there's a lot of work to be done.
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>> they need to quite talking about what should be done and do it. >> there's clearly an issue and we have to focus on how we bridge that. >> a lot of innocent lives are still being lost. >> my name is imran garda. the show is called "third rail". when you watch the show, you're gonna find us being unafraid. the topics will fascinate you... intrigue you. >> they take this seriously. >> let me quote you. >> there's a double standard. >> you can't be a hypocrite. >> you're gonna also get a show that's really fair, bold,
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never predictable. >> they should be worried about heart disease not terrorism. >> no, i wouldn't say that at all. >> you'll see a show that has an impact on the conventional wisdom, that goes where nobody else goes. my name is imran garda, i'm the host of "third rail" - and you can find it on al jazeera america. welcome back to "inside story". i'm sheila macvicar in for ray suarez. in the weeks since the iran nuclear deal was reached, the obama administration was working to get a reluctant congress and other countries on board. a key selling point is the process to verify iran is living up to the agreement is robust and without end. secretary of state john kerry described it as no sun set ever. from the israeli perspective the oversight measures are full of holes, and fear iran will be easily able to build a nuclear
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weapon once the agreement runs its course. >> back with us now, former u.s. ambassador to israel, and the former deputy assistant secretary of state for iran. turning to the question of what binyamin netanyahu threatened or promised to do g the deal goes ahead, he threatened military action, is that a course that he - that you think he would reasonably take. is that a course supported within the israeli population, is there so much concern - is that something that is it held out for future consideration, see, we told you this is not going to work. >> look, a part of diplomacy is to maintain a credible threat of the use of force. i think throughout the negotiations if the iranians believed that there wasn't a possibility, the use of force, it would have limited the manoeuvrability of the p5+1. so per se, a threat of the use of force is not a bad thing, but i think what this agreement
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does, i think binyamin netanyahu understands it, is that it de facto takes the tool away from him for the foreseeable future. for him to consider acting now - let's assume the agreement goes through. for him to consider acting against the will of the international community, against the will of the united states, a unilateral strike against iran would be folly, he understands it, and we are hearing more voices within the israeli defense established, former generals and security officials who are trying to remind him that a critical component is the relationship with the united states. to think about doing this alone, it becomes a non-starter. >> do you think in irani minds, there's good cop, bad cop, if i can call high diplomacy - if i can put it on that level. if it is useful in obliging the iranians to dig down and come to
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grips with what this means. >> why the iranians did what they did, that's for them - that's for them to answer. i have seen a lot of analysis saying it was the sanctions, threat of military force, it was this or that. they made a calculation that it was now in their centers, it was time to do something that they had not been willing to do for a very long time. i do - i would note though that iranian friend told me that in this argument in tehran, because the mirror image of the argument here, is going on in tehran, where we have people for and post the deal - there's a group that simple in blind opposition to the deal. whatever it is, they don't like it, whether they read it or not. some people here...
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it mirror imaging is trying. one of the tools that the proponent was using was to say your arguments are the same as binyamin netanyahu. >> that's having an impact in tehran. >> it does. the other argument sometimes that you hear is, well, if binyamin netanyahu doesn't like the deal, it must be good for us. >> you have to - obviously in the discussions that are taking place, obviously the president will be meeting again, this week with members of democratic caucus, to bring more people on board with the understanding that he needs the democratic votes. what happens if the united states finds itself in a position where, having worked so hard for the deal, congress votes to reject it. kerry said that the united states will go on alone. that the other partners don't face the opposition.
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>> what does it mean for the deal if this happens? >> a lot of bad things will happen. iran is enriching uranium, moving along a math way to the possibility -- pathway to the possibility of creating a nuclear weapon. there's a body of centrifuges that are table for them to restart an ambition programme, without the intrusive inspection and verification. the first thing you know that will happen is the united states turned down the deal. we'll pursue the policies we pursued until now. credibility takes a hit. who will want to negotiate anything with the united states, not knowing whether or not a president can speak for the country. we have a system of advice and consent on treaties and so forth. other countries understand there's a give and take.
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if an agreement that it has gone through, this sustained negotiation and interim accord, the lausanne declaration, a chance for everyone to look at it, is turned down, our diplomatic credibility takes a huge hit. >> former u.s. ambassador to israel and john linder, the former deputy assistant of state for iran, thank you both for joining us. >> israel maintains that iran cannot be trusted, o in the long run. we explore that next. nuclear brinksmanship. it's "inside story".
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welcome back to "inside story", i'm sheila macvicar in for ray suarez, tonight's episode - nuclear brinkmanship, and what the pact could mean for israel security. mixed messages are set. according to a survey, only 28% of americans said they approve of the deal with iran, aimed at curtailing the weapons. an n.b.c. wall street journal poll paints a different picture. 35" reported and 33% opposed. public sentiment in israel is bleaker. 78% of the population thinks the
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deal endangers israel. is it possible the deal could make israel safer. joining us to discuss it is the director of the new international policy. she is the author of nderstanding i.s.i.s. and the fellow at the american enterprise institute. let me begin with you. how does this deal make israelis lives less safe. >> well i think the biggest concern is what this will do for funding of the terrorist groups and proxy groups, what that will mean insofar as sanctions relief, and the position that iran will be in. say, in five, 10, 15 years from now. when you look at a situation where iran could have a
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threshold capability in 15-20 years, if it close to do so, and having stronger allies and proxy groups, it could be a difficult situation for israel. it has the threshold capacity without the deal. >> theoretically it has a break up for a couple of weapons. the concern is the iranians made is decision that they don't want to break out with a handful of weapons. they need a large amount. they don't want to be stuck in the north korean situation. they made a calculation. they don't need a bomb. if we want something we should wait for industrial capacity to do so. >> israeli have experience with iran, and hezbollah, an iranian proxy, and experience with bashar al-assad. >> first of all, we have to be careful. iran supports hezbollah, but it is not an iranian proxy, but
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emerged in relation to the israeli invasion of south lebanon. if we talk about who is in danger where, we have to remember there's one nuclear arsenal. they are the only ones with nuclear weapons, iran doesn't have a nuclear weapon or programme. according to all 16 of the intelligence agencies, has not made the decision that it wants to build a nuclear weapon. the government faced a problem that it would be a violation of islamic law. whether they believe it is more important than whether they raised two generations - that shift is difficult. if we look at what will make israel more or less safe. the violence and killing of children or infants burnt to death in this action. settlers in the west bank, this
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is isolating israel more and more. if israel is seen as it would be, the spoiler for a deal supported around the world, a poll i saw in the u.s., a week ago had 54% of americans, sorry, 52% - 54% of american jews supporting the deal. >> it's about how you ask the questions. polls are all over the place. if israel is the spoiler, it will isolate israel further. >> is that the risk for, do you think, for israel, that it becomes further isolated at a time when the situation in this neighbourhood is not good. it is not stable. and there is no part of its neighbourhood that is stable. the only good part of it came about with some of the sunni states, which is in its infancy. >> is it there not a risk for israel that it finds itself isolated or more isolated. >> well, i think if you saw the
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deal collapse and everyone walk away from the table, and iran kind of go full speed ahead with the nuclear programme, israel would be isolated along with potentially the united states. i don't think that would happen if the congress, for some reason, overturned the veto on the nuclear deal. all the parties have too much at stake, in preventing iran from becoming a nuclear power, a nuclear weapons power, they would find a way to come back to the table. they could get messy in the process. israel is looking at a real-line middle east. israel is facing a growing sectarian conflict across the region. in the end, the israelis will be smart and go ahead despite the rhetoric. they'll find a way to navigate the situation, and still keep options if necessary to defend their interests.
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>> somehow, the israeli government has managed to make this - what is an historic nonproliferation deal with israel, and about israel's security and safety. is there another way to reframe that israel. >> i'm not sure that it is framed differently within israel. i think binyamin netanyahu is hyping this. this is the basis of his political life. as well as his few of what is important in the country, that iran is in danger, and i think in the rest of the world this is viewed as a victory for diplomacy over the threat of war. >> that's how it needs to be seen. that's why it's important that members of congress don't use the pressure coming from israel, the $20 million that apec. the main part of the lobby donated for the 60 days for troifg to say this is a bad deal, we shouldn't do it. as if - what are they thinking, that we can go back and
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renegotiate. everyone left vienna, they are home now. phyllis, and matthews, thank you both. that will do it for tonight's "inside story". tomorrow we'll look at the changes to a big bees of the dream - owning a home. i'm sheila macvicar in for luis suarez, thank you for joining us. >> august 25, 2014.


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