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tv   Inside Story 2018 Ep 263  Al Jazeera  September 20, 2018 8:32pm-9:01pm +03

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once a second summit with donald trump a soon as possible earlier the leaders of that of the region's most sacred mountain in north korea the ugandan pop star turned opposition politician bobby wine has vowed to continue his anti government movement after returning home from the u.s. hundreds of his supporters turned out to welcome him defying a government ban wine has been receiving medical treatment in the us after what he said was torture in police custody he's been one of the most vocal critics of president yarima seventy he's charged with treason over his alleged role in stoning the president's motorcade. malaysia's former prime minister has pleaded not guilty to twenty five additional corruption charges is accused of illegally transferring more than five hundred fifty million dollars from a state fund into his personal bank accounts those are the headlines on al-jazeera inside story is coming up next they with us.
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what's driving down the number of terrorist attacks the u.s. state department used the falls due to the near defeat of such as i still of the same time americans again single iran as the leading state sponsor of continuing attacks so what novel the so-called global war on terror this is inside story. hello and welcome to the program. a fall by almost
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a quarter in the number of attacks by armed groups worldwide last year that's one of the conclusions of the u.s. state department's latest and it was survey of global terrorism but iran won't welcome another of the surveys or highlights the americans singling out the iranians as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism the iranians are accused of intensifying many conflicts especially in afghanistan behind iraq lebanon and yemen and continued backing for militias such as hezbollah the us government says hezbollah fighters base in lebanon have gone from strength to strength emboldened by their battlefield experience in syria and the americans accuse iran of undermining legitimate governments and american interests in the middle east the report details a worsening of war in afghanistan and coordinated attacks by the taliban and its affiliated hakani network someone launched from pakistan which provoked the us to
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recently cut three hundred million dollars in security eight let's take a look at the report other findings the u.s. state department says there were about eight thousand five hundred what it caused terrorist attacks around the world last year the task killed eighteen thousand seven hundred people there americans attribute the twenty five percent year on year four in the number of deaths to victories against eisel and improved security in iraq despite that i said remains active and code attacks in twenty countries last year more than half of all attacks by armed groups including i said al qaeda and the taliban were in just five countries afghanistan india iraq pakistan and the philippines. the fifteen month long santillan dispute with qatar isn't helping cooperation in the gulf by the u.s.
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is trying to encourage discussion of iran's influence in the arab world the white house supported a high level meeting of military officers from the gulf cooperation council in kuwait this month but qatar has been under blockade since june two thousand and seventeen qatari leaders did i cause ations are funding terrorism and to close a relationship with iran qatar is the only g.c.c. member to have signed by a lot of agreement with the united states to combat terrorist financing. let's bring in our panelists joining us from doha it will him for a hat associate professor of conflict resolution to house a to use for graduate studies into helen had made more so we're professor of political science at the university of the helen and from washington d.c. hillary mann leverett former u.s. state department of fish oil and c.e.o. of the political risk consultancy strata welcome to the program but i came whether
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port talked about the decline in attacks and casualties. from terrorist groups is that an indication that groups for example like i said uncle have lost the fight . well first of all the report talks about adduction and number of attacks by. by isis by about twenty three percent compared to last year so it's very obvious that remove all of isis from. dakar has impacted the numbers of attacks launched by the by by isis this year however this leaves us with two major questions one is that with these numbers are sustainable with of there are continuing going to continue because that what could happen is that the isis is after that immovable from from most on there probably you know
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really presuming themselves like what happened in al kut with al qaida back in two thousand. two thousand and three. that the removal of al qaida and taliban in afghanistan was followed by some sort of quietness in terms of activities but litter actually we see we saw that more of that he positioning itself and the zooming sectors and the other important media think that we have to keep in mind is that removing an organization the governance a structure of an organization front to say it is more than adequate does not in any way in the end that the end of the phenomenon and he had talking about terrorism as a phenomenon that has been actually in the region for a long time so i think isis is something violent extremism is totally separate thing ok so in my view i don't think this suggests any major conclusions for
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the phenomenon itself and it doesn't mean that while isis could probably lose the battle but violent is keystream ism we will continue with the iranian mission of the united nations so that basically the the the statement of the so. the annual report by the state department ignores the fact that iran has played a crucial role in the fight against isis but typically in places like iraq and and and syria do the iranians feel somehow they're been singled out for a political reason. yes i mean this is a contradiction in the report on the one hand the report says that the number of attacks of decreased by twenty three percent compared to last year because of ice was defeat yet we have to ask who has been the primary player in defeating i saw you on has played a major role in helping the iraqi and syrian government in defeating i saw in the iran has lost several thousand soldiers in this regard in comparison the united
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states did was not willing to put boots on the ground they only conducted air campaigns and we have to remember that the air campaigns actually came very late in the game actually a two thousand and sixteen odio leaked by john kerry who was then the secretary of state revealed that the u.s. had actually allowed eisel to grow in order to put pressure on assad so i think the united states is actually in no position to accuse iran of terrorism in the region hillary this is a complex landscape i'm in i still could have been why did defeated in places like syria and iraq but they're being pretty much places like the yemen or also north africa and subsaharan africa so the funders of the report itself could be misleading to the international audience in a way or another a yes and i mean the the entire reason the united states has these terrorism
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reports is a political one these reports started in one nine hundred seventy nine with iran as a charter member of this what we call these states sponsors of terrorism and the reason was was that president carter back in the in the one nine hundred seventy s. started to focus more on human rights in countries and had mandated the state department to produce reports on human rights in countries those focused uncomfortably on american allies particularly on israel and saudi arabia there are a lot of their friends their lobbyist. and washington needed to have an answer to that and that they pushed for these terrorism reports and since one thousand nine hundred nine these terrorism reports have focused yes on some incidents of terrorism around the world where i think most analysts objectively would refer to terrorism but they have also focus very much in a political way on those groups and countries the united states doesn't like and that ranges not just from
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a country like iran but also to the nelson mandela's a.n.c. in south africa for example they were blasted in these terrorism reports early on and some of the political parties in iraq that the united states works with today like the tao a party was a was a was a listed organization for terrorism so there is very much a political motivation which muddies the word waters in terms of what's actually how king. in terms of incidents and and and and steps for events prevent terrorism terrorism spence abraham. was talking about the political reasons behind the and it will be pulled did it come to you as a surprise when if one was singled out. in the with force. state leading space sponsor of terrorism in the world well as a regional analyst and politics of the region here. there was not in any way a surprising to me because i thought that i agree with my colleague from washington
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that their philosophy and purposes of this report is highly highly politicized and it's used in a in an extremely selective way and in particular never mentions israel as my colleague also said. so iran in terms of my understanding of the u.s. foreign policy since that. since the riyadh summit back in may two thousand and seventeen where the whole alliance you know was forged between the trump administration saudi arabia u.a.e. and to a large extent israel the center of this alliance was iran and how to counter iran and how to put an end to the iranians influence an expression of this here in the region so if you are full of the u.s. policy from that moment until now with it's the cancellation of the nuclear deal with the. harsh sanctions that were imposed recently on iran
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so this one just one additional step in that overall policy in order to increase the pressure on iran to single out iran is that because its keep in mind on the issue of iran here because here we're talking about two different definitions with that is terrorism as ice a lot of car than on or something else by but the united states what it's for fit into here is in terms of. relationship support to the as well or. as well ok hamad. i mean to some of the reports but today when it comes to iran it talks about. two things about the new global reach of iran basically iran is a destabilizing force in places like. bahrain and also bringing to its terrorist activities the resources of
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a state this is exactly the wording in the report is this an indication of that we might seem war confrontation between the americans and the iranians in the short term. when we talk about destabilizing the region we have to remember that this whole mess was created after the united states illegally invaded iraq in two thousand and three in the instability actually the spread in the region and wherever the americans have gone to in the past two decades have turned into disasters afghanistan libya iraq except for now with regards to iran iran actually publicly declares that it does support hezbollah however iran does not see hezbollah as a terrorist organization hezbollah does not carry terrorist attacks in european capitals or in the united states it's a local resistance group fighting against israel and if we declare every force that is fighting israel as terrorists then yes it will be but that's not how iran sees it are regarding confrontation between iran and the united states unfortunately we
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are going down that path because every few days the trump administration is accusing iran of something new and i think this is part of a much larger campaign ok is trying to dehumanised the iranian people as well as been posing sanctions on them hillary the americans made a quite clear that they would like to ramp up sanctions against iran and they're trying to convince a major allies to follow suit i mean this report do you find it as an element that could further. will pressure allies particularly to say you know what it's about time we follow the americas in this particular path yes absolutely though there is an important debate or perhaps even war going on within the trump administration between those that want to i mean i would say the key decision makers in the trunk
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are ministration are all very much either anti iran or iran hawks but in different and important ways someone for example like the national security advisor john bolton is looking to build a case with terrorism data like in this report to build a case for regime change to overthrow the government in iran that's what someone like national security advisor john bolton is looking at someone like secretary of state pump alle tho and perhaps even president trump himself is looking to build a case against iran including with terrorism data like in this report in order to put maximum pressure on iran to force iran to sign a wide ranging broad treaty with the united states as is their approach with north korea because president trump and secretary pompei you don't really care that much about the the subtleties or the data involving terrorism or nuclear weapons or any of the other list of concerns united states puts out there so you have someone like secretary pompei oh maybe even defense secretary mattis and maybe even present
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trump himself against these these other players like secretary like national security advisor john bolton who want to overthrow the iranian government they are both using this data for their own for their own strategies and the there is not one settled strategy yet within the u.s. government it's very much a battle within the government whether to use this data to force iran into a negotiation for a deal with the united states like it's doing with north korea more to use this data to build a case to literally overthrow the iranian government. the key regional players in the region some of them it is quite clear that they would like to. they support the americans in the push to counter what they describe to be an iranian growing influence in the region is this a similar feeling among the key international players particularly the e.u. no of course not because we have seen the divergence and the positions of the
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international going to between the us between the administration and the europeans though at the same time we have to keep in mind that actually europe and you know some other countries have failed to come up with a strategy to count out of their american a strategy in dealing with iran and all the attempts that were made we haven't seen any of that so i think this does not though the rest of the we're taking a different position on this issue i think that does not or is not minimizing the pressure coming from the united states and the escalation of the crisis that again that the alliance that was forged after we had some and made two thousand and seventy and that is leading in this and continues to shape the politics of the region like to see how many some of the accusations leveled against iran in the report are similar to what we hear in the region particularly about iran people say many countries you know them they say basically iran is spreading radical ideology
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in the region iran is providing significant help so the whole thing is to undermine a legitimate government iran is trying to counter the sunni presence in the arab world with a new radical narrative isn't this an approach you and moment for the iranians to say wait a second isn't this the right time to start reaching out to our arch rivals in the region particularly countries like saudi arabia. iran has actually indicated that it does want to improve relations with saudi arabia however in recent months it has become very difficult because the saudis have actually become very close to the israelis and they have actually become part of the saudi m r a t israel the effort to sanction iran in the region we have to remember that the sanctions on iran are having a very important impact i mean right now it is even crucial drugs are hard to find
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within iran so so when when you see these hostile actions by the other side you have to expect iran to also get defensive and i think iran we have to remember that it is responding to a very destabilizing in threatening regional environment and when the trumpet ministration decided to leave the nuclear grow a court four months ago and by the way the i.a.e.a. since then has confirmed that iran is actually abiding by its side love the deal even though the united states is left so on the one hand you see all of these pressures building up on iran and i think it would be inappropriate for iran to not respond in its own kind of. area the report expresses concerns about the ongoing crisis in the gulf region saying that this erodes all attempts to try to. terkel's regional security issues you know the situation right there is absolutely no indication that we're going to see any political settlements what's this for the
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americans. well that's one of the most fascinating important parts of this report i have almost never seen such a documented case in one of these u.s. terrorism reports giving credit to praising another country as it has done in this in this report with with qatar it has documented very seriously very substantively august ups that potter has done working with washington that doha has done working with washington to address almost every single one of washington's concerns in the in the realm of terrorism in the realm of security of a range of issues in the gulf so i think it shows what a dramatic change what a dramatic impact his foreign minister and defense minister had here in washington after the may riyadh summit when things went so terribly terribly wrong given that basis it's still very much a political decision how washington addresses the ongoing saudi led blockade of
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qatar but i think this report gives at least a substantive basis for those in washington to try to continue efforts to bring to bring this more to appeal close rather than just to take the side of the saudis there as was the initial inclination ultimately do you think that this is going to be the americans to put in put in all that political leverage in the region to the apostles you know what you need to set aside your differences because your help is crucial of this promote or do you think it's too late at this this particular moment well first let me agree again with my colleague from washington and i think . from what we've seen in this report i mean this is because of the in my view a breakthrough the united states is taking such a fit a position of very clear very clearly stated that cut the husband such and such and such and such all documented in the formal document. called operation fight began counting to resume and this is unprecedented because from also
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a lot of those than the goal of how the united as that's. manages its relations with its allies is always trying to keep in the middle and try to keep good relations with both sides without really given you know one party certain position a clear position supporting one day as they did in this report however with all the coup that that is given now i don't think we should over estimate and over the like what is that what is the united states is going to do as a result without it's going to you know intervene and put an end to the gulf crisis i don't think so however what i think the united states is likely to do is that to bring the part is together on sifton sigmond so of its foreign policy and that segment where that sit having its interest and its foreign policy but keeping the crisis and and this is why i'm saying this is also because just
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a week ago the united states was able to bring the army of the g.c.c. countries to i mean thinking kuwait in order to coordinate some of it so that was that was the first time we saw this was examining together the facility as a set of again a sigman on the as a grunt of the u.s. foreign policy but i don't think that or it's too early to see or to expect that the unite as there is going to intervene and put an end to the cut of the gulf you can defeat terrorism militarily i mean but the problem is that the idea continues and one on one i'm not an historian but many would tell you that terrorism thrives in areas that stifle discontent where you don't have vibrant democracies places like the yemen syria iraq and many places around the world do you think that this could further push many countries including iran to start reaching out to the region or players to agree about political settlements that can enjoy and what
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democracy can thrive. yes i mean it's true that of political instability the leads to the rise of terrorism but also when there is a power vacuum for example like what happened in iraq after the two thousand and three invasion leads to the thriving of terrorism now right now the situation has somewhat stabilizing countries such as iraq and syria nevertheless when discontent is still there and when there is still where power vacuum there is always the real possibility that terrorism might arise again now in regards to iraq iran has actually try to cooperate with the iraqi government on this regard on the issue of syria there has been several rounds of talks between iran turkey and russia however we still have to wait and see whether or whether that will actually result in an actual political settlement what we need in these kinds of regions are political
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settlements of course how it was so we applaud him for hillary mann leverett thank you very much indeed for your presence or they say. thank you to force you can see the program again any time by visiting our website dot com for further discussion go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash a.j. as a story you can also join the conversation on twitter and there is a j inside story for me the hot in here i phone the elite. was.
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