tv Dateline London BBC News November 30, 2019 11:30am-12:01pm GMT
so what exactly will make up voters minds? my guests this week: iranian journalist nazenin ansari, italian film maker annalisa piras, and michael goldfarb, american host of the frdh podcast. we are one guest down this week due to illness, so the other three will have to do more heavy lifting for me. there are conflicting accounts of how many people have died and how many have been arrested in iran in the past fortnight. what started as a wave of protest against rising petrol prices seems to have turned into a wider howl of outrage against crushing inflation and unemployment. it s the biggest show of public defiance to iran s ayatollahs in a decade and they don t like it. nor can they like what they see in neighbouring iraq, or lebanon, both countries where tehran now exerts huge influence and both of which are also convulsed by public protest. so what s going on?
nazenin, start us off. it started six months ago, and this is according to president rouhani last week, that the decision to increase petrol prices was taken six months ago, and it was the responsibility for execution was given to the supreme for execution was given to the supreme national security council, which included the ministry of the interior and also ir ib, the state broadcaster. mr rouhani claims he was asked not to tell him anything and that he only found out about it while reading in the news that when the prices were increased. so, using these six months, the executive arm of the islamic republic, the government, instead of using these six months to prepare the public for these rises that overnight suddenly they woke up and 50%, they didn't
know about it. instead, they used those six months to see how they could bring down the people that would get out in the protests. so, when the time came, they were prepared with helicopters, with snipers, and then they shut the internet for 150 hours, stopped all access to information. this was going on forfive access to information. this was going on for five days, access to information. this was going on forfive days, and the world did not hear anything. the world did not hear anything. the world wasn't aware. now, we get the news coming out, saying first, actually one person saying these thugs, mercenaries will stop these people are run by the monarchist, because most of the people calling out a name were calling out the name of the heir to the throne, known by the monarchists as their leader. when the news started coming out, what we are seeing now, after 150
hours when europe stayed silent, europe after a few days gave out one statement from the press. a woman who had been to iran with her collea g u es who had been to iran with her colleagues taking selfies in the parliament, they remain silent, nothing. michael, the us side, obviously we have seen a year now of us sanctions against the iranians economy, banks and so on, and petrol companies, and mike pompeo, the secretary of state, tweeted, we are with you, to the protesters. is this the us seeing its policies come to fruition, though sanctions and putting economic pressure on iran?” don't think so. we tend too much to forget the internal dynamics of the regime. and how long it takes for pressure to build up in iran. nazenin can correct me, but in 2000
there were big protests at tehran university. the regime sent in the militia, and they were literally throwing kids out the window. several were killed. in 2009, you had the green revolution, now this. it seems like every ten years you get a new pressure point building up as people become young adults, a whole new generation, and it is the same repressive kind of religious totalitarian regime, although with more freedom than you might think. so, i don't want to say that this has much to do with this particular president or secretary of state — these pressures always exist. i think what is happening is that it is quite clear that the iranians regime has been trying to establish what we call in the west the shia sphere of influence. you have had
the same kinds of rights in baghdad. again, we have to look internally, certainly in iraq, and this also goes back to iran. i think a lot of people in iran are fed up with the regime trying to control iraq rather than attending to its own domestic needs. in recent years, just one example, when kurdistan held its very ill—advised referendum to break away from the rest of iraq, there was a lot of tension in the country. who calmed the country down? so the money, head of the iranian... what is it? the islamic revolutionary... and it was he who poured the balm on troubled waters, and read the riot act to kurdish leaders and come that down. iraq in the last couple of weeks has boiled over with hundreds killed. it was reported two weeks
ago that solar money had gone to baghdad to read the riot act to the iraqi president to say this has to stop. it hasn't stopped. we have to look at it locally. i don't give a lot of credit to pressure brought by the united states. annalisa? it looks like the kind of strategy of iran is not going according to plan. we talked about what is happening in iraq, which is an extraordinary bloodbath, and what is happening in lebanon, what is happening in their owi'i lebanon, what is happening in their own courtyard. it looks like this kind of authoritarianism enforced with extremely ruthless and brutal methods. it's not going to be accepted by people any more in the middle east. ithink accepted by people any more in the middle east. i think it is a big time for the west to start really to
ta ke time for the west to start really to take on iran for what they have been doing in yemen. we are talking about an extraordinary ruthless and bloody strategy in the middle east, and it's not surprising that the people are rebelling. nazenin, we don't have much longer on this topic, but coming back to the points made by annalisa and michael, the sense of an iranian mission in the middle east. it is the mission of the islamic republic, not the mission of iran. you are seeing what is happening inside a round, inside iraq, lebanon. it is a cry against the mis—governance of the countries. in iran, for example, we have from time to time heard that there is a lack of medicine, but still the minister goes on state tv and says that we have over capacity and we are sending medicine to iraq. it is these misplaced choices and
opportunities. the names that are coming out — amnesty international has increased its statistics to more than 160. these include children of martererfamilies. theirfathers than 160. these include children of marterer families. their fathers had served in the iran— iraq war, and they are the ones that have been shot. mr khomeini calls them thugs and mercenaries, and they were innocent bystanders. do you think the pressure we have seen inside iran, and as we have heard from michael and annalisa, in iraq, syria, yemen, do you think these pressures will cause the regime to change course? the islamic republic has reached the end of its line, and thatis has reached the end of its line, and that is why the people are in the streets, because they realise... as michael said, this has happened
every decade. you think it is different? this time, its strategic depth was in yemen and lebanon, but it is losing that. also, when it wa nts to it is losing that. also, when it wants to look forward, what is the programme that it is proposing to irani ands? mr rouhani has submitted two budgets to the parliament instead of one at a time. both are based on non—oil resources and tourism. 0n based on non—oil resources and tourism. on one side, they take two national hostage, and on the other, they want to promote tourism and increase the economic well—being of the population. the people have lost trust. white just before we leave this topic, michael, the role of the united states, because i put it to you earlier and you said it is not the key factor in terms of the internal iranians situation, but what is the trump administration doing? it is always playing to its base, so by constantly keeping
pressure on iran verbally and through sanctions, it touches, and we are coming into an election year in america, on that part of its base that thinks iran is terrible, and particularly the part that thinks iran is an enemy of israel. the deeper politics of baghdad, hyder a la buddy, iapologise deeper politics of baghdad, hyder a la buddy, i apologise for going blank on that, i don't think most americans follow. what might we believe the middle east there. —— americans follow. what might we believe the middle east there. -- we must leave the middle east there. from 1919 until the fall of the berlin wall in 1989, nato was clear about its mission — put simply, to keep the russians out, the americans in and the germans down. the 30 years since have become more complex. now the alliance has an american president publicly exasperated over funding and a french president who says the alliance is brain dead. so, we've got coming up this week the nato leaders' meeting. annalisa,
what is going to happen? where will trump stand? just to remind what you just said, it used to be that nato had a clear purpose, so keep russia out, america in, germany down, and the saying goes that now actually russia is in, america is out and germany is up. so the world has transformed. that is kind of a glib way of turning that phrase around — do you think it's true? well, it certainly reflects a little bit what is going on. it reflects a kind of transformation of the world since 70 years ago when nato was created, and i think that the only leader right now who is actually talking about the situation in a clear and strategic way is president micron,
and he is right when he says that nato is brain dead. nothing can stay like it was at the beginning for ever. this is the longest military alliance in history. 70 years is a very long time. and people would say it has been flexible, has grown, has changed its sense of purpose. its strength has been to be able to adapt, but right now, its main purposeis adapt, but right now, its main purpose is under threat, because as we know, america is looking elsewhere, not that europe any more, and it has been for a very long time, since president 0bama pivoted to asia and puts china as the main focus of america, and europe has not been of interest. 0ther focus of america, and europe has not been of interest. other things are more serious. only five years ago,
ifa memberof more serious. only five years ago, if a member of the nato alliance had bought weapons from russia and started using them in europe, people would have thought you must be joking, that it is impossible. we are talking about turkey. turkey has put the s 400 air system missiles from russia, so a nato member was using weapons that come straight from russia, and nobody seems to actually flinch. michael, another point relating to turkey, the united states pulling out of north—west syria without alerting its other nato allies, but going back to the central point that annalisa is talking about, do you think trump is in or out? he has made some conflicting messages on this, on one hand saying nato was obsolete and on the other saying he is 100% committed. where does he stand? he stands on what he campaigned on. annalisa is right to point out that
barack obama annalisa is right to point out that ba rack 0bama started annalisa is right to point out that barack obama started the pull— back. i don't think american society has fully come to grips with what the invasion of iraq was. it is hard to acce pt invasion of iraq was. it is hard to accept failure. then came the crash. we don't have money, and here we are paying for nato, more than most members, who weren't meeting their target of 2% of gdp, and trump weaponised that point of view. in 2016, he campaigned on it, and whatever you think of him, he keeps his broad promises. he said he was going to insist that nato members met at least their financial commitments, and just over the last 72 hours, this is what has happened. i think he doesn't care. i don't think he can think strategically. i think he can think strategically. i think he can think strategically. i think he thinks tactically, what will get me through the next set of tweets. i don't think he has an
overview. do you think his allies could sort it by coming up with the 296? germany is increasing its contribution. i think that nato's problems are so deep, and some are historical. 70 years is an awfully long time. if you ask about the next 70 years, that is 140 years. no agreement in history has ever gone on that long. i think that the big problem that nato faces is what to do on its south—eastern flank with turkey, because as we also, nato, ic, is becoming much more part of a european solution to its own security, because you know that what happened in 2015 or 2016, when erdogan opened the gates and we had an influx of syrian refugees going through greece and into the balkans.
i knew some of the people on that much, and what happened? we had this sudden surge of nationalism, ethnic nationalism in response to that. so erdogan, allegedly an ally, has in a sense destabilised europe. now he is cosying up to russia. so it seems to me that nato has to serious reflect on “— me that nato has to serious reflect on —— seriously reflect on whether it should be a pan—european security umbrella and let america drift into isolation or not. nazenin, where do you stand ? isolation or not. nazenin, where do you stand? it is a problem of europe as well, which sees itself as separate from america, and you can see it in policies on the middle east. the biggest strategic danger that we are facing at the moment is the middle east, and specifically iran. the europeans arejust not trying to, you know... for them,
iran has been nuclear and it is the nuclear deal, and that's it. and i think that's a big mistake, and that is affecting policy. inside europe, from the period since the collapse of the warsaw pact and the soviet union, when nato could go looking for pirates in the horn of africa or help sort out the balkans, we are now back to basics, aren't we? with ukraine and russia. there are all these things going on. is europe going to have its own defence or not? these are questions that they have been grappling with for so long. the noises from president macron are as you describe, but from germany different. there's a sense
from the ruling party is that they need to support nato rather than replace it in europe. the germans are very clear as well that nato must become more european, so the european pillar of nato is what is going to be the kind of direction of travel. and this is very clear. that was one of the main innovations when the former defence minister now of the former defence minister now of the commission, when she was at the ministry of defence, this was the clear message that came from germany. i remember i was filming in 2016 in warsaw for the nato summit, and there there was the first joint declaration of nato in the eu, 76 points, a numberof declaration of nato in the eu, 76 points, a number of points of cooperation in defence. my film dealt exactly with this. europe
needs to start thinking about its defence on its own, because it cannot count any more on america, and europeans need to take responsibility. we will have to leave the subject, but before we do, michael, just focus on exactly the 48 hours when everybody is in the uk, because these nato leaders are coming in in the middle of this difficult moment for nato itself, and they are coming into our uk general election campaign. exactly, trump is coming. tromp... tromp... britain tromp, that's what he calls borisjohnson. as we britain tromp, that's what he calls boris johnson. as we are talking about this, and there is a possibility he could go next year. you do begin to see an anglo—american alliance forming, drifting that way across the atlantic, and a more continental europe, notjust politically but also in terms of security apparatus, and that will be what is the
overview of this summit, for these 48—hour is, when you know and i know and everyone watching nose, donald trump will weigh in on the british election, i am certain. and we will now weigh in on the british election. what was the crunch moment of the uk election campaign last week? the melting ice sculpture that took the place of the conservative leader in a tv debate about climate change? the labour leader forced to revise his boasts on the limits of his taxation plans? the accusation that neither main party had credible economic plans? or something else entirely? a sombre moment on friday, with a p pa re ntly a sombre moment on friday, with apparently another terror attack on the streets of london. annalisa, the election campaign — what strikes you? what strikes me is the lack of substance. i think it's staggering.
imean, i substance. i think it's staggering. i mean, ifollowed many british general elections, and i've never seen such an empty space. there is nothing there that really matters for britain. the nato summit could be an occasion, an opportunity to actually talk about the role of britain in the world. what is this country going to do in the next five years? i mean, the world is changing, and the identity of britain is nowhere to be found in this debate. this is —— these are serious issues. nazenin? britain has beenin serious issues. nazenin? britain has been in flux for so long with the referendum, brexit, theresa may and now this, that this has become the new normal. maybe that's why we don't want to pay so much attention. it doesn't interest us as much. it is the new normal. but certainly, the one event that stands out as the channel for debate on the environment, as you mentioned. how
theatrics actually replaced the content theatrics actually replaced the co nte nt of theatrics actually replaced the content of what was such an important topic, the environment, but at the end of the day, with ice sculptures and michael gove going with his own tv camera. this has become the new normal, and it needed to stand out and think different. annalisa is talking about a lack of substance, nazenin talking about theatrics replacing that substance, but we have seen considerable economic debate over the manifestos of the leading parties, haven't we? what is interesting to me is that before it was declared, the election, borisjohnson before it was declared, the election, boris johnson and the before it was declared, the election, borisjohnson and the rest of the conservative party were going around britain promising enormous sums of money, but when they put their manifesto out, it was very conservative with a small c. the
labour party has put forward a 19705 style socialist labour party has put forward a 19705 5tyle socialist manifesto. they are going to renationali5e, after 35, 40 year5, va5t going to renationali5e, after 35, 40 year5, vast amounts of privatised indu5trie5, year5, vast amounts of privatised industries, and we are going to have taxe5 industries, and we are going to have taxes that will raise, they say, ten5 taxes that will raise, they say, tens of billions of pounds. it'5 taxes that will raise, they say, tens of billions of pounds. it's not what we're here to talk about, though. everyone knows the reason we are having an election is because of brexit. nobody wants to talk about brexit. nobody wants to talk about brexit. the two main parties are avoiding it, except for boris, who goe5 avoiding it, except for boris, who goes on saying, ju5t avoiding it, except for boris, who goes on saying, just get brexit done. what people are making decisions on our, you know, i mean, we should all be talking about climate change. we should be looking at policies. all we are talking about is that they put ice sculptures up at a major debate where borisjohnson sculptures up at a major debate where boris johnson didn't turn sculptures up at a major debate where borisjohnson didn't turn up. this is the new, i hate to say it, american way of going about things,
trivialising to keep people's attention. annalisa, you say there isa attention. annalisa, you say there is a lack of substance, but people will have to make up their mind and put a cross in a box on the basis of something. 0n put a cross in a box on the basis of something. on what basis do you believe they are going to do it because my sadly, on the basis of personalities, because there is so much confusion about what people stand for. they think they willjust choose the less unlikeable person, and it's very sad. is that the basis of their local mp or the national leaders of the parties?|j of their local mp or the national leaders of the parties? i think mainly it will be about the national leaders. and who will that result in? poles are saying that the conservative party is in the lead substantially. yeah. michael, last word. i think that in the end people will go back to their usual homes, but i do think that the conservatives will, as the polls indicate this time, get a majority.
and a sentence to you, nazenin. crosses in the box? i think british people will look to the future and say, whether it will bejeremy corbyn or boris johnson, say, whether it will bejeremy corbyn or borisjohnson, which party as well could... is more promising? at the end of the day, when i go to vote, it is local elections and i am not ina vote, it is local elections and i am not in a presidential election, so i will vote for the mp of my constituency. and a lot of uncertainty there. that's it for dateline london for this week — we're back next week at the same time. goodbye.
this hello. so far, and weekend dominated by early—morning frost and fog. some of the fog has been dense and freezing in places, but as you can see from this picture, beautiful blue sky and sunshine across the scottish borders. a hard frost here. temperatures in rural scotland down to -10 temperatures in rural scotland down to —10 celsius. a winter woolly is certainly an essential wardrobe item this afternoon. it stays cold, but largely dry and sunny. a few scattered showers likely across the far north of scotland and running down the east coast. some areas could see the fog lingering for a time across the east midlands and pa rt time across the east midlands and part of lincolnshire. at the same time, in the south—west, a weak weather front just clipping time, in the south—west, a weak weather frontjust clipping the isles of scilly and the channel islands, preventing temperatures from falling too low. through this evening, the rain will continue to move out of cornwall, through the
isles of scilly and into the channel isles. we keep the breeze, so that will prevent a frost or fog forming across southern england first thing on sunday, but elsewhere, with lighter winds and clear skies, temperatures are likely to fall away quite sharply yet again. we could see a frost across scotland, northern ireland and northern england. perhaps the fog not as dense because there will be more of a breeze. we start off on sunday with this high building on from west, keeping things largely fine and quiet. the weatherfront west, keeping things largely fine and quiet. the weather front that brought the rain in cornwall will bring heavy snow across the alps in the second half of the weekend. closer to home, a quiet start, any frost and fog lifting away and it will stay dry. sunshine coming through, a few scattered showers in the far north—west, but again, temperatures are likely to struggle, just below where they should be for the time of year, 3—8dc at best. as we go through the week, the first
week of december, it looks as though the high pressure is set to stay with us. it will drift slowly south, and towards the end of the week, it may well allow the wind to strengthen and a few weak weather fronts to push into the far north—west. the overall story is predominantly dry, settled, but cold. something a little milder and perhaps wetter in the north later on.
this is bbc news. i'm geeta guru—murthy. the headlines at 12... the queen hails the bravery of passers—by on london bridge yesterday, as it's revealed the attacker they restrained before he was shot dead by police was a convicted terrorist. when we were all kicking him and holding him to the ground, the guy was just constantly screaming, "get off me! get off me!", as if everyone wasjust going to let him go and do his thing. but we wanted to make sure that he's never going to do this again, that he's not going to harm another single human being. the attacker has been named as usman khan. he killed two people and injured three more — they are now recovering in hospital. an address linked to khan is being searched in stafford — he was on licence after being automatically released from prison. i do absolutely accept we have to look long and hard as at the types of sentences we are using for these types of offensives.
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