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tv   Forum Analyzes Iranian Presidential Election Results  CSPAN  May 24, 2017 7:13am-8:16am EDT

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and germany's parliament. were attributed to isis, while we were studying that i learned the methodology, the malware that was introduced and the place where the server is terminated that were stealing the information where not isis but what are now known as atp 28, cozy there, the name that crowd strike, the cyber security company gave for their interpretation of the malware package that belonged to russian military intelligence. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q and a. >> iran analyst and journalist discuss hassan rouhani's recent reelection where he won 57% of the vote. what the election means for us iranian relations to improve relations with the west. this event was hosted by the
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national iranian american council. >> if everybody could take their seats, we are almost ready to start. [inaudible conversations] >> welcome, everyone. i direct a program on iran at the atlantic council and i am absolutely delighted the national iranian american council has asked me to moderate this extremely timely panel about the irani and elections and donald trump's visit to the middle east. before we start i want to thank jared huffman. thanks to him we have the room. the arc foundation and the rockefeller foundation for supporting the work that many of us in washington do. we have had a great panel.
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we are going to start with hooman majd, best-selling author of fabulous books about iran including the ayatollah begs to differ and the ayatollah's democracy. he spent a lot of time going back and forth between the us and iran and understands the political dynamics of the country very well. then we will have sanam naraghi-anderlini, cofounder and executive director of the international civil society action network who has published extensively on gender, peace and security issues and knows a great deal about regional dynamics, finally, reza marashi, research director here who came after serving at the state department in the office of irani and affairs. a few questions from me, lots to talk about. let me begin by asking the
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panelist for their impressions, a split screen reality we had over the last few days. we had irani and dancing in the streets because they reelected hassan rouhani and donald trump giving a stern warning to iran. >> the iron he was lost on donald trump that he was speaking those words against iran. the bastian of democracy in the middle east. was an important election for irani in because they were faced with a stark choice, back to the days of margaret ahmadinejad which unlike as they had to live through. or move forward slowly, at a snail's pace for some, move forward in terms of engaging the
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world and fixing the economy which was of paramount importance. looking at the cabinet of hassan rouhani technocrats, accomplished people running the country on a day-to-day basis the choice was pretty simple, the main concern of his opponent essentially said he was going to surround himself with ahmadinejad people. the iranians app stark choice became an obvious choice for most iranians, even people in the provinces many people thought would vote for a conservative because everyone assumes if the system, the regime if you want to call it and the supreme leader himself are in favor of one candidate then surely he will have a huge advantage. it has been the opposite, the system or regime doesn't know
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that. you make it very clear, the chances of him winning become less so i think the iranians saw that in iran and they voted in huge numbers as barbara was talking about earlier, they saw there was this opportunity to either reject this populism, return to the old days of difficulties with sanctions, isolation of iran from the international community or move forward. as we got closer to the voting day and the media both inside iran and outside iran, throughout the world saying it is a close race, could easily be in the age of trump, they would
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be afraid, there was this nervousness that caused iranians to say that is not what we want, the overwhelming attitude of the media that this would be a close race we didn't know what would happen brought about more people getting engaged and saying we have to stop this, vote against the conservative in some ways, almost more so than hassan rouhani as a person. that is the irani and election, in terms of donald trump's trip to the middle east sword dancing with princes, it is hard to imagine something less useful in
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the region to ally as closely, with saudi arabia, especially saudi arabia, and we will wait and see. and marked donald trump this weekend, for essentially milking the saudi's for money. in his big arms deal and other investments in saudi arabia. that doesn't please iran in terms of the arms in saudi arabia but their own experience in terms of saudi arabia's military might has been that it is not what it is cracked up to be. this week to week war in yemen which was supposed to be two
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weeks, second or third year, without american help, the saudis can't fly their planes or accurately drop their missiles involved. i don't think they are -- they are worried and we have to wait and see where trump takes america because there is no iran policy, not much of a middle east policy, the palestinians and you really -- israeli settler differences, but it was not the simplest thing in the world. in terms of yemen and syria and iraq, afghanistan and other issues in the region nothing is simple and the irani and's will wait and see what actual real
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substeps they will take. >> this morning hassan rouhani was asked about trump's remarks, quite harsh, wait for the american policy to settle down so i thought that was a cautious response. >> more diplomatic and saying you don't have a foreign-policy. >> take this further. this us alliance with saudi arabia, if the saudi's are reassured america is behind them, might they be more amenable to talking to iran? one thing hassan rouhani said in his press conference, he thanked the saudis for revolving a dispute over the harsh. a lot of iranians died in the stampede a few years back.
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could this perversely help or is it counterproductive, will it make a difference in terms of other foreign governments, europeans in particular, their willingness to invest in iran and help the economy? >> it is great to be here. that sword dance, the contrast of trump and the saudi's being in an awkward looking war desk, dancing for joy and peace and nonviolence, this is something to bear in mind. and what worries me is the us has gone hook, line and thinker for the saudi version of the islamic story. the saudis are wahhabis, a fringe version of islamic culture and they worked hard to make themselves leaders of the sunni world and trump is falling
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for that. that is a dangerous issue because of extremism, to me, what struck me is the us, the administration is getting the wrong islamic history, and on the wrong side of the future as well. from the iranian side, how do you deal with someone who wants to go to war with you? reach out in friendship. it must be annoying to have hassan rouhani saying thank you for engaging, it is a clever move and i would hope it would open up the space, we cannot have any modicum of an attempt at peace in the region.
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constantly going on doesn't make sense. everybody knows it. this is just rhetoric. coming on the heels of an election, where 72% of the population voted across age, sect, geography, rich, poor, the diaspora voted and i have never seen the irani and diaspora so automatically so we are saying something to the world, we went political revolution, we once nonviolence progress and change, we certainly don't want to go back to bad things, trying to bring positive change and it demonstrates a deep democratic mindset. this is another piece. to bring about democracy you can't bring democracy on the back of the hands which we have been trying to do with iraq and afghanistan. you need the institutions to
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help foster norms and principles of laws and practice but you need a critical mass of people, in iran over the last 15 years, the depth of the mindset has been rooted. and not just the region. people realizing politics doesn't matter, the status quo, it gets worse, and that is the message sending to the world. >> in fairness, >> john spicer, iran and russia are needed to resolve syria, first time you mentioned iran in
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that context and rex to listen was asked and he said he will talk to the irani and when the time is right. and embracing the saudis and making very harsh statements about iran's role in the region, they are not closing the door. >> don't think you can say any door is closed on foreign-policy because trump in saudi arabia was the opening salvo as pertaining to trump's foreign policy in the middle east. there are three things that stood up about this trip. there is a problematic, no other way to say it, putting it diplomatically, billions of dollars of arms deals we have to be realistic about the fact the saudis are almost broke. there is a litany of articles,
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bloomberg, running out of money, privatizing and offering shares because they are going broke. how to pay for this is a question, the optimistic, it looks like the trump administration has accepted the saudi and israeli view of regional security they are pushing for 20 years. no american president prior to this administration has accepted that view and it is predicated on three things, one, isolate iran, two, ignore human rights and 3, forget diplomacy with iran. that is a recipe for war, ladies and gentlemen. it served as the backbone for what the obama administration tried to pivot away from. not coincidence in any way, shape or form. the third point is everything that happened in saudi arabia is the opposite of america first.
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that is extorting the saudis. at worst, we are saudi arabia's mercenary in the middle east because as robert gates said and wikileaks show the saudis are willing to fight to the last american. there are a lot of unanswered questions related to the trip that took place in saudi arabia and the new framework or architecture or security that is trying to be set up. last thing i would say about the saudi trip that is troubling to me that i guarantee you almost all of my former colleagues in the us government agree with is durable solutions to conflict requires every country with the capacity to find a solution. just like you can't fall regional security problems without the united states at the table or the saudis at the table are israelis at the table you can't solve without iranians and if you exclude any of those
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actors whether iran, america or anyone else it incentivizes the excluded party to disrupt, dismantle or destroy the process they are not a part of. if you're excluding any actor, what am i working towards? >> we aren't excluding iran completely, the us send a delegate to talk to syria, iran, russia, turkey. there have been statements suggesting the door is not closed. what do you think of my theory that we embrace the saudis, they will grow a little courage and be willing to talk to iran. does anyone think that is realistic or am i putting a positive spin on this? >> you and i putting a positive spin on it that is what we would all like, we would like to see traditional partners in the middle east not be free riders but the obama administration tried to do something similar.
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the obama administration in saudi arabia, gave almost a blank check to what saudi arabia was doing in yemen. it is too early to render judgments but what i like about what obama tried to do and don't foresee the trump administration doing is having a limit and trying to balance the embrace of the saudis with sustained dialogue through a variety of channels with iran and i don't think we have seen the trump administration take advantage of the channels the obama administration established. >> obama told the saudis one of the reasons they hated obama is share the region with iran. that is a reasonable thing, so i think -- i don't know, personalities involved in saudi
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decisionmaking are young, hotheaded it appears and i don't know if they are easily persuaded to sit down with their irani and counterparts. there are no irani and 30-year-olds running the country, there are no counterparts but some older more seasoned irani and diplomats. don't know if they are willing to sit down -- i hope they would be persuaded to. >> let's go back to iran, a choice iranians made that i wrote about for the atlantic council so things would not get worse and with trump in the white house, the confrontation with iran would grow and iran needed steady hands but hassan rouhani made a lot of promises during the campaign. i'm curious what you see in terms of human rights and freedom of expression, will
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people be released from jail? what about the dual national and others in jail, will hassan rouhani be able to make more bold steps in a second term given that he has a bigger popular mandate than he did in the first 4 will the curse of irani and presidents who get weaker in their second term applied to him too? >> it is hard to say of course whether he will be able to fulfill his campaign promises. he wasn't in his first term when it came to human rights. outside of iran, we pay a lot of attention to prisoners particularly dual citizen prisoners of which there are 6 or 7 at this point that iranians at home do. everyone in this two week campaign period according to the media we all read, american
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journalists and irani and journalists talk to voters voting for hassan rouhani, overwhelmingly talking about how the atmosphere for social change had been better under hassan rouhani. the impression inside iran is better than it was under awkward in is odd. outside iran it looks worse because there are more americans in jails and there were during awkward in is odd's years. that is something iranians care about but that is not the biggest priority for them. they would like to see that of course. more political freedom, no question about it but i still think we see human rights as a bigger issue than americans who are interested see it is a bigger issue than most iranians inside iran even though for them human race means more social
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freedom and more ability to speak their mind or freedom of the press as opposed to actual people in jail. you look at the population of young people in jail it is not significant. they have imprisoned 40,000 journalists -- >> not 40,000 journalists. >> my point about that is i think hassan rouhani is well aware of this. he is aware he has to provide a better economy first and foremost. more social freedoms in the way most young people want, the dancing you saw on the street, men and women commingling, those are a priority. no question he would like and his cabinet would like to see dual citizens released, relations with the west
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including england for example when they have business interests and vice versa. no question he would like to. whether he will be able to or the hardliners will back down a little bit or whether the supreme leader will ask the hardliners to back down is another question. hard to say. >> on a personal capacity i am reluctant about having to compare ourselves to what is happening in egypt, the worst and worst and worst cases. we came up with 2500 years ago to articulate human rights, can't we be the best in of human rights not only in the region but in the world? that would be a lovely way to think about how things could move. having said that, sanctions where the greatest human rights attack on the average irani and over the years. when you think about pregnant
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women or people who had cancer, all the issues we faced, for us, for the world to sit here for the secretary of state to talk about human rights in iran and not address this aspect of it is hypocrisy. what is amazing for me is the richness of the debate of the elections, up for elections, we wouldn't have gotten through but the nature of the debate, it was very broad, very serious, ethnic minorities, the discussion is out there and demand is out there. if we isolate, threaten,
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internally things will become tough as well. a lot of these issues can dissipate a bit more and the fear can fall away. i would like to see that but i wish we didn't -- next door they have 40,000 in jail, women are treated worse in saudi arabia. on the question of women seriously we have $100 million for -- it is an offense to every woman in the world especially those who have to live with the spread of wahhabi which is subjugation of women. to have this happening and watch what is going on in iran, you just can't. >> the dual nationals to be released, what are the chances for reconciliation, the 2009 legacy if it is possible that we
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could finally see some of that passing. >> an important question, the dual national question is an important one and a personal one because a lot of these guys are personal friends. we all have a vested interest and deep-seated desire to see dual nationals released, it highlights the fact that there are different branches of power and power networks in the iranian government and a big reason why, not the only reason but a big reason they do this is to try to weaken and destabilize certain power networks inside iran, hassan rouhani being one of them, that onces dialogue and engagement. that being said in the short term we are not going to see dual nationals get released, the track record of dual nationals being detained for ridiculous amount of time is eventually
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they become a liability for the iranian government as a whole regardless where they fall on the political spectrum. every time they do this they backed themselves into a corner and need the way out. the obama administration helped give them a face-saving way out. remains to be seen whether the trump administration is willing to even entertain the idea of using direct diplomacy or multilateral diplomacy or a face-saving way out of this. as it pertains the legacy of 2009 you don't have to take my word for it, irani and voters have twice utilized hassan rouhani's campaign is a way to continue channeling what they thought into 2013 into 2017. the election was a bloodbath. hassan rouhani had human rights activists, the provinces, local elections, in his rival's home cities, he ran in the holy
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cities. essentially run for lack of a better term, hassan rouhani won the vote and local council elections was a woman won in the local council elections, you have to understand the magnitude of this victory. understanding full well there are an elected officials who will put up obstacles and roadblocks but the deck i want to make to you all is if we can acknowledge that sitting in washington dc you better believe irani and voters who overwhelmingly voted for hassan rouhani understand that but they are willing to play the long game and willing to try to bring about peaceful, indigenous change in a way that we haven't seen in this part of the world for quite some time. i respect it immensely, and it behooves the international community whether is the united states or anyone else to take a step back and say if they have a preference for indigenous change and aversion to unrest and
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bloodshed perhaps we should respect that too. >> i open up to your questions now. do we have a microphone wandering around? raise your hand, say who you are and ask a question. >> i want to ask about the debate, ready to talk to the americans, nonnuclear sanctions and secretary tillerson saying iran must stop ballistic missile tests. do you think these are sending messages or exchanging messages with each other, setting terms for future talks? thank you. >> i can say one thing. >> in the press conference today, hassan rouhani said if there is national consensus and the leader allows so yes, no, i don't know. >> it is hassan rouhani's
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preference. the policy to resolve conflicts, the point barbara makes is correct and leads to a bigger point which is sins are made by consensus and things move slow or things can be blocks which is why hassan rouhani asked the greater mandate, it remains to be seen whether they will move but even if they couldn't come if the leader wakes up tomorrow and says it is all thinks and, great idea, takes two to tango and american president as smart as the people he or she surround himself with an donald trump has not surrounded himself with anybody i know of that is inclined to support the kind of sustained mimetic dialogue obama did. i'm not optimistic. >> i don't think the problem lies in iran but in the united states. you had a question. right there. then we will go to this young
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man here. >> thank you very much for putting such a great panel together. this question is for you. in your expert opinion, what should be the political strategy for irradiance to reach out to the saudis and reduce the tension and they could benefit to have a dialogue between them. what should be the strategy? >> great question. one of the most important questions we could ask right now. the pivotal countries in the region, it behooves them to have a functional relationship with one another. by invading iraq in 2003, inadvertently upended the kind of order that existed that had iran in the penalty box.
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a direct result of not only iraq but afghanistan. the saudis need to push back against iran to attain some level of parity. that is what they feel and what i gathered, and free-flowing manner, don't need to exit talking points like they do in public. however, there are half a dozen instances where the hassan rouhani administration has reached out to the saudis publicly or privately, bilaterally and multilaterally and every single time except the issue of the house which proved to be fruitful. the kuwaitis tried, swiss have tried and germans have tried and the obama administration tried
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when obama said publicly the saudis and irani and need to learn to share the region which no american has said since world war ii. anyway, the defense minister and deputy crown prince, no reason to talk to iran, why would we talk to iran, and went on a sectarian rands. i am hopeful with a bit of cajoling particularly from the europeans, they can move away from this position. >> my name is matthew, i happened to definitely see the merit in many of the points everyone has made but i do think it is important to address the other side of the story and play devils advocate.
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i would like to castle skepticism. it is easy to see the irani in regime and specifically the revolutionary guard forces, destabilized a lot of the region on a material level or a rhetorical level destabilized yemen, syria, lebanon, israel and other parts of the region in an effort to spread shiite ideology and my question to you all here would be to we think this is the best way to share the region with saudi arabia, do we this is the best way to unrest bloodshed, do we really think this is the best way to affirm we can to bring democracy on the back of a tank when the
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irani in regime unfortunately elements of it continue to support destabilizing element in the region? >> one clarification. i didn't understand the question. you disagree with the assessments but is what the best way? >> do we really think -- thank you for the clarification. do we think it is starts as smart strategically to support proxy wars or struggles in other countries in the middle east on behalf of shiite forces whether it is in iraq, syria, lebanon, muslim forces, on the side with hamas, jewish states, do we think that is a smart strategy, number one, number 2, are we sure that even the election of hassan rouhani will be anywhere near enough to overcome the
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supreme leader himself with quite a bit of foreign-policy influence in the country? >> i don't want to get into a lesson about she sunni and shia but when you look at the muslims in the world 13% to 15% call themselves shia. there is a huge level of variety and diversity. not much in common apart from fundamental beliefs they have. the other 85% fall under the sunni, iran, if you look at how much influence iran can possibly have is not much. it is with stickley not the same as the arab world. it is the minority shia sect. protestants and catholics, how
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many do you know who are protestants turn from protestant to catholic or vice versa, people don't switch their religion and faith and beliefs that easily. the idea that we have this spreading of she is amanda ran is out there and you could equate it to what the saudis have been doing is a false narrative the saudis have been wanting us to understand for many years because they are on the fringe of the saudi side and putting money and resources into every muslim community around the world where there are sunnis and saying the saudi version is what it should really be. this is a false narrative, we should not be in the game of proxy wars, and to bomb yemen.
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we should not be selling arms and enabling people, clean hands in the region. which country active in afghanistan to pakistan, everyone has blood to their elbows. what we are seeing, there is a population of 80 billion people, we want diplomacy, and this is an important message to take back, the approach of the united states in the last 15 years has been like the cat in the hat
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comes back. we go to clean it up and there is a bigger mess. this is not working anymore. we have to try something else. i agree with you, the notion of who we are supporting or has more power. >> if i could add something. uranian influence in the region goes back because iran has been there thousands of years. you can somehow separate the arab and persian, completely unrealistic, iran was active in lebanon before the uranian revolution, the shah started building up the shia population in lebanon because they had been historically discriminated against by the sunnis and christians even though they were a plurality in society so in a sense after the revolution the islamic regime doubled down and took organizations that had already been there and turned
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them into hezbollah. the syrian irani and alliance goes back a long time during the iran iraq wars, siri was the arab country that supported iran. against iraq. if you look at iraq, shiism has been the center, you can't draw a dividing line between these communities as much as the saudis would like that and you have shia in saudi arabia, shia majority in bahrain and kuwait and when they are mistreated as they often are they are forced to look to iran as a protector because it is the largest shia country. we look at this in all its nuances, you don't see it as black-and-white, i am not comfortable with iran supporting
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the assad regime and the atrocities it committed but there is a reason for iran's involvement in these countries. >> i want to add to that, the narrative that is spreading instability which is promoted very much by saudi arabia and the gulf states and israel, let's look at the facts, playing devils advocate is well and good but we should not get away from the facts. we have only come to understand what the forces are after our invasion of afghanistan and iraq. we started, the united states started the instability in the region. they are protecting their interests, uranian interests and uranian interests are that iraq is on one side and fought a war with iran, afghanistan on the other side where they almost went to war, the taliban was there before the invasion by us in 2003, in 2002, looking at how
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iran is spreading instability, just protecting its own view and the people of iran in their view, protecting its interests so whatever it does in iraq is protecting its interests. as far as the irani and people are concerned. not saying everybody with the government of iran, they are protecting uranian interests to prevent terrorism crossing the borders, to prevent complete destabilization in afghanistan which threatens iran. if it is stable iran is less threatened and to support shia communities being oppressed by the majority of sunni which is about sectarianism than we like to think it is but only because they are supporting them. syria was a good point. most uranian's don't think about
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that. even though we call them shia or part of the shia community, they look at it from a strategic view, purely from a national interest, in iran's national interests for syria to remain and ally and not be an ally of saudi arabia. the narrative has to be we can't accept the uranian narrative, we shouldn't accept the saudi narrative either which was automatic iran is destabilizing the region but we started stabilizing it, now they are a factor. >> iran and iraq fought a eight year war with 11 million dead, 60% of the iraqi army was shia. if the shia community question with a large those guys would have maybe switched sides or run away but they didn't. they fought as iraqis and arabs against iran, the notion of the
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affinity and power and influence is something to project but actually not as great when you come down to it as it was in the geopolitical. >> in the back. yes? >> do you -- >> tell us your name. >> frederick. do you believe there could be potential with the us rightly or indirectly engaging diplomatic talks with respect to current in fights, the potential to reconvene party talks with north korea regarding nuclear nonproliferation or infighting environment, water crisis in afghanistan, do you view any potential -- >> the united nations? >> the current administration,
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indirectly or directly engaged diplomatic talks in any manner? >> very good question. it allows me to make an important point. glad you asked it which is we have this thing called the jc poa, the iran nuclear deal and every few months all the countries get together and meet in the joint commission. a novel can idea, when rex tillerson goes to the podium and says i will cross paths, you know he will cross paths because he has to, doesn't have a choice so there is an opportunity, at the very least, to pass messages at the very least. if we are smart and want to use the levers and tools of american power, we will do more than pass messages, we will have bilateral meetings and by having bilateral meetings on the sidelines of a
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multilateral meeting it is not capitulation, it is a demonstration of strength and the obama administration proved that and the rest of the international community or global powers sat down and agreed to this deal with us in iran, also share that. >> i would love to see whether it is direct or indirect, some serious work around water management, that is the biggest crisis the country is facing right now. environmental issues, we have problems on the side whether they believe there is a problem with climate change, those kind of collaborative measures are great through the multilateral. let me add we have an event a couple weeks ago at the atlanta council where people tied with iran, we have in the past had uranian academics come to the united states for seminars on proper water management, it is a great idea and we should devote more resources to that kind of thing, not imposing visas. >> thank you so much.
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quick comment and question. it is fair to point out much of what the iranians are doing is not helping stability in the region. the context is important, however much they tried to, no one has achieved greater cause of instability after the invasion of iraq, the single most destabilizing event in the history of the middle east the last 20 years. ..
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>> i think the indications have been and it's hard to predict the future iran experts are pretty much on the same levels as astrologers in terms of predicting the future. or palm readers, maybe that's unfair to astrologers. maybe that's more accurate. i'm not going to predict, but indications have been iran especially since the chinese russians and europeans continue to abide to the extent they can without falling afoul to american law if they have companies and banks doing business in america that they will continue to abide by it and i think iran will as well. for iran to have america be the bad guy is the biggest gift you can give them. the last 38 years, for the europeans to say america is the
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bad actor and is not abiding by it a deal they agreed to is again gifted to the iranians and when i say iranians i mean government of iran. iran has indicated obliquely they will continue to abide by the deal as long as it's not torn up, let's put it that way. i don't think the us-- as was said it's not in the hands of the us to tear up the nuclear deal. there is nothing tear up. it was agreed on with a bunch of other countries and they would have to tear at the un resolution, which they are unable to do because they can't get past the chinese veto. i think iran with the united nations and the other countries of supportive of the deal will continue in spite of my deal. again, i am being a palm reader, but that's my view that they will continue to abide by it and we will look foolish if we are in complete violation.
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>> two thoughts. number one, i would love to see how they explain it or how the iranians 41.5 million people who cannot to vote for moderation, radical moderation if you want would react to a new sanctions bill coming from the us, so i think this would be setting up in the next generation to really be anti- american, so that's one thing. on the us side i think we need to look at this because frankly i don't think the europeans and others will go with that. they will try to do their business with iran as much as they can't and large american multinational companies will continue to benefit because they open up in europe and that is the way they can't engage in iran. the people who get hurt other midsized american companies who don't have access, so it's inside the, our own companies here who-- there might be a lot potential for trade and they are getting the raw end of the deal if sanctions continue.
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>> i would add one thing. i agree completely with what was said. about track record of iran's nuclear program and interaction with the rest of the world my generally in the us more specifically is every action breeds a reaction. as we systematically advance sanctions on iran spitler program, did iran capitulate? no they advanced a techno aspects of its program. we stacked a bargaining chip in iran stacked up bargaining chips for shelley, we froze everything in place if not reduced and we put a ceiling on top of iran's nuclear program. every aspect is completely monitored, unprecedented in the history of the world. this idea that more sanctions will produce no response, i find that far-fetched. however, there are a variety of
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responses i think the iranian government would likely-- actively consider that would not be violations of the nuclear deal as passing these sanctions in congress would be particularly on research and develop it as it pertains to iran's nuclear program because that has nothing to do with uranium and it's all acquiring knowledge. now, that's not to say the us or other members of the international community wouldn't consider it to be provocative, but you can't make the case that iran is building a bomb went everything is frozen and a ceiling is built on top of everything frozen and also scientists are just doing science. and there is no tangible application to it as it pertains to the program, so if anything with these new sanctions will accomplish is a weakening overtime, on erosion over time of america's ability to control the international financial
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networks and communities and banks. jacob lew warned about this in his exit interview before he left the treasury department specifically saying overuse of unilateral american sanctions will over time the road not only american credibility, but american financial power in this is something every congressional office needs to take into account before they move forward on this bill. >> might also put out your congressmen and senators that the chinese are very actively promoting their one belt one road project and there are real links that are being built all through central asia, from afghanistan after rush and these are the projects that won't be affected by american sanctions and that will probably serve to minimize american economic power in that part of the world, so we risk isolating ourselves if we continue down the road of interest lateral sanctions without any reason. you have been very patient, so
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please-- wait for the microphone >> thank you. i wonder if you could give us more of a sense of the redness of the debate during the elections and if things like connie criticizing the national guard will come back to hot him or has this debate opened the things that more for the iranian people? >> is a good question whether it will haunt him. i think certainly there will probably be pushed back from the revolutionary guard as you pointed out who are not happy with his criticisms of the guard and said so in the judiciary. the two areas he attacked or the military and judiciary. .com. i think people will just generally speaking if the guards had been opposed to many of his policies regardless of what-- whether he was nice to them in
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debates and i think people are passed out at this point and will just say the election is over and by people i mean including the guard. the election is over and we will just now pursue our interests and i don't think there will be any real pushback on the level that you might worry about. i certainly don't think the iranians are particularly worried. let's remember that rouhani's also different from the previous reform government. he's much more of an insider, much more of a national security guy, much more of a person who i wouldn't say a reformist and not conservative, but much more of a regime insider than rouhani of her wasn't having ability to say things that i think he doesn't have them as he wants to jail, so i think for rouhani, because of his position and because of who he has been over the last 38
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years. his acceptance speech thanked him and this is a guy who is not allowed to mention his name in the media and he thanked him for his support which was instrumental in getting young people to come out and vote, so i don't think it will come back to haunt him, to take a early. >> during the election campaign iranians get to commit truce and they get to party in the streets at night which are two things they love to do, so i guess the question is whether these freedoms will-- >> they won't. >> if they will exist? >> they want-- won't stack is or anyone else who has not asked a question? yes come over here. wait for the microphone. [inaudible]
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so, what evidence is there that iran has a security posture-- [inaudible] >> go for it. >> look, i think one of the things that gets the saudi's goat so much is that iran's been able to get more bang for its buck. iran has been an opportunistic power. doesn't have the natural allies in the region so it has been able to take advantage of opportunities, grievances, often among shia communities, the communities and put a little bit of money and expertise is a big result saudi's spend billions and billions and billions and
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self-- still seem to be afraid. so i ask you which country is feeling more secure. rouhani was asked about this during a press conference if he was worried about the money the saudi's were spending on weaponry and he said no, we make weapons in iran, we don't buy them. and that's not entirely true they do buy them. but, there is a sense that iran has become more self-reliant and has learned to play the proxy gain more effectively. i think its defense of an offense. it's just as they have done a very well and for us to double down on what hasn't worked, think the us should have options. it's not necessary to choose one or the other, but we ought to be able to avail ourselves of connections with all of these countries and try to find what's in american interests.
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i think we have time for one more, so yes if you want to throw one more in. wait for the microphone, please. right here. >> television. >> its television. you need a microphone. [inaudible] >> hassan rouhani denied the reformists-- trying to reunite the forces, do you think he is taken over as the kingmaker with the forces? >> i think he is certainly the kingmaker for the report-- reformist, but they are not necessarily the majority at this point. i mean, i think the majority of the iranian whittling that way, but there's a huge number people
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who are still mine that camp. helping people voted for him to make 18 million. >> that's not insignificant, so not a kingmaker in the way the way he was then at that time it was a different islamic republic >> will this affect the choices the fact that rouhani was reelected? >> i will answer that men circle back to the first point. it does have an employee and there's no one inside or outside of iran can predict to the next supreme leader will be, but what we can say is that having the presidency and the ministry that are within your control and the ability to plan a budget and you have a friendly parliament all plays into the favor of those who like to see someone like rouhani or rouhani minded assume that position if and when the current supreme leader passes away, but to the original point i don't think anyone can fill his shoes.
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the coalition he helped usher together that blossomed into rouhani's presidency, i mean, he was try for at least 10, 15 years before happened to make that happen and it was finally the extremist takeover all branches of government and the reformist and other conservatives saw the like and saw the merits and what he was trying to push. looking ahead, while i think he was and will continue to be a kingmaker precisely because no one at least in my view no one can fill his shoes, i'm more interested to see if rouhani steps up and can cultivate his own independent power base, own independent ways of support. can he carve out this middle path and continue to keep together arguably the most inclusive political coalition since the end of the trent three iraq war. i would like to think he can,
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but no one knows for sure. >> you get the last word. >> thank you. i went to give more credit to the iranian people instead of this kingmaker in that kingmaker i think that we see is people coming out and making decisions that are tactical, strategic, transactional mean people are making their own choices and going in the direction they want. this is a populace, which you can ignore and we see it in the politics. the question about human rights and other issues, they are having to respond to what the public is raising and this is an amazing development. i mean, it's been 38 years since the revolution. 36 million people at the time of the revolution in 1979. 41 million people voted, just devoted and they voted for change and refm


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