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tv   Hudson Institute on Iran Sanctions Protests  CSPAN  August 31, 2018 6:32pm-8:01pm EDT

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>> and research fellow from the foundation for the iranian
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institute of civil society and to his left a senior fellow at the school craft center. with the temperature rising the revolutionary guards i look forward to reading them. and then to go back and forth with a ten minutes opening dialogue. and hope to cover all of these topics to educate the administration and how we can go forward. starting with today new york times article were the supreme leader throws president honey into the vast work life is
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her here -- interesting. also talk about the relation and then we will discussion you get is a large question. but the country is in a revolutionary state. the governing principles both brutal and moderate are not working. people have lost support in their trust of the government and showing that to be the mass duration the country.
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and with the slogan of my younger years. and the regime basically has been unable to resolve that economic and political or military situation where that is the goal to discuss the points. at the bottom line is looking at the regime to look at the problems and the corruption because the policy with both action -- action. it is a revolutionary state. >> i would add the resentment
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to the moderates or the reformers or whatever you call them, it is more than the so-called hardliners because they were promised a lot of the band wore a lot of fat and has come true. so the resentment people concerned the unemployed poor, the overlapping social crisis addiction, prostitution, disappears social problems that in late december or early january resulted in continuing to fuel this uprising that really is nationwide. but it includes everybody else
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as well. and overlap at a time when people expected some sort of dividend even those of us that oppose the deal because we thought this will satiate society in a lot of ways to be a buffer to solve that economic crisis. . . . . >> it's an explosion.
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>> just to will back off of that, it's no secret that there are social, economic issues that basically come with the territory. it's the nature of the regime and why you have this between state and society. but why did the matter, even though the scale is but a touch smaller, why they matter is because it's the social base of the regime revolting. these are the people the regime did not always have to apply with money or force. they were expected to show up. they're expected to chant death to america. when you can't get your social base to revolt it's us problem to the regime. that exposes basically the authoritarian nation and the military structure of what was once the clerical regime.
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there's that moment happening in the islamic republic to be aware of. the way you see it in the social classes coming out after january february use of the women's movement and then escalating in february taking off the he for jobs, the drying up the rivers, all the way through april and may, these are the people who bankrolled the revolution. there's always been an alliance between the clergy and the bazaar, when you have bazaar is watching on the parliament, chanting the same slogans that what you and i were chanting in 2009 then you realize it's in trouble. the place to keep your eye on is not society.
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society is gravitationally pulled away from the regime in a way it will not be reparable. what you need to look at in 2019 with the sanctions as security forces. and how the regime crumbled and apply the framework here. so, what security forces are defecting. why are they deploying here, why they deploying law-enforcement hearing vigilantes here? what is it tell you about the trust and security forces? please will be on the front line. it's up to them to decide. >> i think as the economic pie strings the regime is turning next to each other. there is a theory that there would be a rally around the sanctions and a number of operas were written about it.
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but clearly we are seeing exactly the opposite of that. not only is not everybody rallying around the flag, there turning to the regime increasingly as the regime fights against itself. so even if the regime cannot unify on the issue of how to resist, i don't think the expected control of population for that much longer. we haven't seen major defections from the regime. i think since december there's been an expectation in iran and outside iran that something major would happen that would just turn things around completely. that hasn't happened.
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whether it is being crushed even more aggressively through the regime or other figures turning to the west very figuratively. there have been reports that have been very telling. there have been a lot of reports on the regime, officials on their u.s. canada, europe, not so much the u.s. anymore but canada and europe. >> so all of these indications but nothing major has happened. i think december was the beginning of something major. whatever that is it has not come about. i would agree that the security forces matter a lot. there's always this assumption that the cards would stay and
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fight the regime to the bitter end. i question whether that's true. and whether that's the regular military, and to show whether they're very committed returning against the regime. i think that will break sooner than later. in november, it's a key month because iran will come under virtual and economic blockade. you won't have worships blockading iran, but for all intents and purposes the modern economy is basically a physical blockade. for the u.s. administration of the trump administration and
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whether it's intentional or not it has adopted the routine strategy. there's no follow-up in terms of what comes after. there's one thing to say that it's up to iranians to determine their future. i think the u.s. is very invested in the outcome because it is strangulated in iran's economy. if iranians rise up and come into the streets by the millio millions, i think it will be key what the u.s. will do and what kind of signals it sends in what policies as well. it's one thing to sanction and they have done that very well. it's another to support opposition groups or decide very solidly whether washington is going to engage in the regime,
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force another deal which i don't think is a possibility, or whether once and for all they will figure out what to do with the post regime iran and in tandem with the iranian people. >> i would like to thank c-span for being here today. they're covering the event. what's interesting about what i have heard about the panelist is that we are in a prerevolutionary state. there's resentment toward the moderates. the regime is losing its social base. you said it was conceptually in trouble, is it actually in trouble? i put this 12 for review, what should the u.s. due to accelerated or stay away from? >> i think one thing that a smart and i know people disagree is that when trump says he is ready to meet anytime, that smart because it puts the pressure not just on the economy
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but on all iranian society and that they look at donald trump and they say, he's ready to talk. so why are they moving in doing something? on the one hand there is enormous financial pressure on society of the regime. i don't know if they only say it hurts society or the regime, then if that's true why are they doing the lobby. >> if it's true, that the regime doesn't care about the sanctions and they only hurt the iranian people, then why are the lobbyists to tell writing these out bed said talking about how they are meaningless #why did he spent 17 years of his life lobbying for one thing, the removal of sanctions.
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the sanctions have worked. they worked to get them to the negotiation table, they're working right now, we don't know to what extent hominy is authorizing indirect talks even now, but we know he knows because he sees how it has been in the past. he can see the future and is in deep trouble. the only way to get out is if he negotiates. those 12 points are being discussed intensely within the regime. and how can they meet the demands of the united states government. i'll speak for myself, i have a responsibility to press hard for iran not to become venezuela scenario. you have extreme economic collapse, the likes of which has never happened in world history. venezuela is similar in that
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it's very advanced socially and economically with foreign investment and then it went to the very bottom of the region on so many indicators. what is venezuela today? maduro is still in power. society is in chaos. what we don't want to set to happen to iran. the good thing is that the sanctions are extreme, their happening at once. the hope is that they will have an effect at once and at the very least will see the iranian regime meeting the 12 demands but ultimately like people who are focused on civil society for there to be a regime change. to transition to a government that is the will of the people of iran to come about.
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>> with the president be making a mistake if he met with them? >> so far, hominy, the supreme leader has played a good game of being above it all. these younger people, and have these meetings and negotiations and he standing above it. whenever he wants he can say don't trust it. but the trump administration knows that. if the regime starts to indicate they will adhere to the 12 demands, then maybe the administration will say i will talk to ronnie. ideally, hominy should be at the negotiating table face-to-face with donald trump. that's a humiliation for them. >> i think there's problems all
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in the region. the u.s. policy toward iran is been focused on what's going on. they're hoping to at least change the behavior of the regime which is impossible. if not to help in any way or shape for the regime change inside iran. with the u.s. policy is missing is iran's conventions. to be paid lip service that they will oppose iran and syria, for example. in syria, most of you know iran has started an intervention to oppose the sunni opposition. well, those goals were basically achieved. still, iran and stated syria. why, they wanted to parlay their victory over opposition until
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now permanently basing themselves in syria to be a permanent presence in syria and to challenge the influence in the region. we come in the u.s. should say that's not acceptable to us. iran really has no place to permanently base itself inside syria. same thing in iraq and yemen. the commander has started saying that the money has been behind a lot of mischievous affairs of iran in the region. of course you knew that for the longest time. >> all of those things were happening. >> you have to translate that into a policy. aside from what the u.s. can do internally i agree with my colleagues about how the
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sanctions can affect the behavior of the regime can affect the protesters on the street. but also, we should not forget about the regional inventions of iran. thus the weakest points of iran. if you want to hit not necessarily kinetic, hidden politically, you can do it and start doing it in syria and iraq and yemen. by defeating iranian's you can help the opposition to have a more effective way against the energy in the. >> hasn't thus started are ready? >> the protesters are saying no more syria. so the u.s. government should actually listen. >> yes, the central commander is now publicly identifying the money as a problem.
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but i haven't seen that to be translated into policy. >> by november they have to make hard decisions on terms of if they want to continue supporting this regime. and all this various malicious. they are caught in the opposition is very well aware. i think the sanctions are putting tremendous stress on iran, the regional position. i don't think the u.s. has to do anything dramatic, just let things play out. there's no reason for trump to meet with anybody. there's no reason for them to hit iran anywhere in the region. the whole position in the middle east is under tremendous stress.
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and the internal is feeding that. you look at what the u.s. treasury told the baghdad, any iraqis banks doing business with iran that's the type of pressure that we can put on the regional allies. >> that in itself was a major power in iraq and the iraqi government cuts off financial ties. what is that say about the influence in iraq? we want them to pay more attention to iraq than they are iran. >> just quickly on that point, a couple of little footnotes. i still would not underestimate the iran's influence because if you had any proof of the power of the deterrent effect look at
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the exodus of the european foreign firms leaving before we even got to the august 6 deadline. for those familiar with that a lot of that discussion focused on primary sanctions. in the debate in washington after 9/11 and the terrorism order after banks and businesses began you have seen the growth and deterrent effect of the secondary sanctions become a tool in the way that it wasn't in the late '90s. the academic leadership has to catch up the way it's evolving. this is one broad stroke. on iraq, i think where you don't like sanctions you're gonna comply and then he said that's just the access to the u.s. dollar because of the issues you
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mentioned. in the interim you had this she a malicious, and says, i think were going to break the sanctions. all of these guys are coming out same they are chastising the national government of iraq for doing what's in the best interest. if the u.s. is looking to take its strategy of this shelf then you need to go after these entities in iraq, syria and wherever they are. so that forces conflict. it goes and goes until there's any resistance. my fear is not that the national government, a body may not stay that long, the national government may make a decision but the iran militia network and proxy network and the influence
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of the seminaries may help bus the sanctions. what we saw even when we had international by 2012 and 13, a native ally like turkey helped establish this, gas for gold. while i support the resurrection of the sanctions we have to look at what countries are primary jurisdiction and plug those loopholes in advance of novembe. >> will said. so, were looking at indicators and precursors to the regime instability. you mentioned the metrics you're saying that could accelerate the fall of the regime. what are some of those? we talked about the vigilantes in the regular army, my talk to people that focus on this and
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iran is there thought the conventional military would side with the people. then you'll have this in the procedure itself, the lower ranks are barely paid and they can side with the people as well. one or two generals leaving in high positions would be an indicator that exit. you're talking about capital flight mo what are some of the things that we would expect to see from this force if the regime collapse? could they become al qaeda on steroids? or would they simply melt away? i wanted to hear what she had to say. >> for several years now the regime has tried to scare the iranian people away from agitating for their rights. they point to syria and they
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say, look at what happened to them. they wanted more out of life. they wanted their freedom and look what they got. implicit in that is a threat that we will do to you, our very own people what we have already done to the innocent syrian people. whether or not they would do the depends on plugging the holes in terms of the financial infrastructure. we need to plug the holes in terms of security right away if there's a change in iran. that's one thing we should have learned from iraq. once the regime had been toppled through whatever means, hopefully through nonviolence resistance from the people of iran. even after that, once the regime goes, there still may be networks in ways that they can terrorize the iranian people i
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think we need to have the intel in the preparation and the will now to be in there and doing the things necessary to prevent that. >> the issue of putting pressure on the irg cn in general the armed forces in iran is key to the future development of the state of the revolutionary now. people on the street are putting pressure on the regime. by demonstrations. by voting of their vote of no confidence in the regime. on economic situation two, we are losing the value. so, people are doing what they have to do. of demonstration because more
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and more during the seven months it looks to be they are organized and coordinated. i did not expect to have the same kind of thing against the regime being pronounced in any phase of the demonstration almost simultaneously. so it's much more coordinated. of course the nature of the iranian society is not that people can organize. they have to coordinate underground. the social media is helping them with that immensely of how to coordinate. i think this is much more organized and coordinated then the regime would have liked or would have expected. on the irg seaside, if the u.s. puts pressure outside the country, that's pressure we
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force the irg see inside the country to think twice about what's going on and what would be their position in iran if the demonstrations get out of hand and that's the time we are going to look at who is going to really trust the red line and effect from the regime at that time. it's important to put the pressure on them in syria, iraq, yemen, everywhere. that pressure would help the pressure coming from u.s. and it can help with inside. >> when israel bombs the basis in syria and someone says wastes all the benefits go up in smoke, that money that was supposed to
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help, all these people lobbied for the iran deal say don't you care about the iranian people, first of all there was no peace. the people of syria were being annihilated. once the iran deal was in effect there was some money go to syria and then israel bombed it and then it was gone. >> that's an important point. the israeli attack on the iranian position in syria, really it also showed how on prepared the workforce was. after all of these billions of dollars annually, they threw 40 rockets towards israel he position and then israel comes back on proportional and hit it all in syria there's no response. so that is bringing down that image that the irg c is for
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themselves. after all the things they set about israel and how to fight, israel hits them on may 10 in today's late august. there's no retaliation yet. that will bring the whole thing down. >> they estimated their a be 400 there to protect the operations. it was felt in tehran and on the grounds. >> and immediately people in parliament in iran started talking about how we don't like the russians. immediately it fell apart. >> what's fascinating, it's probably right now the biggest civil disobedience movement i can think of happening in the
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world. it has progressed quite a bit since december. in recent weeks you see mass protests and stadia. tens of thousands of people potentially protesting. i feel like the iranian people are ahead further than what we think they are. in recent months i have observed the protests becoming more organized and synchronized. there happening in interesting ways in different sectors. think this is only the second round. i think there is a lot happening that we don't really see where we see snippets of. it could depend on how the u.s. harnesses it but i think the democracy movement in iran is
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way ahead. it can actually turn out massive amounts of people into the streets it could be very effective. i think that could very well happen in the next few months given what we have seen. even if everybody turns from the stadium to the streets you have tons of people in one spot. >> i want to get back tonight. have a follow-up question to. >> the conversation is being held in washington, as critical as we do want to be of iran, it's important to write sizes. they actually don't have this capability. the iranians understand then that's why the balance of resolve is always more important. the balance of capabilities slanted in the u.s.
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when you look at iran's model it's at least a decade or two decades old. when you're looking at the networks, look for depth. what has happened since the uprising. there is an area where it's heavily involved in iraq. other areas are occasional pickpockets. they don't have the depth of that relationship. iran's instrumental use of these theaters with u.s. interests and allies and partners. it's important not to build that out. and heavily slated on the other side. >> going back to your comment, the biggest civil disobedience campaign we have seen again, if
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you look at the u.s. elections the day after the president took his oath from office, zero zero one for some of the u.s. population. yet it received 24/7's media coverage. i was a political event. move people in a position away from the trump administration. the protests in iran are estimated at 5% of the population, probably more. they're starting to be organiz organized, there's more momentum. 5% of the population protests would be the equivalent of 22 million americans marching on washington d.c. that would be a chaos event here. that would change government. if it had the media coverage it
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would replace a government. what's lacking in iran is it media coverage? there built for western media coverage that we are not seen it and what can be done? what can the protesters need is it western democracy support, what is it i just want to inject some pessimism here. there is still a large amount of cohesion in the security forces. this is the only volunteer force. that's why those forces are the same and are likely to go in a contest between state and society. there is still zeal, the numbers dropping to those who support the regime. unfortunately the regime is quite adept at repression.
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it's learn from protests, a look at 94 they did get fired thing, then the hybrid law enforcement together, the layered approach. the look at 2009 it wasn't libya on the streets, it was meant on bikes with guns. they're learning. we're simply reporting how they are learning. they are shocked by the protests and then they react quite quickly. once you get to 2017 and 18 the use of les. >> it would behoove the trump administration to go after the interior ministry. i think we went after the interior minister and it is not
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sanctioned. >> it's interesting that after all of that we are still seeing all of these protests on iranian cities. this week is the 30th anniversary of the mass -- inside iran. they're actually serving their time. they were put in front of a firing squad and killed. >> mostly the tens of thousands and mostly from any k but also leftist, also members of the ethnic and national minorities in iran. still after 30 years you see people coming on the streets. i think the situation is getting out of hand for the regime.
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i don't think yet, course we have to be very careful to see how the forces are going to use all of this under their control. but i think whatever they do the situation is getting out of hand. people are not the situation that they see. they'll say death to harmony. >> under the threat of violence. >> one thing that this reminded me of with the anniversary of the prison massacre, there has been a lot of anniversaries and remembrances of the past. i'm surprised we never once mentioned -- the modernizer in
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the nation builder, his name is being called in protest after protester of the country. but the powerbase of the islamic. recently we had a anniversary of assassinations of the last prime minister -- a renaissance man in both beloved and respected. --'s course was found in a remembrance of the past. we had messages by lotta musicians on the outside is music is listen to on a regular basis and their protesting inside the country.
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there is -- it was blacklisted. there's a massive catharsis of the whole nation of all that has been lost. all of the national identity. it's a very prominent rights and he has been imprisoned for so long. while in prison is 30-year-old daughter died of a heart attack. it tells you how many people had suffered at his funeral, so aware of all the pain this regime had costs. this is all happening at the same time. it's important for social media wherever it happens, the whole
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country and all the iranians outside the country are very much aware. i would argue that maybe they are not so organized. maybe when something happens, anywhere goes on social media quickly in the same slogan and people are out on the streets everywhere else. it does it really take that level of organization and more. >> it's important not to call the protest and labor movements as economic protests. the bazaar is can come out and give me a more favorable exchange rate. they're saying things like death to palestine. everyone is looking to more publicly grab the third rail of this regime. there said we know we can't say death to harmony but working to fill up the stadium assayed anyway. were going to go for the
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opposite say death to palestine. were you say get out of syria. we know for 40 years they been saying america is the enemy. we will march on the parliament building and say the enemy is not an america, the enemies here. the iranian state knows in its contest that it is winning the balance of resolve. but they are winning that balance of resolve by saying these things and doing these things. >> you asked about the media it would be great if the media paid attention. a lot of reporters say we don't have access to iran, we can confirm we can have a presence there. that might be valid to a certain point but i find it surprising that in this day and age of information that the media cannot be more creative about
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reporting, about civil disobedience and mass protests in iran. the chance for the family or the crown prince there has been some reporting on it but nothing major. what's amazing is that in 1979 the revolution got so much media attention. almost 40 years later you have this mass uprising in iran and it barely gets any media attention. communication has improved so greatly. there are different reasons we can speculate as to why that is. i also think the media in general has been in this pro- jcpoa mode. i was talking to a senior u.s.
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official recently and i asked him, why doesn't the u.s. get more behind it the iranian opposition. he said that you have to consider all the years of bureaucracy was geared toward promoting and enforcing jcpoa. i feel that applies to any group of people. there m mind set has not really changed. >> i don't want to and on the pessimistic know. a lot of the people funded by the u.s. government, the u.s. government and the portfolio of programs, other social media, either their project funded by u.s. taxpayers for individual social media presence they don't share the videos of the protests. there some kind of fashionable sense that echoing the voices of the people protesting in iran is somehow dangerous because trump is the president.
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what does one have to do with the other. if you believe people who want to be free should be free, then you should be echoing the voices of the people inside. should it matter who the president of the united states is. >> this is built for western democracy support. these are women issues and minority issues, these are gay issues, these are issues that western media has built to support you somehow, and i've talked to reporters who have push the jcpoa. if you criticize the regime sometime it seems like you're being disloyal to jcpoa or the obama administration. why is it important to continue to somehow shield with this regime is doing. i think all of us here think the jcpoa feels this and if it wasn't for the activities
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outside of iran there are likely be our jcpoa today. there is little evidence that iran cheated in the iran deal. but the chance for these people they squander the economic opportunities instead of focusing on us is something that we should be able to get behind. as a media and government, and this is built for western democracy support. >> going back to the point of how intelligent people choose their slogan really hits hard at the regime itself, my colleague mentioned -- it's much more recent because people are not
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loving it because of the tater. people love him because he oppose the clergy. the 200 years of coalition between the clergy and the imperial court he single-handedly ended that coalition, kicked it out of the interior court. that's why they're calling his name and not his son who actually brought back that coalition and the limited sense of away, give more freedom and much more freedom to clergy he talked that it would be in his favor against the left. but at the end they were the same clergy that actually cause the collapse. so, yes on a positive note you can see these slogans are very
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intelligent. based on the history of iran they're not just economic deal, it's highly political. that's why really think it creates a revolutionary state. >> so if the u.s. gets behind the protest that will move them back towards the regime? none of you group that. >> no. >> if the u.s. got behind the protest would it move the theme back toward the regime? >> the united states government is already behind the protesters. there really a huge boost. whenever i talk to people inside the country, there's an expression as to how are things and they say, thankfully things are really bad. like, we are an economic collapse thank goodness because this is what is fueling everything.
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they do not blame donald trump. they realize the real and they have been suffering for 40 years it's a direct result of what the iranian regime is doing. the u.s. government is already behind the protesters. they are ready have a regime change policy. we need to be careful that it maintains moral clarity as we move forward. unfortunately we don't have a lot ronald reagan in the white house. we don't have someone who believes in the power of freedom and universal aspiration for freedom and justice. that's not a good thing. but we do have pompeo and nikki haley. when nikki haley talks fiorini people love it. they have so much respect for her. but we have to be careful about is to make sure the iranian government does not manage to convince the united states it is
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abiding by this and that and donald trump doesn't get really happy about wanting to make a deal. >> what mistakes could this administration make based on your point? >> mixed messaging and that has already happening to some extent's. >> i think the u.s. actually making a very public gesture would be helpful i think it would be helpful in sending a message. overall, considering what comes next is what is important for all parties involved. the opposition the u.s. support should be very clearly
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designated and secular a fully democratic and representative. no more of these guessing games of who the u.s. will go with. so those policies need to be firmed up that would be my recommendations. >> so, we have a two-year window of the president doesn't get reelected in a six-year window if you does. is the regime going to try to play the waiting game? >> a good try. i don't know how it will survive in these economy to survive. the iranian people will not put up with that for two more years, if they do it will be chaos. we talked about potential scenarios and people sites syria and iraq. for many reasons the regime in
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iran created frustration in syria. you also have an eastern european style collapse are what happened in the soviet union or south africa. regardless it will be chaotic the next few years. there will either be mass violence or a lot of factional fighting with new groups emerging. i would not actually say that new groups won't emerge. i was talking with someone and he said have you heard about the anarchists in iran? there an emerging group. lisette who knows, there's so much youth anger and a sense of violence violence that anything could emerge.
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i think there'll be a lot of uncertainty in things that really shock us. the last few months i have seen things that are very surprising that caught everybody by surprise sumat can you give me a couple of those things? >> i think the popularity of the dynasty. it was always there, not only the rejection but the clergy as well. one thing to consider for any opposition group is how to allow the clergy and the guards to go away from the regime. it cannot be all punishment. there has to be a positive reason. the clergy has a class of people are deeply in trouble. more than anybody. somebody was telling me they
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went to tehran for a couple of weeks and there wasn't one cleric because they are afraid to come out. so it's not the u.s. responsibility per se, but there's things the u.s. can do. >> again they should once and for all make it decision. the people of iran do not want the regime to change their behavior, they want the regime to change. because they have experience through the years of so-called moderation reformism in iraq. it doesn't work, the the reformists cannot change the
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regime's behavior. they tried very hard to change the behavior, they fail. that is how it is. it is entrenched and empowered. remember in this town not long ago the regime change was there. that's what the iranian people are saying. >> i think the white house should once and for all except that it's not about the regime change behavior not that the u.s. government can do it, but the u.s. government should do everything in its power to help that and facilitate that. including limiting the regimes power in the country and region.
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>> you're all going to find this quite rich. up tried to pull the humility card. i think regime change is still a dirty word which is why there's a great base and what the policy is. anyone i talked to wants to know what is the policy, behavior change or regime change? so push away from the table and don't let the debate be defined by behavior change or regime change. it's up to you. otherwise you will collapse the regime and claps the country. neither of those are good scenarios. so it's up to the administration. the administration must be able, willing to take its cues from the street when necessary. i don't fault the administrati administration, if you look at those 12 points, those are all
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about iran's foreign and security policy. the u.s. has long-standing issues with iran's foreign and security policy. there is a need to contain the security policy. we are seeing the dividends in iraq and syria, and lebanon, these are the manifestations of the failure of those policies. there is a need to change its behavior. you should be able to stand up for their rand iranian people. next, you have to do targeted sanctions and team members of the regime. you cannot have a nato allies
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sanctioned but not the interior minister of iran. you either have to go after all of the officials, a long-standing name and shame campaign. you need to make sure the vpns and everything that they can communicate freely. if they communicate freely to things that result from the iranians in the street is more in line with u.s. interest in the regime's interests. you need to publicly accentuate the cleavage that exists between state and society. what they do is not in the national interest of iran. i think no administration we have no qualms with the trump administration the middle east. nobody made it more clear. essentially the charge that trump is putting to iran is that the government to iran is that putting iran first. when you are putting the assad
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regime over the well-being of young people you're not putting iran first. when you're having a watered-down deal over the caspian sea in your not asserting iranians. it is a poor steward of the iranian national interest. this is key. set about demonizing the iranian people are continuing to keep the pressure on the apparatus of oppression. there's more, with the iranian people and the american government than we see. i wanted to say something about ten sentences ago. >> i wanted to go back and say that we have regime change. so they're staying away from the term the regime change in order
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to sway reporters. >> you're going to be handicapped here. i don't know if the policies regime change. i think it's behavior change. >> by not calling it regime change i was think it's brilliant. >> if you had the best of both worlds you have flexibility and openness. it leaves it open for the iranian regime to think that it can actually meet the 12 demands and have the sanctions lifted. if you say that your for regime change then why would they ever do anything about the 12 points? >> the 12 points don't change anything. the humanitarian issue, it was short the regime though. would that be a mistake by the administration to save the 12 points from and the regime was fine. >> if the 12 points were met.
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tomorrow i'd love to have a democratic government in iran. but if this was met it's going to be significantly different kind of government. he was still be a repressive regime. however, i don't how many are familiar with when most of which was bombed by nato. people were upset but he was still in power. he was a completely different kind of leader. everybody looked at him and said you are weak, ineffective, corrupt, we have nothing anymore because of you. the 12 points are like the nato bombing of syria. >> they show that even when the regime is change and beg death they go to the negotiation table. it's not that if they think the
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u.s. is in favor of a regime change they're not going to negotiate. >> even in baghdad where change they sit down and negotiate. beyond that, people are saying that even if the regime has 12 points keep the pressure inside iran is not acceptable to them. >> i think we're beyond that. let's do some reform here and some change of form policy here and call that iran policy. that's not policy will not talking about regime change but we really wanted i i'm not seeing that. it doesn't take much. >> when i saw the 12 points i thought this is not going to
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happen. i still helped nothing was going to happen. in terms of setting u.s. policy, it's smart. >> 12 points are huge. >> i'm concerned about the dealmaking. >> they could take their time, i think each point might take six months or year two. they want to engage in that process. >> the sanctions won't be lifted, as far as the regime is concerned they're not getting anything. >> on the question of regime change, they talk about what's happening in iran, they've seen it before country can have civil disobedience movement or political defiance and still be supported on the outside just because iran is having a
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democratic movement doesn't mean the u.s. involvement means that the u.s. owns it or it hasn't been validated. something we need to keep in mind will use the words regime change. >> you have to be very careful about those divisions. >> but regime changes 160,000 forces on the ground any send the baath party into the insurgency. this is different. >> it's totally different. >> i think u.s. policy toward that and communism in general and signing nonproliferation agreements with the soviet union
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there is no reason why we cannot apply pressure. >> the islamic republic came to power within the mother of all regime changes overthrowing 25 years of monarchy. those guys are saying they came to power through a regime change. so i did not include 135,000 u.s. troops, it did involved millions of people on the street protesting against bashar. doesn't necessarily mean they're coming from that. it's interesting the regime that came to power they are the
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result of populous uprising and then they become these totalitarian regime and it's about the communist regime. it's true for iraq. one thing to keep in mind it's never been a democratic movement that has succeeded without outside support. the american revolution supported by the french, south africa, the sanctions were called for by the people of south africa. the whole whole world was mobilized. the fall of the iron curtain and the berlin wall on the break with communism is all strongly supported by reagan every day practically.
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was always on the nightly news. while the iranian people supposed to be different? why is it bad for the government does a 12 month muslim society that you deserve better we know that you know you deserve better and were here to help you. all of this is regime lobbying. unfortunately all of the academic experts have listened to the regime lobbying. when the green movement happened when these great professors wanted to do the right thing but they told the obama administration not to do anything. and that's what the administration wanted to hear.
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let's look at what the elites lot. we know very openly the influence of the people in the street. we know what the national decision-making was in poland and iraq in the soviet union, let's study some of these. let's study the fear. how did they look at the sanctions, look at that. i think how many knows the revolutions. so that's why the bar is important. >> he is a literary fan.
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he has read from the russian empire. >> i think his strategy is continuing and the success of that strategy of a regime built on the contradiction of how it's been here for almost 40 years could collapse 50 years from now. but the success of that is continuing that line he said let the fruit ripen and once he said then they sit on the streets until the military does not firing more. >> maybe he'll die first. >> he was just a failure now he'll be judged a failure when he is gone. >> to think ronnie will survive? >> that's another question. how could he go away? >> he's becoming a nonentity.
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he scapegoated but in the latest speech they defended saying the enemy is is going behind it the collapse of the government. but mormor it's becoming a non- -- even now it's been brought back from oblivion. these people who know how to speak english, they are harmonies tools and he uses them when he needs to use them. but, to think the question is whether he will use them now because is it a different time, how many times a day can go to europe and told nice things but no contracts.
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>> i think he's already done. he what he offer the iranians was a possibility of a better life of moderation. that failed completely. he has really nothing else to offer at this point. if the other alternative is something worse, they are already at war. the economy is going to shut down come november, so what's the difference. so he really has nothing to offer. it's hard for him to reasonably was office. the offices are basically nonnegotiable. so doesn't really matter that much to be frank, and whether the guards take over officially are now make the decisions are ready and their terrible decision-makers when it comes to
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national interests. >> what mistakes could the regime make? a they making them now and in the next two years, you gave the regime do we debate this publicly? tell the regime how to succeed by filling or how to fail by succeeding. >> i never got around to answering the other question which is about the trump administration. all of this is driven by strategy and goal. pick the goal push away from the table and pick the goal in your heart of hearts in the move swiftly toward that goal. it is more the adept analogy here. don't just think reagan on the
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soviet union, think truman through hw bush. think flexible response. how this is on the street. rocks are pretty's are two things, they crack over time. because of the drastic changes it is natural. the natural changes occurring in iran right now. b cnges introduced by form pressure and by given offsets by saying here's my list of demands. so, pick this strategy but know that if iran somehow says going to stop my missiles to midflight test once here, know what a bad deal us. believe it or not we didn't use the word iranian once. let's remember the men in iran
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know how to hoodwink u.s. diplomats. if you express an over eagerness for dealmaking it's a bizarre mentality. you express interest so don't express a lot of interest in this deal. the fact that the u.s. would sit down with iran tops that the pressure says to the europeans nat we have goals and were just with the iran policy. the europeans haven't designated this since 2012 or 13 that was on the missile terrorism. they were going to designate 15.
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and yet i think it's going to be driving the train here. don't forget we have other interests in the world besides iran. you have to adjudicate what is important and when. the regime hasn't begun to test the missiles yet. get ready for the nuclear capable stuff, there's support. >> i think the europeans will continue to turn a blind eye. >> what i do like is a disconnect between european governments and private sector. the private sector says no it
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was much like secretary carried telling european banks to invest in iran well old fact been a very small group was whispering, don't. >> including american's didn't listen to carry. >> the regime has a big appeti appetite. you don't have to guess what they're going to make. >> the 1978 vienna convention on the continuity gives very good argument that the treaty was signed making the caspian seas both service and floor 50/50 between the two countries. that treaty was re-signed with
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soviet and russia became ussr. so until the collapse of the ussr that was enforced. iran could argue that stee stilq could keep 50% and the other 50% divided among the four parties in the neighborhood. their arguing that because they had the convention. they did not. guess what, this is becoming another thorn in their side. corruption and political oppression was the one that people were mentioning about what the regime is capable of doing anything. of what they had promised during the revolution. they're capable of doing it.
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it was so-called independent. there really pulling the rug under their feet. if the regime can make mistakes including in europe. >> would you say their base was like that? >> yes. the airbase in iran. >> is that a mistake for the survival of the iranian regime were a survival of the iran in national interest? >> the regime did that because they need russia. >> they don't care about iran, they care about staying in power. your the height of the demonstration, you do this thing and you're saying were also in the pockets. >> that vindicates the argument that the islamic republic of
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iran is support guardian of the national interest. it has issues with the way the leadership of the islamic republic manifested views those interests. in fact the administration has. >> i think the biggest mistake they could make is when it comes down to making a decision on massive use of force if it goes in that direction it's not going to really solve a sense of crisis. i think it is the worst decision it could make for itself and iran if it goes down the road of violence. you have a very deeply frustrated society that will explode if it's confronted with violence.
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so people that claim to have more logically inclined than their opponents with the regime. if they realize that's important to it's a continuation if they use force. i don't expect people like that to win out. i think the regime has a lot of crazies have said they will burn iran down to the ground, and they will. but as a whole if they go down that would be unfortunate. >> i think it's very clear that they have learned from history. >> not a very good student of history. >> i think he is actually. i think he study carefully, he realizes it's the age of social media. he has not allowed massive violence on the things that could cost legitimacy.
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i think he could maintain that discipline. to answer your question about what kind of mistakes, were in a fortunate position and that we have the civic mobilization and popular will against the machine. they haven't done much of anything. it can only get you to be worse and worse in terms of the morality of the states and the corruption of the state and the ability to respond to crisis. as the weight of the 40 years of that totalitarian power that's costing the regime. if anything i think he has been very smart. very astute about history. i don't think you make big mistakes. i think he will lose because the
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way to 40 years of totalitarian tyranny combined with the massive economic sanctions was too much for any totalitarian regime to sustain. >> regimes could change. that's what happened with the soviet union. it can collapse on themselves. >> we can think of all the possibilities. we can also think about all the ways that things could just dissolve. we have a transitional government democratic role. the iranian regime is not worse than the soviet union. it is not worse than czechoslovakia. it is not worse than poland. they were very oppressive regime. >> i agree, could go that direction. thinking back on the history of iran, cannot think of any historical event that there hasn't been violence. >> not a lot of violence. it was a nonviolent revolution.
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the violence came after. >> the build up to go read -- >> there was some violence during the revolution. >> that is not mass violence. >> i don't think there's just good to be a peaceful collapse of the regime. i think it's a possibility among several on that set the ideal end of the spectrum. >> not rapid in the time it takes the regime to collapse, but we won't see it coming and it will just go. >> you have to see that is a very deeply divided society. there's a core group of people who believe in the regime and its message.
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this is like though woman coming out of nowhere. there are people there like that in iran. just give them arms, they'll defend with the have to defend. i don't think how that just all goes away. although it may be shrinking it just completely shrinks away. i would hope so but not sure. >> it is happened many times in history. >> we thank you for your time. we have a hard stop at 1:30 p.m. i apologize for not being able to take your questions. my favorite quote of the panel, thankfully, really getting bad. i think that's really important because that's where the momentum is. i will try to learn that in person at some point. i think every panel member for being here today. [applause] thank you all.
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[inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation] >> you're watching the tv with top nonfiction books and authors every weekend. but tv, television for serious readers. >> tonight, political and historical fiction. next our in-depth interview with brad thor. . .


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