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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 22, 2009 8:00pm-8:30pm EDT

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nonmembers may purchase transcripts, audios and videotapes by calling 202-662-7598. or e-mailing us at archives@press.org. for more information about the national press club please go to our web site. thank you very much and we are thank you very much and we are adjourned.
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i -- there is a news report from the associated press entitled "iranian police use force to break up protests. tehran, iran, riot police attack hundreds of demonstrators with
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tear gas and fired live bullets in the air to disperse a rally in central tehran monday, carrying out a threat by the country's most powerful security force to crush any further opposition protests over the disputed presidential election. witnesses said helicopters hovered over head as about 200 pr square, but h iran says that at least 17 protesters have been killed. that is in the week of unrest since the council declared ahmadinejad a winner of the june 12 elections. so we're restrict -- severe restrictions on reporters have made it impossible to verify any
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demonstrations, clashes, and casualties. iran has a report -- ordered reporters from foreign news agencies to stay in their offices and barred any reporting on the streets. the story goes on. demonstrations followed by repression that followed by murder in the streets. as these things seem to revolve, an event took place that may be the defining moment, just yesterday in the struggle of the iranian people to be able to peacefully disagree with their government, in this case because a corrupt and fraudulent election without being killed in the streets and being beaten and imprisoned. that has to do with a woman named neda. bayh it --
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i quote from an abc news story. she sinks to the ground and minutes later she is dead. a video that has been repeatedly posted on the internet shows the last moments of a young iranian woman shot in the heart by government sharpshooters. overnight, she has become a symbol -- symbol of the opposition. blurry images of a woman who collapses on the pavement and a pool of blood expands under her body. it two men kneel on her chest screaming. the cameraman zoom in -- zooms in on her face. her eyes roll to the side and the bloodstream's out of her nose and mouth. do not be afraid. stay with me, stay with me cries
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at one man. another man beseeches someone to take her in a car. the footage stops. the video footage appeared on facebook and twitter on saturday evening. it immediately became a viral sensation, being forwarded repeatedly. user groups were determined to get around youtube's attempts to block the film. it became impossible for youtube to remove it. mr. president, we have seen, as in cases of other brutal suppression throughout history, a living example or the dying example of martyrdom. by sunday morning, neda became the fifth most common topic on
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twitter. she had already become a kind of joan of arc. it took only one bullet to kill neda, but it may take only one neda to stop iranian territory. she died with open eyes. shame on those who live with close ties. they killed her, but not her voice. thousands of people replace their profile pictures with tributes to the young woman such as i am neda. others posted images of a broken heart in green, the color of the opposition movement. mr. president, a debate has been going on as to how much the united states of america, the president, the congress, and the american people should speak out in favor and support of these
quote
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brave iranians, average age in tehran is 33 years of age, in their request for the fundamentals of freedom and democracy that we have enjoyed for more than a couple of centuries. mr. president, today and -- i and all america pays tribute to a brave young woman who was trying to exorcise her fundamental human rights and was killed on the streets of tehran. all americans are with her and our thoughts and prayers are with her, her family, and her country. >> senator mccain will join us on tomorrow's "washington journal along with bob schieffer of cbs news. on thursday, tom ridge is our guest. "washington journal" begins each
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morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. more about iran's election from the state department. this briefing is about 13 minutes. >> at the friday sermon by the ayatollah, did that set back the prospects for meaningful engagement with the regime that seemed strident and hostile to the west? >> you all know our policy about engagement and keeping iran from obtaining nuclear weight -- obtaining nuclear weapons. this is not about us, this is not about our bilateral
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relationship. this is about a iranians and iranians having their rights to express themselves, be respected, their political will be respected. the president made a very strong statement, standing very firmly behind those who want to have their views respected and want to be able to peaceably assemble and want to have access to the media. right now, our focus is on this very dramatic situation unfolding. >> the situation is unfolding in a country with which the obama administration has been attempting to engage. i am simply asking whether the prospects for that succeeding seemed to be improving or slipping away.
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>> this is a very rapidly devolving situation. -- evolving situation. we are like all of you. we are following with great interest what is happening in iran. it is a rapidly evolving situation. >> let me put it one last way. then i will yield. a knowledgeable source told me that the obama administration is in the process of free calibrating its entire approach to the nuclear diplomacy issue with iran. is that true? >> what i will say is that this issue of iran and its refusal to meet its obligations to the international community is a
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matter of great concern to us. right now, we want to see this process worked out in a way that the will of the iranian people is respected. >> it sounds like engagement is on hold. >> our focus is on what is going on in iran right now. >> and sounds as if you have two tracks going on. one would be the nuclear engagement, which is separate from the election. >> right now, i am not sure which track cumene. if we are talking about a real tract -- which track you mean. if you are talking about a real track. they have not responded to
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obama's invitation. not a lot of development is going on on that track. >> can you see the situation with the election having a direct effect on how they deal with the nuclear issue? >> it is fair to say that this is a very dramatic situation going on in iran. by all indications, the authorities are very much focused on this dramatic internal situation. >> are you saying that they will not do anything on nukes? >> i am not saying that at all. at the present time, the whole world is watching. all eyes are on the internal situation there. >> is the u.s. still -- >> that is up to the italian groups.
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we said that if they would respond to our invitation, we would take it up. >> you were saying that you would watch with great interest. i am sure that is happening. can you be more specific on how the secretary is watching best? a lot of the really dramatic -- watching this? a lot of the really dramatic stuff is coming over on things like twitter. there is the case of the young woman that died. is the secretary away of that -- aware of that. are there any comments about the role of women that is significant in this? >> they played an important role in briefing the secretary. it has been very difficult. as it is for all of you to get good, hard, confirmable
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information about what is going on. because of the ability of the media, the representatives of your organizations to cover the situation. it has been dangerous on the streets. foreign diplomats have had difficulty as well. she is following the situation with great concern. as i said, these are very dramatic and very distressing images that we see. most distressing of all is the image of this young woman covered in blood. >> [inaudible] >> yes, she has. one more on iran. several more. i am going to run out of material here.
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>> and do you think it is still appropriate to have iranians come to the july 4 parties under the circumstances? is there any thought to -- being given to rescinding the invitations? >> there has been no thought to rescinding the invitations to iranian diplomats. we have made a strategic decision to engage on a number of fronts with iran. we tried many years of isolation. we are pursuing a different path now. >> the president keeps saying that it is important for the u.s. to not be seen as trying to influence events inside of a iran one way or another. the iranian government has begun blaming not just the u.s., but
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the british, france, and the germans for meddling and making social networking tools available. or simply saying that we stand with the people. accusing them of meddling. we heard from the former crown prince this morning. they were asking for president obama and the state department to say more. is this narrow path that the u.s. it is treading going to be the path, and if so, why? what you saw on friday is what you have been seeing all along. that is using this as a kind of foil. using the great satan, using the u.s. as a way to justify the policies or to gain public support.
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we do not want to get into this. what you saw over the weekend was a very strong statement by the president. setting out these fundamental principles that our country was founded on. these are the, the principles that we are going to stand up for, and wherever we see them being violated. >> if the iranian government is going to go ahead and accuse the u.s. government of meddling, why would there be a willingness to say more or to do more on the u.s. and's part? asking for an investigation of human rights abuses at the u.n.?
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>> we have already done a lot. because of the reasons are laid out before, i do not think that we need to get into a washington, tehran polemic. we need to coordinate. the secretary is doing that, coordinating our approaches with our allies. i think that we have to do these things together. i do not think it is necessarily productive for the u.s. to be out in front on this. i think that we need to do this together. >> there is not any element of the u.s. policy towards iran, direct bilateral relations, july 4 policies, there is not a single element in our policy that the events in the last 10
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days have caused us to rethink? >> this is a rapidly developing situation. i think that we have come out very strongly condemning acts of violence and calling for the iranians to open up their society to allow these iranian protesters to be able to express their views. to be able to assemble peacefully. these are all very strong statements on our part. >> of a probable cause but engagement with iran, our approach towards the nuclear issue, on a broad level, these things are undisturbed by the events of the last few days, correct? >> we are not really focused on the bilateral relationship so much. we are focused on what is going on inside iran.
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>> how focused is the u.s. government on the growing schism among the members of the theocracy in sight of iran? >> i think we are monitoring all of the situation's very closely. -- all of these situations are very closely. we are monitoring how the people are being treated by their government. we are monitoring how the situation is unfolding and i will leave it at that. >> you said that you needed to approach-to coordinate approaches with allies. how exactly are you coordinating these? >> the secretary has called some of her colleagues today. we are going to have more opportunities to talk in these multilateral meetings coming up.
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as far is a joint statements are concerned, we are talking more about common approaches than joint statements. >> are there any more talks with the former iranian crown prince >> and now remarks on by the former iranian crown prince. he talks about the current political unrest in his native country and the 1979 islamic res -- revolution. from the national press club, this is an hour. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. thank you very much for coming. welcome to the national press club and another nbc morning news maker. my name is peter. i am a former usa foreign service's officer. i was never fortunate enough to be stationed in his country.
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before introducing our speaker, some announcements. there will be a sound file made of this made available to members through the website. others may purchase a copy to the broadcast operations center of the club. please turn off any cell phone or blackberries or icons or pea pods or what at -- ipods or p pods or whatever was on. the next topic is u.s. muslim relations. if you have not already done so, as you leave, please add your name to the signup sheet outside. there is material outside related to this morning's news maker. he is the former crown prince
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of iran and the son of the former shah of iran. pahlavi, welcome back to the national press club. if i say welcome back because he has spoken here at least twice before. one of them was on march 4, 2006 when he discussed the situation in iran at that time. i was to thank for rolled, mr. pahlavi and all of the people whose names i cannot pronounced correctly. mr. pahlavi will give us his view on the post-election demonstrations in iran and the reaction by the government and the threat that they pose to the ruling clerics. he thinks fayette show a change in the attitude of the iranian people to the regime and what the west should do about it.
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as he speaks, he will take your question. please mock-lined up at the microphones. when you ask a question, please give your name and affiliation. we have this room until of a clock 30. he will be available for one-on- one interviews -- 11:30. he will be available for one-on- one interviews. please add your names to the signing sheet outside. -- sign in sheet outside. >> thank you for your time and attention to the cries for freedom on the streets in tehran. i can tell you firsthand how much my compatriots are appreciative of your generous attention to their plight. the best i can do for you today
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is to recount what my fellow iranians tell me about their conditions, hopes, and fears. bear in mind that for the great majority of iranians born after the islamic revolution, the unfolding events are the most significant transformation -- transforming experience of their collective memory. the courage of the conviction gives hope for peace and democracy, in the most troubling region of the world. on the other hand, their defeat will encourage extremism from the shores of the lavon to to the energy juggler of the world. at the very least, it will threaten regional tranquillity and global economic recovery
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through fears of terrorism, a slowdown of globalization, and steeply higher energy prices. at worst, fanatical tyrants who know that that feature is against them may come at their present course on their terms, a nuclear holocaust. which will it be? that is the question of the debt. -- that is the question of the day. my request to you is to not underestimate the role you play in the outcome. international media are already the information artery, connecting different parts of the freedom movement in iran. that is why the regime has ominously warned media that only officially report -- officially approve reports to be dispatched of the country. having restricted the return path of media, they are also
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jamming electronic transmissions and restricting internet traffic into the country. but it is the third leg of communication from people the people, from one resistance cell with another, from leaders to supporters inside, of which the regime is most fearful. they cannot fight people who stand together. only an information blackout can isolate individuals so that they can be addressed separately. thus, -- so that they can be oppressed separately. thus, the outcome of the struggle will depend on your ability, the free media, to fight their blackout with the light of information. your second contribution is
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keeping your political leaders informed about the brutal violence of the regime's playclothes thugs against unarmed people. your government have insisted that they would not interfere in iran's internal affairs. i applaud that. any such attempt will give the timon's the excuse they need -- ctyrants the excuse they need to paper over their own differences. but that is not all they do. they are taping -- painting every statement in defense of human rights as foreign interference, benefiting from the confusion between the two. it is vital, it is vital that the free world not fall for such cruel cynicism in the name of realpolitik.
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the universal declaration of human rights knows no national boundaries. its defense is not only a matter of ethics, but a mutual obligation of all governments who are its signatories. it is also in their interest. no one, no one will benefit from close in his or her eyes to knives and cables cutting into the faces and now it's up the young and the old -- the faces and mouths or from bullets and piercing our beloved.

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