tv [untitled] CSPAN June 30, 2009 1:30pm-2:00pm EDT
come up with means by which we can come to some conclusions or at least a direction on the nuclear issue. after that, it will be severe given your picture of the economic consequences, very severe, may be the fourth major crackdown in terms of international focus on the economic. under those circumstances, if that fails, they indicated that 214 was the date they could play with in terms of the nuclear. what kind of feeling -- it puts them iranian leadership and a tough -- oppose the iranian
leadership in a tough position. will you answer that in a general way? thank you. >> i see at least three questions. robin? crags of very important point. that is one of the many cracks. about 1/3 showed up for the victory party, telling. in terms of the deadline, i would caution you not to put a deadline when the process has not started. obama has talked about one year he wants to see something happened, until january. very fluid situation. in some ways, it is a day-by-day situation. you cannot look for too much now. we are 2.5 weeks after the election. there's going to be a lot of
settling down. >> would you comment on that prospect that sanctions could have any further a fact? we have many more arrows in the quiver that we could use on the sanctions. >> a couple of things on the vulnerability. i do not think the split is just in the magistrate. it is all over the place. because of that, i do not think anything is going to happen until they sort out the mess on monks themselves. with regard to these sanctions, that's talk about the nuclear situation and look at the effectiveness of sanctions. president obama seems to say that if you want nuclear power for energy, you are ok. the iranians interpret to that asked concentrating -- as
concentrating to 3%. that is a done deal. iran needed nuclear energy way back. they started a nuclear power plant exactly and dislocation. iran was concerned about availability to enrich uranium. they bought 13% in a french operation in southern france that enriched the uranium. when the revolution came, the nuclear power generation plant -- the french took over the 13%. they nationalized in it. the iranians say, wait, we need energy. practically self-sufficient in gas. they need electric generation.
now the question is, is this nuclear power for energy, or are they lying? iraq is in a different -- iran is in a different situation from korea. the iranian said we do not want a nuclear bomb. we do not have a nuclear bomb. we do not have facilities for that. it is against our religion. they may be lying, but that is a situation for us to go in, supervise. mousavi said i am willing to see an iranian enrichment operation in iran in a joint venture. multinational companies. the russians, the japanese. i think that is about the best we can do. they want to have at least 10 nuclear-powered plants. they want to invest $1 billion
or $2 billion per plant. they want electricity. they are not going to rely on someone outside to get them uranium. that is done. it does not matter who comes to power. the issue of sanctions -- i think the sanctions hurt the iranian public. there is no question about that. i do not think it has any effect on the iranian regime. i honestly believe it has backfired. we discussed the possibility of sanctions on the importation of gasoline. they used that excuse to ration it and put coupons on. if we put sanctions on gasoline, the administration in iran is going to love it and jack up the prices. with regard to sanctions and other sectors, we keep on looking this and say -- i wonder
if they had increased the oil production to $8 billion -- to 8 billion barrels, i wonder if we would've had to pay some much for a barrel of oil. our sanctions have resulted in europe becoming dependent on russian gas. i thought they were our allies. it has made turkey pay for gas. turkey, charging 15% will be self-sufficient in natural gas. they would be happy. pakistan and india -- it does not happen. the sanctions are not only hurting the iranian people, they are putting our allies at risk, hurting the turks and damaging pakistan. i do not think the sanctions have been effective. that is a minority position.
>> it happens to be one that has strong evidence behind it. thank you. >> i do not think that anything that has happened in iran has changed the limited options that the obama administration had prior to what has happened. even before these things happen, there were suspicions about military strikes. sanctions effectively haunt the population and strengthen the hard-liners. i do not think anything that has happened in iran has change the dynamic. the only thing that has changed it seems to me is that because the election was at the center of the controversy, it is not possible, despite mr. alex damany's making this a systemic problem to making the argument that this is a crash -- despite
khamenei's makin this is systemic problem, to making the argument that this is a crash. i think outside governments might start thinking about policies that actually directly harm individual members of that government. who ever is identified in terms of ambassadors, in terms of people they send out side. people have talked about the possibility of political sanctions. individual members of this government. things are working out so fast that i do not think it is time pro -- for the obamas situation -- i think it is time for obama to assess this situation, but that introduces us to new possibilities of policies that
obama can pursue. old ones on the table will still be as ineffective as they were before all those things happened. >> let me expand on what was said about the report. the report from the head of the mossad. that is described in an article in "the daily star" yesterday. published in beirut. the head is quoted as saying that iran's military program would mature in 2014. this is a considerable change from what mossad had been arguing, which was 2010, therefore it is urgent. the interpretation by the author is that the mossad is coming out and removing a key reason that
the netanyahu government could use for an early attack as well as for the argument to the obama administration that we cannot do palestine first because iran is a more urgent program. this is an interesting comment by the mossad, not normally known for engaging in international politics. an interesting development to keep your eye on. other questions? yes? >> i have a question -- i am the independent editor for women, inc. maybe you could answer this -- how much of validity did you give to the rumors of the involvement of the grand ayatollah with systematically
-- who was systematically against the theocratic state? >> i am engaging in rumors, too. let's be very clear. you know the idea cholecystotomy has many offices -- you know the ayatollah sistani has many offices, very influential and iraq and iran. his grandson or granddaughter is now married to another leaders daughter or son. these ayatollah's grandchildren
have close family relations. like many other members of the clergy, it is considered to be a traditional cleric -- not very happy with the kind of dynamics -- they do not want to be out of the process. they want their influence. at the same time, cannot be happy with the dynamics that are going on. some have gone to see him. it is very clear that when mr. ahmadinejad went to iraq, the ayatollah did not meet with ham -- with him. he has given his hands in terms of where his preference is like -- preferences lie.
i think it is all these activities that go on within the clerical activity. they showed me the political leaders that have taken a stance. but in the past week two major ayatollahs have given us our men. they have not -- have given the answer man. they have not done that for a while. it was a political arrangement that existed in the early days of islam. in a direct rebuke to ayatollah khamenei, he gave this very interesting sermon about how could you talk about the rule of
law when the institution that devised the law judges the law and is the same institution? the mistrust that law. it is for the first time that these very nonpolitical, very hesitant clerics are making their points. this is not going to continue. this is not working out. i assume that ayatollah sistani has always tried to stay away from iranian politics but also falls into that category five people that are not happy with what is going on. >> just two quick questions. first of all, if by pressure he agrees to think they vehemently
support this, what will be the position in the key issue -- what will be the key issue? and there is leniency -- what happens to the democracy and the democratic forces? if the group people up from iraq, do you think it has any implications on the middle east or iran? thank do. -- thank you. >> i do not think it has any implications on what the u.s. decides to do. i do not think the u.s. has appetite for additional military intervention in that neighborhood.
in terms of obama, i think they have not made a decision. tough call. how do you create a balance where you seem to be encouraging the democratic voices throughout the region, not just in iran -- and at the same time you have to deal with some of the biggest autocratic block of leaders in the world? a challenge not only in iran but across the board. it was interesting, what he did and egypt, deciding to give the speech there -- but he never mentioned the bart -- mentioned mubarek in his speech. we never like to was in power. we are trying to avoid the military option. >> al milikin. how do think israel views the election in their memory of the
holocaust? >> i do not know about the second part of the question, but in terms of -- as pointed out, i would assume the israelis look at the iranian situation and essentially see a weakened state, and therefore they are happy about that dynamic. they also see the possibility between the u.s. -- serious possibility -- more remote. again, i think that they see that as a plus for the israeli interest in the region beyond that, i think the israelis are also watching. trying to make sense of the direction of what is going on.
at this point, i think it was a welcome addition to their understanding of what is going on in the middle east. i think their reaction was very similar to the reaction that emil described in their relationship to important parts of the arab world. >> let me ask you -- if you pause the general, produced legitimacy of the government and iran, what will be your estimate on the impact of hezbollah and hamas? somewhat put off by this? no difference at all so long as supplies and money keep coming? >> there is a difference between us and hezbollah in the
sense that hezbollah is committed ideologically to the islamic resolution -- revolution. that is a talking point in the election. hezbollah said he was proud of that and following death. -- and falling that. i think you have seen a weakening of hezbollah's allies. in terms of communications, that is a victory for those as opposed to those in the region. in a way, what was so embarrassing to them was this notion that the islamic republic and ahmadinejad had more of legitimacy, more popular legitimacy, then our government. right now ahmadinejad is on shaky ground the other thing is
-- is on shaky ground. the other thing is ahmadinejad and hezbollah are not going to suffer in terms of support. training, weaponry is going to continue. our revolutionary guards controlled these relationships. they are not directly affected. in terms of talking to their own public and palestine and lebanon, in terms of ideology, this is a setback. >> i think that-- >> hezbollah and hamas are completely different entities as far as iran. i would be very interested to know whether or not the kind of schisms that have developed inside of iran and become blatant are also being reduced
within hezbollah. the father of the hezbollah movement is a major mousavi supporter, the former interior minister. his main adviser. he has very close links familiarly as well as organizationally. it would be interesting for someone to examine whether or not they have reservations internally within hezbollah. >> i think you'll find people more committed to the islamic resolution -- revolution outside of iran. many revolutionize -- many idealized the idea of the revolution. i think you have a core. how large that is, it is 20%.
not overwhelming. but there is another element. you mentioned the ayatollahs who were taking a stand. someone who has had tense relations over the years this not except -- does not accept this. you have that time mention -- that dimension. the fact is it will not have any tangible direct political impact. events in lebanon are driven by other factors. we are entering a new process, a new phase.
we will see where. >> ica hand back care. i cannot see much more than that. >> and wanted to come back to the question of what is going on in the u.s. we have a bill being pushed by aipac. some were saying it is being framed as divestment from the orla and gas sector in iran and some say that passing this bill would be supportive of the green movement and mousavi's efforts. i want you to talk about the political implications, the economic implications, broadly, and the economic implications for the pilots -- the parts that have an interest in the oil and gas sector. >> i will try. i honestly believe we have already put enough constraints on the orla gas -- oil and gas.
any additional would only add to what the russians are doing. i do not think we have to worry about the russians. they put up a good talk but they do not want to do with it. but the chinese and the indians are interested. as time goes by, if we really isolate, they will completely shift to the east and we will wake up one day and we do not have any liberation or capability. if i can go back to the israel question, i really think the israelis are sitting there and watching like we all live. we do not know what is going to happen. we can have an optimistic scenario. my optimistic scenario, that an assembly of experts will get together and they will have not
one supreme leader but a council of leaders. they will reduce the power of the guardian council. maybe ahmadinejad will stay and maybe not. it will shift gradually towards a real islamic republic. we will transfer and gradually going that direction. if that happens, that will be a very good move. the israelis will be happy with that because we will put controls in place to make sure the nuclear generation is really nuclear generation. the question becomes, why are we supporting hezbollah and hamas? in the election, israel is not an issue in iraq. it is not an issue in iran. the revolutionary guards are in much more powerful positions then we think.
if that is the case, we are moving towards a dictatorship. we are moving into not a military dictatorship, but they dictatorship of thugs. the military is completely out. the past 72 hours, there have been military maneuvers. the army, the navy, the air force -- i have no idea what that means. the military is having maneuvers. if we're going to go towards a dictatorship of the thugs, that is very frightening for us and for israel. i do not know what israel is going to do. i think discipline is waiting. we do not know which direction we are going. >> we are both at a crossroads and out of time. let me underline the fact that one of the themes of the
presentations is how much we do not nel. being -- we do not know. being in that situation, we are best device to collect as much information as we can and not take any action right away. please join me in thanking our speakers and thank you all for attending. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> now, more about the iranian issues with a discussion on the threat posed by a nuclear iran. experts discussed the situation of the country while making recommendations on how to stop the nuclear program held by the heritage foundation. this is one hour.
>> we are roughly watch. -- raffling a watch. no. for you guys who have been sitting on the side, the podium blocks do. if you want to sit in the center? >> good morning. thank you for joining us at the heritage foundation for a discussion on iran. you can see our heritage website. we do remind everyone that questions can be submitted direct the presentation. e-mail us at speaker@heritag e.org. we do ask that cell phones and other devices be turned off, and we remind everyone we will oppose this on our web site
within 24 hours. posting our discussion is dr. -- is the doctor in the head of international studies and a senior research center had. he is a member of the national academies, the department of historical advisory committee, and a senior fellow at george washington university policy institute. he has authored several books following his career in the teaching world, among them "winning world war ii." and the heritage book, "winning the long world -- the long war." please welcome my colleague, jim carafano. >> thank you for coming. i will make brief remarks. they will speak in the order that i am
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