tv [untitled] CSPAN June 30, 2009 2:00pm-2:30pm EDT
them. then we should have about a half an hour for questions and dialogue back and forth. this project started with a simple premise and questioned. as a historian, it is interesting -- history is remarkably consistent. virtually every nuclear weapons test, it caught the world by surprise. people in many places knew what was going on and expected it to happen someday, but nobody guessed. . how are we going to deal with this even though they knew this even though they knew inside that coming what happens if we all get it
wrong? what happens if we wake up and discover that iran has tested a nuclear device? the question people ask is what should we do next? that is the question we put tune our research team. to discuss that we have three panelists. the first will be ken katzman, senior analyst for the congressional research service. he is appearing today in a personal capacity. he served in the late 1980's for the cia as a persian gulf analysts. he joined us and the aftermath of a liberation of kuwait. he is responsible for iraq, iran, and afghanistan policy currently. next, vice-president for policy and an expert on regional security in the least and the central asia and at the russian
federation. he has consulted with both the cia and the department of defense and provided assistance on foreign-policy and national- security matters. he is an adjunct professor. he is a member of the committee on the present danger. he is an editor of the journal about security affairs. he most recently finished a book concerning tehran's strategies on confronting the islamic challenge. the next guest has written extensively. he was a research fellow at the congressional research service. he is a member of the committee of present dangers also. he is also on the board of editors of middle east quarterly. i will turn it over to ken.
>> thank you. it is good to be back at heritage. i am speaking only in a personal capacity, now reflecting any member of congress or committed. in my brief remarks today i wish to offer condolences to the family of michael jackson. first let me say that i will total about the current unrest in iran to set the stage for discussion of the nuclear issue. i will also comment on the report. what has struck me in a lot of the press reporting of the recent events in iran, particularly in tehran, is the avia that major rifts in the regime are now. -- the idea that they're new.
having studied them since the islamic revolution when the american government hired people who knew something about is slim, we often forget the serious rifts have occurred throughout the history of the islamic republic of iran. nearly the entire senior level was decapitated by a series of bombings in june 1981. the leading figure was killed. the president was killed. the prime minister was killed in bombings. we forget that ayatollah khamenei dismissed an elected president. he was dismissed and ousted in 1980. in 1986 we had the famous a fair which involved the u.s. overture to iran in the context
of the u.s./iran contra affair. we had the removal of one ayatollah as the designated successor of khamenei in 1989. but seriously shook the regime. we have a serious rift over whether to end the iran/iraq war in 1987 and 1988. there are many senior figures who said no, iran should continue in 1999 we had major student riots, several killed. just in 2004 we had that the guardians -- basically disqualified all the major reformists candidates to the parliament. there were sit-ins, various protests right from within the regime.
rifts are not new. rafsanjani was a key figure in many of these and he is a traditional, back-room operator. he tends to lose elections. he didn't win in 1989 and in 1993 but that was after khomeni died. people were just looking for continuity. after he left office in 1997 he has consistently lost. he lost to ahmadinejad in 1995. he is not popular. he is an underground, back-room operator. all of the senior figures, the reason why i think there will contain these and he'll these rifts is because they fear if it gets completely out of control,
some outside group will emerge to take power. it could be reformists from the turmoil, someone from the rev card, someone from outside -- someone from the rev guard. a potential opening for the young shah who is here in great falls. he tends to appear on television when there's turmoil, but not when there is no turmoil. there is tremendous fear that if they do not heal this some outside group will emerge and it will all lose. some other things i have heard that a strongly disagree with -- i have seen some reporting that there are rifts within the revolutionary guard. every book on it from 1993. i do not see that happening.
i do not see factions emerging there. that said, i think there is potential. i would not rule out that that could happen had the protests really mushroomed. i think you would have seen what you saw when the shah fell, which is the security forces refusing to fire on the population. you did not see that because the protest movement that emerged after this election did not really attract a broad following. it attracted the reformists, urban, educated, and generally young intellectuals in tehran, but did not spread to the other cities.
i did not see new segments of the population joining these protests. i did not see the boys are shut down. i did not seem major strike action, a call for general strike, people coming in from the villages to joining. i did not seek the urban core from tehran even joining. i do not -- i did not see the urban poor from tehran joining. so, i did not see it as that serious. they in fact did not subside. why? why did they not attract new people? because there was some doubt as to whether, the degree of fraud. basically, you are asking someone in iran to imagine there
is an 11 million votes fraud committed. that is an awful lot. it could happen, but what i'm looking for is to see if anyone in the interior ministry comes out and it describes the fraud. if not, then i would have to say maybe the election was not as errant does it protesters thought. i make no judgments on the purchase, but a lot of people would have had to have been in on that fraud of that scope. a think eventually if it was we will know it somehow. just briefly, obviously i work for the congress. i'm not commenting on any one in congress. there were several initiatives
to increase sanctions on iran. my colleagues will address this more on the nuclear issue. the protests have given new impetus to some of these ideas that have been around for a few years. sectioning companies that sell gasoline to iran. if there is a major sanctions bill introduced by mr. berhrman is as he is still holding to the position that he will not push in now because obama's policy is to reach out to iran. but that bill is out there and might attract new support. there are other new ideas in region. getting other companies to stop selling -- tele-communications
to iran. some other members are interested in looking at the connections with china, latin america, russia. but some other countries that have been some what steps is to -- somewhat skeptical about sanctioning iran -- looking at those countries. looking rather at going back and maybe advancing some of the sanctions ideas that have been around anyway. i will stop there. >> thanks very much. it is a pleasure to be back at heritage. and has been a couple of months. as someone who was part of the formal set of experts to look at
this problem said at that would be useful to contextualize for the arguments here and those watching a home while we were thinking about. the challenges that iran poses to the united states and countries in europe and asia is not just about the nuclear program. that is obviously the important one. on the nuclear program the ground assumption we started from is that iran is fairly well along in the process of creating an offensive capability if it wants to. there clearly laying the architecture to do so. in february the international
atomic energy agency issued its report which said that at that time iran had estimated 1 ton of low- lowuranium, which can then be refined and made it weapons- usable. when you hear it officials talking about iran crossing a technological threshold, that is it. that is why some organizations -- one which is not a fan over best sanctions or military action against iran, talk about the fact that the with a look at this model and exercise, iran will retain a blatant nuclear capability. that would be in 2009 under a
wide variety of scenarios. the lesson is that iran is working diligently -- there are telltale signs -- the leadership has said by 2014 they plan to have the 50,000 centrifuges. the expectation is that over the next year, maybe less, we will see more nuclear capability which could be with analyst. -- could be with knives. -- weaponized. their programs running parallel that have lot of implications. one is the ballistic missile program. the mainstay of their personal use a medium-range missile.
they have had that for a long time. over the last several years they have increased accuracy and trajectory. began transitioning from liquid fuel to solid fuel missiles which are more mobile. the tested a missile for the second time last month. it was deemed successful. it is significant because it is an extended range nuclear- capable solid fuel cell. if they decide to, there will be able to route those and send them. the third is where they're heading in where they might enter said. that is the space program. iran four years ago became the world's first muslim space-
faring nation. they have had regular commercial tests of satellites. the problem with that is that even though it is benign by itself, the technology need to boost one into space is almost an identical to we need to add a third stage to a medium-range missiles. what you see is this intersection of programs that might be isolated, but they could have a synergistic effect. that is what we thought about look at their nuclear program and their strategic fit. the takeaway is that the program is mature and they are proceeding quickly. i am not sure the title of the report is accurate.
under certain scenarios there is not necessarily a day after. there's not necessarily a point the test and we know they're in a clear. the good of a nuclear briquette scenario as with north korea in october 2002 where they came clean and told americans that yes, we did do this and here is our nuclear program. it set the stage for negotiations. what you are seeing in the region is assumed de- nuclearization. iran is moving so quickly that at some time there is willing to be an assumption that it is nuclear even if it does nothing overt. the macro trans uc are what
frame the discussion as to what to do about it. -- the macro trends you see. i'm talking about four trends. the first is a pretty substantial shift in the balance of power regionally. as iran rises, as the united states is perceived to be receding in influence, withdraw from iraq, preoccupation elsewhere. there is the sense that there is a shift. it is felt that iran is on the rise and america is on the decline. one of our policy recommendations is what we think about? what should we do to the region to signal the permanence of our presence? so that iran is not think that there is a day after america
where it is unfettered in the region. the second macro trend is the idea that its nuclear addition would not happen in isolation. in the fall 2002 in the run-up to iraqi free and there was only one in the persian gulf and it was not iraq, but iran which had just disclosed it had a clandestine nuclear program. today there are at least 14. the list goes on. some undoubtedly sick this capability because they have legitimate energy needs. turkey, for example.
i would venture to guess that many, including many such as yemen are in dire need of additional sources of energy are doing this as a strategic move. when we decide what to do this has to do with the balance of power in the region and the fact that our strategy with their nuclear program must be robust enough to deter and contain iran and also the other countries lining up behind iran for whatever various reasons. the outcomes would be the same. we are on the edge of the serious proliferation in the region.
the third trend is the impact that this program will have on the pace of freedom within iran and soap. no one has ever done this. -- within iran and the region. it might be a good steady to do. when you did the timeline as to what happened with personal freedoms, free-speech, they line up closely. the lesson is that as iran gets closer to nuclear capability it feels freer to deal as it will with its internal population. is to the closures of newspapers, persecution. in a very real sense the pace of their nuclear program and the pace of their freedom lead in opposite directions.
it will be hard for these kind of protest that we just saw to succeed, but of having any hope of attracting international attention. the lesson of tianamen is that the international committee as the release metal and the internal affairs of nuclear powers. this regime is playing with this important idea as a looks at its long-term viability. the fourth thing we are all concerned about is this idea that the iranian might come to the conclusion based on current politics here in globally -- the recent president said it is possible to complete a fait accompli, where they appear to be marching towards the bomb so inexorably that we just began to
assume they are a nuclear power. there is a very of the school of thought that says this program has gone on for many years. it does not mean we should not try to roll it back. a good example are the current negotiations with north korea. when they declared and a clear break out in october 2002 issue was the beginning of a robust diplomatic process to convince them to give it up. it has had successes, but more failures. the tick away is that the international community did not assume this was an irreversible step. the work on things you can do to convince them that the pressures of continued nuclear capability outweighed the benefits they could have.
i think it is a useful model. >> i would like to use my time to give you a thumbnail sketch of a recent study which is the original reason for this panel. i should stress that this was written before the elections. we concluded that regard in the nuclear question and did not matter whether president ahmadinejad was reelected or not. there was not that much difference on the nuclear issue with the former prime minister mousavi. mousavi was present at the creation of a nuclear program in the mid-1980s. according to documents he personally approved the iranian outreach to the pakistani out of.
we don't see it would have made much difference in substance on the nuclear question if he had been collected. it would have made a difference in tone and atmosphere. but on the nuclear question the only vote that counts is that of the supreme leader. he has not changed in the policy has not changed. the obama administration remains committed to engagement policy. president obama has said this will involve bigger carrots and bigger stakes. he mentioned that we will extend a hand if you will unclench your office. that was in his inaugural address. it was made specifically to iran. unfortunately, the regime continues to have its fist clenched tightly on the iranian people. the hard-liners who dominate do not want better relations with the united states.
they are aware of their own history. the two iranian revolutions in the past were ordered after the defection of a westernized elites. they think the u.s. would undermine the legitimacy of their ideology and weaken their claim to leadership of the muslim world. these are not minor factors in their thinking. the strategy in tehran seems to be to run out the clock. they have accelerated their uranium enrichment program. this diplomatic strategy is meant to stave off sanctions while they continue their plans. if current trends continue the world's foremost a state sponsor of terrorism will soon have one of the most terrifying weapons. the basis of the special report is that we think the united
states should do more to prevent this disaster from in full the. iran attains nuclear-weapons we should take concerted actions with allies to contain and deter it. it is not just a program in isolation, but as iran said, once it opens this door will be a cascade of nuclear proliferation in elise. that is not the most stable region to begin with. let me quickly go over the 10 recommendations in this report. if you are watching at home you can go to our website. also, to the briefing room for iran which is attached to the heritage.org what does this by. we aimed at neutralizing, strengthen deterrence wanted
emerges by applying enhanced missile defenses. especially to allies in the region. israel and other countries threatened by iran. the u.s. navy also needs to be ready to deploy missile defense cruisers at appropriate places and times. given the growing ballistic missile capability we think it would be prudent to invest in missile defense. not only for regionally-deployed ones, but at home. the u.s. must be seen as providing robust missile defense for itself because of a secure america has to the credibility of allies in the region. news of the washington should warn any threat