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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  October 7, 2013 4:00am-6:01am EDT

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you know, we may disagree with some of our partners in the p-5 on many things. some of my european partners sometimes want to go further than i want to go, but at the end of the day, we come to an agreement because we all understand how important it is to be united in going forward. and i appreciate, as senator risch says, the bipartisanship on this issue. i did, if i may, senator, want to make one remark in response to senator risch, which goes to this as well. the shutdown and putting a piece of legislation on for the intelligence community or for
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treasury are you would be hesm, but not nearly enough. there are so many parts of this that are problematic, even in the state department indeed, funding for israel, for instance, will be delayed until there is a c.r. or full-year appropriation. our ability to protect the sinai is delayed with that force. so no one piece of legislation is going to solve what is a very complex international issue that we face, and we are beginning to see editorials, which we understand they're political, so we only take them so far. but in sri lanka, where we have been pressing them very regard on democracy, governance and human rights, they wrote a critical editorial saying healthcare is a universal right, and yet the united states can't come to an agreement on it, so who are
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they preach about governance? this is very complicated for us but i very much appreciate the bipartisan support on iran and our efforts to move this forward. thank you. >> thank you. i would just have one disagreement with you, and that is i think there is one piece of legislation that would deal with this and all the speaker has to do is call it up and that would get us a continuing resolution that would keep the government open. but let me just go back to your statement, because i understood you to say that there are ongoing negotiations. it wasn't clear to me whether you were saying that there is agreement now on how those negotiations might go forward and what people are looking for from them. >> they are finalizing what the negotiation frame will look like. what i will say is that the p-a plus one has agreed that the proposal we put on the table stays on the table, and we will not offer anything new in the
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first instance. the onus is on iran to put their response on the table to us so we are waiting to hear from foreign the foreign minister who will head the delegation. we will not put new ideas on the table until we hear from iran. >> thank you. i only have a few seconds left, but i was struck bit news accounts of rouhani's return to iran and that there were demonstrators there in opposition to him and to some of his statements, and i wonder if you could speak to the internal situation in iran and to what extent he continues to have the support of the religious leaders in the country. >> as many of your colleagues have pointed out, rouhani is very much part of the religious cleric class in iran. he has been a member of the
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discernment council. he has been on the supreme national security council, so he's very close to the supreme leader. he is very tough. he is very conservative. but he does have politics even in iran. he won as a moderate -- moderate in their system, not moderate in our system -- but he won as a moderate in their system saying that he would take a different approach to the west, but he does have to deal with people who are much more hard line than he is hard-liner that he is there are people that are more hard line. i would expect that those protesters were approved by the regime so that we would see that there wasn't just support for what rouhani was doing. there were also some people who opposed what rouhani was doing. and i think the supreme leader has given rouhani enough rope
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to get this over the line and perhaps even enough rope for other purposes in f they aren't successful. >> thank you very much. >> thank you for being here today, madam secretary. over here. thank you. this is not a new issue for us much as a country, back in the 1990's, i know you were involved with president clinton in the north korean experience. at the time president clinton was adamant north korea would not attain nuclear capability, and, of course, they did. i raise that for the following questions i have. there are five countries in the world that enrich uranium or process plutonium, but they tonight have a weapon. then there are two other countries that are enrich or reprocess but do have a weapon, north korea and pakistan. i guess my first question is which one of these two types of
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countries does iran look like the most, more like north korea and pakistan, or more like germany, japan and brazil and argentina? who to they resemble the most? >> senator, i'd make a couple of comments. one, they resemble themselves. they are in many ways more dangerous than any country who has the ability to reprocess enrich, or has nuclear weapons or seeks to get nuclear weapons. >> i understand they have a special case. they are different than north korea or pakistan, but i think you would agree they don't look anything like germany -- here's where i'm asking that. the president at the u.n. general assembly said we respect the right to access peaceful nuclear energy. and that sounds innocuous enough. the president of iran has said that iran's right to enrichment is nonnegotiateable. so here's my question. what is our position?
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what is our official position? does iran have a right to enrich plutonium? >> so the president's full comments on the quote that you gave is i have made clear we respect the right of the iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy in the context of iran meeting its obligations. so the test will be meaningful trance parents and verifiable actions which can also bring relief from the comprehensive international sanctions that are current until place. the president has circumscribed what he means by the iranian people have been access, and that word was as national security advisor rice said, a very carefully chosen access, not right, but access to peaceful nuclear energy in the
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context of meeting its obligations. >> so then is it our position that iran has the right to have access to uranium or plutonium for peaceful purposes, but they don't have a right to enrich it or reprocess it themselves? >> it has always been the u.s.'s position, and i've said to my iranian interlockers many times is that article four of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty does not speak about the right of enrichment at all, doesn't speak to enrichment, period. it simply says that you have a right to research and development, and many countries, including countries like japan and germany, have taken that to be a right but the united states does not take that position. we take the position that we look at each one of these, and more to the point the u.n. security council resolution has suspended iran's enrichment until they meet their international obligations. they didn't say they have
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suspended their right to enrichment, they have suspended their enrichment. so we do not believe there is an inhearnt right by anyone to enrichment. >> so why isn't that then -- ok, no one has an inherent right to enrichment, although you outlined the case which by your own admission they don't resemble iran at all. my question is this -- again, understand that they don't have a right to it in our position, but why isn't that our starting point? why don't we make it very clear? the president of iran has made it very clear that, in his opinion, enrichment is nonnegotiateable. why doesn't president say, as he has said on other issues that he will not negotiate until a certain condition is met? lay down those markers on some domestic disputes we're having now, so why doesn't he simply say there is no negotiation until you give up your enrichment and your reprocessment capability? because of the kind of country you are. >> it's very interesting, senator. i think it was today or yesterday that president
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rouhani actually qualified his own statement. he said we will not give up our capability to have enrichment, but we can discuss the details. a negotiation begins with everybody having their position, and we have ours too which is that they have to meet all of their obligations under the n p.t. and the you know security council resolution, and they have their position, and then you begin a negotiation. >> here's my last question then. will we ever agree dash will this president ever agree to ease sanctions and any negotiation that does not require iran to abandon its keanlts? >> i'm not going to negotiate in public, senator, with all due respect. all i can do is repeat what the president of the united states has said which is we respect the right of the iranian people
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to access peaceful nuclear energy in the context of iran meeting its obligations the test will be meaningful, transparent, and verifiable actions. >> ok, so my last question then is, you are not able to say say here today that it is impossible, that there will never be a negotiation, that there will never be an agreement so long as iran doesn't abandon its reprocessing can'ts. >> what i can say today is that iran must meet the concerns of the international community, including the united states and all of its obligations under the n.p.t. and the u.n. security council resolution which has suspended its enrichment. >> senator coons. >> thank you, chairman men endezz for convening this important hearing and ensuring this committee fulfills its constitutional duty even in the middle of a government shutdown. madam secretary, thank you. to all the witnesses who will appear today thank you for the
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very hard work that you and the secretary have been doing to continue to strengthen and sustain the sanctions regime which is critical to getting some chance and some progress. at the end of the day, i think there was broad agreement that we must not inquire weapons and any negotiations must demand a very fewable end to their uranium enrichment program. i support the president's assertion that all options are on the table. i appreciate your opening comment about the actions of this committee and its role in progress with regards to syria. and i strongly believe that the credible threat of military force has to be maintained in order that there be any progress around the negotiating table. i'm encouraged frankly, that the sanctions are having some real impact, both in terms of economic repercussions and hopefully forcing the regime to change its calculus with regards to their nuclear
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program. that's formed, i think the basis for negotiations, but i also think it's unclear whether rouhani is genuine in his stated intentions and is capable of making a deal. i appreciate your continuing to press the cases of several americans or ronian americans, in my case i've been concerned about another case. this charm offensive to me is so far not charming. the release of political dissidents and prisoners is a beginning and very, very modest step and could be advanced frt by taking real steps to end the oppression within iran and ongoing terrorist actions outside of iran to kill or take hostage iranian dissidents. let's talk about whether or not rowe -- rouhani is keanl of making a deal. does he have the authority from the supreme leader? isn't that speech in september,
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they talked about heroic flexibility, but i was pleased to hear you clear-eyed by the fact that deceptions, as i think you said, has long been part of the d.n.a. of their negotiating strategy. does rouhani have the authority to make a real deal and see it through? aupping you think we don't know, senator, to be perfectly honest. he says he has a mandate from the supreme leader to -- as does the foreign minister in a derivative fashion. to in fact, come to an agreement with the international community. but as i've said, we are ready to test that but we don't know and he may not know. it may be the supreme leader has said to president rouhani and the foreign minister, go give it a try, see where you can go, see where you can get it and they may not even know what the limitations are of their ability to negotiate. but we have to test this, and we have to test it as many of
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your colleagues have said, in a short enough period of time, in a way to ensure that their nuclear program can't just go on and on and on to a point where we wake up one day and find out they have the keanlt we all don't want them to have. so we will test this. we will do it in a relatively short period of time. we will see if there is anything real here, and we will see whether president rouhani foreign minister can deliver on what they have said to us, which is they not only have a mandate from the iranian people, about the a mandate from the supreme leader. but we have to test it. >> we have short timelines, i think both in terms of their steady progress, their steady advancement towards a nuclear capability and this shutdown, this maddening i think unconstructive destructive shutdown of the u.s. federal government. as you mentioned it is preventing the intelligence community from effectively enforcing sanctions. what's the plan forward for dealing with this shutdown,
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should it continue for another couple of weeks, and how do we make sure that the mesh people understand the very real risk this is creating for the united states and for our goals with regards to stopping iran's work towards a nuclear weapons capability? >> well, i certainly think senator, this hearing today, the statements from the members, from the senators, helps to convey that message. i think it is critical that we move forward in the bipartisan way that this committee has proceeded to deal with iran and to do so, we not only need all of the tools at our disposal to enforce the sanctions, but we need all of the tools at our disposal for national security and foreign policy including the lectures that we give to countries all over the world about good governance. i have been in washington for a very long time and once worked up here on capitol hill. i know that members on both sides of the aisle can come to
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the right decision, and we are all hopeful. i speak as an american citizen now, that that happens very quickly. >> last, if i might rouhani has made all these great promises both at the u.n., but also domestically. what if any evidence is there that the human rights situation within iran has improved or that iran has in any way backed off their campaign against ronian dissidents outside of iran? what more could we be doing to try to advance human rights, both within iran or thwart their efforts outside of iran that have taken many lives and continued to threaten stability regionally? >> we welcomed the release of 16 prisoners of conscience, including human rights lawyer. but we hope that they will free all of the 80 political prisoners whose period it recent al announced, many of
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whom we are still working to confirm as released. so indeed it would be very, very wise of iran to speak to the international community by making affirmation of the release of all of those prisoners. in addition, as you pointed out, we have three americans that we are all quite concerned about. two are in prison. it would be a grand humanitarian gesture suspects they really did nothing wrong, for them to be released, and it would be a very, very important if robert lesson son who has not been known his family sense march 2007, almost seven years now, almost seven years, for iran to cooperate, help us to find out where he is and get him released back to his family. finally, we have sanctioned
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more than 30 iranian individuals and organizations for their involvement or complicit in human rights abuses and censorship. we will continue to move in that regard on sanctions enforcement. we have continued to strongly support the mandate of the u.n. special for human rights in iran, and we also use our virtual embassy tehran platform and its associated u.s. facebook youtube twitter and google plus platforms to enforce human rights and free processes. it is very interesting that alan who is a farsi speaker, and really the royce of our face to iranians and an interview with him was put on the front page of an iranian paper for the first time, including a very nice peculiarity of allen. he is part of our delegation
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and our team for negotiations because he is a fluent farsi speaker, he understands iran quite well. it helps to understand sometimes what's going on in the room, so he is a great asset on all of these issues. >> i'd like to thank the chairman for making the determination this hearing was essential to our continued government here. i happen to think that national security is the top priority of government. i think it's actually an essential part of government. i'd also like to thank secretary sherman for coming here today. i'm thankful the state department has determined that you're essential as we're moving forward to making sure that we enforce the sanctions against iran, because that's essential to national security. let me start with that question. i appreciate the fact that you said the shutdown is causing
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concern about enforcing the sanctions. doesn't the state department, just like we do, making the determination of what is essential testimony? >> well, certainly, and the head is still at work as well as with a couple of staff. but the responsibilities are enormous, and they cannot -- they have to determine, given what they have in front of them, who they can keep. >> but we're here because we believe the actions of iran pose a serious national security threat to this nation. why would the state department and treasury department not deem the people in charge of enforcing the sanctions as an essential service of the federal government? why wouldn't they do that? >> well, we only have limited budget available to us so i know that you believe there are many things a treasury must do
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to make sure that u.s. cancer a, u.s. monetary and fiscal policy is protected. they have a whole variety of things that are essential to u.s. national security -- but it was spending. >> well, it's not just a matter of prioritizing spending. there are bottom lines here, senator, with all due respect and i think the fundamental point here is i truly believe every member of this committee wants us to keep iran front and center, as we do, and i know that the d.n.e. clapper and wreck for brennan all to want make sure that iran is front and center. but there are realities to how much money we have available to us in the shutdown, and it is limited. >> as i said to you before the hearing, i really would like to think that we can have politics end at the water's edge. i believe this committee really
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has shown that capability during a thoughtful debate, so i believe that's true. but then you come before the committee, and very appropriately, i appreciate the fact you are concerned about our ability to enforce the sanctions against iran. isn't it appropriate to meet before the house and say, eleven, if you don't have the ability to deem those sanction enforcements as essential, if you need additional funding to ask the house to pass a measure quickly, which i believe they would do probably today, if you make the request and then ask senator harry reid to bring that up in front of the senate, probably on the basis of unanimous consent, i think we'd give that funding to you in a matter of hours. i mean, would you be willing to work with congress to do just that? because it's essential. >> as i said, senator, i
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believe that there are many essential pieces to what we do. >> have you made -- have you made the point to the president how crucial it is to make sure that we maintain the sanctions and can enforce them against iran? have you made that point to the president? >> i think that everyone knows that it is essential that we enforce things with iran. i also believe it is essential that we make sure that israel's peace and security is affirmed through our budget. i also believe that it is essential that we can, in fact, talk with countries around the world about good governance and have credibility when we do so because our own system is working. so this is very complicated and i defer to the bipartisan ship up here to ultimately solve the problem. you know how better to get that done than i do. >> well, obviously we're at an impasse right here and discussions aren't working very well. i certainly didn't want to have a government shutdown but now
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we are having the house making the attempt to start passing over let's call them my appropriations bills. the process should have happened months ago, but again, i'm highly concerned about the national security of this nation. i would hope the president is equally concerned. so that being the case, we're at this impasse, with y don't we at least allow the house to pass many appropriations bills continuing resolutions, so we can fund the essential part of government so that we're not concerned about the enforcement of the sanctions against iran? again, i would really encourage you through the administration, talking to the president, whoever needs to talk to, to make that request, allow that to come to a vote in the senate and have president obama sign the measures so we can continue with essential services of the government? thank you. >> thank you mccain. >> mr. chair, i was not going to do this, but i can't resist. it is the department of state's
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fault or the administration's fault that congress hasn't passed a budget. it's not the department of state's fault and it's not the administration's fault that the house and some in this body have repeatedly blocked even a budget conference from starting. often this table knows this, but just for folks who are here, the senate had not passed a budget in four years, and we passed one on the 23rd of march, the same week that the house passed a budget, and we have been making an effort to go into a budget conference so that we can make these funding decisions since the 23rd of march and have been blocked in doing it 19 times. the attitude has been, we will not have aing about the conference because we're not interested in talking, we're not interested in listening, we're not interested in compromise. only after pushing the government to shut down at midnight monday did the house say, well let's have a conference, but not one about the budget let's have a conference about whether the government of the united states
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should be open or close. i mean, we should not be expecting the state department to help bail congress out of the dysfunction of not being willing to sit down and compromise. please do all you can to stress the critical nature of your work, but we know that, and so does the president. this is up to congress to solve, and it's only going to get solved if we have a conference about the budget, which we've been trying to do since march. now, my question is an observation, and it's based upon some questions that i've heard senator risch ask before. in the sanctions regime against iran an area that i continue to be concerned about is the waivers of nations that continue to purchase uranium oil in a significant way and senator risch and i were in a hearing recent well an
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ambassador candidate to understand i can't and we were talking about that who's going to deal with india. the nations and especially china, which purchase such a large amount that continue to purchase iranian oil, if we could get them to do more to scale back their energy purchases, i think it would take the sanctions regime, which are having an effect, and make them even more effective and hopefully help us. we have a meeting in early july and i think senator reid pulled it together with the number two leader of the chinese government and i asked him this question. you've reduced your oil purchases from iran for a variety of reasons, including to help the sanctions. could you reduce them dramatically further and then say, but if you give up your nuclear program, we're going buy a lot more from you, so have a stick, but then have a carrot, and could india do the same thing, dramatically reduce oil purchases, but with a carrot down the road, or japan could do the same thing, and the response to the chinese
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official was very adroit and very quick. he said he would be very willing to consider cutting our purchases from iran even further if you sell us liquid natural gas? now, that was the issue we were talking about with our ambassador or representatives to india. and i would, from a political affairs standpoint, hope that the united states asset, this significant supply of natural gas, while the ex-for station has some other domestic economic issues we ought to balance, i think that is a real resource and asset that we could have that could even take the nations that we're currently exempting from the sanctions and help them dramatically reduce their purchases in a short-term period as a way to enhance sanctions. i just want to encourage to you think about that asset in that way. >> thank you very much, senator. indeed our energy into rowe headed up by the ambassador has looked very carefully at this
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and be glad to ask him to come up and brief you on -- brief the committee on what we're doing in this regard. l&g works in some countries as a substitute, in others it doesn't. as you point out there are a lot of domestic as well as international issues involved in deciding whether we're going to export our gas and the tremendous asset we have now discovered that we have. but i do think it is something worth pursuing. per pursuing it and would be glad to arrange a briefing for the committee on what works about this and what doesn't work about this and how we could move it forward and what are the considerations for it. we also agree we need to keep pressing china, india, turkey, iran, and there are small amounts of oil that still go to taiwan, that we need to keep pressing and we are all of them for reductions, but all 23 importers of iranian oil have
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either eliminated or significantly reduced purchases from iran, and we are left with only five major customers of oil. >> you continue to believe if those five major purchasers continue to scale back in significant ways that could be a very strong additional leverage point to help us with our diplomatic discussions surrounding the ronian nuclear program. >> without a doubt, though i would note particularly for china and i happened i can't, it becomes more and more difficult to do, because their demands are growing exponentially, even as they are reducing and i think i've use this had statistic in front of the committee before a given percentage reduction from china who is currently the largest purchaser of oil would be approximately equal to a volume reduction twice as large as the same reduction from india,
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three times as large as the same percentage reduction from south korea, and four times bigger than the same percentage reduction from turkey. so even a 1% decline in chinese purchases is double what anybody else's reduction is, because their volumes are so great. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you. thank you for being here. i think there's a question in the minds of many of us about credibility. mr. rouhani is one of the most trusted figures of the islamic regime supreme leader. he has been a deputy speaker of parliament. and as we know, he also served
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as a negative for. and then on an interview that he gave which is out there on the internet, the day that we invited the three european ministers, only 10 centrifuges were spinning at the iranian nuclear facility. rouhani boasted on the tape, we could not produce one gram of u-4 or u-6. we did not have the heavy water production. we could not produce yellow cake. our total production was 150. but then rouhani admitted in the video, the purpose of prolonging negotiations, "we wanted to complete all of these, we needed time." he said three european ministers promised to block u.s. efforts to transfer the uranium nuclear dossier to the united nations using veto powers necessary. he called iran's block that it stopped its nuclear program in 2003 a statement for the uneducated and admitted that the program not only continued,
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but was significantly expanded under his tenure. rouhani said it grew to 1,700 by the time he left the project, and then he made his boldest statement, we did not stop, we completed the program. now we're supposed to trust this guy? what possible confidence do you have in this individual? >> senator i don't trust the people who sit across the table from me in these negotiations, and you're quite right that rouhani was the chief negotiator from 2003, 2005. i'm well familiar with that interview with his book. as secretary kerry has said, we must test the proposition that's been put before us, but not forever and ever for the
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reasons you point out. >> how long shoulded test take? >> well, even at the -- >> so we don't know how long the test will take? >> we will know -- >> do you have a date? >> can i finish my sentence? >> sure. >> thank you senator. i think we will know when we meet on the 15th and 16th whether there's anything real here or not. i think we will know rather quickly whether we are beginning a serious negotiation or whether we are moving down one more road that leads nowhere. >> do we have evidence that the iranian regime is trang regular forces in the use of chemical weapons in syria? >> in this setting, what i can say to you, senator, is that we are quite well aware that iran is very heavily engaged in syria, both with advisors, boots on the ground financing of lebanese hezbollah providing all kinds of strategic advice in ways that are quite destructive and horrific.
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>> so you can't say in public hearing whether we know whether the iranians are training syrians in the use of chemical weapons or not? >> i'll be glad to have our intelligence community come back to you on that. >> i see. is kaseem playing a role in the decision making scene? what influence does he have over the regime's command and control? >> what i can say again in this setting -- and i think we probably should make sure we get classified briefings for you on all of this -- he's very critical to the i.r.g. force. he is ingauged, we believe, in what is going on in syria in ways that obviously we wish he was not. >> and the situation with the
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camp people, we know that they were iranian dissidents. at one point they were designated as a terrorist organization, but the united states of america, is it true, gave them an assurance that if they they move that they would be protected we know that the iranian influence has dramatically increased in iraq. in fact, we know now that al qaeda is alive and well and doing extremely well moving back and forth across the two countries. now there was the murder of, i believe, 51 people who were members of this camp, and many of them had in their possession guarantees from the united states of america that they would not be harmed. first of all, are those facts true, and second of all, if true, what lesson does that
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send to people who we say will be under our protection? >> senator i share your deep concern about what happened at camp ashraf. this was a vicious attack on september 1, and many lives were lost. the u.s. continues to press the government of iraq at the most senior levels to ensure the safety and security at the camp, where many were moved for better safety. we strongly and swiftly condemned the attacks. we of course extend our condolence to the victims' families, and we are working with the government and united nations for them to peacefully and voluntarily transfer the surviving residents to safety at the camp on september 12.
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and we are work fog the protection of the people in the camp because we do not want a repeat of this. to date, they've moved in over 500 bunkers and nearly 50,000 sandbags. u.n. monitors visit the camp daily in accordance to assess human rights and humanitarian conditions. but i miss say senator, the real answer to this, to the safety and security of all of the people in the camp, who wants to live in a camp is resettlement to third countries, to get out of iraq and to get out of harm's way and i would call on all of the people representing the rights and interest of the m.e.k. and the leaders of the m.e.k. in the camp and in paris to allow this resettlement to go forward because until the resettlement happens, safety and security is going to be at risk.
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we will do everything our power to keep people safe. but as you point out, the al qaeda threat is increasing in iraq and it is difficult. >> i hope that this issue will be raised with the iraqi government, and we in congress may have to look at the kind of aid and how we are extending that to iraq if this kind of thing is going to be countenance by the iraqi government. i used up all my time. i thank you for your response. >> before i turn to the next senator, let me echo what senator mccain has said in this regard and i put a a statement. i also talked to our department. you know america went to the m.e.k. and we said disarm and we will protect you. and then we ultimately left,
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and what protection has not been there. you can put up i don't care how many tons of sandbags but when elements of the iranian -- excuse me, of the iraqi forces actually may very well be complicit in what took place, sandbags aren't going to take care of the problem. and agree with you that resettlement is a critical part maybe the united states could be part of leading the way in saying to a universe of these individuals that, in fact, you can be resettled to the united states and that would get the rest of the world to offer further resettlement. but it is unacceptable to lose one more life when american commanders gave these individuals a written guarantee towards their safety, and it snds a message to others in the world that when we say we are going to do that and we do not, they should not trust us. and for one thing that this committee can do, since it has
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jurisdiction over all weapons, is that i doubt very much that we are going to see any approval of any weapons sales to iraq until we get this situation in a place in which people's lives are saved. >> thank you mr. chairman. the sanctions have squeezed the regime of iran, but we cannot let the iranians wriggle out of the impacts of the sanctions through a mirage of cooperation. we should not relax the sanctions one inch while iran's intentions are still unknown. and as you have noted, madam undersecretary, we are not in a trust but verify situation with iran here.
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we do not trust their regime, and we should not. i think we all agree on that. there's been a very high co-efficient coming out of iran. and by the way, they're no different north koreans. they're no different than the iraqis. they're no different than the syrians. they are using what each of these countries says is an interest in wattage, electricity wattage, in order to get access to a civilian nuclear electricity program to compromise it for the uranium and plutonium. they all lie. they all lie. it's all about the nuke lab weapons. each country does it and we keep falling for it -- not we in general the world keeps falling for it. we keep trusting them to not compromise it, and all you need is a slight change in the government, and all of a sudden the materials are going into
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the hands of those that want a weapons program. and by the way that's my concern about saying, well, we'll consider giving a nuclear program to saudi arabia. that matters, when government changes, so can the program, as they just boot out all these people who are inspecting the program. it's just an ongoing storyline that never changes, and then we weaned up getting deeper and deeper, which is why we have to be thankful for the israelis in 1981 in bombing the nuclear power plant in iraq. it wasn't truly under the cuts. and when they bombed the syrians, they did the world a favor. because, again, this whole safeguard regime question is completely dependent upon how intrusive, how continuous the
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inspections regime is in guaranteeing that the program is not compromised. and i don't think it should take a long time to determine whether or not they're going allow the inspectors in to go to those sites, to begin the preliminary work. we all know that's what happened in iraq. they let the inspectors in when they thought there was going to be a walk. and we couldn't find a nuclear weapons program. we should have never started the war because we couldn't find the program, because that was the justification to make sure the next attack did not come in the form of a mushroom cloud. but we had the inspectors in, and they were riding all over that country. that's what they have to accept. there's been a compromise to this program as other countries have compromised their programs, and that's why we have to be very careful in the middle east as we talk about saudi arabia having a civilian nuclear program. there's 300 days of sunshine in the middle east. whenever we're talking about selling nuclear power
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electricity against countries that have oil and gas then we should just cast an arched eyebrow. 10 years from now, 20 30, it will all turn on us again, and we'll be talking about american young men and women being put at risk. so i guess my question just came in the form of that comment, i'd like to move over, if i could, very briefly over to the cyberissue. we know that there are iranian extremists that have been attacking sites in the united states in saudi arabia, other places. what role is their capacity to launch cyberattacks on the west on other countries in the middle east, playing in these negotiations to mack sure they know that we want that shutdown as well, and we don't want them playing games in this ever-increasingly dangerous area of international conflict? >> senator thank you. thank you for your comments,
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and you have long been a leader and a champion and a speaker about nuclear energy, nuclear power, nuclear weapons. you and i have had these conversations for many years. where cyber is concerned, we are of course concerned about the can't of rone. we are concerned about the can't of many countries in the world to use cyber. where iran is concerned, i think that would better take place in a classified setting, and i would be glad to arrange for that briefing to occur. >> well, again i just want to say that that's a big part of the storyline. >> absolutely. >> and they use it again in a regional context that then drives these other countries to their own sense that they have to increase their own protection. i think it's absolutely critical we play the lead role
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here. they bought us more time. and we know that a counterpart capacity also exists in iran and other countries to attack us, to attack the west, to attack those regional neighbors, and so i just want to highlight that issue. thank you for your work on it. and we are you good luck. i think we're at a critical point. i'd just say. this back in the cold war, brezhnev died, three leaders in three years, and gorbachev took over april of 1995. he said he wanted to end the nuclear arms races. he said he wanted to reduce nuclear arms. we had to test it. but we had a moral responsibility to test it and to trust but verify, as ronald
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reagan said. we have a lot of reasons to put iran in the same category that we put the former soviet union, but rouhani shows up as a new era, potentially, potentially, and i think it's exactly what you just said, we don't know how long his leash is that the supreme leader is giving him. but if it is one, then we can test it quickly because they let those inspectors in, and we can get the preliminary guarantee that those sites are going to be make accessible to the world, and i think there will be a sigh of relief, as there was in the mid 1980's when reagan was able to extract that same inspection regime. i thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you. madam secretary, before we let you go i have two final questions. one is, last week pakistan's prime minister said he intended to move forward with a natural gas pipeline to deal with iran that was agreed to by the
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previous government with pakistan, if that were to take place it would be in clear violation of our iran sanctions regime, not to mention that they would provide a critical revenue stream to iran, and it would create challenges global well our other partners in terms of saying we're following you on the sanctions, but you can't allow somebody to get away with it and all of us ultimately be subject to the sanctions. the administration having discussions with pakistan on this issue. are we ready to continue with sanctions if they continue? >> thank you, mr. chairman. a couple of points, if i may. on pakistan, we have had those discussions and we'll continue with the pakistani government. my own assessment is it's not going anywhere any time soon. but they certainly understand where we are and what our sanctions require should it
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proceed, so we will keep vigilant about not only what pakistan may do, but any country that is going to have to confront the sanctions that the united states and the international community has at its disposal. if i may senator, i'd also like to take the opportunity to comment on what you said about iraq and we quite agree, and with senator mccain said, we quite agree that we need to do everything we can to resettle people, get them out of harm's way, to make good on the word that we gave to the m.e.k. i know that there are strong feelings up here and i understand why, about arms sales to iraq. but i do want to put on the record that u.s. security assistance and foreign military sales in particular are tools that we use for building and shaping iraq's defense capabilities and integrating iraqi security forces with our security forces and regional
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partners, and i just want to caution that withholding security assistman may well serve to feed relationships and leverage to strategic competitors who will fill the vacuum and could conceivably damage our long-term interest. i just ask that we talk very carefully as we go forward. >> let me caution you about the overflights that iraq has permitted from iran into syria largely with impunity, and let me also caution that the seven hostages which we believe the iraqi government knows where we are, should they die would be complicating matters for all of that. so i hope that we've both cautioned each other. >> i quite agree with you on both issues. >> let me close by asking you one final question. what is it that we will accept
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less than what the world has said is necessary to the security council resolutions? >> i'm sorry? >> what is it that we would accept in these negotiations with iran less than what has been established under the security council resolutions? >> we have continued to say to rone that we expect them to fulfill all their obligations under the security council resolutions. >> all right. well thank you for your testimony. i look forward to what the department and the state department is going to be able to do with iran as you test their intentions. i intend to keep the department's feet to the fire on our issue of sanctions, as we move forward. >> mr. chairman, i'll be very brief. i know we have another panel coming, but i would like to ask the secretary, you know, we talked a lot today about the nuclear issue and other important ears here today, but
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if we negotiate an end to their nuclear program or a significant role, we still have a country that is hostile. they are a state sponsor of terror. they have a terrible human rights record. so i know that y'all are looking at trying to negotiate some relief, if you will, relative to the sanctions but the fact is that the way the sanctions law reads, they've got to not only dismantle their nuclear program, but also renounce terrorism. and i just wonder how those negotiations are going simultaneously to these others and what you're doing to ensure. again, the way the law reads, these sanctions cannot be undone unless all of that occurs, and it seems to me we're only moving on one track, a very good one track, but i'm just wondering how you might be addressing the other. >> we have been clear with the iranians that we are talking here about their nuclear program and the sanctions that relate to their nuclear program
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and that the sanctions that exist are regarding human rights sanctions. they're terrorist actions. it's exactly what you say, which is that they need to make progress, considerable progress around human rights. they have to stop their sponsorship of terrorism. they have to stop regionally destabilizing that part of the world, and many other parts of the world, quite frankly. so those are other discussions that we have with iran as is the subject of this today and as the subject of the 15th and 16th will be on their nuclear program. >> thank you, madam secretary, for your testimony. we always appreciate your service. >> thank you for the opportunity. >> today the senate homeland security and governmental affairs hearing will hold a hearing on possible fraud and abuse in social security benefits for the disabled.
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current and former officials from the social security administration will testify, along with several doctors. that will be live on c-span3 at 3:00 p.m. eastern. >> coming up next -- part one of our conversation with former white house chief of staff. then "washington journal" live with your phone calls and the day's latest news. >> this week on "q&a," part one of a two-part discussion with the chief of staff, josh bolten as he discusses the duties
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during the george w. bush administration. in the epilogue to george w. bush's book. you greeted me. you were in his office on the last day of his presidency. he said he greeted me the same he did every day in my chief of staff. mr. president, thank you for the privilege of serving? did you say that? >> i did. sometimes there was a variation of it. but i did as chief of staff, i visited with the president first thing every morning. he got to his desk at about 6:45. and i would get five minutes to get settled. our tradition was the first person the president sees was the chief of staff. i would walk in at about 6:50 in
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the morning. i always said something to the effect of, thank you for the privilege of serving. and it wasn't intended to flatter him or to thank him, it was intended to remind me and to help me remind everybody else what a privilege it was to be inside the white house. so i just made it a habit. it was a privilege. >> what did he say back? it. he didn't need the reminding. he probably didn't even need the reminding that i was appreciative and sensitive to it. i wanted myself and everybody to be aware of both the burdens and the joy we had
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of being there. especially since i was president bush's last chief of staff. i served roughly the last three years. i wanted everybody around me and myself to be keenly aware that we had limited time, that it wasn't -- we weren't owners, we were tenants and we had to treat every day as an opportunity as well as a privilege. >> there are 4,000 people in this town that were president of their class or student body. they're coming to town, they're all competing. you were president of your class at prince ton? your senior year? >> union your year? >> junior year. >> you're president of your student council in high school? >> yes, i think so. >> yeah.
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>> you would think you might remember that. but, yes, i was -- i was what they call the senior prefekt. >> so when did you think that you would be involved in leadership and why? >> you know why i grew up here in d.c. it's probably didn't sense it at the time. but it's a company town. and i went in to the local business which was all around me as i was growing up. so it seemed perfectly natural. i was always interest in good leadership. i don't think i thought of myself as a particularly brilliant leader. but i was always interested in how that's done and i think i spent a lot of my career helping other people to be good leaders. i hope i ultimately was one


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