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tv   Forum Analyzes Iranian Presidential Election Results  CSPAN  May 27, 2017 3:05pm-4:12pm EDT

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75th anniversary special live from the macarthur center in norfolk, virginia. next, a look at the recent iranian presidential election which resulted in president a second termg with more than a 7% of the vote. this discussion focused on president trump's visit to the middle east and future relations -- relations between the u.s. and middle east. this is just over an hour. [indiscernible] >> if everybody could take their
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seats. we are almost ready to start. welcome everyone. i am barbara slavin. i am absolutely delighted that the national iranian american council has asked me to moderate this timely panel about the iranian elections. before we start, i want to think congressman jared huffman, thanks to him we have the room. the rockefeller brothers fund for supporting the work that we do. we have a great panel. hooman majd.t with
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he spent a lot of time going back and forth between the u.s. and ironic. he understands the political dynamic. we will have sanam naraghi-anderlini. also, knows a lot about regional dynamics. reza marashi. we will again up with a few questions from me and we will open up to you. lots and lots to talk about. let me begin by asking the panelists for their impressions of a split screen reality that
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we had over the last few days. we had a iranian's dancing in the streets because they elected -- the elected president rouhani and we had president trump giving a stern warning. what are your impressions of both? the irony was lost on president trump that he was speaking those words against iraq. i think -- the election an important election for iranians because they were faced with a very stark choice, either to go back or movey the shod -- forward slowly. , but move's pace forward at least. paramount -- of paramount importance to the
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iranians that lived there. theing at the cabinet of accomplished people who are running the company -- country on a day-to-day basis, the choice was simple. because his opponent had essentially said he was going to surround himself with people in the. stark choice. it became an obvious choice for most iranians, even people in the provinces who many people in america thought they would vote for the conservative. everyone always assumes if the regime and the supreme leader himself are in favor, surely he will have a huge advantage. it has been the opposite. i cannot believe that the system or regime does not know that. that every time you make it. clear that one candidate is your
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favorite, the chances of him winning become less. i think that iranians saw that. who voted in huge numbers. they saw that there was this opportunity to either reject , a return to the old days of difficulties with sanctions and isolation of our ron from the international community. as we got closer to the voting day, and the media insider on an outsider on -- inside iran and outside iran. we don't know how to call it. in the age of trump, maybe iranians will be afraid.
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there was a nervousness which caused a lot of iranians to come out and say no, that is not what we want. the overwhelming attitude of the beia that this was going to a close race or we did not know what would happen, brought about more people getting engaged and saying no, we have to stop this. a vote against the conservative in some ways. more so than him as a person. iranian election. we know what the result is now. in terms of president trump's , andto the middle east sword dancing with the arab princes, it is hard to imagine something less useful for their region van to ally yourself as closely as the u.s. seems to want to with saudi arabia.
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especially saudi arabia. iranians, they are taking a wait and see attitude. has made ituhani clear they will wait and see what actions the u.s. takes. mocked trumpters this weekend on twitter for essentially milking the saudi's for money. in his big arms deal and other investments with saudi arabia. i'm sure that doesn't please a ron in terms of the kind of arms that will be sitting in saudi arabia -- i am sure that doesn't please iran. it is not all it is cracked up at -- cracked up to be. without american help, the
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saudi's to not even fly many of their planes. ron is not overly worried about the arms buildup -- iran is not overly worried about the arms buildup. we will have to wait and see where trump tape -- where trump takes policy. much of a middle east policy. know, it is not the simplest thing in the world. in terms of human and syriac and , rock, in terms of yemen syria, iraq. the iranians are going to wait and see what actual, real steps they will take. ms. slavin at his press conference, president rouhani was asked about the chopper
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marked. they were quite harsh. he said we will wait for the american policy to settle down. i thought that was a cautious response. >> it was more diplomatic. ms. slavin: take us further. this u.s. alliance with saudi arabia could go a couple ways. if the saudi's are reassured that america is behind them, might they become more amenable to talking to a iran? if you remember, there were a lot of iranians who died in the stampede a few years back. could this public embrace of the saudi's help? is it counterproductive? will it make a difference in terms of other foreign governments and their willingness to invest in iran?
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it israghi-anderlini: interesting because the sword dance was the war dance. the contrast between trump and the saudi's being an award ounce was thisin a war dance is something to bear in mind. that the u.s.e is has now gone hook, line, and sinker for the saudi version of the islamic story. the saudi's have been a french version of what is islamic culture. version.been a fringe trump is fallen for that. that is dangerous. it is extremism going mainstream. me, the u.s.truck
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or the administration is getting the wrong and of the middle east and islamic history. it is on the wrong side of the future. this is really a dangerous issue in terms of where we are. from the iranian side, how do you deal with someone who wants to go to war with you? the best thing you can do is reach out a hand of friendship. it must be an annoying to have president rouhani saying we want to engage. it is a clever move and i would hope that it would open up the space. any modicum of an attempted peace in the region if you do not have the audience there. constantly going on about isolation does not make sense. everybody knows it. this is rhetoric.
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aning on the heels of election where 73% of the population inside the country geography, sect, rich, poor. the iranian seen across the world vote systematically. we are saying something to the world. we are we want political evolution, nonviolent progress and change. we do not want to go back to that things. we're trying to bring about positive change. it demonstrates a deep democratic mindset in the country. this is another piece that must not get lost. to bring about democracy, you cannot bring it up back -- bring it back. we need institutions to foster the norms and laws. you need a critical mass of
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people who keep demanding that of the institution. over the last 15 years, what we're seeing is the depth of the mindset is becoming rooted. cannotu have that, you take it away from people. it is like literacy. nobody can take that away from you. globally, at a time where people are realizing that politics matters, thinks can always get worse. that is an important message. it would be a really big missed opportunity if we do not engage. fairness, wen should say the trump administration has not excluded talks with iran. and spicer said that iran russia would both be needed to resolve syria. rex tillerson in saudi arabia he will talke said
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to iranians when the time is right. even though they are embracing the saudi's and making harsh role,ents about iran's they are not closing the door. >> i don't think you can say any door has been closed just yet. trump and saudi arabia are the opening -- in the middle east more specifically. there are three things that stood out to be about the trip. they are problematic. calling it problematic is putting it diplomatically. announceen you billions of dollars worth of arms deals, you have to be realistic about the fact that the saudi's are almost broke. there a litany of articles -- they are running out of money. they are privatizing and offering shares because they are
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going to look. how will they pay for all of this? that's a question we should ask. that is the optimistic point. the more troubling point is that it looks like, right now, the trump administration has accepted the saudi and israeli view of regional security they have been pushing for 25 years. no american president prior has accepted that view. it is predicated on three things. isolate ironic, ignore human rights, forget discipline was the -- forget this policy. that is a recipe for work. it served as the back and for what the obama administration tried to pivot away from. not a coincidence. everything that happened in saudi arabia is the opposite of america first. at best, we are extorting the saudi's. at worst, we are now saudi
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arabia's mercenary in the middle east. as robert gates said, they are willing to fight to the last american. there are a lot of unanswered questions related to the trip that took place to saudi arabia and the framework for security that is trying to be set up. that is veryg, troubling to me, and that a guarantee almost all of my former colleagues in the u.s. government agree with, durable solutions to conflict requires the buying in of every country with the capacity to solve the solution. without the saudi set the table, the israelis, you cannot solve it. if you exclude any of those is the it incentivize excluded party to disrupt,
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dismantle, and destroy the process they are not a part of. again, if you exclude any actor, we should ask ourselves, what are we working towards? ms. slavin: we are not excluding iran completely. mentioned, there have been statement suggesting the door is not close. we should not push it too far. if we embrace the saudi's, they will grow current and talk to iran? does anyone think that is realistic? >> i don't think you are putting a positive spin, that is what we would all like. them not bee to see free riders. the obama administration tried to do something similar. almost a blank check
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to what saudi arabia was doing yemen. perhaps it is too early to render judgment. but i like about what obama try to do and don't perceive the trump administration doing is having a limit. the embrace ofce the saudi's with continued dialogue through a variety of changes with iran. we have not seen the trump administration take advantage of the channels obama established. >> one of the reasons they hated obama is because he said they had to share the region with iran. it is perfectly reasonable. of course you will have to share. is thet know if it personalities involved in saudi decision-making are young, i do not know if they
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are easily persuaded to sit down with their iranian counterparts. there are not any counterparts, per se. some older, more seasoned iranian diplomats. i do not know if they're willing to sit down with them. i would hope they could be persuaded to. ms. slavin: you wanted to add something? let's go back to iran internally. this was a choice iranians made. think for the -- they fear that trump in the white house, there is a possibility of confrontation and iran needed steady hands. president rouhani made a lot of promises during the campaign. i'm curious what you first see in terms of issues like human rights, freedom of expression. will people be released from jail?
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will he beouhani wi able to make bolder steps? will the curse of iranian presidents who seem to get weaker and their second term apply to him? >> i think it is hard to say. whether he will be able to fulfill his campaign promises. he was not in his first term. we should remember outside of iran, we pay a lot more attention to prisoners, particularly dual citizen prisoners. there are six or seven at this point. then iranians at home do. everybody during the two-week includingeriod, various american journalist, would talk to voters.
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they overwhelmingly were talking about how the atmosphere for social change had been better under president rouhani. the impression insider ron is better -- the impression inside iran is better. a few others. >> there are many others. and then the house arrest. that is something a lot of iranians care about. that is not the biggest priority for them. like to see that, of course. more political freedoms, no question. we see human , ands as a bigger issue americans interested see it as a bigger issue than a most iranians inside iran. more ability to speak their mind, freedom of the press.
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as opposed to actual people in jail. when you look at the population of young people in jail, it is not significant. 40,000ve not imprisoned journalists. how many did turkey in prison? ms. slavin: not 40,000. >> my point is, president rouhani is well aware. he has to provide a better economy first and foremost. more social freedoms in the way that of most young people and around -- most people in iran want. many women commingling. those are a priority. they would like to see the dual citizens released. i do not think there's any
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question they would like to, whether he will be able to or the hardliners will back down, that is another question. it is hard to say. i amaraghi-anderlini: always reluctant about having to compare ourselves to what is happening in egypt and the worst cases. my preference is to say, we came -- to articulate human rights. why can we not be at -- skin of human rights -- why can we not rights?tion of human sanctions were the greatest human right attack on the average iranian. would you think about babies, pregnant women, people who had cancer, all the issues we faced.
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-- the world to sit here secretary state to talk about human rights in iran and not address this aspect is hypocrisy. we have to put that piece of it into perspective. what is amazing is the richness of the it's true, i'm sure if he had put his name up for elections we would've gotten through to run, but the nature of the debate was a whole different thing. the conversations were very broad, very serious about everything, from women's rights and minorities and so forth. the discussion is out there and the demand is out there. again it's a question of if we , isolate and threaten then internally things will become tough as well whereas if there the issues can
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dissipate and the fear can fall away. i would like to see that, but as wish we don't have to say next-door they have 40000 people in jail or women are treated worse. on the question of women, seriously, we have $100 million to ivanka trump, it's an offense to every woman in the world frankly, especially muslim women who have to live with the subjugation of women. to have this happening and watch what is going on in iran, you just can't compare. ms. slavin: what are the chances for the dual nationals to be released as a gesture to trump and what are the chances for reconciliation within iran, but 2009 legacy, is it possible we could finally see some of that
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passing? these are important questions and the dual national question obviously is an important one and it's personal because a lot of these guys are personal friends. we all have a vested interest in a deep-seated desire to see dual nationals released as soon as possible. it also highlights the fact that there are different branches of power and different power networks inside the iranian government, and a big reason why they do this is to try to weaken and destabilize certain power networks that want sustained outreach and dialogue and engagement with the outside world. so, that being said, i think in the short term we are probably not going to see dual nationals get released, but the track record of dual nationals being detained and imprisoned for ridiculous amounts of times is that eventually they become a liability for the government as a whole regardless of where they , fall on the political
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spectrum. every time they do this they back of themselves into a corner and they need a way out. the obama administration has helped give them a face-saving way out. it remains to be seen whether or not the trump administration is even willing to entertain the idea of using direct diplomacy or multilateral diplomacy to help find a way out of this particular problem. as it pertains to the legacy of 2009, you don't have to take my word for it. iranian voters have twice utilized this campaign as a way to continue channeling what they iny -- what they thought 2009, in and now 2017. 2013, the election was not a landslide, it was a bloodbath. he won in the provinces and the local election, he won in his city, he ran and
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one in the holy cities. he won not only the vote he also , won in the local council election. and a woman one in the local council election. we have to understand the magnitude of this victory, understanding full well there are unelected officials who will try to put up tools and roadblocks, but the point i want to make is if we can acknowledge that sitting here in washington d.c., you better believe iranian voters who overwhelmingly voted for him understand that. they are willing to play the long game and they're willing to try to bring about a peaceful, indigenous change in a way that we have not frankly saying in this -- seen in this part of the world for quite some time. to me, that is impressive, i respect it immensely and i think , it behooves the international community, whether it's united states or anyone else to step back and say if they have the spread preference and aversion to unrest, perhaps we should respect that.
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ms. slavin: i will open up to your questions. we have a microphone. raise your hand, say who you are and ask a question. >> thank you very much. i wanted to ask you, given the , the iranians being ready to talk to the american, non-nuclear sanctions and secretary tillerson saying they must stop ballistic missile tests and everything do you , think these are sending messages or exchanging messages with each other, setting terms for future talks? >> should we go down the line? in theaghi-anderlini: press conference today he said, if there is a national consensus and the leader allows so yes, no, i don't know. >> it certainly his preference. he has a long-standing track record of wanting to use diplomacy to resolve conflicts
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, but the point that barbara makes is correct. and it speaks to a bigger point that decisions are made by consensus and as a result things move slow or can be blocked which is why they asked for , greater mandate than what he got four years ago but it remains to be seen whether they will move. even if they could move, even if the leader wakes up tomorrow and says let's lift all sanctions, , great idea, it takes two to tango. and american presidents are only as smart as the people he or she with, andhemselves president trump has not surrounded himself with anybody that i know of that is inclined to support the diplomatic dialogue that obama did. i'm not optimistic on that front. ms. naraghi-anderlini: i would add, i do not think the problem really lies in iran, i think it lies here in the united states. ms. slavin: thank you. you had a question? right there. and then we will go to this young man here. >> thank you very much for
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putting such a great panel together. this question is for you, in your expert opinion, what should be the political strategy for iranians to reach out to the saudis and reduce the tension and hopefully, i'm sure on a long-term basis they could benefit to having a dialogue. what should be the strategy? thank you. mr. marashi: that is a great question. i think it's one of the most important questions we can ask because iran and saudi arabia are the two pivotal countries in the region which is why the , united states wants to have a functional relationship with both and not just one. but they should also have a relationship with both. they upended the kind of regional order that existed that kind of had iran in the penalty box, and by no accomplishment of their own, they were empowered by the invasion of iraq and afghanistan. the saudi's feel like they need to push back to attain some
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level of parity. that is what they feel right now and that is what i have gathered from diplomacy meetings where i've heard them talking more forthcoming and free-flowing where they don't feel the need to attack talking points as they often do in public. however, there has been at least a half dozen instances from 2013 where the administration has reached out to the saudi's very publicly or privately, bilaterally and multilaterally time, except on the issue of the haj, which it did prove to be fruitful, but every other single time they been rebuffed. the germans have tried. i think the obama administration in a roundabout way tried when they said publicly that they need to learn to share the region which no american , president has said, in my recollections since the end of , world war ii.
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anyhow, the defense minister and the deputy crown prince came out and said there is no reason to talk to iran. why would we talk to iran and then went on a sectarian rant. i am hopeful with a bit of cajoling, particularly from the europeans and the united states, they can move away from that position but i'm not optimistic. ,>> my name is matthew. i am from congressman zelman's office. i happen to definitely see some of the merit in many of the points everyone has made. however, i do think it's important to address the other side of the story and play a little devil's advocate. i would just like to cast a little skepticism. it's unfortunately easy to see that the iranian regime and
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specifically the revolutionary guard have destabilized a lot of the region. either on a material level or on a rhetorical level destabilized iraq, syria, lebanon and other parts of the region in their effort to spread shiite ideology. my question to you all would be, do we really think this is the best way to share the region with saudi arabia? do we really think this is the best way to have an aversion to unrest and bloodshed? do we really think this is the best way to affirm that we can't bring democracy on the back of a tank when the iranian regime, unfortunately at least elements of it continue to support the , stabilizing elements in the region.
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>> i just want to ask one clarification. had -- i did not understand the question, but i don't understand the question, is what the best way? >> do we really think that it is smart strategically to support proxy wars or struggles in other countries in the middle east on behalf of of shiite forces , whether it is in iraq, or syria or lebanon or elsewhere, israel it is more muslim forces because hezbollah , will sometimes side with hamas against the jewish state, do we really think that is a smart strategy, number one. and number two, do we think the election of the new presidents will be anywhere near enough to overcome the supreme leader himself who wields quite a bit , of form policy influence in
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the country? >> ok. >> i don't want to get into a lesson about shiite and sunni, but two things, when you look at the muslims in the world, 13%-14% call themselves -- there is a huge level of diversity. -- much in common and part apart from certain fundamental beliefs they have. the other 85% fall under the sunni world. now iran, if you think about how much influence could iran possibly have, actually it's not that much because it is linguistically not the same as the arab world. ms. naraghi-anderlini: culturally it's very different , and it is of this minority shia sect. in this context. let me give an example. if you take protestants and catholics, how many people do you know who are protestants who will easily turn from being a protestant to a catholic or vice versa.
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people don't switch their religion and their faiths that easily. so the idea that we have the spreading of shiism and you could even equate it to what the saudi's have been doing, it's a false narrative. it is a narrative that the saudis have been wanting us to understand for many years and , it's a false one because they are on the fringe of the saudi side and they have been putting money and resources into every single muslim community around the world where there are sunnis and telling them our version of islam is what sunni and some -- sydney should be -- what sunni should really be. and i can give you lots of material on this. this is a false narrative. to your point about proxy wars, absolutely we should not be in the game of proxy wars. we should not be helping fuel saudi planes to bomb yemen. this is something we should not be doing. [applause] ms. naraghi-anderlini: we should not be selling arms and enabling people to -- and we are part of the proxy war. no one has clean hands in that
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region. tell me which country has clean hands. from afghanistan to pakistan. everybody has blood up to their elbows. all of us and especially those of us who are taxpayers, because it is our money. i think what we are seeing right now in the case of iran with all the problems that exist is that there is a population of about 80 million people who are saying we don't want violence anymore. , we want engagement. we want diplomacy. we want dialogue and to bring about the changes we need. this is i think a really important message to take back --congress a sensually, essentially that these proxy , wars are not a good idea, the approach of the united states in the past 15 years has been a little bit like the cat in the hat comes back. if you look at that story, the
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we cause a problem, then go back and clean it up, then there is a bigger mess. this is not working anymore. we have to try something different. i agree with you, no proxy wars, but it's important to get the notion of who we are supporting and who has more power. ms. slavin: if i could just add something, iranian influence in the region goes back because iran has been there for thousands of years to the idea that you could somehow separate the arab and persian, the shiite and the sunni is completely unrealistic. iran was very active in lebanon before the iranian revolution. the shop actually -- shaw started adding up the shia population because they had historically been discriminated against between the sunnis and the christians even though they , were already a plurality in society. in a sense, after the revolution the islamic regime double down and took organizations and turned them into hezbollah. the syrian iranian alliance goes back also a long time during the iran-iraq war, it was the only
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arab country, syria, that supported iran against iraq. just --now, you cannot i mean, if you look at iraq, shiism of course has been the center. you can't just draw a dividing line between these communities as much as the saudis would like that. and of course, you have shia in saudi arabia and the majority in bahrain and kuwait and when they are mistreated, as they often are, they are sort of forced to look to iran as a protector because it's the largest shia country. i think what were all asking is you look at this in all of its nuances, you do not see it as black and white. certainly i'm not comfortable with iran supporting the asad regime, i don't know how many people are with the atrocities it's committed, but there is a reason for their involvement in these countries.
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>> i just want to add to that, i think this narrative that iran is spreading instability which is promoted very much by saudi arabia and do some of the other persian gulf states, and of course is real, let's look at -- israel, let's look at the facts. playing devils advocate is all well and good, but we should not get away from the facts. mr. majd: first of all we've only come to understand what they are after our invasion of afghanistan and iraq so we started, the united states started this instability in the region. they are protecting their interests. they are protecting iranian interests, and iranian interests are that iraq is on one side of them which brought a war in , afghanistan on the other where they almost went to war with the taliban. it was there before the invasion by us in 2002. so, i think looking at how iran is spreading instability, it's actually just protecting its own
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view, it's protecting its interest. as far as the iranian people are concerned. by and large, i'm not saying everybody, they are protecting their interests, to protect terrorism from crossing the borders to prevent complete , destabilization in afghanistan which threatens iran. and to support shiite communities where they are being oppressed by the majority sunni which is less about sectarian ism i think than we would like , to think it is, but it's only because there she is that there supporting them. i think most iranians don't even that way.t them
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even though we call them shia. they look at it from a purely strategic way and they look at it like a national interest view. it is iran's national interest for syria to remain an ally, not be an ally of saudi arabia. so i think the narrative has to be we can't accept simply one , narrative. i am not saying you cannot accept the iranian narrative. but we should not accept this saudi reasoning either. iran and iraq bought an eight -- >> iran and iraq fought an eight year war. 60% of the iraqi army at the time was shia. if the shia affinity question was so large, those guys would have maybe switched sides. maybe they would have run away. ms. naraghi-anderlini: they didn't. they fought as iraqis against iran. again the notion of the affinity , and the power and influence is something that probably, it's to their advantage to project but
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it is actually not as great when you come down to it, in terms of the geopolitical interest. all the way in the back. yes? >> do you view. ms. slavin: can you tell us your name. >> do you believe there's any potential with the u.s. indirectly engaging or directly engaging iran in any diplomatic talks with respect to the potential to reconvene district party talks with north korea regarding nuclear nonproliferation or the water crisis in afghanistan? , do you believe the current administration within the united states could indirectly or directly engage in any diplomatic talks, in any
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manner? i think it is a good question. i think it allows me to make a very important point so i'm glad you asked it. we have this thing called the jcp deal. the iran nuclear deal. every few months, all of the countries get together and they meet in this thing called the joint commission. a novel idea that was included in the deal. when rex tillerson goes to the podium and says that sometime i will probably cross paths, he knows he will because he has to. he doesn't have a choice. so yes, there is an opportunity, at the very least to pass messages. at the very least. if we are smart and we want to use all the levers and tools of american power we will do more than just pass messages. we will sit down and we will have bilateral meetings and sitting down and having bilateral meetings on the sidelines of a multilateral meeting is not capitulation. it is a demonstration of strength and the obama administration proved that and the rest of the international community, excuse me the global , powers that sat down and agreed to this deal with us also
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share that view. ms. slavin: i would love to see whether it is direct or indirect through the world banks and others, some serious work around water management. that is the biggest crisis that the country is facing right now. it is environmental issues that we have problems on the side of the island. ms. naraghi-anderlini: but those kinds of collaborative measures would be great through the multilateral system. ms. slavin: let me add we had an , event couple weeks ago at the atlanta council on people to people ties with iran and we , have in the past had iranian academics come to the united states for seminars on things like proper water management and it's a great area and we should devote more resources to that kind of thing, not in not imposing these visa bans. >> thank you so much. a quick, and a question. i think it's very fair to point out that much of what the iranians are doing is not helping stability in the region,
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but the context is important. however much the iranians have tried to no one has achieved , greater cause of instability than the invasion of iraq in 2003. it's the single most destabilizing event in the history of the middle east for the past 20 years. heading $300 billion of weapons sales to saudi arabia will probably rank as number two, but something i think is on the minds of a lot of people in congress is that there is a senate sanctions bill as well as a house bill. the senate one will be marked up next week. members of the obama team negotiated the deal, including what is otherwise recognized as as pro-sanctions, and adam has come out and said this would violate the jcp away. if this passes and it does violate the jcp way, how do you expect iranians to react? what do you expect the reaction to russia, china and europe to be if the united states through congressional actions starts
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killing the nuclear deal? >> i think the indications have been, and it's hard to predict the future, i think iran experts are pretty much on the same level as astrologers in terms of predicting the future. at least that has been our track record. mr. majd: palm readers. maybe that is unfair. i'm not going to predict, but the indications have been that iran, particularly they will continue to abide by the jcp oa, to the extent that they cam without falling afoul of the american law. they have companies or banks doing business in america, they will continue to abide by it and i think iran will as well. for iran to have america be the bad guy is the biggest gift you can give them. for the europeans to say america is the bad guy here and is not abiding by a deal they agreed to is again a gift to the iranians.
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when i say iranians, i mean the government of iran. they have indicated obliquely they will continue to abide by the deal as long as they are not, as long as it's not torn up. let's put it that way. and i do not think it is in the hands of the united states to tear up the nuclear deal. there is nothing to tear up. it's an agreement with a bunch of other countries. they would have to tear of the united nations security council resolution, which they are unable to do because they can't get past the russian or chinese veto. i think iran, with the united nations and with all the other countries that are supportive will continue. , that's my view. again, i'm being a palm reader, but that's my view that they will continue to abide by it. and we will look full-ish if we actually are incomplete -- foolish if we are actually in complete violation. just aaghi-anderlini:
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thought on that. number i would love to see how one, they explain it, 41.5 million people who came out to vote for moderation would react to a new sanctions bill coming from the united states. i think this would be setting up in the next generation to really be anti-american when apparently , they're not. on the u.s. side, i think we need to be looking at this because frankly speaking, i don't think the europeans and others are going to go without. they will try to do their business with iran as much as they can and large american multinational companies will continue to benefit because they subsidiaries in europe and that is a way for them to engage in iran. people who get hurt are the midsize american companies who don't have that capacity. it's actually inside the u.s. , our own companies here where , there might be a lot of potential for trade and business that will get the raw end of the deal if the sanctions continue.
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mr. marashi: i would just add one thing, i agree completely, the track record of their nuclear program and its interaction with the rest of the world more generally in the , united states, more specifically with the nuclear breeds, is every action a reaction. as we systematically advance sanctions, did iran capitulate? no. they systematically advance the technical aspects. we stacked up bargaining chips and iran stacked up bargaining chips. fortunately we froze everything in place, if not reduced it and we put a ceiling on top of their nuclear program. every aspect of the supply chain is completely monitored. that's unprecedented in the history of the world. not just on iran but nuclear programs more generally. this idea that more sanctions is going to produce no response i find far-fetched. however, there are a variety of responses that i think the iranian government would very actively consider that would not be outright violations of the nuclear deal as passing the
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sanctions in congress would be. particularly on the aspect of research and development as it pertains to their nuclear program, because it has nothing to do with centrifuges or uranium. that's all acquiring knowledge. that's not to say the united states or other members of the international community wouldn't consider it to be provocative, but you cannot make the case they're trying to build a bomb when everything is frozen and a ceiling is built on top of everything that's frozen and all scientists are doing is science. and there's been no tangible application to it as it pertains to the program. so if anything, what these new sanctions will accomplish is a weakening over time, and erosion over time of america's ability to control the international financial networks and communities and banks. jacob lou warned about this in his exit interview before he left the treasury department. he very specifically said and
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overuse of unilateral american sanctions will, over time, erode not only american credibility but american financial power. and this is something that every congressional office needs to take into account before they move forward on this bill. ms. slavin: you might also point out your congressman and senators that the chinese are very actively promoting their one belt, one road project. there are real links and sea links being built all through central asia from afghanistan up through russia. these are the kind of projects that will not be affected by american sanctions and that will probably serve to minimize american economic power in that part of the world. so we risk isolating ourselves if we continue down the road of unilateral sanctions without any reason. you have been very patient. please, wait for the microphone
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even though everybody knows who , you are. >> thank you. madea benjamin, code pink. i wonder if you could give us more of a sense of the richness of the debate during the elections and if things like her im criticizing the national guard will come back to hunt him -- haunt him or has this debate , open things up more for the iranian people? >> it is a good question whether it will come back to haunt him. i think certainly there will be ,ome pushback from the guards who were not happy with his criticisms of the guards and publicly said so. the two areas he attacked were the military and the judiciary. mr. majd: but i think people, generally speaking, the guards would have been opposed to many of his policies regardless of whether he attacked him or was nice to him in the debates. -- nice to them in the debates. i think people will just go past that now at this point and say
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election is over -- theuding the guard, election is over and now we are going to pursue our interests. i don't think there will be any real pushback on the level that one might worry about. i certainly do not think the president is worried. let's remember he's also very different from the previous reformist government. he is much more of an insider , much more of a national security guy, much more of a person -- i would not say a reformist, much more of a regime insider. and has an ability to save y things that i don't think others have unless he wants to go to jail. i think for him, because of his position and who he has been over the last 38 years, in his
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acceptance speech, he thanked name who you cannot even in the media, he recognized his support and he was instrumental in getting the young people to come out and vote. i don't think will come back to haunt him particularly. ms. naraghi-anderlini: during the election campaigns, -- the electionuring campaigns they get to party in , the streets at night which are two things they love to do. i guess the question is whether these freedoms will persist. >> there will be dancing in the iseet two months from now, there anyone else who hasn't asked a question. wait for the microphone please. [inaudible] good luck with that.
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so, what for -- point to support for hezbollah -- to refuse that? >> go for it. ms. naraghi-anderlini: look. i think one of the things that gets the saudi's goat is that iran has always been able to get more bang for its buck. ms. slavin: they are an opportunistic power, doesn't have natural allies in the region and it has been able to take advantage of opportunities, grievances, often among the shia communities and other communities, put a little money expertisele bit of and get a big result. ,the saudis spend billions and billions and they still seem to be afraid. so you know, ask you which
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, country is feeling more secure? the president was asked about this during a press conference today whether he was worried , about all the money that the saudis were spending on new weaponry. he said no, we make weapons, we don't buy them. that's not entirely true, they do buy them and they would like to buy them, but there's a sense that iran has become more self-reliant and has learned to play the proxy game more effectively. i think it's defensive and offensive. it's a way to project. and it is just that they have done it very well. teeth, us to nash our and put down on policies that have not worked i think the , united states should try to have some options. it's not necessary to choose one of the other but we should be able to avail ourselves of connections with all of these countries and try to find what is in the american interest. i think we have time for one more. yes?
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wait for the microphone please. >> over here. no, it is ok. right here. >> it is television. >> this is for everyone. [inaudible] gone and --being trying to unite the forces do , you think he has taken over as the kingmaker, the uniting force behind the movement? [inaudible] >> very good question. mr. marashi: i think he is the kingmaker for the reformists, but they are not the majority at this point. the majority of the iranians with the -- it mean that wake my but there is a majority of people not in that camp.
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mr. majd: how many people voted for him? >> 15 million. mr. majd: that is not insignificant. it was a very different republic. >> will it affect the choice of the next supreme leader? >> we can answer that and then i will circle back to the first point. it does have an impact. nobody inside or outside iran can predict who the new supreme leader will be, but we can predict that having the presidency and the ministry within your control, and the ability to help plan the budget and you have a family parliament, it plays into the favor of those who would like to see somebody like rouhani or someone rouhani minded. assume that position at least when the supreme leader passes away. ask the original point, the coalition that he helped usher together that blossomed into rouhani's presidency and he was
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trying at least for 10, 15 years before it happened to make that happen and it was finally the extremists took over all branches of government and other reformists and conservatives saw the light in my view. , looking ahead, while i do think he was and will continue to be a kingmaker because at least in my view, i'm more interested to see if rouhani steps up. i am more interested to see if rouhani can cultivate his own inependent base of support ways that others did. can he carved out a middle path and continue to keep together arguably the most inclusive political coalition between the iran-iraq war. i would like to think that he can but nobody knows for sure. ,>> you get the last word.
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ms. naraghi-anderlini: thank you. i want to actually give more credit to the iranian people. what we are seeing is people are coming out and they are making decisions that are tactical, strategic, transactional. people are making their own choices and going in the direction they want. this is a populist, which you can't ignore. and we see it in politics. the question about human rights and other issues. they are having to respond to what the public is raising. and this is an amazing development in this country. i mean it's been 38 years since , the revolution. the iranian population at 36 million people at the time of the revolution 1979. 41 million people voted for change and reform predominantly. just this time. aree are changes, these
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tsunamis of change that we are seeing. and i think that they deserve the credit for that. ms. slavin: and with that, we want to say thank you. thank you to our speakers and thank you all for coming. [applause] >> regardless of your background , remember where you came from. hold on to the way that some of you reached out to mentor so many young people. hold on to the way that you engaged in this community. and make sure to bring that commitment to whatever walk of life you choose. >> bravery, not perfection, was the key that unlocked every door i have walked through since. it took me 33 years to figure
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out that brown girls can do white guy things too. >> as soon as you understand because you are here from a lot of help. and now it's time to help others. that is what this is all about. >> tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern, 2017 commencement speeches. speakers include former california governor arnold schwarzenegger at the university of houston, former vice president joe biden at colby college, girls of code founder at scripps college in california, arizona governor doug ducey at joint base andrews. the santa fe mayor at new mexico highlands university. and rick snyder at adrian community college in michigan. tonight, at 8:00 p.m. eastern, on c-span and weekend oniday
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american history tv on c-span3, tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern on reel america, the 1977 documentary "men of bronze," about the all-black infantry regiment known as the harlem hell fighters. >> 24 germans attacked. slug almost immediately and johnson thought -- fought them off. around, andhe swung he defeated those 24. wounds in his body, but he refused to die. at 10:00 p.m., on the women telephone operators of the army signal corps. >> in france, because at -- it
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meant the local operator had to speak to a french operator, they had to parlay view. and most did not. so they had to get bilingual american women to handle this job. in other words, they began recruiting women not because they were as good as men, otherwise you would just use men, but because at least at this job they were better than men. >> monday at 9:00 p.m. eastern, we visit the national world war i museum and memorial in kansas city, missouri and speak with the curator of the museum, authors, and the museum president and ceo. >> what we want to do here is tell the story to the lives of people. ordinary people, men and women, volunteers as well as those that served in the armed forces, from all sides. >> for our complete american history tv schedule go to


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