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tv   Washington Journal David Kimball  CSPAN  June 6, 2022 1:24pm-2:01pm EDT

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we can send, we are sending. >> that was chris murphy shortly after the shooting at robb elementary in texas. the next day, he was quoted telling reporters our job is not to send clocks and prayers but to pass laws. but there are people whose job it is to send prayers. these people are congress chaplains. we hear what senate and house chaplains said the days after students and teachers were killed in mass shootings. >> bless the families of those whose legs were so terribly cut short with peace and consolation -- whose lives were so terribly cut short with an convolution -- with peace and consolation.
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>> we are joined by darrell campbell. . we are talking about the latest news from the arena unit nuclear deal. welcome back to washington journal. where are we on the nuclear deal? guest: we are in a difficult spot. the united states withdrew from the deal in 2018 since then, the situation has been deteriorating. sanctions were reimposed on iran in 2018. in 2019, they started exceeding the limits that were set by the original agreement. now, they have exceeded the limits on the amount of low enriched uranium, they have begun enriching that higher levels. the latest report that was just sent to the board of governors
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last week, i ran right now has enough 60% enriched uranium if further enriched to weapons grade, they would have enough material for one nuclear bomb. that doesn't mean they would have the bomb. that is a technical threshold that we are trying to keep iran away from. the original deal would have required limits that would have made it very difficult to reach that level. it would've taken at least 12 months. host: today start this out of the u.s. withdrawal back in 2019?
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18? they ramped up the nuclear program again? guest: the trump administration, which was critical of the obama administration plan of action it, which is the name for the deal, they argued that instead of pursuing that approach, they would put more pressure on iran to negotiate a better deal. they withdrew from the agreement, which iran was complying with. what has happened since then, the situation has deteriorated. the capacity to increase material has increased. they are deploying more sophisticated centrifuges that can spin it to enrich uranium. we have what i would say is a threshold nuclear weapon state. it makes it more urgent that the
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by the ministration restore mutual compliance with the deal. they are still hung up over a couple of unrelated issues they haven't solved. host: the agency gets this information from iran. wide -- what's the benefit for them to allow inspectors in? guest: they are required to allow inspectors and because it is a party to the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, that prohibits them from acquiring material for nuclear weapons. there are these inspections. the 2015 deal put in place even more rigorous inspections. it's in their interest to abide by this because it once eventually for the sanctions to be lifted.
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it is also in their interest to have them there because they can show the world exactly how much -- what they are doing to increase their nuclear capacity. this is their way of putting pressure on the u.s. and europe to take the steps necessary to remove those sanctions. host: we are talking about iranian nuclear activity. our guest is daryl kimball we welcome your calls, comments, and questions. (202) 748-8001 is the line for republicans. democrats, it is (202) 748-8000. for? -- for independence and all others, it is (202) 748-8002. the trump administration withdraws from the treaty. the by demonstration reenters talks last year with the iranians? guest: not directly. they said we don't want to sit down directly with you.
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that by itself has created practical difficulties. the u.s. lead negotiator hasn't been able to sit down with his iranian counterpart, so it has slowed the process. there have been talks instigated by the european union. they were engaged in these talks in a hotel in vienna. the european union official would go between two rooms in the hotel. they are not doing that now. the process has bogged down. it has slowed down. they did reach an agreement what is interestingthey did reach an agreement about how to restore compliance. will be listed -- will be lifted, when iran would take the steps necessary to rollback its program. all this will be implement it in three months to four months. it would extend the timeline to take iran to amass that quantity of bomb grade nuclear material from a less than one week today,
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to back to six to nine months. they have not been able to reach a compromise on the unrelated issue. around want the united states to remove the tariffs designation for the rainy and revolutionary guard -- iranian revolutionary guard. the biden administration has refused to do that without some compensatory measures on the part of iran. they haven't been able to reach that agreement. host: we've seen some of the effective sanctions in the ukraine-russia war. how effective have the sanctions been against iran? guest: it is definitely hurting the iranian people. it is dampening the economy in many ways. it's made it much more difficult to get medicine and humanitarian relief into iran in the middle of the covid pandemic. the iranian economy in some ways is still functioning.
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there is a black market economy that has emerged and the iranian government has been living under international sanctions for many years. they think they can hold out for longer. they are not going to compromise on their basic principles. the united states has hoped always that the sanctions could cripple the economy and lead to an uprising on the part of the iranian people. have not seen that in the past. clearly, the sanctions are hurting ordinary iranians. host: is the united states the only country that has withdrawn from the iran deal? guest: remember, this was a multistate negotiation. russia, china, germany, france, u.k., and the united states are part of this on one side, along with iran. it was only the united states
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that withdrew from the agreement in 2018 without any clear justification, other than the fact that the trump administration argued the deal wasn't good enough. they wanted to reopen negotiations. then-secretary of state mike pompeo laid out 12 conditions that the united states wanted iran to meet, covering issues related to its nuclear program and nonnuclear issues. the iranians didn't budge. what the europeans did is they have since tried to hold us together. we are now at the point where we could see a restoration of compliance, a return to stability, for a period of at least another decade or so. it is being held up over this the issue, over the irgc terrorist designation. host: the republican guard? guest: yes. which is mainly a symbolic designation.
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we have got to remember the iranian revolutionary guard corps, and otherwise is being , sanctioned by the united states, by europe. removing this would not have the effect on their ability to engage in trade or economic contact with outside entities. but it's important for the iranians, symbolically, in part because of the fascination of the irgc commander two years ago by the united states. it is important so far for the biden administration not to dismiss this without some assurance from iran that they are not going to try to hit u.s. citizens or personnel in the region. host: has the long-term role of this jcpoa from the obama administration, the withdrawal with the trump administration, now to the biden administration, to never allow iran any sort of
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ability to produce a nuclear weapon? guest: the goal has been to make it as difficult as possible for iran to do so, if it were to decide to do so. we have to be clear that around has engaged in activities in the past that are related to nuclear weapons design. there is still an official iaea investigation going on about some of that. it is our assessment that one point they had an organized program. but they don't have one today. in order to build a bomb, you have to amass enough nuclear material that is the substance that produces the explosion, you have to have a warhead design, and you have to have a delivery system. if we can hold them back to be able to affect all of those technical requirements for a bomb program, we can be assured that iran is not going to get the bomb, or at least we will have enough warning time in order to intervene if they do
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try to dash towards a bomb. host: iran has a ballistics missiles program, like a lot of countries. so far, those ballistics missiles are at medium range. at most, they have had some experience with long-range missiles. they don't have a sophisticated long-range ballistic missiles program, like north korea. even if you had that long-range missile, you have to have a nuclear warhead that is small enough and light enough to be carried by that missile. that takes time, it takes flight testing, it takes experimentation. iran, even though they have reached this technical milestone to amass enough material for one bomb, with further uranian enrichment in just about 10 days or so, it is still 1, 2, 3, even
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for -- even years away from four having the capacity to have a workable nuclear weapon. host: we have some calls waiting, but tells briefly about your organization. what is your mission? guest: our mission has been underway for 50 years. we are marking our 50th anniversary. it is to address the dangers posed by the world's most dangerous weapons. primarily nuclear, but also chemical and biological, and those particularly harmful to civilians. we just held our annual meeting last week and addressed many of these issues, including the iran nuclear crisis and we are , honored to have a statement from president biden recognizing our 50th anniversary and what lies ahead. host: what do you see in terms of use of arms in that ukraine-russia war? guest: it is a devastating situation. russia is using a number of
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weapons that have been prohibited by the world, such as cluster munitions, landmines, and they are of course striking civilian targets in populated areas. all of these things are against the norms of behavior, even in war. of course, there is the danger that there could be there could be a nato-russia direct conflict that leads to wider escalation and potentially the use of nuclear weapons down the line. we are in a very tenuous and dangerous situation with that war affecting ukraine and potentially the world. host: we will get to callers. we will hear first from chris in massachusetts. democrats line. caller: can your guest tell us which country was the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the middle east? and which middle eastern country today is still refusing to sign the nuclear nonproliferation
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treaty? it is certainly not ron. have a follow-up question, if i may. guest: the color -- caller is pretty well informed about the proliferation situation. israel acquired nuclear weapons around 1968, 1969. it does not acknowledge it has a nuclear arsenal. it is believed to have around 100 to 150 nuclear weapons. it's not a member of the treaty. it would be a dangerous situation if we had two countries in the middle east region with nuclear weapons, particularly two countries with particularly bad relations. host: in the follow-up? guest: the follow-up question, i'm sure your guest is aware of what the amendment is. it states that any country that possesses nuclear weapons without having signed a nuclear
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nonproliferation treaty, shall not receive united states foreign aid. the largest recipient of it at -- of united states foreign aid is israel. how does it get away with this? i will take the question off air. guest: the fact that israel doesn't officially acknowledge its nuclear weapons arsenal is one of the reasons why the united states can overlook that provision of u.s. law. what i would say also is that one wrong does not make a right. it's important that israel becomes part of the nuclear nonproliferation effort. israel today still has deep concerns about its security in a dangerous region. it is important that they engage with the neighbors about regional security, nonproliferation, and solving
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this iran nuclear problem is part of that larger equation. that's why it's important that the biden administration puts greater emphasis on returning the united states and iran back to compliance as soon as possible before the situation gets worse. host: let's hear from bill in new jersey, independent line. caller: good morning. just a quick question. do you think it would be more helpful if, like when president obama sent that money -- i think it was $1.7 billion to iran, that maybe we could buy them off? thank you. host: do you know what he's referring to? $1.7 billion? guest: back in 2015 when this agreement, the jcpoa was , negotiated, the united states unfrozen a large amount of rain -- amount of iranian assets that
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had been frozen as a result of sanctions. that was part of the arrangement. that returned money that was theirs mainly due to oil revenue over the years. in return, what iran was doing was reducing the amount of uranium it had on its soil, removing centrifuges from two of their facilities and allowing us -- allowing iaea to have greater access to their facilities to make sure they weren't violating that agreement. that was part of the agreement. iran is very frustrated today because the united states walked out of an agreement that it was fulfilling up until 2019. we are now in a deteriorating situation in this latest iaea report. this is a sign of how bad this could get. host: have any other countries lifted sanctions against iran? individual nation sanctions
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against iran? guest: in 2016, when iran met the nuclear requirements of the united states, europeans and others lifted sanctions. the europeans have not reimposed the same sanctions, but the u.s. sanctions, where they can sanction an entity in another country like germany or the u.k. , or france if they are engaging , in trades with a country that is under sanctions. that effectively meant that other countries, other u.s. allies and potential oil buyers, have not been able to engage in trade with iran since the trump administration reimposed the sanctions that were originally designed to be lifted under this agreement. host: let's hear from chris in san antonio. republican line. caller: thanks for taking my call. i guess what makes me nervous is
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trusting the iranians. we think they are complying. how do you know they are complying? it just makes me nervous, especially joe biden's foreign policies throughout his term, he has been wrong on everything and it makes me nervous to trust the iranians. guest: it should make us nervous to trust any country that has pursued these kinds of capabilities, that can provide the capacity to produce nuclear weapons. it is not, in my view, a matter of trusting the iranians. in fact, the solution is to put the joint conference plan of action back into place. what that allows for is even more rigorous and intrusive international atomic energy inspections on the ground in iran, iaea cameras in iranian facilities. the report that came out from
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the iaea director general last week, i think is a testament to , the fact that the agency has a powerful capability to continue to see inside the nuclear program, to alert the world what the iranians are doing and gives them a chance to respond. if we are concerned, and we should be about trusting , governments like around, we should be even more interested in restoring compliance with this agreement. otherwise, we could be flying blind in a year or two, and we won't know what iran is doing inside of these facilities. host: our phone lines, republicans (202) 748-8001. democrats (202) 748-8000. for all others, (202) 748-8002. i want to play for you some comments from the special envoy for talks with iran. this is his testimony before the foreign relations committee in may.
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some of what he had to say here. [video clip] >> turning to your point about, well, former president trump got out of the agreement and all of these terrible things happen. where you guys doing about it? if that was such a terrible thing, what are you doing about it? you said don't worry, we're going to have an agreement that is stronger. that train left the station long time ago. it isn't longer, it isn't stronger, and it doesn't even exist. that is what we're hearing about, that it will be shorter and weaker if you do wind up getting into an agreement, which i for one certainly hope you don't. what is your plan? the chairman said, i don't know what the policy is. you keep sitting at the table and you keep negotiating. how long is this going to go on? >> there was a question the chairman asked about how long we will go. our goal is to -- we are
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prepared to get back into the jcpoa for as long as our assessment of the nonproliferation benefits are worth the sanctions relief we would provide. that doesn't mean we only sit by and negotiate. we have not lifted a single sanction. we have added to those sanctions. we have taken steps to go after their uab program, there ballistic missile program. we are strengthening israel and are allies to counter the threat that ron presents. we are doing all of that whether the talks continue or not. at this point, it is our assessment, our technical expert assessment that the , nonproliferation benefits of the deal are worth the sanctions relief we would provide. host: it's interesting he used the phrase twice there "the effort has to be worth the sanctions relief." guest: i think mr. malley is talking about the fact that the
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original plan of action was designed through a variety of restrictions to keep iran 12 -- iran at least 12 months away from the point they are right now, which is to be able to amass enough bomb grade nuclear material for just one bomb. what they are looking at is , given the fact that we've been in this -- not exactly a free-for-all, but a less constrained situation since the trump administration walked away from the deal, can we restore those benefits? what he said in that testimony is what i said earlier, which is that yes, if the deal is restored, if they lift the sanctions and they rollback the program to where things were three years ago, ron would be at least six months to nine months away from that point.
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in my view, that is a tremendous nonproliferation benefit, compared to where we are today. senator ritchie asked that question, should also recognize that the biden administration has said the first step toward reaching a longer and stronger deal, one that lasts longer and more -- and covers more issues is to restore compliance with , the agreement the united united states with iran and other countries reached in 2015. without that, we are going to see further deterioration of the situation. the other thing i would add is that we have probably 1, 2, maybe three months left in order to close off the single issue on the iranian revolutionary guard corps that is holding up this agreement. host: why that timeline? guest: while, because iran is continuing to amass more material.
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the iaea report says they now have 43 kilograms of 60% material. they could accumulate more. they could also begin to deploy more advanced centrifuges which , allow them to enrich at a faster pace. in response to these findings from the iaea, we are likely to see the board of governors led by the u.s. and europeans officially center ron and call on them to cooperate with the organization on its investigation of past activities. they are not providing technically credible answers for that. that would ratchet up the pressure. host: let's hear from terrel in maryland on the democrats line. caller: how are you doing this morning? host: fine, thank you. caller: you are very informative about this. i was watching the whole ron deal go down. i think they did a good job of
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writing this bill. rex tillerson, the former secretary of state under donald trump said he wanted to stay in , the deal. donald trump fired him. i think donald trump was jealous because obama had a good deal. trump went in there, he was jealous, and he wanted to do away with obama's policies, like everything, and he did away with it. it was a disastrous decision on donald trump's part. i want to know, do you think this deal was a good deal? honestly? guest: i do think it was a very good deal. if we consider the fact that beginning in about 2010, into 2013 or iran was accelerating 2014, the pace of its uranium
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enrichment program, it was also working on a reactor that could produce plutonium. if we knew what we know today, they experimented with nuclear weapons designs. it was a disturbing situation. the obama administration worked very hard with our allies to put enormous sanctions pressure on iran to bring them to the table and negotiate this really complex deal that rollback iran's program and put tougher sanctions in place. i think the color has a point. -- caller has a point. in this town, there is so much partisanship, it's hard for democrats to see the wisdom in republican policies and republicans to see the wisdom in democratic policies. if we look at this from an objective standpoint, this held -- this agreement held back iran's nuclear capabilities. it would do so, maybe well again, for a long time.
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nothing is permanent in life or in politics, but this agreement bought time for the united states and the world to deal with a lot of other issues and problems iran creates. now, we are in a situation where we could be in a freefall if we don't come back together and reach an agreement to restore compliance. host: we know that israel at the time was not pleased with the jcpoa. what has been the broader political reaction in the middle east of other nationstates to the deal? guest: israel has a jekyll and hyde approach to this. the jcpoa. the former prime minister was very much opposed. he did not like the jcpoa. he urged the trump administration to withdraw. but israel's security officials and intelligence experts understand the value of this agreement. they understand the alternatives to this is that ron could get
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closer to eight nuclear weapons capacity and that could mean that, in their view, israel is taking military action against iran. that's not a very good approach in the long run because iran would be able to reconstitute those capabilities. it would probably lead to tit-for-tat military strikes, it could lead to a war. israel today has expressed its support for a diplomatic solution to this issue. but it is also uneasy about the biden administration lifting the foreign terrorist organization designation on the irgc. i think what the president needs to do is assess the broader dangers here to the united states. it may be politically difficult for him to lift that foreign terrorist organization designation. if this deal collapses, it will
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not just be politically damaging to the president, but it will be dangerous to the world at large. host: the white house announced a saudi visit by the president in the coming weeks or months. where did the saudi's stand on the deal? guest: it's interesting. they have begun quiet talks with iran on a regional security issues. i don't believe they are clearly opposed to the restoration and compliance agreement. they don't seem to be a big factor in the calculations. -- calculations about whether the united states and europeans are going to restore compliance. what we have to remember is that this is now down to one narrow issue, this symbolic terrorist designation on the irgc. if that can be resolved, and i think it is going to require some much more intensive diplomacy in the next few weeks, then we will see a deal to
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restore compliance and it will stabilize the scaredy situation in the middle east, at least on the nuclear front, for some time to come. host: let's hear from james in tennessee on the republican line. james, you are on the air, go ahead. caller: yes i would like to , pursue the idea of intervention and restoration. suppose we do enter into a new agreement and it isn't complied with. what would you suggest we do then, in the form of intervention to reinforce compliance? thank you for your attention. i am going to listen off-line. guest: it's a good question. the original 2015 nuclear deal had built into it an option for how the world can respond to iran if it doesn't comply with the terms of the nuclear
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restrictions. that was to snap back all of the sanctions on iran. that could be done very quickly. it could be done by the united states and the europeans alone, it would not require the russians and chinese to go along. what happened was the unexpected, which was that the united states withdrew from the agreement. that has limited the world's ability to respond to iranian noncompliance with the deal. so far. if there is an agreement to restore u.s. and running compliance with the original iran nuclear deal that original , snapback of sanctions would be available if iran were to be found in violation of the nuclear restrictions that the deal established. host: let's hear from david in michigan next up on the independent line. good morning. caller: yes, good morning.
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i would first like to say about the young fellow that answer the phone, exceptionally nice. my question here is because of , the buildup in kuwait, is that because the saudi's and iranians are starting to talk daca -- to talk? guest: i think there are a number of reasons they are starting to talk. i don't gets necessarily need of elements inchoate, which i'm not quite familiar with what you are discussing. is it the broader recognition by both that they have security disagreements and they've got some common security concerns that they need to talk about directly? i think one of the main driving factors is the ongoing war in yemen, which is the iranians of supporting one side and the saudi's supporting the other side. host: a recent opinion in "the
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hill" by john bolton was headlined, biden to announce the iranian nuclear deal is dead?" it underscores a crucial point. the iaea is simply not capable of verifying compliance without agreements such as the , proliferation treaty or other arms-control agreements without all parties involved. what are your thoughts? guest: i disagree with josh walton on many -- john bolton on many occasions. the situation we have today, i think what he is referring to is the fact that iran has continued to argue that it's past military experiments are something other than military experiments. they have been trying to delay
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and a few skate what went on. host: and how far does this go back? guest: this goes back 20 years or more. the information that has been made available by the iaea shows it began maybe around 2000. up until 2004, that's the assessment. the iaea >> site c spread -- you can go to our website c-span.org. you live coverage on c-span. -- you are watching live coverage on c-span. >>

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