tv [untitled] September 22, 2010 7:30am-8:00am EDT
look you. know so. you're watching r t let's now have a look at our top stories for this hour russia decides against selling its long range defense missile system to iran the advanced surface to air weapons are subject to the latest u.n. sanctions against the islamic state the target the country's nuclear ambitions. moscow is hosting a brainstorming session on the all six future asking a leading ecologist and politicians how best to protect the region and get the most out of its riches the seabed holds potentially lucrative gas and oil reserves. and trying to kill two birds with one stone world leaders tackle middle east peace
on the sidelines of a progress review of their millennium goals in new york u.n. talks center around how to eliminate poverty despite the economic downturn and could this israel to extend its freeze on west bank settlements i'll have more of these and other stories in half an hour's time but up next it's our debate program cross talk today peter lavelle and his guests debate the possibility of forcing a regime change in iraq with a helping hand from washington. and you can.
follow in welcome to cross talk i'm peter all about another drum beat towards war are the u.s. in israel preparing an attack on iran is to run a threat to its neighbors and the u.s. and what are iran's legitimate security interests. you can. discuss the possibility of a military strike against iran i'm joined by mohammad marandi and taran he's a professor at the university of taran in washington we go to william blum he's an author and historian and his latest book is killing hope u.s. military and cia interventions since world war two and in austin we have alan cooperman he's an associate professor at the l.b.j. school of public affairs at the university of texas and another member of our crosstalk team yelena hunger all right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect so you can jump in anytime you want alan if i could go to you first earlier in this month the month of september the i.a.e.a.
came out with a report that essentially gave iran a clean bill of health then not long after the mainstream media in the west primarily of the united states started reporting just the opposite how does it come to that we have an authority the i.a.e.a. it says something and then you have on the major networks in the united states they kind of well they just basically change it how does that happen and i know you read these reports. well i think it's unfair to say that the i.a.e.a. has ever given iran a clean bill of health there's been problems since at least two thousand and three with iran hiding information about uranium enrichment about secret enrichment facilities about separation of plutonium about nuclear weapons design and so i really don't think it's fair to say well i think you can i just quote can i quote the i.a.e.a. here on september sixth the i.a.e.a. stated that the agency has quote continued to verify non diversion of declared
nuclear material in iran to any military or other special purpose and quote that's pretty definitive isn't it. that's definitive are one part of iran's nuclear program they're saying that what iran has shown us we have seen that's not saying that the entire program gets a clean bill of health and that's the concern about iran is that it's doing certain things that it opens up to the i.a.e.a. and then it's doing other things that it doesn't open up to the i.a.e.a. so it opens up the peaceful part but it hides the weapons part ok professor marandi could i go to you in toronto would you agree with that i mean on one side there is clarity another side there isn't clarity that's what our guest is saying. well no i would disagree with what your guest says the i.a.e.a. has never claimed that iran has a military program in fact as we've seen over the years no evidence whatsoever has ever been given to show that iran's program is anything but peaceful
and you have to take into account that the international atomic energy agency its board is highly influenced by western countries it is not a democratic body and despite the fact that it's not a democratic body iran allowed intrusive inspections for over two years and it halted uranium enrichment and despite this in the spite the fact that no evidence was found whatsoever to show that iran's program had any problems with it western countries refused to come to an agreement with iran so that iran could resume enriching uranium and that is why the iranians stopped. by the additional protocol which it didn't have to do by law and it began enriching uranium again remember the iranian nuclear program goes back before the revolution and billions of dollars have been invested in the program and the iranian economy is dependent upon the program starting up and also there are thousands tens of thousands of
people who are directly or indirectly. influenced by the program itself and so tens of. thousands of jobs are at stake here the iranians simply cannot give up their right as a sovereign country to enrich uranium and to have a peaceful nuclear program ok william if i can go to the topic of this program do you think the united states in israel is preparing an attack on iran's nuclear facilities military facilities i mean if they're going to attack to get attacked with a lot of strength ok are we getting ready being primed for war because it seems to me that this is really very reminiscent of the the drumbeat to war against iraq. well i'm sure there is you know at least i would love to attack iran whether they do or not i have no way of knowing. what this is all this whole. topic so far on this program to me is. the basic issues and i don't have to ask the question
is there any international law which says that russia and the u.s. and france and the u.k. and israel and pakistan and india and china can have nuclear weapons but that iran cannot have nuclear weapons i'd like to have that question answered by sally right there is it's a nuclear it's called the nuclear nonproliferation treaty and iran signed it and in signing it and in ratifying it it promised not to have nuclear weapons wm you want to reply to that what could. it could easily do what north korea did and back out of that really and then they would have those obligations so the whole thing seems to be hanging by a thread i mean iran could could easily leave that leave that. agreement and then what would really argue against them having a nuclear weapon where there will be any and when do you want to reply to that. if
if iran withdraws from the n.p.t. it has a right to with a ninety day notice and then it would no longer be bound by its pledge but then it would be making very clear to the world that it doesn't tend i want to do so i warn you and if i could ask anyone who do you support a strike against iran a military strike given the information you have let me first say that i i was against the war in iraq and i wrote many op ed saying that we should not invade overthrow the government in iraq that it would lead to chaos in the region if we only and we all know as a result of that what about iran and this occurred to try to run iran iran is a different story ok go to iran is more than story iran is preparing is preparing parrott preparing for a nuclear weapons program and that is unfortunately unacceptable for regional and global security and so if iran does not desist then either saluki i've called for military action i called for it in the new york times in december of last year and
that doesn't answer my question what does iran and if iran pulled out of the n.p.t. would they have the right then to pursue nuclear weapons and and if not why not ok professor marandi i'd like to go to you and we've got to come is that do you do you see any sense that i mean look i mean you know what american media very very well i mean do you see this drumbeat coming against your country attack against your country by the united states and possibly israel or israel and the united states depending on the pecking order. well first i'd like to say that i'm very disappointed in what your guest had to say effectively what he was saying was that we should murder and murder iranians and destroy parts of the country we have the right to kill iranians who have not attacked any country in recent history in fact if any country should be angered and if any country should have grievances it is iran iran was invaded by saddam hussein with western support western countries
helps ataru iran has not having iran has not weapons and ron has not supported hamas scuse me i mean i didn't introduce her to arista terrorizing around the world i think you should wait a minute and then you can. go ahead lame is false go ahead professor marandi has an ally is defending its own country against the country a regime is sinus apartheid regime that has occupied this country and still continues to occupy parts of lebanon israel today on a daily basis. its airplanes go over lebanese airspace and the israelis can constantly provoke the people of lebanon hezbollah has succeeded in expelled you can see that this drama still people territory. no the iranian support groups that helped to liberate their own country which is called lebanon and beyond
that the iranians were the victims of a war that the americans and the europeans were behind it they supported saddam hussein they gave him weapons of mass destruction i myself was a victim of two chemical attacks and friends of mine have died as a result of chemical attacks people even now are dying as a result of the chemical attacks that took place in the one thousand nine hundred i think it is a bit rich for anyone to say that the iranians here are the grassers or they're the threat a threat to world peace the iranians they are the ones who should be listened to and it is the united states and the europeans who should apologize to the iranian people for the suffering that they made them go through ok you want to reply to that i think we are in your own mind you want to know what reply because you had a comment as professor marandi was not my point my point was very narrow you were professor marandi you were saying why does the world worry about iran why is the world worried about the roaring now when united against the world is now they were
attacked the world are now worried the nonaligned movement the nuclear program un sanctions the sanctions and i know the us and thirty council as you i think she is were five of them are permanent members. the vast majority is so that's an innocent final days why would he run so my question then if you go to the organization here as to why he wanted this nomic conference website and the nonaligned movement and you combine the numbers they are roughly two thirds of the countries in the world and they support iran's nuclear program ok william if i go to you in washington do you think that the united states is connected i'm a computer going to make my point go ahead go ahead please do i would just like to make my points very succinct go it's very simple it's that you said why does the u.n. security council worry about iran when it hasn't attacked anyone in my point is that iran has attacked via hamas via hezbollah via terrorist attacks at khobar towers and elsewhere and so that is why the international community especially u.n.
security council says if iran is willing to use force in those ways what would happen if iran acquires nuclear weapons the security council way in the rooms where there's an amount to the point where even action and i can just finish a concern that and then saudi arabia had nothing to do with iran what happened in lebanon has to do with elaborate lebanese sovereignty and what is happening in palestine is that the zionist regime which is a racist an apartheid by the welshman's going to run their own superior race no the weapons come from the united states when gaza is bombed and thousands of civilians are murdered in the gaza war they come from the united states when it when you compare the number of palestinians who've been killed to the number of israelis have been killed. here around the world we have to jump in here with after a short break we'll continue our discussion on the round stay with our.
files house on the embankment. close up came has been to the our hangal screen. where the first russian fleet was bollocks the r.t. goes to the area which holds top position in oil and gas resources. where the biggest russian salmon cammy are processing factories located. and where unique species of farm fauna can be found. welcome to the cycling region. i should close up on our team. play. and. welcome back to cross talk i'm here to remind you we're discussing relations between iran and the west.
but before let's see what russians think about this. the ongoing debate over a possible strike against iran raises dozens of questions first among them is whether iran really poses a threat to the international community many experts believe a strike is justified by iran's quest for nuclear weaponry but while the standoff between iran and the west continues what position should russia take according to a russian public opinion research center survey thirty six percent of the respondents think russia should distance itself from the ongoing tensions twenty two percent say russia should support the west's position and other fifteen percent believe their country should back iran in the conflict back to. ok i believe if i go to you in washington there is a we all give you my perception and looking at the story of the last few weeks
particularly since that when the latest report of the i.a.e.a. is that iran is to prove it's its proof it's presented as being guilty of something a threat most likely and it has to prove that it's not a threat and the only way you can prove that is to completely surrender to forced regime change you know maybe that's a bit embellish but western mainstream media isn't very sophisticated when you think about that william iran even american and there's really high officials in the past few months have conceded that it's very unlikely that iran the water tap their countries under the new circumstances so this idea. you were and being a military threat is just nonsense what the us and israel our fraid of losing their their the a weapon correct in the middle east israel as the only country with
a nuclear weapon loves that position and they can they can use that to bully anybody and they don't want any competition from iran i think another hold of nuclear weapons that's what scares they was not that they really believed they'd be invaded that's just propaganda. ellen fein go to you i mean let's look at the map it's all put the map in our head i mean there's a lot of u.s. military hardware naval ships every surrounding iran there's a lot of a lot of troops there i mean if you were around how would you feel i mean i guess my question is what is iran's legitimate security interests because i think a lot of people forget the geography of it all if you're saying that iran has a reason to want to pursue nuclear weapons and that's why it's pursuing you know i didn't say that i didn't say this cus i asked you what at the tail end what are their legitimate security interests i didn't say they should have the bomb i didn't say that ok go ahead. well well i mean you know at the moment they have
a stronger military than their neighbors they have a larger population than their neighbors they have a larger economy than their neighbors and so they don't seem to be under any threat . of cohen no if i could finish no one no one is talking about an invasion of iran by the united states nobody has said you know are saying the reasons one because one because iraq no no what they're talking about are airstrikes on iran's nuclear facilities which is what i called for in the new york. those are. those well not to the right if you do you run what they will do is own. it's an invasion of iran's airspace not putting troops on the ground it is not forced or is enough regime change we're not talking about we was only wondering what this is that is here and i was against iraq you know what you're talking about dropping the bombs on the people and will kill too many youth ok professor marandi what if i
could go to you i mean what is the sense inside of iran here i mean we see the ratcheting up of rhetoric going on here it's the same people go back to two thousand and three that were cheering on going into iraq it's an amazing array of people the same people that were doing it now we're seeing a repeat of it i mean after what seeing that happen in two thousand and three it's i find it hard to believe the american political establishment and the media i mean we were they've told us they lied to us ok i mean in your opinion is it really regime change that's what they want i mean the americans are just absolutely obsessed with the ram they have been for thirty years. i do think that the americans behave irrationally when it comes to iran after all the iranian nuclear program is by all means peaceful there is no evidence whatsoever to show that it's anything otherwise but the united states has a very immense hostility towards the country that it's not that's not linked to the
nuclear program it goes back three decades anything in iran is negative according to the united states only thing that iran has yet to be accused of by the united states is global warming and perhaps that will come up later on but i think what is more important it is anything to do with iran taking hostages with iran killing marines in lebanon with marines attacking military vehicles and i want to. thank you very much you are i think you actually are a war actor. you know he's a very kind of the bad and that's why they have a problem with the no i think i think i think you have a problem with your history classes in the united states iranian american relations didn't begin with embassy takeover they began with the united states overthrowing the national government in iran through a coup d'etat and this installing a puppet shar and then draining the country's resources for decades supporting the shah in his suppression of people during the revolution and then after the
revolution helping in trying to overthrow the new islamic republic supporting saddam hussein i mean i could go on and on it is the united states here that has had its impose itself upon the iranian people for decades the iranians even today are willing to move towards rapprochement with the united states but i think that american exceptionalism and american arrogance prevents it from seeing things from a realistic perspective but in any case let us assume that there is some sort of military attack on iran even a limited one the consequent quinces will be extraordinary because at the end of the day the persian gulf region it is it is alongside iran oil. and gas will no longer come out from the persian gulf iraq and afghanistan a very unstable the whole region will move towards chaos and the united states will have no way whatsoever of controlling it iran is fought also a lot is going to set myself a lid on through it by not exporting oil go ahead now and that makes us general in
general many united nations respect that if the united states us had or israel have no doubt that the iranians will respond severely ok alan you know this is not in a position to initiate a story i know you. are here eric and. gentlemen let me jump in let me jump in and i want to use are port limited military strikes against nuclear facilities correct limited murder alwynne correct exactly right what is your scenario what is the reaction in iran and american interests in the region expression the troops in the region ok afghanistan will see or iraq iran i mean like you said what is there is there a knock on effect here do you see that because it by attacking iran on a limited way you could endanger american lives. absolutely that is a chance that the u.s. would be taking is the chance that israel would be taking if it launched these sorts of surgical strikes on iran's nuclear facilities but you have to think about
for the perspective from tehran let's say tehran wakes up one day and its enrichment plant its research reactor that's being built it's conversion facility are destroyed it's a fait accompli now terrazas the think we can accept this or we can try to escalate against the united states and if it escalates against the united states you can be sure the u.s. will counter escalate not called and she lays struggles to a strategy of regime tehran well and when you run well that's and that's the question of you and i personally think that would blink but i think the only place you can we do things and we do i mean i ask you you're right are you saying that it has doesn't have the right of self-defense so you very childish interpretation of you know no we haven't peter and or yeah you know when you might want to go it is barbaric to go ahead now and the great thing about being in a university is that you get to study history and learn from it and in fact we have two precedents for this in one thousand nine hundred one israel did military air
strikes against iraq's almost open ocean iraq a nuclear reactor in two thousand and seven israel did air strikes against syria's reactor under construction both reactor ok well just so you know i don't mean to react you know the real right you know make a wrong you know we do it why should you really want to do you mean washington go ahead william. william allen's attitude is. the attitude. is so american it's makes me nauseous he might makes right if the basis of his beliefs is that the u.s. means well and we can do anything we want because our our our motivations are noble and we can bomb and kill he cause what he calls a limited strike would include of course they're pretty rainy i'm which would poison the air and the water and the ground and the blood of the people of iran for
decades you know this is what happened in iraq and afghanistan we are poisoning the world without d.-u. weapons and he says go ahead and use it again and iran it's only a limited folks it's not really harmful it's limited that's so amoral the best i can put it is a moral allan if i can go to you what do you think the chances are as a strike is going to happen do you think. well that's a very very hard question i think that a strike is more likely from israel than it is from the united states and that's just because i think president obama is personally opposed to the that sort of use of military force i think unfortunately that a strike from the u.s. would be more effective because the u.s. has much greater assets can hit repeatedly all right ahead of mr marandi if i could jump in really quickly here is if the u.s. and israel struck iran would that give
a reason for the iranians to rethink their official strategy public strategy of wanting to have a bomb for self defense to make sure they don't get attacked again there are only iran has never attempted to produce a nuclear weapon that is western propaganda if israel attacks iran iran that means that their merits what about what you know there's a israelis have to as i said over the united states no that's not i'm sorry gentlemen we're going to time this has been a very good discussion over there in iraq many thanks to my guest today and he ran washington and austin and thanks to our viewers for watching us here our team see you next time and remember across talk rules. and.