tv Cross Talk RT October 6, 2013 11:29pm-12:01am EDT
being in libya but that hasn't happened where the sections of the opposition are going to disrupt the inspectors from taking off disarming doing whatever they're doing to the chemical weapons i don't know wouldn't totally surprise me of some section from within but tried to create a procreation and then blame it on the government because they were very upset when no war happened at the time for cross talk after a short break you're watching r t stay with us. please. please speak your
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more news today violence is once again flared up. these are the images the world has been seeing from the streets of canada. giant corporations are old today. a little and welcome to crossfire where all things are considered a computer lavelle on the back of one fiasco after another in the middle east the u.s. says now it is willing to engage around after decades of prosecuting a covert in proxy war against around can watch them change its behavior many in
washington have dismissed obama's all of branch out of hand many in iran are just as mistrustful is this quest for peace a fool's errand. to close up all of branches i'm joined by mehdi how the gene washington he's a senior fellow with the washington institute also in washington we have michael hughes he is a freelance journalist and foreign policy analyst and into and we cross to ford is id he's a political science professor at the university of toronto and gentlemen cross-talk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want i very much encourage it so i'm it's go to you first. do you believe a word that barack obama has to say given the last thirty years of bad relations between the two countries and i'm talking about covert overt operations up to this day. you know. the last ten years cannot be blamed on obama i think he's responsible for his own presidency and he has been relatively
a better president when it comes to iran when you compared him to others we have had occasions when the u.s. congress wanted to pass a new sanction against iran and he has opposed those type of sanctions and in his speech at the u.n. i think he had a couple of good points that was the first time we have heard that from. u.s. president for example he talked about president rouhani having a mandate from iranian people basically recognizing that these are vibrant democracy in iran and that the president is. elected by the majority and then he has a mandate from the majority want if i don't get this job and i don't you think he said which don't you think mr obama is very much alone in washington because the congress is not going to go along with him i mean that he has a long long way to go and we'll talk about forces in town but i mean i see what i'm
getting at obama's words are just words because the political establishment isn't with him at least at this point go ahead. you know we could recognize three different groups in washington when president rouhani visited. new york last week one group basically read the talking points from tel aviv repeated what netanyahu said about the trip a second group sees rowhani as an opportunity to get things from iran that they couldn't get from. the previous president and then a third group is actually a group that has to recognize that iran has the right to enrich uranium inside the country and they want to reset iran the u.s. policy toward iran. the only problem we have is that the terror group the good guys relatively are the minority and the first and second group are the majority of it in the u.s. foreign policy establishment and that's
a problem that we have and i think. what dr rowhani needs to do is actually work harder to make the terror group the majority by policies that he said he said things that he says and. they said. it was saying good things some some good things in ok the leaders are saying those things my name i'm going to you in washington ok where do we go from here some pleasantries have been exchange that's not policy. that's true. and they need to in geneva and talk about their concrete steps both parties should take to build confidence and. describe to negotiations successful or failure we would see which one is more serious which one a more detail you need to compromise we haven't seen you haven't started that
process yet so it's too early to talk about the c.d.'s now as president obama or the seriousness of president rouhani i think. up to now being just exchanged nice words and they made lots of public relations and stuff but you have to see when it comes to that action which one is really. a bow to deliver its promise ok michael i'll go to you who's blowing the most smoke here so far i think we need to keep in mind that obama really the entire world to implement the strict x. strict sanctions on iran in history and world history and number number two is there was he's got pressure from congress on both sides of the aisle they want you know to pressure iran pressure iran and there was a deal that russia was involved with there was an iranian swap deal not too long ago that because of congress and the state department that window was missed so we
got to think of those two things those are both in you know the iranian conscience through this whole thing so you know forgive them for having doubt and then again you know it goes both ways so iranian leader reached out to the american people through an op ed and obama responded in kind and then there was kind of the awkward miss when they didn't meet and shake hands and have the photo opportunity but i always say obama doesn't have to get reelected in the iranian leader does so come on give me a break if the shoe was on the. or you know put obama would be reluctant probably to do a photo op while he was running against romney so that's where we're at it it's tough it's going to be tough for both sides there's you know there's decades of mistrust there but i'm hopeful i think it's you know it's better to reach out and it's better to negotiate than not to be able to. set on i mean it's better to talk when you can make a deal ok it can both sides make
a deal because we know the the the problems that obama has and with apac and we have the israeli lobby in congress they're already saying they're very skeptical extremely skeptical and that they even have more sanctions to pass but the the state department and ask you just wait a little bit longer let them talk a little bit first i mean i'm very pessimistic here after thirty years it's hard to break out it's good to down. here. you know on the inside i think the government is very much ready for some sort of approach munt. iran's leader to the harmony making a speech before rouhani is to do it and talking about felix ability and being able to reach a compromise the problem as you said is actually these are the lobby in washington that is not to want to see. a reset of u.s. policy toward iran and quite powerful you know going to have sanction building in
the u.s. congress the generally get passed. in the senate hundred to zero or ninety nine to one and to change that it won't two. new sanctions bills are not passed it's going to be quite difficult i think you're right maybe if i go back to even watch it so what's different this time they do only difference is that there's a new president internet on is that the only difference because if it's about the nuclear program the two countries had very bad relations for thirty years way before that nuclear issue was on the table go ahead. exactly let me tell you something before answering this question. some people exaggerate about the power. of the lobby in washington and i think is right the lobby would be flattered by this exaggerations and they don't have any problem with it but it's misleading for analyzing the situation the problem with iran with islamic
republic and its nuclear programs. is not only an israeli problem not a start yesterday. iranians blame united states for its role in one thousand nine hundred fifty three coup against prime minister was there and americans blame iran for its. seizing its embassy in tehran in nineteen seventy nine their hostility between two government is deep rooted and it's goes beyond israel of course israel cannot accept a nuclear iran but we shouldn't forget that. extent to which saudi i have turkey and persian gulf countries are worried about iran's ambitions is not less than israel and many arab countries in the region believe that israel is
a strong country and it's a us ally and iran would not to harm israel if it gets nuclear capability but nuclear capability for iran would change the equation that would give a lot of room of influence for iran over arab countries especially small countries like qatar bahrain. united arab emirates and so on so nuclear program is not an israeli problem. i'm sorry but i mean the netanyahu had control of the american airwaves for almost a three or four days after his speech so i think you know it is a pretty big red line for the israelis there michael if i can go to you really what it's all been about not to let me go to michael here because i don't think that it's not well it is important but it's a bigger picture and i want to ask the bigger picture for michael here and it's always been about regime change and the nuclear program has been one element to get
there. he had it is regime change and after iraq the reality is is obama or the next president either really going to strike iran i mean all the experts say it's even ex cia that you know they say it's the most ridiculous concept in the world it's not going to stop the program it will be destructive it will on leash chaos in the whole region but you have this you know small subset in the us even a minority of jews that even. it's a minority of the jewish community here in the you know israeli community here that wants to strike that wants regime change which based on recent history i think that's crazy you know and the question is are the iranian leaders going to let how long are they let their people starve and are they is the u.s. ever going to strike and i mean if you said a bunch of foreign policy experts in the room i think they would say at some point
iran is probably going to get a nuclear weapon and you know deterrence maybe the question is how do you how are we really going to stop them at the end of the day and it's up to the iranians to how long do they want to suffer the iranian leaders are they will in the compromise do we really need another country with nuclear weapons because it will start a nuclear weapons race you know the saudis are going to sit around and say ok let's why don't we have just been you know not a very important point let me jump in here we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on us the media relations stakes. these. are. we know how to do banking it should be like infrastructure to support the economy it
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the spanish find out more visit. welcome back to cross talk where all things considered i'm peter lavelle remind you we're discussing relations between tehran and washington. what have i to go back to you and to and first it seems to me i'm going to i'm i'm looking at the bigger picture of thirty years here and one theme is that it seems evident from the american side and western out from western capitals is it simply has to surrender everything and then we can have
a deal that's what it sounds like in the essence. i wanted to say something about the nuclear issue and the statement that the person the woman read at the u.n. had this sentence that iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program and that's a contradiction there's a contradiction between what he said and what james clapper said if you months earlier james clapper as you know is the director of national intelligence he is the leader of the u.s. intelligence community is and he had testimony at the u.s. senate on march thirteenth two thousand and thirteen and in that testimony he says he talks about iran's nuclear program and then he says that we do not know this is a quote we do not you know that iran you don't and leaders have decided to have a nuclear weapons program. which means that not only iranians don't have a bomb right now not only did don't have a program to make a bomb they have not even decided to have a program to make
a bomb and you put that statement james clapper the statement next to obama as a settlement and you see that obama is going too far we don't have the bomb we don't have a nuclear program in and talking about iran's pursuit of nuclear program is repeating what netanyahu says which goes back to the point that israelis have a lot of influence in u.s. foreign policy in the middle east another thing that the one was said in his speech was he said that we are not that a regime change but the only problem with that statement is that the u.s. government since two thousand and six has been. spending about one hundred million dollars every year on what they call democracy promotion in iran and this is just the state department funding and you know open source funding we don't know what cia is doing how much they are spending so we have all these kinds of actions and i think peter you're right that you have to be a little bit worried that one hand accusing iran of things that it's not doing the
spending money. and changing it's government and the other hand they're saying that we want to improve relations you have to worry about this idea if i go to you in washington if we can look at the surrounding area you know we have iraq he didn't have weapons of mass destruction that was invaded and essentially destroyed libya gave up its weapons of mass destruction it was invaded it was essentially destroyed we'll see what's going to happen in syria i mean people in the region have to be looking around and say you know there's is there a learning curve here because disarm make friends and then you know what regime change i mean i'm not being an advocate for to iran but i mean recent history kind of gives you a clue what the americans actually think. look there are two things that i have to raise here one is that there might be some difference of opinions in washington or in other european capitals what their iranian regime is trying to
weaponize its nuclear program or not any time soon but there is no doubt or. lead to doubt about iran's objectively. nuclear program is a tool is not an object to the objective is to supremacy in the region is to threaten the interest of united states not only united states and rest have. cold war against iran iran in last thirty years has killed americans in lebanon in afghanistan in iraq and elsewhere and threaten u.s. interests everywhere in the word so you cannot just put the blame on the united states iran may not be you but do you still think that you really iran is a direct threat to the united states of america do you think that's true i think.
the nuclear program is the direct threat to the security and safety of the ok well you know there is no we have been so that you know there is no evidence of that yet would you agree or disagree with that there is no evidence of the no look we have to. the international community is trying to stop iran from reaching that point. if iran had a nuclear capability we couldn't talk about that deterrence we have to talk about containment ok let's talk about deterrence let me talk about deterrence has he michael let me go to you which talk about to learn he was here then it's not ok activity well we don't know that you know the i.a.e.a. says different things let me go to my own a lot let me go to my goal in washington fair time everyone michael let's say let's say iran gets one nuclear weapon. ok. and it declares it to the world i wouldn't be surprised if it was
a blitter rated fifteen minutes later is that a deterrent actually it makes it more of a target doesn't it more than it is right i would say people will be reluctant to attack a nuclear even if it's one or two people are going to be i would i would think there they'd be reluctant to go after anyone who knows you know in my opinion who knows who knows what could happen but i mean how many nukes that mao have that i was that i was insane that he wanted to he wouldn't care to you know why perhaps the world away and i mean frankly you know the some russian rulers i mean they had they had access to you know a lot of nukes but the turn seemed to work for both sides the u.s. has a lot of nukes so. you know it's a good point most people want iran to get a nuclear weapon but you know it you know if we if that happens i think we have to rely on deterrence and. at that point it's it might be too late to invade if i'd
let me go to you intent on i mean there was a very good historical comment made here communist china ok and if i'm you know i can remember correctly know my history is that the united states and the soviet union had arms agreements didn't destroy each other china understood the game of deterrence as well i mean what makes it round so much different for the western world and certain lobbies that you mentioned the beginning of the program why is would iran be seen to be different is trying its out of self defense. right. based on what we hear in tehran. iranian government has decided not to. its nuclear program because of the reason you mention it you don't become the target of more sanctions more difficulties and the united states has going to seven thousand nuclear warheads iran even if it makes one
nuclear bomb is not going to be able to compete with the united states in that area so they're not going that route. your viewers to go back to a debate president vice presidential debate but in the biden and part dry and in two thousand and twelve election and in that debate pod ryan was basically talking the same way that matter is talking repeating his early talking points with regard to iran's nuclear program and accusing the obama administration of not sanctioning iran more and not doing more and what joe biden said in the sponsors to padrone was quite interesting he used this word malarkey which i didn't know what it meant and i went and looked up the dictionary and the like he means just use less stark. i don't care if they're talking about so we have to be careful when you accuse a country of having a nuclear weapons program and then you sanction in its people inhumanly you know we
have a lot of difficulties medicine is surety in tehran people are suffering from these sanctions based on mullarkey basically and you have to be careful not to accuse a country of things that it's not doing by then was talking about the fact that iran doesn't have the enrichment. union that it's needed in the union that's needed to make a nuclear weapon by then was in response to ponder and by that was saying that iran doesn't have the. it may have been a five person to any person but doesn't have a bit and other things so you have to be a little bit careful been the repeat the talking points maybe if i go back to you in washington i always try to be an optimist because i'm for peace what should washington one thing washington could do one thing to and could could do to get this whole thing started if it's going to go anywhere at all one on each side
please. the level of mistrust mr obama. iran's nuclear program was not less than any other president in the past and what was thought. is not reconcilable with obama's policy since he came to office he has managed to create an international consensus over sanctions which were on preceding to in recent years michael if i could go to you as i just asked you earlier what's one thing washington can do and one thing to and can do to get some kind of negotiation started if it's going to happen at all i think each side can you know just show a reasonable step forward whether it's the u.s. fully engaged in iran well you know visiting make making a visible sign of trying to negotiate and maybe iran just making sure that you know their intentions are peaceful let an inspector in or you know each taken one step
that way towards you know a possible long term goal ok what if i go you could finish up with you and turn around here maybe to send some of those senseless sanctions that would be a good step. yes and i think the iranian administration president rouhani needs to work on u.s. congress as well just talking to people at the state department is not going to be enough we need to have a campaign of really letting their medical people also know what is iran and what iran is doing and sort of working against the propaganda that's coming from israel ok on that point gentlemen we've run out of time thank you very much many thanks to my guest today in washington and in toronto and thanks to our viewers for watching us here darkie see you next time and remember. these.
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dozens killed and hundreds are left injured as a national holiday in age it turns into violent clashes between supporters and rivals of the country's ousted president. was elimination of syria's chemical arsenal under way russia and the u.s. phrase the move as the country's diplomats hold talks on the margins of the asia pacific economic cooperation summit. and the russian leg of the olympic torch relay kicks off in moscow setting the flame on its journey across the world's biggest nation.