tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg October 2, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT
>> from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. tonight, a conversation with the man who initiated the nuclear deal. society in ahe conversation about iran, is neighbors, terrorism. this, except for my conversation last night with theyr deputy director, talk about some of the accusations against iran. he saide turn to iran,
not only was the deal and embarrassment but he called -- he said iran had a corrupt regime. it was a rogue nation. >> why is he doing? why was that necessary? there's two buckets here. one is the iranian new their weapons program. the second is iranian misbehavior in the region. their own conducting of terrorism, their support to terrorists, their support to insurgents, their desire for regional influence, their desire that israel be wiped off the face of the planet, that whole set of issues.
the iranians are going up to the entirety of the agreement. there is a handful of small issues where they are not in compliance. those are minor issues. the president has to make a decision about how to handle this first one. he has to make a decision about how to make the second one. iranians determine the on this misbehavior in the region? there is a second thing has to decide to do. there is a real struggle internally that is playing out publicly between the hardliners and what i call the centrists.
it is a fight, a struggle over whether iran will remain a revolutionary nation or whether it will be a normal nation. it was bought publicly. ministerd the foreign of iran that very question. it is very conservative. the iranian people voted and spoke overwhelmingly that they wanted to go in a certain direction. the question is in trying to manage the nuclear issue.
the five support to terrorist groups. --bollah could not support exist without the support from iran. support to insurgents in the region who are trying to overthrow the air regimes in yemen, in bahrain, eastern provinces of saudi arabia, or support for people at president assad is a whole other issue. -- what i mean by this regional misbehavior. construct ofe's these two big problems, president trump is right to try to push the iranians back on the big struggle for power in the middle east, he is wrong. to try to wriggle out of the iran nuclear deal. there is a big struggle for power. we support the saudi's who are present the sunnis. president trump was to -- right
to do that. obama's act was different. i'm not saying we are coming in behind the saudi's. president obama's package is to reveal that he had -- dear many are launching military offensives. this is to lebanon. -- s as if the rate it is challenging the power of the city state. this is an existential issue for jordan and for israel. as we all know, israeli relations with these countries
are the best ever because -- my deep respect for president obama and support for him, i do not think he was as effective on this, we have to be sending military aid and acting politically in such a way that we try to isolate the iranians on this convention. >> -- >> we were right to do that. on the other hand, i was the point person for the george w. bush administration. we spent our time sanctioning the iranians. i think it would be a great estate for president to walk away. after more than 20 years you cannot join angie's list for free. that means everyone has access to our real reviews that we actually verify. we can also verify that what goes down does not always come back up.
>> the view from iran. this took place at the asia society here in new york and here's the conversation. i've been with him over the years beginning when he was the ambassador to the united nations. mr. foreign minister, it is a pleasure to see you again. >> it is good to see you and be with this distinguished audience. charlie: at the united nations last week, the president called iran a corrupt dictatorship, a
rogue nation. he said the u.n. deal was an embarrassment. president rouhani said iran was a country inclined toward moderation, had no expansion ambitions, and was unmoved by the threat. and it would be a pity if iran was destroyed by a rogue newcomer to the world of politics. i want to talk about your meeting with the american secretary of state, rex tillerson. what did you talk about? what was the tone of that conversation? >> it was a civilized meeting. [laughter]
>> i think after that speech, secretary tillerson set the bar very low. just not throwing shoes at each other. [laughter] >> we certainly achieved that. we did not throw shoes at each other. everybody in the group, we meet bilaterally. people need to be reminded this is a multilateral agreement. the meeting took place with the security council where we started the process four years ago with secretary kerry. it was a reminder to everybody this deal is not a treaty. it is not a multilateral agreement which needs ratification by the u.s. senate. it is in fact a security council resolution, and we were sitting in the informal consultation room where these resolutions are worked out usually. this one was not worked out in that room. it was worked out during two years of tedious negotiations in vienna.
and prior to that, 10 years of posturing. i'm sorry to see we are going back to the posturing, pre-negotiation posturing. everybody in the room reminded secretary tillerson this was a good deal. there is no perfect deal. no need to be perfect because perfect for one side would be a disaster for the other. it cannot be zero-sum. we decided to define the objective in the beginning of the process in a way that was amenable to a solution. we decided not to resolve all of our differences. unfortunately, the u.s. position was reiterated by secretary tillerson about what they perceived to be -- charlie: did secretary tillerson say if certain things did not happen, if was not modified or renegotiated, the united states would leave the deal? >> no, he did not. this administration, these people get it. [laughter]
>> [indiscernible] may be an attribute in foreign policy but unreliability is not. charlie: the notion that there is much misunderstanding about it. i want to understand from your perspective. what is the significance of the 10 years? >> we believe iran has not violated any international agreement and if iran accepted certain increased monitoring of its activities, greater transparency, it did not need to go through extra limitations. the united states and some believed we needed that. this was the subject of great negotiations. we agreed to 10 years of limitations for iran's enrichment activities. we agreed to keep our stockpile at 300 kilograms. we agreed to reducing centrifuges. iran will be bound by very strict monitoring mechanisms. we agreed to implement -- let me tell you something. no part of this deal is built of confidence or trust. charlie: it is trust and verify. >> it is don't trust and verify
because neither side trusts the other side. there has to be trust. we don't trust the united states. and the united states obviously did not trust us. everything is based on reciprocity on both sides. if congress behaves, six years from now, eight years from the signing of the agreement, we will be ratifying the additional protocols. additional protocols is the most inclusive inspection regime available in the international community. iran is implementing its own protocol because we are not confident about the behavior by the u.s. you will become an official party to the additional protocol in six years time, provided the united states takes care of its responsibility.
intrusive inspection regime available. beyond that, we become a normal member. a normal number would be obliged not to pursue nuclear weapons. iran would be obliged not to pursue nuclear weapons. charlie: you evidently -- you and your president made a number of statements. you obviously do not want them to withdraw because you believe this is a good deal for both sides. >> as i said, it is not a perfect deal. it leaves a lot to be desired from our perspective. charlie: what happens if the united states government decides to withdraw? >> well, this would be the basis for iran to make a decision to withdraw. but that would depend on a number of factors at play, including how europe would react to this. and then as you know, i cannot predict what would happen in iran's politics. there is a lively debate going on in the public sphere in iran, broadcast on television between presidential candidates.
charlie: what did president rouhani mean when he said iran is inclined towards moderation? >> listen to the two speeches and you will understand from the tone of the speeches that iran is inclined toward moderation. we believe prudence, respect for international law, respect for the rights of your citizens, respect for the interests of everybody trying to reach non-zero-sum deals where the interest of everybody is preserved, are the ways towards
sustainable international life these days. we live in a different environment. world have become intertwined. you cannot have security at the expense of insecurity of others. you cannot have prosperity while others live in poverty. these are all elements of iran's moderation. charlie: many people around the world do not see a moderation policy? they think iran had been aggressive in the nonnuclear arrangement details of policy between iran and the rest of the world in terms of your engagement around the world.
and that therefore, it violates the spirit. the spirit of the deal was coming out of this relationship between iran and the six countries would be perhaps progress towards making other kinds of arrangements that would bring iran into the nuclear nations even more. that was the idea. >> first of all, the united states is not in compliance with the letter of the deal. the statement by president trump before the general assembly, which was not a campaign rally, but the u.n., the highest global institution, was a violation of the letter of the deal. let's speak to the regional situation. i'm talking to you. [laughter] >> from 1980 to 1988, who supported saddam hussein and who fought saddam hussein?
in 1990 when saddam hussein invaded kuwait, who supported kuwait? when the taliban took over afghanistan, who supported the legitimate government of afghanistan? charlie: that is an interesting point. >> who supported the taliban? charlie: people now believe iran is supporting the taliban. >> they are not. charlie: in no way is iran supporting the taliban in afghanistan hoping it will somehow be to your benefit if the taliban -- >> the taliban killed 11 iranian
diplomats. we almost went to war with the taliban when the u.s. allies recognize the taliban as a legitimate government of afghanistan. i am not finished. in 2003, who was the first country to recognize the government of iraq and who did everything to undermine that government? in 2001, who was behind the establishment of a new democratic government in afghanistan? and who continue to support the taliban? from 2003 to 2011, who was behind every move to undermine the iraqi government? who overthrew the government of the taliban? your allies, the ones accusing us, for recognizing the taliban -- then who was behind isis in syria and iraq? who supported financially isis? your allies.
now they are exposing one another after this persian gulf crisis between four or five of your allies. they are accusing each other. they are exposing each other who supported more the terrorists. all of them did. charlie: who supported hezbollah in syria? from lebanon to join the syrian government in defending it? >> who prevented damascus, baghdad from falling into the hands of isis? charlie: i think president putin might say he did. >> president putin cannot say he did. we went to the support of the kurds. charlie: i have heard this before. >> it is important that you hear me when you continue to repeat
the same allegations. [laughter] charlie: you continue to repeat the same points. >> i am making a historical point. i am asking you. i am challenging anybody who can say anybody other than iran went to prevent isis from taking over. all the peshmergas were leaving everything as isis was moving in. president rouhani called us and asked for our help and we went. charlie: i assume you are in favor of what he would like to do with respect to the referendum on the kurds having independence. >> as people who are friends of the kurds, we will remain eternal friends of the kurds. but we believe that was a major strategic mistake. we are the ones who went in and
helped them, but we believe it was a strategic mistake. it has consequences that will not be limited. charlie: it is important to hear you say that because i know how passionate you are on behalf of your country. in many cases, you lay out an argument for where iran has come to the support of people we have been close to. president macron has said perhaps we should be having a conversation that would look at these cases in which there is disagreement about iran's
engagement, whether it is yemen or syria or lebanon or afghanistan. are you open to looking at these questions of how iran is engaged in its behavior to these other countries? >> we have always been an active participant in peacekeeping and peacemaking efforts. you want me to go back through history? the one who represented the united states in 2001, ask him who saved the day. and he will tell you, yours truly. charlie: you being iran. when saddam was invading kuwait,
he wanted iran to join and suggested if he was successful that iran and kuwait and iraq would share the spoils. >> and he sent all his fighter jets to iran, but we did not take the bait. we did not join the coalition, but we helped kuwait. we were the first country to condemn the iraqi invasion of kuwait. equally important historical fact for people to remember. charlie: characterize your relationship with the united states today. [laughter] >> do i need to? charlie: please do. >> i think the united states is making a strategic mistake of sending a message to the world it is not reliable as a negotiating partner. in any deal, to reach a deal, you give concessions and you take concessions on the other side. no deal will be sustainable if you take concessions and ask for more after. nobody else will negotiate with the united states. the united states will become known as an unreliable partner. i believe even europeans are saying if the united states were
to break the deal, nobody else would trust them. i think the united states has to prove it is a reliable partner. charlie: if the united states withdraws from the deal, what will iran do? you suggested the united states will suffer credibility issues. what about iran? >> we will make the appropriate decision based on the circumstances. iran is not the monitor. i did not make the decision, nor will anybody else. we will have a debate in iran about the consequences. we will have a variety of views. even today, there are people in iran who believe the united states has been less than compliant with other aspects of the deal.
and therefore, iran should not stay committed to the deal. that is an argument being made vociferously in iran by a vocal minority. that argument gained greater momentum and support had the united states decided to leave the deal. charlie: what sides are winning in iran? president rouhani was reelected. does that mean moderates are on the ascendancy? would you describe him as a moderate in terms of iranian politics? >> well, i believe he had a platform. and that platform, and he tried to explain that platform, domestic and global agenda. he received the support of the most population. it was not certain he would win. he did. next election -- charlie: i am asking about the trend of where iran is going. >> it depends.
i'm asking about the trends in >> it depends. i'm asking about the trends in the united states. you vote republican, democrat, trump. it depends. charlie: we have the foreign minister here who knows the players. we are asking you here at the asia society as to where things go. >> i don't have a crystal ball. you know the players in the u.s. if i ask who will win the next presidential election in the u.s., can you tell me who will win a 2018 congressional race? i cannot tell you. our societies are not that different. maybe president trump likes to think of iran as -- i think it is interesting they haven't even seen a ballot box in the country. be that as it may, this is a
process. i don't know what would happen. important is that we are legitimacy unlike your friends. we do not derive our legitimacy from the beautiful military equipment of the united states. [applause] charlie: is the conflict between saudi arabia and iran a conflict of influence in the region, a conflict between sunni and shia, a conflict between two countries who have different missions? >> i think it is a conflict based on one perspective. i want to tell you one of those choices. all of the wrong choices.
is it our fault that they made the wrong choices? we do not have the illusion from this region. we believe saudi arabia is an extremely important player in the region. whose role meets the respective feud -- respected. we expect saudi arabia to also recognize that we are an important part of this region. they can never exclude iran, as we would never try to exclude saudi arabia. saudi arabia has two abandon the illusion. once i sent a message to the late saudi foreign minister, told him we are prepared to come -- prepared to accommodate each other in the region. and he told me it is none of your business. the arab world is none of your business?
>> correct. the arab world is none of your business. we need to work together for security of this region. and we are prepared to work together for the security of this region. charlie: what will happen in yemen? >> i ask you to ask people who are in the know. we try to put an end to this conflict before it started. we try to use our influence to have a cease-fire. we spent several days during difficult nuclear negotiations talking about yemen. it wasn't iran that reneged on its promise. it was the other side. each and every attempt the other side has repeated a possibility for negotiation in yemen. we believe yemen requires a political solution. we believe syria requires a political solution.
we believe none of these issues can be resolved militarily. we are prepared -- charlie: would you acknowledge you have a stronger presence in terms of iran or in terms of hezbollah on the ground in syria band, say, saudi arabia? >> i think they make the wrong choices. i am repeating that. they make the wrong choices and r presence ishei diminishing. our solution for yemen is cease-fire, humanitarian assistance. dialogue and elections so that we can have an inclusive government. this has been the case we have insisted on. same for syria. this is been on the table for four years, the solution is cease-fire.
elections. why do you think so many countries question what iran's ambitions are in the region? >> i cannot judge why others are doing things. it has become fashionable in washington to blame iran for everything. we referenced other countries who are parties to the nuclear deal, to raise questions about iran's behavior. >> we're not talking about policy, we are talking about human beings, not animals. we talk about policy. i believe iranian policy is clear. i think people have to bring themselves to the level of mutual respect. just do not talk about the behavior of other countries, talk about their policies, talk about their practices and see
who has done more to fight extremism. who has done more and more consistently to fight terrorism? have we been on the side of terrorism in syria and afghanistan and iraq? charlie: what do you say to the question posed by henry kissinger, iran has to decide where he has to be? >> the united states has to make the decision to be a country for a cause. if you decide the united states is no longer cause -- i think this dichotomy between being the cause is an erroneous dichotomy. it is trying to theorize a policy that has been doomed to failure. the united states has failed to recognize enemies in the region. u.n.dent trump goes to the
and talks about iran under the guise of democracy. in countries that are analyzing the united states, the concept of the ballot box does not exist. something you would like to see? what ought to be the conversation between the united states and iran about future relationship between the countries? brotherhood and then ask for inheritance. [laughter] united states has to prove it is a good negotiating partner. we have spent two years, secretary kerry and i have probably spent more time together negotiating been with
our wives. let's respect them being negotiated. i think there are a lot of flaws. favor, i 100% in my would say [indiscernible] the same thing with iran. it has to be imposed by one side against the other. if you asking me about the united states -- charlie: i am asking, what is the path to the future, a better relationship? as you know, one of the things president obama was arguing with the saudi's is he wanted to stay in the region and work on more dialogue and recognition of competing interests, but dialogue, between saudi arabia and iran. you agree with that? >> after we agree to the nuclear
deal, a point was made by the then chairman of the gcc the now that iran has done [indiscernible] finnegan they said the foreign minister of kuwait in 2017 to iran, suggesting on behalf of the gcc that we engage in dialogue. our president responded positively to that suggestion. kuwait asked our president to put it in writing. we did put it in writing. of then the crown prince saudi arabia had an interview with an american news outlet saying they never engaged in dialogue. ♪
i imagine people don't necessarily assume they should accepted at face value. we need to do is look at the past. last year, saudi arabia spent $67 billion on weapons. united arab emirates, which is, what? $500,000 -- 8 million population, spent 14 -- $14 billionin iran spent $6 these people, the iranian people morwar.ect to -- remember saddam hussein. chemical weapons, nobody cared. i remember going to the
president of the security council 25 years ago. chemical weapons against iran. these are not authorized. our people have been bombed i missiles. -- bombed by missiles. [indiscernible] from 1985 to 1988, there are six reports by secretary-general of the united nations saying that chemical weapons were used against iran by iraq, and there was not a single resolution condemning iraq. ask any iranian, no iranian beliefs chemical weapons on the red line for any western country because you tolerated their use?
charlie: when the government you supported in syria was using chemical weapons, were you there strongly denouncing them? >> we denounced them. charlie: at the same time the united states denounced them. >> we denounced the use of chemical weapons. charlie: it was a government and country you are supporting and using chemical weapons. syria. they argued that would not have survived. >> can i respond to your question? we asked for an international investigation. would that determine whether they were using them? >> who had used them. are you saying the syrian government may not have used them? >> we are in syria not to
support anybody but to fight isis. we asked the international community to examine the evidence. let me explain. charlie: we are friends, you have to understand. [laughter] charlie: that's why he's here with me and wanted me to do this. just making sure that was understood. [laughter] >> it doesn't look like it. charlie: and we hope you understand that we respect one another. >> the united nations investigate war crimes to determine whether allegations by use of chemical weapons by the iraqis was accurate. we helped with disarming syria. we were very instrumental in doing that.
we were instrumental in implementing it. and you supported that. to reach that. charlie: what would it take to convince you that syrians were using chemical weapons? >> and international investigation. that is what we called for. charlie: as of this moment, you do not know in your own mind whether the syrians -- who was using them, that is the question we have asked. charlie: you think it more likely the regime was using them? >> we have no proof that is the case. we are ready to engage anybody. charlie: a country has been
destroyed by a war in syria. iran has been a part of that in terms of who is supporting it in terms of hezbollah. isis to you have liked be sitting in damascus? charlie: some will argue that what the government of iran wants is to have a clear shia crescent. >> is that the reason we're supporting turkey? -- is that the reason we are opposing the coup in turkey? is that the reason we support the government? people create the paper targets they can find. these are strong assumptions.
answer my question, why did we help [indiscernible] oppose the coup and 30 -- the coup in turkey? why do we oppose the takeover of qatar? charlie: mr. foreign minister. >> yes, sir. [laughter] charlie: no one doubts that iran is opposed to isis. that's not even a question. but on the question of afghanistan, you have the same interest as the united states, you support the government in power. >> i certainly hope so. we never supported the [indiscernible] charlie: this conversation is
looking into areas where there may be an opportunity for the united states and iran and other countries as well to deal with troubled regions in the middle east. iran has said it has regional ambitions and wants regional influence. and it is part of the community. >> we don't have ambitions. we want to live in a secure region. we are a great country in this region. charlie: the united states respects that. >> we have natural influence. i don't think the united states respects that, it wants to neglect and that is the reason why the united states has gotten itself one after another in our region. charlie: are you prepared to say all issues may be raised by the united states or other countries can be on the table? >> know, that deal is over.
i sat around the same table with john kerry and insisted on a political solution. there were others who oppose that. none of the statements issued by the international syrian support group, you have a simple statement, there is no military solution. you don't have it. don't believe a word of what i say, read the statements. charlie: do you believe the united states believes there is a military solution? >> the united states and others. you asked me whether the united states wants this. i am saying i don't know. i'm not saying it doesn't. i talked to president putin, i know he wants to find a peaceful solution to syria. it doesn't serve our interest or their interest. maybe the united states is prepared to do it.
i have not talked to president trump recently appeared >> nor have i peered we will take some questions from this audience. you mentioned the possibility of an exchange of prisoners. americans are concerned about americans imprisoned in iran. >> i know. concerned about iranians in prison, including a pregnant lady who has been in prison in the united states, on an extradition request, a technical violation of sanctions that no longer exist eight years ago. she has not been able to visit her husband. charlie: i was hoping to keep it at the level that clearly the united states will argue that
debate held wrongfully in iran. my question goes to the positive side of this. what is the possibility? is it likely to happen? >> no. charlie: why not? >> i don't know. charlie: you are the foreign minister of iran. >> yes, that not the foreign minister of the united states. as you can see it takes two to tango. we had extensive discussions and were able to exchange some prisoners. not all. all american prisoners were released, not all iranian prisoners were released. we still have some, and we have not been able to engage in an exchange. has noernment of iran authority over the government of has nout we have --
-- but we have the ready of specific circumstances. that opportunity has not been presented. charlie: but hope it will be. anything you want to say that you have not been able to say? you have a long relationship here in america. and we appreciate you being on this stage here. you are my friend, i have enjoyed this long association. and i want and by giving you an opportunity if you feel you have not been understood. if you want to say something. >> i believe there is no reason. our region would suffer under believeumstances, and i
through dialogue and can be accomplished. i believe that the threats that face -- that we face an hour region from extremism to water shortage, to people dying from cholera. they require us to work together. we have nothing against working with our neighbors to achieve greater security. we believe it can only come from within. within the countries and in the region. we can choose a lot of things but not our neighbors. we make our differences, we may have our grievances, i believe if your suggestion that we sit around the table and discuss ireneal issues, i'm sure
-- iran would far exceed the other side. but it should be on the table. and we have been prepared in the past to put them on the table. there are others that can stay behind a smokescreen. [indiscernible] look at the situation in our region. we make the right choices. am not trying to post because we live in a very dangerous neighborhood. charlie: that's why it's so important. >> i believe it is important. i believe there is no reason we should not talk to our neighbors. we should talk to our neighbors. and we have done everything possible. don't give them that smokescreen. charlie: thank you for coming. [applause]
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>> you are watching "bloomberg technology." at least 58 people were killed and more than 500 wounded after a gunman in a las vegas casino hotel opened fire at an outdoor festival. some were hit by shrapnel. others were trampled in the panic. the gunman, identified as stephen craig paddock, had as many as 10 guns. this is the deadliest mass shooting in u.s. history. the shooters home in a nevada resort town has been searched by investigators. local police say officers never had contact with him while he lived there. detectives are still trying to determine a motive. islamic state has claimed