tv Washington Journal Michael Pregent CSPAN May 12, 2018 3:04am-3:46am EDT
podcast. >> hudson institute senior fellow michael preaching --pregent was our guest. this is 40 minutes. at our table this morning, michael, you were supposed to be joined by the president of the iranian-american council. he cannot be here today. but thank you for joining us at the table for this discussion. what do you think about the president's decision to withdraw from the iran aerial?
guest: i personally think it was the right decision for a number of britain's. just.ent macron said it if there were no changes to today's iran deal, there would korea,clear armed north because of the sunset clauses and the ballistic missiles. we had iran violating existing agreements.ncil iran gave the president a lot of arguments outside of the nuclear deal to make the argument that the nuclear donated to go away because it was fueling -- nuclear deal to go away because it was fueling all of this other activity. they created new militias, working with the who tease -- the huthies. it gave the president the
ammunition to go after it. without them, the iranian deal would still be in place. host: are you saying that the iranians were still complying with the nuclear deal? guest: i worked in the special access program where analysts looked at intel and it was highly compartmentalize. know there's intel there. i know it is highly contained. it goes to an audience. that's why you have pompeo say that iran is cheating. we were not able to verify whether iran was complying with developing trigger systems, computer models on headed detonate a nuclear weapon. we had no way of verifying if they were income science than
waste -- in compliance. then we see this other activity. there were four additional military sites that were not part of the jcpoa. they did not want to go out and investigate. they did not want to be a political arm of the president. they were cheating. if they are cheating out in the open on ballistic missiles, and they are cheating when these commercial aircraft to debt -- --iland in damascus commercial aircraft to land in damascus, why would they be in the shadows? host: the supreme leader of iran -- sydney, present or honey --
theident rouhani said united states can leave. we hope to continue the iran new year deal at the other countries. guest: literally two hours later, you see that certain to crumble. lose $36tands to billion if the president canceled the iran deal, in contracts. the motive for european countries to stay in his economic. they want to do business with this economy. but when they initially started these contracts, the iranian 3000 to one u.s. dollar. it is now 8000 to one u.s. dollar. it makes the contracts with iran that much weaker. russia and china want to stay in because they are guaranteed oil
and military contracts. but again, iran cannot now afford to buy the military equipment. and now it's sanctions going back on its oil, it will make it more difficult for russia and china to benefit. the argument, from the united are we inspective, the a deal for security reasons or economic reasons? again, the argument, if the united states walks away, we lose europe, this does not add up. this is the economy the size of maryland. they will pick the united states. guest: they guess -- host: they guess that was supposed to be here credits the obama administration. leaders. of business they did not want business leaders to put pressure on iran
to come to the table because they did not wanted seen in those terms. were behind the scenes trying to put the boeing deal in place. a pack that supported the iran deal had a lot of money coming into it that stood to benefit from a boeing deal based on the putting at --t putting pressure on the obama administration. the iran deal being sold as a great -- not only in arms control deal, but also a way to get economic investment in, the theign minister zarif makes argument that the u.s. has been in breach of the iran deal since the beginning because we have failed to encourage european investment in iran. that is his main complaint. the united states is not asking
europe to invest in iran. that is the key to the whole iran deal. now that we are -- again, europe was afraid to go in to the iran deal because of u.s. secondary sanctions. they are key because the islamic revolution regard corps -- revolutionary guard corps. irgc backed out of the economic sanctions on the domestic front and the economy, again, the rgc budget tripled. the iranian protesters complain squandered the benefits of the jcpoa.
we would still have an iran deal. they have been using this money, you are arguing, for a proxy war in yemen, in syria against israel, without the iran deal in place, is there a risk that the united states gets dragged into these proxy wars? guest: i have been hearing what russia is saying about this you had european countries yesterday condemning iran's 20-missile barrage on israel. urging both sides to stop. but there was a message. this will not be tolerated. we cannot back you up, iran, if you do things like this that you prove the president's point. you lose us as well. and china if you
race to a bomb. the iranian economy is not worth it to these two countries. the messages were key. strikes against proxies and advisers. they're the only military that has hit another military. we had proxies from russia, from iran, from iraq. israel is hitting military advisers on the ground. netanyahu was there. that sent a strong message to iran. iran is more isolated now. they are becoming very broke. if you look at what the protesters are saying, iran has five dollars.
when they see ballistic missiles and ventures him everywhere and the u.s. pulling out of the iran deal, it is hurting -- and them everywhere u.s. pulling out of the iran deal, it is hurting the a ringing people. the two friends they have are russia and china. they are both saying, hey, you have to slow this israel stuff down. you cannot do this. and we are not likely to see russia support. and by not taking sides, israel will have the advantage in syria. what does hezbollah do with all those rockets? host: us take a call. . thank you for taking my call. are proudt to say we to be americans, but we have to look at what is right and what is wrong.
we cannot tell me that all the allies that support this deal that we have the more right to just go on and get out of the deal. i just think the donald trump, when he mentioned that he doesn't do taxes and he doesn't do this, the guy is really reckless. i think that he lost of the moral righteousness to try to tell other nations how to lead because if all our allies are in accord that this is the best deal we could do not to get out of it and we look at it now, what is he going to do in north korea that will be better than the iran deal? to me, it is like we are beating the drum of war and we are
really acting out of -- to me, it's crazy. guest: the other argument is -- nice for the question -- the other argument is this hurts us with north korea, walking away from the iran deal. how can we trust the united states if they don't keep their word? this was a treaty we would never have been able to walk away. it would have been ratified by congress with 60 votes in the senate. when i say we, i mean those of us in the -- close to the iran deal. it helps us with north korea. kim jong-un stepped up with his rocket attacks and his nuclear program under the last year of the obama administration, hoping to get an iran-like deal with weak enforcement. we now know that he is not going to get that. he thinks it just happened in the last 24 hours. it undermines the entire argument. secretary pompeo returned with
three americans from north korea. the forest sitting down with kim jong-un on the nuclear program. if you contrast -- he forced sitting down with kim jong-un on the nuclear program. that with thet obama administration. two iran, it was everything. iran, it was everything. it absolutely helps us with north korea. states was the only country worried about security, the security issue of the iran deal. military in it for contracts and the oil deal. president macri said, if there were no changes, they would be north korea. requires russia and china to agree to that and they were not going to.
host: do you see oil prices rising? guest: yes. host: what are the politics of oil prices rising, given the you just said that russia is in this for oil? plans toudi arabia compensate. of up is good for a a lot economies, including russia's, to include other countries that are not in the u.s. orbit. it is an opportunity to see what the next two weeks to 30 days looks like as oil starts to go down because saudi arabia is compensating for the loss of iranian exports. and also iraq will do the same thing. iraq will push out. one of the major concerns i have is that iran starts using iraq as a shell company to offset u.s. sanctions. against him of the reason you are -- european countries won't with them, the rgc
is already using it. was interviewed in the "new york times" piece. the fata party is active militia times" to "the new york is called them former militia members here in iran has best members. iran has access to u.s. training. they have been warned that any attack against us, there will be retribution, consequences for tehran and baghdad. it is an interesting middle east because iran sees iraq and syria as one battlefield. -- iraq iran and syria and syria as one battlefield. those strategic messages come
-- there are five different once the contradict each other. host: i want to go back to what you said about saudi arabia flooding the market when they struck a deal with russia in march to cut back on oil production. guest: this changes that. killing the iran deal changes that. russia and china will see to offset the losses coming out of the iranian market by doing that. new deals. i think iran is becoming less and less important to russia. china is bankrolling everything. china has been pouring money into iran to compensate for lack of european investment. it's a sinking ship. it is a bottomless pit. and the president had a strong message. any country trying to get iran to a nuclear weapon will also be sanctioned. these talking about russia and china. he wasn't talking about our
european allies. iran's economy is not worth the political and economic pitfalls that will come if they continue to support this regime. host: winter haven, florida, republican. caller: sir, i agree with you 100%. obama just wanted to give them money for nothing. up tody has got to stand these people that vowed to kill us and -- and have no respect for humanity whatsoever. that's all i have to say. have a good day. host: let's talk about the money. up $150ident brings billion and $1.8 billion. the letter fact says the first act says- politicaf
the first number is dodgy and the second is incorrect. guest: the argument is that it was their money to begin with. the $150 billion. the second amount was interest on a $400 million military contract prior to the regime shahwing, prior to the falling. the controversy with the second part was that it was used to exchange for hostages. the president said i really want to know what it looked like. ask greg mcgurk. the money is always been an issue. it never went back to the iranian people. when you hear the protesters, they tout that. they say the $100 billion never came back to us. even ahmadinejad, someone we always worried about as a
hardliner and death to america that, said the supreme leaders ts is this so company conglomerate worth $90 million that was delisted. it had nothing to do with the nuclear program, but it was something we gave the regime in order for them to sign it. that feels all this terrorism. -- off myigital dinner jed -- after dinner jed -- you just cannot make this stuff up. caller: you guys are stealing my questions and answers. , if you are on the right side, you are saying
that we gave iran $150 billion. if you are on the left side -- not partisan. before obama, everybody was against the regime. caller: but if you're someone on the left side, everyone says iran sold oil to north korea, south korea, china, and then the sanctions were imposed. money and was their when the sanctions were lifted, we gave them their money back, and then the cash that was brought there was just to get them started before all the money was freed up back to them. sayingwhat you are because i have been looking for to having somebody talk about this. i'm still a little confused on what are- so it host: you confused about? others might be confused as well.
i'm confused that the president, when he was in iowa saying whyis, he was did obama give them $150 billion? i would never give anybody $150 billion. but i believe it was their money and we just give it back to them. guest: yes, but the reason we seized that money to begin with was because it was fueling terrorism and has the law and building ballistic missiles. it was paying for a weaponize nuclear program. it was their money. when president trump was running in the campaign, he was against the iran deal. he said this is a bad deal because we didn't make any money off it. a former political operative and we did and at. a bad deal wasn't because we are not making money
off it, but because iran is a bad deal. caller: i have a question for your guest. i support our president 100 are sent, other than -- 100 percent, other than his ego or when he insults people. i support him. i will vote for him again. i will play devil's advocate. led by donald wilber in wrote an article.
debt was hired by the iranian people to straighten contract,troleum which was only given iran -- giving iran 3% of the oil profits. he was democratically elected and our deep state at the time decided it was more beneficial to the u.s. to put a dictator in aree to help bp and maybe military-industrial complex. so while i love my country and i think my country is the freest country in the world, i think some of these clandestine operations by our intelligence community need to go. we need to ask americans listening now, think if we would not have done that, as i understand it, iran was our biggest ally from world war i through world war ii. there was no better ally in the middle east. their culture is actually closest to america's culture
other than israel now in the entire region. so i'm asking your guest, what is your opinion on how our cia actually blew it and created this scenario we are in now? big fan of not a time travel questions. i cannot go back in time and address what happened in 1952. i am not try to diminish what you are saying, but let's look at the current situation. rest assured that our current clandestine service cannot do that anymore because we put it executive orders under three presidents take you from doing that. a look at what israel was able to do because they do have that network, they do have a clandestine network that works with the irgc to get that stuff out. so there are schisms within the iranian revolution -- revolutionary guard corps.
everything you are asking is right. but we just don't do that. we can't go back 10 years and ink what right looked like iraq with the surge because we did not do those things in that campaign to defeat isis. we don't look at our history. we recycle things. that is why we have these problems. solutions with permanent ramifications. caller: thank you for taking my call. one issue with your guests's comments, if this had been a treaty, we would still be in a treaty. we walked away from the abm treaty 17 years ago, whenever, without having an action on that. treaties usually have pretty good escape clauses that allow executive action. guest: and russia was cheating. that's why we walked away. and everybody agreed to it. you didn't have america --
democrats saying they want cheating. you did not have republicans saying they want cheating. so the -- they were not cheating. caller: the simplistic argument that europe is only in the jcpoa , theyfor economic reasons are much closer to the middle east than we are. they are vulnerable to destabilizing activities than we are. we see this in syria with the migration issue. i ask that you take a bit more of a nuanced view of what european security interests are. and my third point here, my third question, are you at all concerned about the united states giving israel a blank check to basically do as it pleases with iran? maybe we are not there yet, but are you willing to go on the record that the u.s. should allow itself to be drawn into a ar on israel's behalf?
caller: the united states -- guest: the united states already is. refugeenot see the exodus that we saw in 2015, 2016, 2017. the refugee flow is a direct iran. of an emboldened turkey used it to leverage their position. i absolutely believe that israel should be able to defend itself in southern syria, especially when iran is increasing its capabilities there. they are not there to fight isis or anybody else. they are there to target israel. they are not using rockets and missiles to hit isis. they are being his vision to hit israel. israel has every right to do it -- they are being positioned to hit israel. israel has every right to do it.
you get one because your enemies are already there. iran already believes they are at war with israel. israel believes it is already at war with iran. there are definitely iranian positions in syria. russia sat on its hands because what israel hit was not there to fight isis. they were there to threaten israel. russia sat on its hands and israel's set back three years of ink in the rgc yesterday taking out those missile factories, those missile positions, and those leaders. we support that. if you designate the rgc as a terrorist organization, you should be able to change the a f and allow the united states and israel to target militia leaders in syria when they threaten u.s. bases
and when they launch rockets against israel. host: if they do not, if they remain, what is the danger of iran remaining in syria for years to come? they have a foothold. they have propped up assad. you had americans preventing in the logistical support. syria was not in a place where iran could go any do these things. that has changed. --n can freely move through -- move mious through ilitias through. iran is no longer insulated by the jcpoa. it was going to be allowed to become a conventional military power. at the end of the sunset clause, a nuclear weapon on top of a
ballistic missile that had already been perfected, had the conventional force to deter a u.s. or israeli strike on iran's nuclear facilities, and now have european investment entrenched in iran to the point where there would be not much we could do about it and we would have to say iran is the new power broker in the middle east and they are doing it through force and economic leverage. that.hanges all of it makes the middle east a much safer place then it would have if iran was allowed to continue in this iran deal. it might take a former intelligence officer that looks at threats and motives and patterns and metrics and analysis. host: ralph, democrat. caller: good morning. please allow your guest to answer the following question. i'm sick and tired of guests coming on blaming president obama for everything and saying he did nothing and he had no
support. drop, --dent now, only one is the [indiscernible] agreement, of this gas prices at the pump are going up. who are going to suffer? the american people. the iranian people. becauseto go [indiscernible] one other thing i would like to , we are the ones that will have our lead, -- our blood, tears, going somewhere else to fight for somebody else. here, are sick
and tired of all of these wars and we get involved in things and we have no reason to get involved in. let me hear what you have to say about that. guest: thank you for your question, sir. i praised president obama when he started attacking isis in iraq and syria. fact-based.y i don't want to be partisan. . on the iran go, i was ok with the nuclear side of it. i was not ok with the nonnuclear concessions. by three wars, desert storm, i served in iraq for four or five years. i'm trying to keep 10-year-old americans from fighting in iraq again as 20 euros because that is what is going to have -- 20-year-olds because that is what is going to happen. we tell our enemy when we are going to leave. that's why we have been in afghanistan for 17 euros. -- 17 years. since we are in washington dc,
we use this analysis -- analogy. you cannot tell your enemy what you are going to do. iran will draw us into the next war. they would have done it with the jcpoa. they are try to do it now outside of the jcpoa. they are weaker now. they will that become a conventional military. they are setting friends by the hour. this -- this is a better position. there has been no counter strike from iran against israel. what happened yesterday in syria is israel took away offensive capabilities from the iranians and the russians sat on their hands. the russians don't want a war. we don't want a war. iran does. they needed to remain viable. . at -- they need it to remain viable and they are likely to continue for the next 10 years.
russia cannot replace an aircraft if we shoot it. down they cannot replace their it down.oot they cannot replace their men. they are there to protect russia. if they launch those rockets to fend off that cruise missile would deplete- it all of their rockets and missiles and leave themselves vulnerable for 40 minutes. we don't want to escalate. russia is sending a powerful message to iran. we will not take sides. by not taking sides, they took israel's side. caller: good morning. question or a comment?
caller: i have a question and a comment. you have all been talking about what i was going to talk about. i did want to mention one thing about the 17 years in afghanistan. i grew up during the vietnam war. back then, it was common law which -- common knowledge that the cia was smuggling heroin out of the golden triangle. deal, withhe iran the arab spring, what that brought us was a massacre of the middle class of northern africa. i never heard congress declare war on libya. and anything that was part and parcel of that whole arrangement, which the iran deal was, to perpetrate these complexes, i think the guest is right. that is what the cia does.
the perpetrate conflicts because they make money on that. guest: i don't remember saying that. host: the viewer. guest: yeah, the viewer said that. i never said that. caller: we have in in wars continuously since world war ii. you go back all that way. saw theion is i never cia listed in the constitution or the f ei or these wrote -- the fbi or these rogue agencies that have their own agenda. i think it is time to rein these things back in. like kennedy wanted to do after the bay of pigs. he wanted to disband the cia. ok, got your point. guest: i think our professionals inside the intelligence community are focused on security threats.
i think we have gotten away from what the viewer mentioned. we are not doing those things anymore. people learn from the mistakes. place.s but rules in our intelligence community is continued to focus on isis and nuclear proliferation. this guy keeps talking about the intelligence community. toldntelligence community us about weapons of mass he keption in iraq -- talking about [indiscernible] which is untrue. host: i'm going to leave it there because it is running out of time. guest: it has made the intelligence committee from making recommendations.
say, sir, be able to it is a slamdunk, they have a nuclear row graham -- nuclear program. the nsa believes everything they hear on the phone if the other side does not know the they are being listened to. we lie on the phone all the time. we believe government officials when they tell us nothing is happening in the country's. that is an american talking to a foreign official. in theeach cell intelligence community is someone who knows what is happening and i think leaders need to know who is crossing their arms in meetings in dissenting opinions. people predicted isis was on the the view in the ic was that there wasn't. maybe it is a deception program. it is a detente, a deception