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tv   [untitled]    March 7, 2012 6:30am-7:00am EST

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three. three. two three. three volunteers in video for your media drug free media r t v dot com. very warm welcome to new year with cards and parents erasure with a look at your headlines serials under pressure of president brown's to buy foreign backed militia and he's both forms the u.n. security council is debating a new draft resolution proposed by the us meanwhile r t travels to an ancient city where support for the regime is found wavering despite the nationwide protests. global powers agree on new talks with iran over its nuclear program after top francaise inspectors are welcome to visit its military sites the move comes amid
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fresh speculation of a preemptive military strike by israel against iran's nuclear facilities. and despite the overwhelming support of russians wuji medical tents are coming return to the kremlin is grating on some western politicians but you crazy former talk diplomat has called him a dictator whose days are numbered. coming up peter lavelle and his guests discuss the tight relationship between israel and the united states that's in cross talk next on our team. please. liz. liz. you can. start.
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to. blow in welcome to crossfire you know all about is it a case of wag the dog this is how some would characterize the current drumbeat for war against iran at the center of this campaign is the american israel political figures come to your aid package is attacking iran in america's interest or even israel's. live can. start. to cross a kite relations between israel and united states i'm joined by valerie lindsay in washington she is the editor and principal researcher for iran watch also in washington we have order khichri he is a tenured professor of law at arizona state university and in jerusalem we go to my a coronary she is a freelance journalist and writer all right folks cross talk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want i very much encourage it i my if i go to you first are a public opinion poll came out in israel last week it was found that nineteen
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percent of israelis favor attacking iran without american support and only forty two percent favor an attack on iran even if it has american support but at the same time a packer's in washington d.c. saying it's go to war go to war go to war as a path representing the interests of israel. and my opinion not at all and i think that you started with a brilliant question and it was something i wanted to bring out myself israeli public is not marching to war it's we're uk meaning our defense minister and that's and yeah ok and then you have apac also which seems to be in the war camp. here in israel those of us who live here who are citizens who you know are have a future a vested interest in this play is we're not in a rush to go to war so ok well in order i mean if i can add on to that public in israel and then in the washington post there's
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a full page ad of major figures that were in the military intelligence sectors of the united states asking virtually begging obama not to go to war to reconsider what is being floated into the public sphere for a drumbeat against iran i mean let's add those two together but apac still continues to really pressure politicians in the united states to go to war almost to the point it's not it's not if it's when. you know ah i wouldn't agree with the characterization that it's a pack in particular leading the drumbeats for war i think what iran has done is put the international community in an untenable position iran has international legal obligations that it's flouting yukiya amano of a head of the i.a.e.a. has said that iran is working on military dimensions of a nuclear program and i think that that award i think maybe should really be there
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to be fair the i.a.e.a. says it has concerns it didn't say it. is it has concerns words are important here when it comes when it comes to going to war and i'm sorry go ahead you want to jump in there are going to add to that that the american. yeah the american intelligence agencies if i'm not mistaken they have agreed that iran seems to have stopped building a nuclear weapon around two thousand and three and has not resume this program so i mean let's say that iran continues its nuclear program if it doesn't want to work and what's the problem with having nuclear energy say is this an issue i mean and then also i'd let's say they do want to build a weapon i mean mutual deterrence will keep everyone who was going to mutual the toronto am i wrong and i used to eventually get to the outcome because i want you to want to let a man or a she hasn't said anything yet on the program did you want to jump in there. i did
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i think that we don't want to get we don't we won't we don't want to or a lot we don't want to iraq allow iran to get in a position where we have a nuclear weapon capability i don't think that's a world that anyone wants the americans or the israelis and i think that is why there is this sort of increased attention to iran at this point because there's a sense that if we don't do anything soon iran will be in the position to make a nuclear weapon when it decides to do so it will have what we call a breakout capability and that is what we want to prevent ok but if i can stay with you you know before i got into television i was an academic historian and you know when the soviets got a nuclear weapon there was all this all this great hysteria and then when the chinese did there was all this hysteria that's going to be the third world war and then i'm going to go back to what maya said the whole concept of deterrence i mean why is the islamic republic of iran different then the hysteria that was around the soviet union around china around would say well there's an islamic country in the
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world that has a nuclear weapon and that's pakistan i mean what is the thing is that i guess i worry about and i thought i could order on this one here is the more you go down the path of war the more it will make your rand want to have a weaponized. nuclear fuel device and i mean that logically gets all twisted up go ahead or did washington. well you know it's going to work sure a couple things first of all i have the quote from the i.a.e.a. in front of me and they say the report says there is information available to the agency indicating that iran has carried out activities that are relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device if you read through the report i think and it's clear that iran is working on all three aspects of the nuclear explosive device weaponization enrichment which is the hardest part and also a delivery system why are we particularly concerned about iran because this is a government that well may not be deterrable what evidence do you have of the fight
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if it is to go out of that word what evidence do you have about what that's an interesting statement this is a government go ahead this is a government with a messianic apocalyptic like soviet communism and a government also well you know the soviet the soviet communists were atheists they didn't believe that. chaos would help bring a better world in the world to come ok i don't mind if i could you've been here for a miami miami so these people are gone i don't have a death wish they want to be completely obliterated right i mean is there anything in the history of the islamic republic gives you an idea of what allowing to risk everything there is what we want to protect most is a regime that's what seems to me ok you know my i think really out of my anger here and i mean you're already getting my answer i mean definitely kristen zion is that are you know. you know rabid supporters that is i
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mean they definitely have some messianic features to you and i don't hear anyone saying that oh the christian zionists didn't have any you know powers so i mean i don't in general even if you think roland you don't want to bring this into the conversation. ok valerie i'm sure there is going to be joining me and there are still researching was all right i want to have valerie stearns go ahead please i think we need to let's leave aside the nature of the iranian regime and just look at what would happen if iran were in a position where it had nuclear weapons we're talking about an issue an inheritance problem if there's any kind of instability in a country what happens to the weapons we're talking about the reaction of other countries in the region who are going to want to develop nuclear nuclear capability or even nuclear weapons of their own it's already quite unstable region so i think there are a lot of dynamics here that are incredibly worrisome for israel in the united states leaving aside the nature of the iranian regime which is worrisome ok orde
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what about israel's nuclear weapons program kind of a moot point because i understand why you go ahead right. this is kind of a moot point because i understand that there is a ronnie and nuclear program that if there was a strike that it would set back the program it wouldn't end the program so i mean you know if anything striking iran might then make a self-fulfilling prophecy that we say oh they want to destroy us they want to destroy is they're going to destroy us and then we do a preemptive strike which only encourages them to escalate their program so i mean they've already got a lot of their facilities ok my understanding is that ok my interest or the capacity. of my question that i was going to give george go ahead when i respond to what i just said there. sure those who call for a military strike on iran and i don't call from the letairis strike on iran at least at this time point to the example of israel strike on the iraqi reactor which
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set the iraqi program back so far that was never reconstituted and also the israeli strike on the syrian reactor which set the syrian program back so far that it is yet to be reconstituted so there is something to be said for setting programs back for buying time ok valorie so do you think iran is like what the syrians and the iraqis berkeley exactly and the thing is is that i mean valid if i can ask you if there is a military strike against iran that's an open war and there are the consequences of that for the region arse are remains and an arms race could ensue after that i mean isn't that another law of unintended consequences that are not being fought about here. yeah i mean the iranian response to any kind of a military attack on its nuclear facilities is very hard to predict but we can we can assume that there will be one some amount trick to a large extent but there will be one and this sort of unpredictable element makes it i would say and everyone agrees that you know an option of last resort i believe
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that obama was right in his speech at apac to say that the diplomatic options have not been exhausted i think that now coming into the summer we're going to have really crippling sanctions that are going to be put in place on iran and the negotiations that happen during this period are going to happen in that context of incredible economic pain in iran so i think there is still a chance for diplomacy but it's it's a small it's the window is closing i think that's the message that benjamin netanyahu brought to washington and i think it's an accurate one ok it sounds like netanyahu said windows already closed because all right go ahead my you keep going head to head in jerusalem. sorry and that's a young themselves speaking to an australian periodical in january netanyahu said that sanctions are working so i'm not you know too keen on on trusting anything netanyahu says because he's speaking out of both sides of his mouth you know in january the same things are working now in march suddenly they're not working and he's you know pressuring to get this hard line from obama so i mean do we really
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want to listen to what netanyahu says about the sanctions the sanctions are working the sanctions are working they're having a significant effect on the iranian economy but there's a race basically between the sanctions and the iranian nuclear program which is moving forward despite the sanctions i agree with president obama that it is too risky to contemplate containment of an iranian regime and if you read between the lines of what i had to say the price of an iranian of a nuclear armed iran may be higher than the price of stopping iran from acquiring nuclear weapons all right we're going to go to war she cause ok number of states in the region that kind of made it clear that they play until choir nuclear weapons next all right we're going to go to a short break and out about short break we'll continue our discussion on obama's rhetoric on iran's state party.
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as you know soon national anthem and i know. this is not cold those are not patriotic people who don't like the american flag but their song tells it otherwise . their words through song is we will stand forever as a nation under the flag. meaning the red white and blue stripes. a disease which is trying to be the clips on the outside. but their heart is is full of anger. the heart. of all kinds of struggles and they allow they choose. to allow these things to stay there choose alcohol or the choose drown.
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this is that people buy at a local store here and they. they open it and they fill it with water over there from that stick it and then and then i think they drink it because it has to because it has alcohol in it and said it into the drink it is actually hairspray. could live your life now you want to. know but it could. be you. know my family. not. coke well assume try nobody could stay the course i. want. well. science technology innovation all the news developments from
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around russia we've got the future coverage. welcome back to crossfire some people about to remind you we're talking about president barack obama's speech at apac. ok. ok well i'd like to go back in there in that ad it was in the washington post and it stated that not every challenge has a military solution and unless we or an ally is attacked or should be the last last option. do you see that in the air i mean it seems to me in the end i remember two thousand and three very well it seems to me there's a drumbeat to war the american media has been saturated for decades of being very
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anti-american i mean remarkably enough a pew public opinion poll says that americans think iran is the most threatening country to the united states has been just patently absurd ok it seems to me that you know we have a lot of military people intelligence people very worried about the consequences of a military conflict but do you see that really diplomacy is being taken seriously because at that apec meeting diplomacy wasn't high on the agenda i diplomacy was on high on the agenda but i wouldn't say that you know u.s. lawmakers are not aware that diplomacy is important or it another aspect of diplomacy which is the same track. who is chair of the house foreign affairs committee has been pushing a number of different bills through trying to get bills through congress that would strengthen sanctions close loopholes and cetera so i think you know there is a sense in the united states among policymakers that there are still things we can do to cripple the iranian economy further ok when you think about that or do you think the diplomacy in still taken seriously. i think diplomacy is taken very
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seriously looking just have to look at barack obama who told the iranians that if they would unclench their fist they would find an extended hand and for a year president obama did not ramp up sanctions it was made clear to the iranians that there was a wonderful offer on the table and in fact the offer as i understand it is still on the table the obama administration would be quite willing to sit down with the iranians but the iranians have shown no interest in talking no interest in making meaningful concessions what do you think about that mind you think they'd be an iranian is they're not interested in diplomacy ok well i don't think they're interested in a military conflict either there's obviously much much weaker than israel as a regional power and the united states as a superpower i mean anyone has to just look at a map and the number of american bases that surround iran and you have a free to the south i mean it is and there's not some there's no cemetery here whatsoever i don't see any interest at the iranians want to have a military conflict my own what about diplomacy i mean do you think the political
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elite in israel really are interested in diplomacy. well i actually want to make a comment on these words that or does use no interest if i'm not mistaken iran did actually send a letter they have recently indicating that it is interested in talking so i don't know about these words no interests first of all second of all i think that diplomacy can work i mean we do need to think about the price that the iranian people will pay i understand that there are you know the price of basic foodstuffs is going way way up you know and we don't want to starve the population that's not the correct thing to do. i recognize you know that there are concerns about a nuclear iran but the people should not have to pay the price and what's really interesting to me about this conversation about same sins in diplomacy is that israel is in violation of plenty of international laws you know is violating the human and civil rights the palestinians on
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a daily basis and where is the discussion about sanctions and diplomacy you know around that to me the iran issue represents to some extent you know any attempt to to point over here you know hey everyone look over there look at iran so you know israel can continue building settlements house demolitions home demolitions the west bank are up this year above the two thousand and eleven level which was the highest that it's ever been so we're already seeing an escalation you know under the cover of the iran and the elections israel is doing what it wants our history saying that if israel would stop building settlements that iran would stop with its nuclear program are you implying that that's the motivation for iran's nuclear program. well i what i think is for when you know you know what i mean it's a very interesting thing that it's a very interesting thing at the apec meeting there wasn't any made that i'm aware of any mention of the quote unquote peace process and i think in there's a great it's very interesting for western media particularly american media to change the subject here because i mean it's claims that the president of iran said
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that israel should be wiped off the map of the world of the earth but i mean the israelis are wiping the palestinians off the map when i would say look let's go back to the uranium they really are not wiping the palestinians off the map why that's the palestinians that we're not talking about be that issue here right now or if i can go in the house of you know you know you know arguing that he wiped off the face of the herd go ahead where's the peace can we go back i mean look i mean if you know this is the response engagement on diplomacy i mean i think i think to come back to something that maya said i think iran has traditionally and this let's let's be clear there have been diplomatic efforts going on for eight nine ten years trying to get iran to roll back its program iran has been offered a number of different economic and political goodies including to some extent and uclear concessions so i think iran has used the diplomatic track to essentially delay added still its nuclear program has continued now and the next set of negotiations that may come about in the next weeks and months are going to take
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place in a context where iran economy is suffering and serious sanctions are going to be put in place that may change iran's calculation as it goes into the negotiations but in the past in the past nearly a decade iran has not been a good faith partner when it comes to diplomatic negotiations that's just a fact or do you think about that maya. the iranians are not good partners well i want to say again what i already said that and to think that the american intelligence agencies believe that iran stopped building a weapon in two thousand and three and so the question again i don't believe anyone's answer for me is what would be the problem with an iranian you know nuclear program that is for civilian for ok is this an issue and why is it ok that other. countries in the region have nuclear weapons yeah why is when we talk about a regional. go ahead valorie which i mean that's the whole point of the program go ahead when when the you when u.s.
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intelligence says that iran has suspended or frozen its nuclear weapons program it's talking about a very small part of an overall nuclear weapons program it's talking about weaponization we're going to zeeshan and delivering a weapon are about ten percent of the overall sort of effort that's required to make nuclear weapons overwhelmingly the most important aspect is making nuclear fuel and why iran is doing now on the ground at a fortified plant in florida is essentially creating a stockpile of fuel they could be quickly enrich to weapon grade for breakout capability or if i go to you what if the proposal of having a nuclear free zone and for the entire region meaning israel opens up its nuclear arsenal for inspection do you think that would be a comp that could be on the table for diplomacy i mean that's fair isn't it transparent isn't it. i think i think that's a very interesting idea and obviously the nuclear nonproliferation treaty review conference call for a conference in two thousand and twelve on that very topic moving forward towards
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a nuclear weapons free zone in the region israelis have always stated that they support such an idea and concept but such an idea can only be invented in the context of a comprehensive peace in the region and i believe that that's the u.s. position is well well it sounds kind of ridiculous to me i mean if you everyone has to disarm and then you will have one party left saying you know we'll actually be but we had to monitor the region what you think about them i do think the israeli public opinion would go for that you know you show our quote you will show our cards you show your cards i mean without build any confidence within israeli society. i don't think so but i think that i mean forget about what israeli society wants we need to talk about what the leaders want because i feel at this point that that i mean as someone who lives here and is a citizen and joins the water and pays taxes i feel like i'm on
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a rollercoaster ride right now that i don't know what these leaders are going to do and what they're going to drag the whole country into you and perhaps america as well so i mean forget about what society wants to talk about with the leaders one and the leaders here i don't think are interested in a peace process you know we said something earlier someone's it's like earlier about the iran using diplomacy as a way to stall and i think that absolutely applies to israel as well i mean diplomacy has not israel time to build more settlements to you know really clamp down on gaza blockade on gaza which is cruel and inhumane and so no i don't think that you know israel world this arm if we have peace i mean it's not it's not going to happen we don't have keys. for israel's arms it's a catch twenty two of it well what do you think the next step is i mean how how worried are you that there will be a military strike against iran. i think that we're entering
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a period now which will be critical but it will depend i think to a large extent on the type of sanctions that are put in place in the next say six months or so and it will depend on it in iran's approach at the negotiating table because i think there will be some type of some type of products i think a year from now we're going to be looking at iran with a pretty serious breakout capability and it's not clear to me that israel or the united states is is going to be able to accept that ok or i'm going to give you a lot i do think you know after i'm following this it oh i was going to ask one last question before we run out of time here is israeli and american interests identical in dealing with iran in your opinion is it wag the dog. well i think they're both very very concerned about iran's nuclear program you know if you look at president obama's interview with the atlantic last week he was asked what would your peak position be on iran's nuclear program israel isn't weren't in the picture he said it would still be
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a profound national security interest the united states to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon the one difference i think between the two countries is in terms of timing the united states wants to give more time for biting sanctions to bring iran to the table for serious concessions and israel is concerned because they don't they may not have the military capability in six months to stop iran's program and so i think there's kind of a calendar issue between the two countries all right we still have a little bit more time but ali what do you think about that i mean how aligned are israel united states here i personally can't see how iran is a really big threat to the united states maybe except for maybe proliferation. i think that israel and the united states are more or less aligned in terms of their on their sort of the way they ascertain the threat but i think it's really a question as or instead of how to deal with that threat and the time in which you have to let diplomacy and sanctions work and the time at which you decide that you
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know military strength is necessary all right thank you very much to all of you for an intriguing to this question many thanks to my guest today in washington and injuries and thanks were viewers for watching us here see you next time and remember.
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