tv U.S. Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Deal CSPAN July 20, 2018 10:02am-12:06pm EDT
2012. it was closer than it turned out. we will beie cook, talking to often as we move into the elections. your last day here in washington before heading up to maine. of the cookublisher report and people can follow you on the web. i am charlie cook dc on twitter. i am 64 and i'm not a technology guy. thank you and thank you for the viewers. youruys are great in commitment to politics and public affairs is amazing and it is a great thing. host: thanks for being with us. right now, an event began just a moment ago things sponsored by the middle east policy council, take a look at the u.s. withdrawal on that iran nuclear deal. live coverage here.
we're back to morning with another edition of the washington journal. we hope you have a good friday. i am pleased to welcome all of those who have joined us either through c-span or online. the proceedings will be posted on video and on our website and a recap will be posted there as well. a edited transcript will be published in the next issue of our journal, middle east policy. let me briefly introduce our panelists. we will begin the discussion with david albright, the founder and president of the washington, d.c.-based institute for science and international security. david will be followed by caring young, a senior resident at the seniorlf states institute and a faculty member at george washington university and the johns hopkins school of
international studies. eisenstadt, michael the fellow and director of the military and security studies program at the washington institute for near east policy. our fourth panelist will be norman rule, a former officer the central intelligence agency. he has served as national in thegence manager office of the director of national intelligence and is a senior advisor to the counter extremism project and united against nuclear iran. each panelists will deliver remarks. there will be a discussion section following the presentation. the discussion will be moderated i my colleague, the executive director of the middle east council. we have placed index cards on all of the seats.
downe use these to write any questions you have as these speakers are speaking. hold up the card. our staff will collect these during the presentations and give them to him so he can consolidate questions for the discussion section. thank you for helping. with that, let me turn the panel over to david. thank you. thank you for the imitation. i am happy to be here. i'vehe last three weeks, been crashing to finish a book on taiwan's former nuclear weapons program. i cannot help but contrast that , it was an incredibly difficult 20 year struggle the united states waged behind the scenes to make sure that taiwan
did not build nuclear weapons in the 1970's and 1980's. we had leverage. taiwan was dependent on us for nuclear energy and military supplies. i cannot help but first drawing the comparison -- iran this is about -- this is about iran wanting to build nuclear weapons. that is what this is about. the trump administration dealnized that the nuclear needed to be fixed in order to make that future less likely. while there are strong aspects of the deal, on balance, it was working to accomplish what it set out to do. inherent in it were problems that reflect how difficult this issue is to work on.
when president trump gave his speech last january, he had outlined three major problems that to this day, require fixing. one is the sun in the deal. sunsets in the deal. the deal was temporary. 2013ember discussions in that it would get a deal that the limitations would last 20 years or 30 years. in reality, they start to sunset after eight or 10. that is a problem. what happens? , britain, germany, and france, engaged with the trump administration to work on these and there was agreement on this , increasing its
in program, is a threat. there is no credible reason for a to have a in -- have uranium enrichment program that grows in size. they could not agree on the , on what doesthat increases itsn centrifuge program -- what do you do? automatic snapback of sanctions. the european said that would violate the jcpoa and we want to do something else. they were close to a solution. another one which had agreement between the e#and the united states was it did not result 'sst questions about what iran
nuclear weapons were. iran had a effort to build nuclear weapons. it lied about that. thateal did not ensure that would be addressed before was implemented. was, forgivehe ia the bluntness, was thrown under the bus and put in a position that if you demand iran settle these past questions, this deal will go down. the international atomic energy agency is not strong. it can confront but it has to have support of countries like the united states and european countries. it linked so this was not settled. in the negotiations, within days, a new arrangement was between them was worked out to strengthen inspections, to be
able to get to military sites, which iran has refused to allow inspectors to visit. most activities took place at military sites. critical ife was you want to understand the nuclear weapons program, have some assurance it is not restarting. there was something called section t that was not being implemented which has to do with there is equipment you need to use if you're going to develop nuclear weapons. ift is fine for iran to use non-nuclear weapons purposes. andas to be declared monitored and its use has to be subject to the approval of the executive body of the agreement of the joint commission. implemented been and there was equipment covered
by this. that was agreed. there was agreement that an c icbm is part of the deal. what are you going to put on it? on it otherran put than a nuclear weapon? icbm development would be the trigger for massive sanctions. how you deploy those was not worked out. , it was a tragedy not to a finished this negotiation and fixed the deal. it is what it is. president trump, some of his advisers, decided it was more important to confront iran now and reapply the most critical sanctions rather than have a fix that pushes the problem off.
i will admit that. thattrategy of this was you would enforce it, better the inspections, put down a marker, and do nothing for six to eight years. message thatt the at a future point, when you go to increase your enrichment would break hell loose and that would trigger them to negotiate or to not do it. the administration decided they want this confrontation now and they have reimposed sanctions and we are faced with what will they do and one of the interesting developments is that the united states decided not to bring down the deal. i will not have time to talk about this nuclear archive.
it was covered in the "new york times", dramatic evidence of past weapons programs and the effort to keep it together and to use it in a breakout. i just lost my place. i apologize. i have been preoccupied with taiwan keeping me up. maybe i will switch to policy recommendations. i apologize for losing my place. if iran is going to live by the deal or not is unsettled. maybe that is where i wanted to go. administrationhe
, what is the phrase -- wanted its cake and eat it too? sanctions,mposed they put iran in a position that if you violate the deal, the e. u. will reimposed sanctions and they have told them that. they announced to them if you violate the limitations, you thereace snapback and will be snapback of u.n. sanctions. of what doa bind they do? are there not going to increase or violate these limitations this year. they're going to make noises, they're going to talk about this and that and threaten this. they have not made up their mind and they will wait to see how it goes with sanctions.
the trump administration thinks that is going to lead to a negotiation that will create a deal that is more favorable. secretary things was whent on the table this nonparticipation announcement happen, they want zero enrichment in iran. there is an argument for that. enrichment at iran's program, there is no need for that. they will never have a program that will produce uranium for nuclear power reactors that will be cheaper than what they can buy on the market. that is what they are doing now with the reactor and reactors they are planning in the future is to buy the fuel. 3 and the united states agreed any enrichment does not have a justification, has mean it, where trump
gone farther and said, let's get rid of this enrichment. it strengthens the hand in .egotiating with saudi arabia it puts north korea on notice that there will be no iranian deal exemption on enrichment and north korea. north korea will want the same thing. can get that is an open question. issues, you maximize is going to, iran resist violating the limits. at some point, it may decide to do it. they may do it because it will look at north korea in say, if we increase our effort, we will have better leverage when we go to negotiate with the united states. will trump really negotiate?
that is what they say but is that what this is about? in some way, there is a train wreck coming. we do not know when and hopefully, it is put off and to make thet want decision to increase the sanctions on itself and will try anti-u.s.ilding an mindset in places like europe and try to weekend the united -- try to weaken the united states position. they have their own pressures and they may not be willing to and with nonctions nuclear increase. let me add, how my doing for time? ok, whatever happens with the future of the nuclear deal, whatever iran
decides, inspections continue. iran signed a nonproliferation treaty. they have a safeguards agreement. it has the protocol which gives , morespectors more tools prearranged inspections and information that would be delivered by iran. theagreement gives the iaea right to go anywhere it deems necessary. of the critical things is that they get to the bottom of the past nuclear weapons program. i know that from taiwan. if you do not get to that program and make sure it is halted, it will never stop them from building weapons. fisa material is critical. inthey keep together teams
the military to build nuclear weapons, there is a good chance those teams will eventually build nuclear weapons. the easiest nonmilitary tool we , one of the only nonmilitary tools to get to the heart of their program, is through vigorous confrontational and international atomic energy association inspections. the united states is willing and the e3 is more than willing to do this. let me end there. thank you. thank you. i agree there are a lot of train wrecks. thank you for the invitation to speak care today with such
distinguished colleagues. to addresseeks options to the trump administration after the withdrawal to the jcpoa. the better title is what other options are there to iran and its neighbors and their code -- current relations. the decision to withdraw has put iran on watch. it increases the likelihood of and its between iran neighbors and has created tensions in trade and financial flows within the gulf. most evidence are increasing strains of the rift, weakening economic cooperation and making security.et for food kuwait are also put in difficult positions.
saudi arabia and the uae are pushing for a confrontation with but also as a way to increase leverage with the u.s. in oil markets as they need the u.s. to back any escalation in the region. the u.s. needs cooperation with oil markets which places major producers in an interesting position vis-a-vis u.s. policy on iran. is cornered, isolated, and its economy will suffer in ways we have seen under previous sanction regimes. i will share evidence. i believe this time is different. american choice will punish allies in europe, exacerbate and givewithin the gcc china, and arguably russia and turkey more power within
financial flows and new financial institutions. sanctions to be reimposed in august will hurt the trade sector most in construction materials, aluminum, and deal, and large currency transactions. we're seeing preemptive corporate exits from iran from asian and european firms. the oil and gas sector along with shipping will be most affected, sanctions on november 4. most affected will be transactions by foreign financial institutions. the fissures will be transatlantic. saudi arabia and the uae will encourage financial pressure and
they are anticipating and are willing to accept greater risk of confrontation in the gulf, particularly in waterways. was no panacea, we're sliding toward confrontation of 80 million people, with no thinking of what those 80 million people might do. the beneficiaries are those states that can manage to maintain buying oil or withstand u.s. pressure, china. china is their number one customer. it is saudi arabia's number one customer. it has been gradually increasing its share of oil exports since 2011. it accounts for nearly 40% of exports. china imports about some hundred thousand barrels of oil a day.
bystander, important about 550,000 barrels a day. there are efforts to provide a lifeline to iran. we have seen proposals involving the european investment bank. this is not going to be sufficient to create the kinds requires toran create jobs and build infrastructure. the lyrical commitment to engaging in lending does not obligate financial institutions. choiceve made the wise that is not a business savvy thing to do. open economies have their limits in crises. is able to e.u. this is lifeline,
risky. it is not going to be easy because the u.s. will play sanctions on staff members of the central banks, as they have done to staff members of the central bank of iran. is right to preface demands with transparency. it is not likely to be popular inside iran. the e.u. does not need to trade with iran. it is not at risk of losing a major market share. for aboutods to iran gdp, inon, .1% of its the case of russia, the reimposition of sanctions and countries -- countries and entities doing business is more complex. iran stood to become a
competitor to russia in supplying gas to europe. iran requires investment and the construction of a new pipeline to make that competition a reality. the e.u.mothballed, will continue to use alternative supply strategies and trying to reduce dependency on russia. frenemies iran become . russia's playing an interesting game, particularly on new promises of foreign direct investment in its oil and gas sector. a recent announcement of a tomitment would allow russia be a stakeholder in any -- in anyn iran of transition of iran to a global market.
in the short term, there are winners and losers in the real position of sanctions. the america first confrontational posture is including a clear protection of chinese economic interest in the region, maybe not on purpose. these in point is around gas field, a new development there, because total with through, it gives a 70% ownership to a chinese national petroleum corporation in development. this was an unintended consequence. china has been a consistent and, even under previous sanction regimes. -- consistent investor, even under previous sanction regimes. has export-import bank financed many projects, including a subway system, roads.
ofna has taken advantage being able to settle purchases of oil and nonoil products and local currencies, avoiding u.s. financial institutions. they are creating new financial institutions preemptively before the u.s. with through -- withdrew including one on the shanghai exchange. repercussions are mix. tradewas an increase in in 2016 and 2017. trade increased to $2.7 billion during this. ehe regional outlook for tha gcc is mix. are reflecting anxiety, dividing short-term gain into
growth for investors. the medium-term outlook is less clear. this points to a potential decline in gdp. for exporters, they are moving into surplus. means weakening the momentum for economic reform. i do not think it is the rising comfort with higher oil revenue that increases the risk of confrontation between saudi arabia and iran. the displacement of markets is just one area of economic cooperation. this should not be seen as a quick fix. it is not just affecting oil markets. we're dealing with production prices in other places. the other thing is respect to transit points. some would argue that their supporters in yemen, 30% of global seaborne oil rose through
the street. so does 11% of rice. globally,e is traded 52% of global fertilizer. crisis in these waterways affects more than oil. it is going to create a food crisis. we should be bracing for economic collapse, more severe than the recession after 2012. like its neighbors across the has a unemployment problem, especially among young people. it will struggle with a currency devaluation. it also reflects weaknesses in other regional economies. youth unemployment is about 30% in a run iran -- in iran. demonstrations show that arab
uprisings remain unresolved in the region. agitation from economic crisis is certain to pick at these wounds. it will have regional and international consequences and these are likely to be destabilizing. thank you. questionsof you have on these cards? yes. can staff please collect these and bring them to me? thank you. i would like to start off by the middle east policy council for the invitation to speak as well as for organizing this event and the opportunity to be on this panel of people. let me start off with a few comments about my take on the
administration's strategy. hady count, we have authoritative policy statements on strategy, first by the president in october, where he rolled out the strategy, countering destabilizing regional activities and is proliferation of missiles and on fixing the flaws in the jcpoa. time, he was silent about the steps he intended to take to achieve the goals or how the strategy fit together and how to prioritize these elements. policy strategy documents do not go into that detail. secretary of state pompeo's statement in may put some flesh on the bone with his points. i would argue that the strategy is a work in progress and i
would argue that we have an unbalanced strategy. it is based on a single pillar, sanctions. i would argue that what we need is a more comprehensive strategy which utilizes all the instruments of national power. i would say that some of the decisions made have been driven by politics and the campaign promise to withdraw from the jcpoa. policy and strategy will always be intertwined. that is just a fact of life. like in much of life, timing is everything. i have no objection to the idea of withdrawing from the jcpoa but i would quibble with the timing of this. to whether you think it would have been better to have a crisis if iran
remained compliant with the , if the years from now policies had not changed and started ramping up its program again. or, we withdraw now. as some of the other speakers have said, it is what it is and we have to find the best way to move forward with regard to where we are. it would be desirable to have a more structured process where moreosts and benefits are highlighted and the risks in the policy of maximum pressure are more explicit. one of the other things i would by there is a need for a plan , more hedging measures in case the strategy does not work as intended. if maximum pressure is not
sufficient to cause iran to come back to renegotiate, if mexican -- maximum pressure contributes to the existing unrest but the regime is able to keep a lid on things, then what? iran if jcpoa stays in the jcpoa ,- if iran stays in the jcpoa then what? what do we do? is the only option we have the military instrument and is this administration willing to go that route? and theirclear it is idea may be that the israelis will handle it. we saw that their preferences not to do this alone if they have to do it. logic in the the
administration strategy. other,d to have nonmilitary instruments to backstop the current policy and the current strategy we are pursuing. one of the things they could , asider is political warfare policy of destabilization, to further follmann instability fomentically -- m instability domestically. we could focus on certain pressure points to increase pressure domestically. i am skeptical of this. these kinds of ideas have been brought out. working on my own thinking
on how this would be accomplished. , you have to consider in response to link pushiran might back in regional arenas, syria, proxies haveeir not been attacking american personnel. they areens if attacked in a more targeted way? what can we do? dan coats said he passed the that ifon last year americans are targeted, we will do so accordingly. that needs to be underscored going forward. there also needs to be a regional component to our pressure and syria is the area where we could do that most effectively. by abandoning the opposition, we have given up the most useful tool.
syria,ing in northeast we deny the regime access to the most fertile land in the country and resources. if we combine that with pressure in the form of sanctions on the cause, maybe that will force them and others to further increase their financial assistance to the regime and people whos on the support syria to keep it afloat. maybe that should be part of our strategy. we should keep in mind that the other guy gets a vote. in response to our past pressure has responded by increasing its enrichment capabilities and threatening more progress to convince his adversaries of the utility of efforts.
at first, it will go up to the limits but they could go past it if the pressure becomes onerous. the past theyn have accepted temporary freezes on negativity's when pressure is large enough. that might work itself out, going up to the limit but not exceeding the limit of the jcpoa . in the past, we have seen that when it broaden, they have responded in kind. onresponse to sanctions their petroleum sector, they responded with cyber attacks onaramco. they could close the straight of hormones. that is some -- the straight of hormuz.
they depend on it to export their oil and the necessities of life in a run. but thesomething you do threat is useful in the form of psychological pressure on their m&a's -- enemies. they launched attacks on israeli diplomats and in response to a search of overflights, they s in theamerican uab gulf. they have tended to decouple regional activities from nuclear push back in syria, and afghanistan. in the future, they might link those together, especially in iraq where we have not been attacked since 2011. bet could, down the road, one of the rungs in the escalation ladder.
one of the things we have to keep in mind is we have a long history of interacting and as a result of the way we have ,esponded to past attacks bombings in 1983 and 1996, the tehran for insurgents, has learned they can wage proxy war against us without risking a military response. we have a credibility gap. this is something that could come into play in the way we 'sape or do not shape iran response to the campaign we are waging now. the u.s. isk conducted in syria has been
helpful. the things we did in responding with the rebel forces, the attack in february on democratic forces where we ended up killing pro-regime hundred militia men, including mercenaries, has gone part of se andy to giving iran pau how it deals with the united states. the response, they've intensified pressure on our allies. it is real in saudi arabia. at least until february, they thought that was safer. continuing the pressure in syria, even after the strikes in may. done in work to be terms of enhancing our , with regard to the
credibility of the military instrument and the role the military plays as a backstop to diplomacy. the last point i'm going to make is the need to strike the right balance in the way we use our pressure on the islamic republic. to use sufficient tossure to bring them back the negotiating table, which i'm skeptical about. as karen made clear, it is not clear how these are going to how out in terms of effective these sanctions will be. impose sufficient pressure to the table without prompting actions that we are ill-prepared to deal with or that spark a conflict. i do not know if there is a sweet spot to be hit. i would argue you do not want to exert maximum pressure.
you want something less than maximum and it would be desirable from the point of view of american policy not to completely limit their oil exports. it is not desirable to zero out oil exports because they have said if they cannot export, nobody is going to export and that incentivizes them to engage in destabilizing activities. a regime change, this should not be an element of american policy. far. not thus facing believe they are a active campaign, that would cross a redline which would incentivize them to use the military instrument against us
and cause military escalation. my final point is this. the policy might work. i am skeptical but we're entering into terra incognita. there are unintended consequences. we need to have a plan in case it does not and we have to be ready for what they might do in response. it is not clear to me that all the possibilities have been thought through as well as they should be. thank you and i look forward to hearing more. are there any more questions you can bring? thank you. thank you and good morning. i would like to join my colleagues in thanking the middle east policy council for
toding this panel of experts discuss a complicated issue. i would like to thank those of you in the audience who have left busy schedules to attend this and to the c-span audience. this is complicated and it requires an informed citizenry and policy dynamic. finally, to put the plug-in for those of you who are not a ander of the organization journal, sign up and get the journal. it is magnificent. i would like to take my comments in a different direction. deal andk at the jcpoa the ramifications of the withdrawal, policymakers here in iran and elsewhere will see their response to this action under other activity. i would like to begin by offering concepts i ask observers to keep in mind.
unlike any other foreign policy problem, the threat is strategic , urgent, and lethal. if you are a policy maker, you cannot get out of that. it is strategic because it touches the persian gulf, oil prices, it is lethal because there is terrorism being conducted routinely as we have seen by recent actions. it is urgent because a missile from yemen might strike a target in saudi arabia could take policy in new direction. an effective policy for this country requires bipartisan support. one of my few comments i would offer on policies, we have had a less bipartisan approach and that is unfortunate. it requires multilateral pressure. we need our european partners,
air partners, to be standing next to us. partners, to be standing next to us. in the absence of this, it is they will believe this is in durable. the nuclear program is just one element. of the a adoption nuclear program, it has grown from a localized threat to a significant, regionwide threat with capabilities deployed by proxies. has the capacity to exert pressure on the strait of hormuz and the red sea economic corridor which has the potential to disrupt global trade and to impact economies of not just those states but also southern europe. we have a string of almost daily press reports that shows iran
acruits, trains, and directs seasoned militancy capable of fighting against different opponents on disconnected battle spaces simultaneously. this is significant and unprecedented in the region. force, in conjunction with has block, has enabled a missile war against riyadh and threaten the united arab emirates. the same element has armed proxies with explosive boats along this quarter. they have empowered terrorism in and they have repeatedly gone on facebook to show how he attempting to influence the political future of iraq.
the missile forces the largest in the middle east. it includes thousands of short and medium range missiles. the problem this poses for military personnel for a variety of countries in the area is significant. some of these are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, should they decide to pursue this. in a disturbing development, iran has provided advanced technology to yemen and has block. bollah.hez meaning their adversaries may come up with a preemptive attack which could take the region into new areas. acts of terrorism have spiked in the last year. with --ports highlight what appears to be an aborted attack on paris, with explosives supplied by a agent.
in june, they expelled to diplomats for involvement in terrorism. there was a effort to target israel he facilities in germany. iran has continued to build it cyber capability. it is one of the top threats to the united states, probably number three on that list. we are likely to see it increase its activities against arab neighbors and the united states as sanctions are reintroduced. the absence of an effective response to these actions has contributed to the sense that it's aggressions can be conducted. defines to the community brings no cost. for those looking to re-energize the deal, this needs to be kept in mind. iran, and continuing to
undertake these actions, risks that they will miscalculate redlines and could spark a broader conflict. the nuclear deal, the jcpoa successfully constrained in their program, at least temporarily. , there are deal -- there are aspects of the deal which are permanent. reduce the amount of time itsould take to produce first weapons with highly enriched uranium to about one year from a couple of months. it was compelled to destroy the critical element of its reactor, destroying the reactor. the deal introduced international scrutiny to the -- group me on iran. -- scrutiny on iran.
in the deal, the end of sanctions allowed the people to see was their own government's mismanagement and not sanctions that lay behind the erosion of standards of living. when you looked at the demonstrations, i did not hear death to america or death to israel. their complaints were against the government. in light of behavior in the nonnuclear areas, if you cannot trust them anywhere else, how can you trust them here? the israelis captured a vast amount of documentation which is not a nuclear program. papers are not a weaponization program. openows that iran cap to the option to restart nuclear weaponization.
we seriously look at possible military dimensions and asking them to reveal that. uponure deal will draw perhaps all of the provisions of representsecause it diplomacy byard policy staff and other smart people. in the wake of this deal, we think, how is iran going to react? , china topress europe ignore u.s. sanctions. they will gradually expand or claim they are expanding. to expand his dismantled nuclear equipment and facilities. -- expand its dismantled nuclear equipment and facilities. they will stay within the bounds
in part to demonstrate their willingness to be a part of the deal and to demonstrate the ineffectiveness of pressure. tehran will maintain diplomatic engagement to place further stress on european-u.s. relations. opposed then iran deal. that is the rhetoric but it is not a reality. they understand the political and economic stability depend upon the release provided by the deal. despite their statements they would like a pullout, they're unlikely to make such a decision until they believe the deal no longer provides economic benefits so important to sustain the regime. there is little reason to believe leadership will negotiate further on his nuclear program in the future.
ands not just the stress that the pressure is not perceived as unilateral. is going through a leadership transition. it is not the time for anyone to stand up and say i think we should deal with the americans. it will depend on how their leaders perceive their own stability. it is not unreasonable to believe it will take several years of sanctions and diplomatic pressure, as well as the arrival of a new supreme leader, before they returned to the table. iran is unlikely to establish weaponization in light of the recent israeli seizure of their archives, a intelligence coup of extraordinary proportions. 's leadership is probably
thinking, can any aspect of our program be kept secret from the west? these, how long before they appear at a press conference? compromise of any such weaponization effort would not only compromise their diplomatic program but would risk a military option by the west. regarding regional behavior, it is an overstatement to say iran controls events in syria, and yemen. it has exacerbated events in these countries. createdies they have who seek to dominate the security and policy institutions are changing the region. that is inescapable. remains to be a dominant, if not the dominant player in the middle east. turmoil exploited the
new allies, to establish itself as the sole protector of the shia population. we should stand up for the shia as well is to lead our partners and to confront israel's new enemies. regarding reports of new engagement with moscow, that russia will convince iran to leave the area. i am skeptical. it is unlikely to reduce its presence for multiple reasons. there is no evidence that russia has the influence or political to changempel iran one of its most strategic locations. important -- what is important is the openness iran has to undertake interventions.
a powerful statement in which it has no influence in modern history. this determination is driven in part by the financial and personal investments they have asked -- they have extended. they have expressed pride in their service in syria. it has been splashed over the internet. the less -- the lebanese hezbollah have adopted a profile. we should consider how these external operations would change their own perspective of their role in their countries and impact long-term evolution. operations in the region remain vulnerable to the disruption of their logistics change. this would come with policy consequences. looking forward, it is easier to empower military groups than it
is to solve challenges in proxy territories. iran has got headaches for its iran's population is increasingly unhappy with the expansion of ground forces outside of iran. they only know about these events through what information leaks into iran. it would be useful if we could push more data into iran to show the people what these conflicts are costing them. the domestic and political foundations continue to erode as a result of the sanctions, compounded by decades of mismanagement, political infighting which has made decision-making difficult, environmental problems which have a real impact on the lives of the people, and a crumbling infrastructure. protests have been fairly common over the years.
,f you were to look at a chart iran is a protest rich culture. leadership --n's the harsh sentences given to women outrageously for dancing and refusing to wear the hijab show the intolerance for a modicum of liberal reform. under the sanctions, iran's leaders recognize that impending sanctions touched their stability. the flights of international companies, entirely predictable. i have never understood the pundits who said this would not happen. companies vote to protect their shareholders and that is that.
this process appears unstoppable , and european efforts to develop financial mechanisms outside of the sanctions' reach will likely have little impact on the trend. the oil exports will decline. iran has few options to restore confidence in its currency. we are now watching unemployment rise, inflation is starting to creep up. in addition to its diplomatic activities, the primary focus will be to import as much hard currency as possible, certain commodities, as they need to sustain the illusion of self-reliance, and to prevent further domestic turbulence. obtain neweek to commercial relations with china and russia, although these will not be effective in overcoming the fundamental pains of sanctions. development of's
relationships with chinese and russian partners and no exposure to the u.s., will offer propaganda opportunities and modest sanctions relief. in the medium-term, iran's leaders have reason for concern. their failure to achieve fundamental soldier -- social goals -- all of the leaders including the supreme later -- leader were heavily criticized. iran's security forces have used these protests to identify ringleaders and well use whatever force is necessary to cease the unrest. there is no indication the regime will collapse in the near future but there is no evidence the regime is capable of arresting this deterioration.
the election of the next of brain later will be a critical point in the regime. bea hardliner who can trusted to sustain the ideals that he supports and protect key stakeholders. let a conclude with a few thoughts on policy options. u.s. policygoal of should be one thing, to develop a multilateral effort to encourage a debate within iran's society whether it's support for , nuclear program, terrorism it's unreasonably large nuclear program, the detention of u.s. and other nationals, are these worth the pain of sanctions which will erode the wrong's -- iran's stability? we have to be ready to engage
them with incentives to be part of any diplomatic approach, but there is a caution. people usually do not come to the table at the point of collapse. they come when they fear of collapse, which means when they came to the table for the jcpoa deal, they did not come to the table to accept a deal. need europe and the arab world at our side. our relations are strained but we need a multilateral approach. europe must adopt a tougher action against iran's nuclear opportunities and must employ the strongest sanctions to deter the activities. in exchange for sticking with jcpoa, the only sanctions left will be minor personnel and companies. your policy decision-making, you usually have diplomatic to , sanctions that threaten economic pain, or a military
conflict. in theot deny the space second category simply to protect the nuclear deal. our public diplomacy needs to be clear and loud, and i support the secretary's plans to engage the iranian community. iran must understand that any effort to develop a nuclear weapons program will be met immediately by a military response. aan must also understand cyber attack in coming months against the united states or regional partners will be met by an equally severe response. it is up to the iranian people to choose the direction of their country. i am not a believer in regime change in that regard. they have the responsibility of pressing their own government and its intervention in other countries. they do not have the right to choose other governments. the u.s. should lead an international campaign against activities, the
external existence of the quds force. if there is one thing that can be done against iran that would change the paradigm of their leadership of what they can get away with would be this. the organization's sole goal is to enable terrorists and create terrorist groups. its activities violate multiple standards. final two points, we need a multilateral process to dismantle iran's regional militia structure. iran's militias will not only impede the development of stable societies but allows hard-liners inside of iran to say, look what we can get away with, look how the west does not respond. my final comment would be regarding detainees, an issue which i think there needs to be more comment. needs to understand that
it's continued detention of americans and other nationals will denied acceptance into the international community. the detention of such individuals and iran's refusal to cooperate on missing american robert levinson cannot be forgotten. i look forward to your questions. >> thanks to all four of you. there is a lot of ground cover.
david, could i start with you? about this jcpoa. that the you said trump administration is going to enrichment ifium there is a new negotiation. you are not even sure the trump administration is willing to have a new negotiation. on this question of uranium enrichment, and on the question of the military plans that have been discovered, how long would fromke iran to move 4% uraniumat almost 235 to 19.75% they had mastered a few years ago, to the 90%
enrichment that would be required for a nuclear weapon? how long will that take? how long would it take for iaea to discover it? would they have any incentive to do anything like that if they designsve nuclear perfected for the warhead and the placing of a warhead on a ballistic missile, and the technical aspects of detonating the weapon at the right time? would they ever risk anything like that? >> it is hard to answer all those questions. the breakout timeline is really based on the idea that iran makes a decision to race to being able to produce enough, essentially weapon grade uranium greater than 90% enriched uranium in the shortest time possible. there is quite extensive debate
on that. capitalst in a european several weeks ago where their view of the breakout time is 13 to 15 months, if they start now that is what it will take. they assumed the centrifuges would not be employed in that breakout. our breakout is seven to 12 months, or maybe even a little longer. there is some that think it is within three months, i have heard. one of the things we are facing the uncertainty about their centrifuge program is growing. we don't know how many they have hidden away, partial construction of centrifuges. advantagest their centrifuges? most of their program is a disaster. they went off to build advanced
--,rifuges many different -- centrifuges, many different types when a few programs would concentrate on a few, and they failed. , i do not think it will ever be built the way it is developed. they have real problems, and that gets to this issue of they may not want to build out their program too much. lehi, who has been around a long time, talked about the ir6. we know the ir6 itself does not work and is five to six years from deployment. there is a variant of it that maybe they could build and deploy. they are faced with a real serious development issue.
i would agree with norm, maybe say it a little differently. i do not think they are in a position to want to try to breakout to nuclear weapons unless, if you look at the south african case, use their terminology, back is to the wall, all bets are off. kind of emphasize what mike said, you do not want to pressurize too much to where they feel they are -- they're only out is to build nuclear only out is tor build nuclear weapons. wants tonistration increase the pressure and it has turned down a request from the europeans on the sanctions. it wants to drive the exports of iran toward zero. my institute is often in the mode of, we can see problems.
we have a harder time visualizing the solutions. i think one of which i would argue would be, we need to think through what it is we are trying to accomplish, and what michael said, that there is a plan b that is in place to help us in case it doesn't work out quite as we expected. again, in can i ask the materials that have been discovered, seized in the warehouse that were known to our intelligence agencies in 2007, about prior military dimensions of their work, is there evidence that they actually have the capability to build a warhead? >> yes. yes. could they deliver it in a reliable manner?
it is not clear. this information shows a bigger, more advanced program then was understood. i think they could build a nuclear weapon. again, i mentioned the french would tell you, if they had the fissile material they could do it in two months. there certainly would be arguments as there have been with north korea, could they deliver it reliably on a ballistic missile and are they willing to take the risk that it might just miss or pre-detonate or not detonate at all? >> you do not take a chance like that. >> no, you do not. you do not have to test the nuclear device. they will not have to do that. their program, from what i understand, was designed to avoid that. certainly, part of the information is they were looking to at least consider building an
underground nuclear test site. they picked five possible locations. i do not think their first device would have needed that kind of test. >> someone from the audience is asking about the negotiations -- and whether they did get close to some agreement with iran, and what the trump administration's view of it was. >> i think they got very close. certainly on the reimposition of sanctions, but i know from the legislative side of this which was a parallel effort, there was no intention to require an automatic snapback of sanctions. that was the rhetoric, perhaps
publicly, but underneath it there was a recognition that a president does not want to give up that kind of power and neither does congress. there would have been what we call off ramps for the automatic snapback of sanctions. europeans wanted certain assurances and approaches. language overking this idea of a 12 month breakout , which i admit i was one of the developers of and wrote the legislative part of this using that as a criteria. it had been interpreted and developed, not as a theoretical concept of let's all estimate the breakout timeline, but it does this, as iran builds this number of centrifuges or this amount of enriched uranium, so it is quantified in a specific way. breach or distance
between the europeans and u.s. could've been managed, given a little more time. i think this administration decided that they want a conflict now. they think now is better than want, and they think they ande, in a sense, financial other sanctions that the u.s. congress created, they want them out of the cabinet and fully deployed. they did not like the idea of fixing the deal. the problem for those of us who is,eved in fixing the deal can we trust the next thing president trump does? if you are in european capitals, i think you will hear, can you trust the bureaucrats, which are everybody but him? do they have credibility to
articulate a policy? i think that is one of the unfortunate casualties of the way this has worked out. >> do you want to comment on any of that? >> i would have a different view on a few points. this president came in to office with very stark views on the nuclear deal, no surprise to anyone. europe's response, silence. on october 13, the president gives a speech stating he is going to terminate the deal. europe's response, mainly silence, although there has been robust diplomatic discussion between the united states and our partners, but no hard solutions. in january, he states it again, no decision. the issue of what sanctions can be left, pulled off the table, that you will not use against iran for its other activities i do not think was ever resolved.
the idea of the sunsets, i do not know if that was resolved. to simply say iran will not build an icbm, which there is no public evidence of that, that is important but not critical. what is critical is can you trust this country going down the road in a few short years? two other side points that are not often discussed. in october 2020, the --trictions on iran iran's does anyone think it would be safer for iran to sell conventional weapons to hezbollah openly? in 2023, the restrictions on missile supplies will expire under jcpoa. aspectsre a number of of these negotiations that are fairly complicated beyond just the nuclear deal. >> the complaint about the
agreement was that it was limited to the nuclear program itself, and did not sufficiently restrain iran's development of other weaponry, and certainly did not restrain iran's other behaviors in the region. we needed a strategy that would be more comprehensive and address all those issues. we needed to withdraw from the agreement are not is debatable, but we have. , as michaelstrategy was talking about needing one? part of it certainly is the economic pressure and karen believes that this is really going to be successful. you are basically predicting collapse. i used the wrong word.
the sanctions are going to be so severe that you are not going to have fear of economic repercussions in iran and perhaps economic collapse. someone is -- someone was asking, can china rescue them from that? no. >> no. >> maybe india. >> i do not think the indians are divided between the government and the business community. they will not help very much at all. china can help create a bit of a cushion, but they can't save the iranian economy. i think there are some possible innovative ideas. as i mentioned, a lot of the challenges of the iranian economy are shared on both sides of the gulf. this is in the delivery of electricity. there is also electricity shortages in saudi arabia,
across the gulf. there are the abilities to build new plants and invest in them. had beenh korean firms poised and begun investment .nside iran south korean firms that received investments themselves saudi arabia, so ironically, there was cooperation between the gulf states and iran in terms of energy and electricity delivery. they also have a massive youth unemployment problem that are shared. just a sick service delivery. ron -- the bank situation is a mess. perhaps intervention from the eu to help, to create structural reforms in iran.
i think there are avenues that could alleviate what it seems like we are walking into, a very severe situation. -- the reason why i think it is not successful, i should say, is because it does not punish the right people. it destroys the savings of the middle class. it hurts a youthful generation which is well educated, especially among women. why would the united states want to alienate these people across the middle east but in iran in particular? that is for me very much the downside. , while this is taking , while iran is suffering economically, what are your major proposals for dealing with ,ran's behavior in the region
if they have a history of pushing back under circumstances like this? and isn't likely that we are going to see, as karen has said she fears, actual conflict? that in thest say decoupled push back in the regional arena from their nuclear push back. by and large, they responded to nuclear pressure by moving forward with the nuclear program you can't do a thinging about it -- damn about it and your sanctions are ineffective. they responded to american cyber and israeli cyber with cyber as well. my concern is that they might do -- since last year, they
have not been engaged and what the u.s. would call unprofessional and unsafe behavior. they could ramp that up again. ,efore the jcpoa was concluded there were a couple of incidents where they diverted a tanker that was related to a dispute with a company. there were a number of incidents in the gulf before then, but by and large i do not think that was related to nuclear pressure or push back against american nuclear pressure, but in the future that could change. i would argue that we need to have -- there needs to be a credible military option in order to limit iran's options for pushback. if they feel they can push back without accepting significant risk, they will do so in those domains. again, what we did in syria last year i think has been helpful,
even though it was very constrained and related to foreign -- force protection. it was related to actions by pro-regime militias against united states. i think it had a useful impact. , along thosentinue lines and statements by the president that we are going to withdraw from syria are not helpful in that regard. it seems at least for now he has backtracked, and he has done that in afghanistan and samaria -- syria. that is useful to have us there. is useful, but it is not enough to set the real lines but you have to attend to them. the fact that dan coats sent a message to not affect american forces or else, they are
essentially attacking forces in afghanistan and syria by supporting the taliban and their test. we do not want that to happen in iraq. setting these red lines, tending to them, and conveying credibly that if they target our people, we will target their people, and we have a whole decade and a half of targeting al qaeda and taliban. -- isis. for deterrence purposes, unless you want this turned on you, do not touch our people. that is what i would argue, those are elements of a policy to deter them from pushing back in the regional arena against us in response to nuclear pressure or pressure on their nuclear program. >> norman, can you comment on that? iran's behavior in the region is our would a problem for us, in
syria and lebanon and yemen and iraq. ,omehow, this pressure on iran by imposing sanctions and what trying from jcpoa is meant to help us restrain iran in the region. what do you expect them to be doing and what should we be doing while we wait for them to come back to the table? you said you would not expect them to come back for several years. >> that is correct, and i still maintain that position. the impact of sanctions will be roasted. errosive.sted -- and i do large economy not believe there will be pressures placed on the supreme leader to come back for any deal immediately. a couple of points on their
hastion in the region, iran been able to establish its front lines in a one-way fashion against all of its adversaries in the region. when we talk about a conflict in the middle east, we have iran and hezbollah per the statements of the state department, enabling missiles being fired upon saudi arabia, where there are thousands of americans and other foreign nationals. we have a missile war under -- underway. they have used drones in israel armed and have used drones against the u.s. we have a drone war underway. expense -- explosive boats have been used. you have a naval conflict underway. the question of conflict is often shaped in terms of another gulf war, whereas conflict through gray zone or hybrid war activity is underway.
our response to that should not just be attacking the fellow on the other end of the drown, but it has to be a game aimed at tehran. karen's point that the sanctions do not strike the right people, that is a good point. policymakers have debated over hundreds of hours. if anyone has the name of the country that can -- that we can sanction that will not do that, i am sure the department of treasury would welcome the suggestion because it does not exist. is so corrupt it is the economy that touches the iranian people. when it comes to pressure on iran, they will test us, they will test our will, and they have put pretty serious skin in the game. they have lost a couple dozen of flag ranked officers in syria and continue to replace them. as we push, they will push back, but that is the nature of the
iran problem if you do not want to do that, you have just the option of giving in. >> the other panelists agree with karen about economic collapse? do we have disagreements about how long this will take and how long iran will be able to continue with its current behaviors and how long they will be able to wait before there is a political crisis and they are willing to negotiate? how long do you think? "collapse," i really did not define that. what i mean is a severe currency crisis, inaccessibility to have foreign exchange. that creates essentially hyperinflation, so that is why it hurts ordinary people. point about norm's the real saturation of the iranian economy by the
revolutionary guard, that is true. i think it is widely understood how deeply corrupt and just ineffective the iranian financial system currently is. i see this as a point of entry, a point of leverage for multilateral negotiations. the european union is trying to do that, and i think they are right to do it. to allow the iranian central bank to have funds in european union member central banks would be adopting some measures in financial transparency. does not affect everything, but it would be an inroad and that is a good policy idea, of the few we have on the table now. >> can i add one thing? i agree with what karen is saying. i think when i look at collapse,
also the issue rises of how repressive cap the regime be? if you look at north korea in the 1990's, where there was werecale famine and they expected by the united states administration at the time to collapse, and they didn't. , they probably are pretty capable of repressing dissidents and intimidating the others. linknk i would not want to collapse to regime change or regime collapse, that your economy may, but they probably will stay in power. at least, our experts or the people that i listen to what say that we are not quite like the soviet union in the late to mid
-- mid-to-late 1980's. we are not quite at that point yet. it is an earlier point. >> if i could jump in on that? >> there is a question from the audience asking if the regime collapses, what we are really aiming for and whether that is realistic, given their use of force and their longevity. >> i use that is kind of a segue here. i suspect the way probably the administration has thought about it is they have kind of a branches in the strategy in terms of, if maximum pressure create greatero instability domestically, that is another pressure point on the regime that might cause them to yield and reengage with diplomacy. that, iton't decide on might then lead to a meltdown or regime change or at least
massive unrest, which forces a the iranian contingent in syria is only a couple thousand fighters. subsidizing the syrian government has cost them more. the estimate that the administration puts out is $16 billion. that is a fair sum of money. horns of am on the dilemma. if they do not negotiate, they have to do with greater unrest, to the point where they are worried it is getting out of hand. cause them to come back to the negotiating table. how the islamic republic has responded to past domestic unrest, because they
made a revolution and they know the heavy-handed response by the security forces can actually -- exacerbate things, that is what is happening. you have them killing protesters them and they come back and the protesters snowball. they'd tried doing that in 1999 and 2009 and recently. in many ways you have not seen a tiananmen square type response. they have tried to use nonlethal meads by and large. i am not saying people have not been killed. they have, by suckers another's. as result of what happened last december, it was reported that the -- quadrupled funding for the purchase of weapons for law
enforcement. they realize things could escalate and they will not come out with they had concerns about the reliability of the security forces,. it reflected the society at large. reason why ir think they are pushed too hard when they responded on the streets. now they have been doing things in terms of recruiting people who are the siege to members. the capability of the security forces, they realize things might get worse in the future. never underestimate the ability of these regimes to hang on. david mentioned north korea, which is different here it never
understand -- never underestimate the resilience. i don't rule it out. i think there are a couple of points. have noime will compulsion about using the course of meeting to put down progress. this calculation goes into that. you don't necessarily need tanks to put down unrest. forceed a small, capable around a small demonstration in january, the numbers were in the thousand, not in the millions. you can construe -- control demonstrations. post anda pre-demonstration planning efforts, and following up afterwards i identifying people through cameras. , i believe will
use whatever violence is needed to put down unrest. is the foundation that is not appreciated. will go back to the complete economic break down of the anime, we have a failed economy in north korea. you have an unprecedented claps in -- collapse in venezuela. i think we need to be -- sanctions are a tool, but not a policy. we want to look for in terms of , theirt with iran supreme leader is facing mortality. likely hisor religious status, his political his relationship with the irgc. and iraq, ands
echo of unemployed youth, lack of foreign investment, and lack of services. i think they are very aware of this, they will be careful about how much for spain put in. sanctions are the best way to compel a debate among iran's leaders about whether or not they want to risk the stability of the regime at this important time. one topic we have not touched the role of our partners and our allies in the region. of why they were so critical the jcpoa and what they are inling to play with us now dealing with iran on the ground in the region.
willing to pute skin in the game if we take hours out. whether they think that somehow our relationship with russia can be leveraged to help them get iran out of the region. can people comment on all of that? >> they off to have a you are for them or against them. we have asked allies to handle their own problems and they are doing it. the war is taking a long time. how long did that iraq war and afghanistan wars take.
these testss so -- on the southern border next to the strategic , which has trade going through it everyday and they are doing the job. this week fascinating development that is ongoing. they are changing their relationship with china dramatically. that is offset against iran. you happy saudi's talking about issues. and the performance was pretty sad. they came in tough and they left saying, we didn't quite get anything. that's because the subtleties and russians that had a relationship that did not exist in past years. is it all was positive? no. they are moving in the right direction.
dollars andking lives and not asking for americans to die on their behalf. >> in yemen, yes. add to those comments. mostnk these early are effective proxy in dealing at with the iran's in syria. in a way kind of found themselves backed into this they would have preferred working with the u.s. in syria against the iranians. i concluded that by march i think the administration is leaning into them and they, we have seen greater cooperation -- or coordination between the israelis and the russians.
from transforming syria into a platform for protection. strikessteams -- scenes , israel's response to the iranian response. we try to zero out all of iran's infrastructure that they have ,een building in recent years logistical sites and barracks and intelligence collection sites that were collected against israel but also the emerging infrastructure there. i think that's a way the administration prefers to deal with it, to have our proxies -- allies and these proxies acting on the wrong. thus far, israel has been effective in this role. it depends on russia's continuing acquiescence.
it serves russia's peripherals throughout the iranians cut down purpose to have the iranians cut down to size. we will have to figure out what to do about it. it's in our interest to reinforce the message that the israelis have been sending to the russians, it's very important for us that israel be able to have military freedom of action and serious -- in syria. but i really don't know. but not publicly yet. enough?n, is that >> i'm not sure what else we would ask them to do. we're asking for an air of military force to invade syria? i don't think that's the smartest thing. you also have the saudis engaging with -- an individual
with an interesting background, that takes some diplomatic boldness on the part of the saudis. and their willingness to do this shows the unconventional methods. our missile strikes against responsee no russian which i think shows perhaps russian weakness in many ways, but rushed willingness -- russia's willingness that the relationships are not for iran. as we look at activities in the region, sometimes it is just allies standing with us. it are rain is under frequent attack by trained personnel in iraqisan or often by which they're reporting says. we have this awareness of our , atd circuit -- surrogates
the end of the day this is relatively cheap for the iranians. they have to be told. a tanker is $250 million to syria would you like it spent there or on a water facility --? our era partners can help to communicate that message as well. arab partners can help to communicate that message as well. aware of thene is record of how extensive uranian proxies.- irani and >> when you look at the traditional proxy group and the definition is it have to have training and systems in weaponry, not just financial support, cyber support, this
isn't just giving somebody a bag of money and a gun. if i were to ask you to name a proxy group by a sunni arab state come you cannot name one. if i asked you to name all the -- iranian proxy groups you cannot do it. hamas, as wells, as a myriad number of shia militia partners. to look at,s need what happens to hezbollah in the political evolution of iraqi -- iraq? if you are the kuwaitis how would you feel about having an armed hezbollah on your border? iran'sre realities,
relationship with these countries. i can't think of another country in the century that is engaged in this activity. >> relationship with these countries. michael, i'm going to ask people if they have final thoughts or comments, but before lot --ou have written a the way i came to know you, your writings about iranian which they can use in the coming years while they are undergoing economic distress , how would you evaluate our ,bility to deal with that thinking back to the 1980's when everything we did in the gulf conformed to international law and what was necessary and proportionate.
what do you anticipate in the next two years in terms of encounters between the u.s. and iran and our ability to handle that? i will say we have been for ad on his target great deal of the past 30 or 40 years and developing capabilities to deal for the threat they pose. since 9/11, the counterterrorism capability has been developed to isis haveal qaeda and been very important to enabling us and also the relationships we have built with other countries in terms of intelligence sharing and cooperation have helped iran . it has been difficult with iran and the proxies to deal with terrorism increase at years.
their efforts to put proxies in f have beenve --gul for two. facing the we are possibility that the gulf will be an environment for our navy and during times of crisis we might not want to put strikes in the gulf. iran isbility that developing and the constraint geography may make it too dangerous for them to operate there. that's just a fact of life. deales not mean we cannot with the threat, it will just become more complicated in the future. we have been able to focus on the middle east on a rep diddley -- uninterruptedly for the last 30 years.
koreans andnorth others competing for our intelligence sources and the intelligence. our resources will be split greater -- with more theaters. the preparations for the possibility of a conflict with north korea have had a big impact on what we are willing to do in the middle east. these countries leaning factors say -- contravening factors i would say iran's ability to threaten our allies have outstripped the ability of the missile defenses to be effective, probably. improvements,ome
but in some areas the iranians have not been able to respond, it is much more complimented -- complicated than in the past. >> david? in the order of where you spoke? discussiong to this i find it fascinating. one of the challenges is how do you ensure iran abides by its nuclear limits if a nuclear deal fails? don't think you are going to break out and build nuclear weapons, you don't think they want to negotiate in the short term, you do want to keep them with a very limited nuclear program. it seems like that is doable. one way to help that is to confrontation,e
atomicinternational agency, particularly at the world of governors meeting over atomic sacral -- secret weapons. that tactic was used effectively in 2000 -- 2003 at 2004 to elevate the issue, to put iran and to find ave sometime for diplomatic solution . if iran is on the defensive in the sense that it is being accused of potentially violating the nonproliferation treaty, it agreement and certainly one can argue it has violated the jcpoa put two and a better position agreement and , been letting things go quiet and hoping for
the day that negotiation start. >> thank you. i would say that may be the way that we have framed this iran versus the united states. that's not really the landscape right now. in the middle east, there are cop -- a seismic shift happening of other players, russia, china and of our allies, especially within the gulf states taking responsibility for their own security, increasing their intervention in the neighborhood and really not seeing the u.s. as pivotal or centered in the region. -- they havelid moved on without us.
it is our view of the region, this is our choice and we are confronting iran. we need to keep in mind the way that regional leaders see they are neighborhood -- their neighborhood, in much more complex terms and they are paying attention to different kinds of allies and relationship building then they did a decade ago. make a broad just statement and put things in context. if you look at past middle eastern wars there is always a reaction dynamic in the aftermath of the war that ensures that whatever achievements were got to war have often been undermined within a few years by the social and political forces cut loose by that war. , where wet in 1991
were at a high water mark in the region and within a few years there were sanctions and anti-americanism. because of our presence in saudi arabia we have the rise of al qaeda. a year or two we were mired in insurgency at -- and both iran and syria were helping. i would argue that we are seeing elements of this kind of reaction forming, but the middle is is not so organized. we have to play a role, if we want there to be a rollback of iranian influence, in the region, it is now profoundly destabilizing and profoundly stabilizing in the long run. to roll that back we have to play a lead role just as we played a lead role in rolling back to sylvia's in -- soviets
in afghanistan. it seems that we are intent on disengaging from the reason -- region. not just this administration, what the previous one. there is a potential to make sure this is a high water mark and pushback over a. of years and restore an equilibrium. if we are not willing to play a lead role, we look forward to more instability in the region. we will have to deal with this whether we want to or not. norman, the era partners have concluded that we will not be more involved, but they would -- theymake us they would like us to be more involved. >> i agree. i would like to begin by saying this is a perfect reason why
attentionhould pay no to the middle east policy council. this is beyond any one country ,nd involve the economies energy sectors, political and military programs of the region as a whole. the u.s. much -- must engage but doesn't have to be what troops on the ground. we need to do everything we can to push yemen to it political agreement -- to a political agreement and protect our allies in achieving this. it can't mean intelligence technological assistance and guidance. the middle east -- it can mean intelligence support. notes, a.ng some , saudi arabian
being the example for this, i ran to the modernists -- a brand new -- pushing back in different ways. -- theead -- hybrid war arab spring seeds remain in the region. the unemployment rate throughout the middle east is pretty common. with new alliances forming, .audi arabia and egypt the gcc's relevance is less so. we have an ongoing engagement of political islam in the region, which fracture is a large part , can youe that and have peace in gaza and iraq?
the u.s. must play a role in nation building is a terrible thing to say but if you want to prevent isis 2.0, you have to find a way to engage in yemen, iraq, syria, and libya. and the impending change of leadership throughout the region , if you were to begin and just me the richest leaders over the age of 78 or reported onbnl health, algeria, i'm iraq supreme leader. you could probably have a change in the region's leadership and we could have a den on the -- dynamic -- a bureaucrat that
sustains things. orwill not have a qaddafi saddam hussein? we need to be careful. if you look at a pro-iran issue that dynamic is surrounding the issues as well. >> thank you. www.mepc.org. you will find video of this event within a few hours and we will publish a transcript in the next issue of middle east policy. thank you very much to all of the palace. panel lists.
our live coverage continues, an event hosted by the alliance for health policy herein d.c.. we adjoining it in progress. first elected in 2000 fifths reelected to his term in 2016 and is the longest theice commissioner in country. robert moral is an associate commissioner at the maryland insurance administration here at he was appointed by marilyn's current commissioner. next