tv U.S. Policy Toward Iran Syria CSPAN August 3, 2018 8:11am-9:30am EDT
at that point nothing you believe before can ever be real because you will abandon it on the basis that it's been super reinforced by everyone you know including the president. >> watch "after words" sunday night at nine eastern c-span2's booktv. >> foreign policy analyst discuss u.s. relations with iran and syria competitive sick both governments conform to international agreements. from the foundation for defense of democracies in washington, d.c. this is one hour and 15 minutes. >> thank you for your patience. i mark dubowitz, chief executive your fdd and thank you very much for joining us for this conversation about the crisis of compliance. it's an honor for me to introduce this to all of you. i'm going to be moderating a panel with hopefully some interesting insights and remarks
after her speech. before introducer want to thank for you for attending our second, to play soccer cell phones. as folks watching live streaming and on c-span and will be live tweeting this at fdd. so fdd for those who don't know, we're nonpartisan policy institute focus on national security and foreign policy, and the issue of nuclear weapons and chemical weapons has really been assented to the work we done for over 15 years, so we are particularly happy and grateful to be hosting this discussion. let me actually introduce to you yleem because we've had the pleasure working with her over many years. she is not assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification, and compliance. she was sworn in after really incredible career in public service. she worked at the department of state, the white house, spent two decades of the house foreign
affairs committee including as the chief of staff, and we had the honor of working with her on many of the issues that are near and dear to our hearts. she worked virtually every ritual and functional issue. she spearheaded multiple legislative efforts across a range of foreign policy and national security priorities. but also with a particular focus on counter proliferation, to really hold violet regimes accountable, particularly rogue states such as iran and north korea and syria. so we're grateful for her service to our country and i know i sleep better at night knowing that she is the assistant secretary in such a critical position, so yleem, well,. [applause] >> thank you so much. as mark was saying, i look around the room and i see so
many friends, or my colleagues,, friendships that were built in the legislative trenches, so to speak, as we were working collaboratively to develop legislative solutions to the threats posed by these pariah states. so today marks exactly three months since my confirmation and i cannot think of a better place and a better environment to commemorate those three months. so thank you for having me. thank you to toby as well, cliff, who was not in the room thank you to cliff and just everyone at fdd. again, i'm humbled by the opportunity to discuss some of the challenges posed by these pariah states to the united states and other responsible nations, and to address their previous or current violations
of their obligations under the nuclear nonproliferation treaty or the chemical weapons conventions, as well as numerous u.n. security council resolutions. iran continues to refuse to provide or acknowledge certain information regarding the military dimensions of its past nuclear activities. the foundation for defense of democracies has been at the forefront of efforts to keep these issues before the american people and to support efforts by president trump and his administration to confront and impose costs on both iran and syria for the totality of their maligned activities. before delving into some of the actions by these regimes which constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to u.s. national security and the global peace and stability, i would like to share a few points of interest for this group about
the history and mission of the bureau that i am fortunate to lead. the bureau of arms control, verification, and compliance is one of only a handful at the department of state mandated by congress with specific statutory authorities. the chief of which is principal responsibility within the department for verification and compliance with arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament agreements or politically binding commitments, to which the united states is a party. the congress expressly created a position of assistant secretary for verification and compliance, the statutory name of the position i currently hold. to elevate verifications to the same level as an official responsible for regional affairs and to provide a specialist official within the department of state in negotiations on arms
agreements from the perspective of verifiability. we develop frameworks for inspection and verification, and are required to evaluate the verifiability of any such accords and submit such assessments to the chairman of the relevant committees of jurisdiction in the congress. we have a cadre of policy and technical experts, physicists, chemists, biologists, seismologists, engineers, former missile commanders, and former international and u.s. inspectors. and they comb through information from a myriad of sources to arrive at determinations on verifiability and compliance. whether focus on chemicals, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons, their delivery systems, or something that is not well known, activities in
outer space or under the sea. or in other new domains of potential warfare. abc is also responsible for the preparation on behalf of the secretary of state of what is known as the compliance report, the report on adherence to and compliance with arms control nonproliferation and disarmament agreements and commitment. in order to fulfill this mission, abc was passed at the principal policy community represented to the intelligence community on verification and compliance matters. our verification fund, the bureau is able to drive development of monitoring and detection technology that can help enable a compliance or noncompliance determination. i can assure you we take our mission extremely serious and
take it as integral to the implementation and to advancing the goals delineated and the national security strategy that was unveiled in december of last year. now, let's turn to syria. under the rubric of defending our nation against weapons of mass destruction, this national security strategy i just referenced notes how the syrian regimes use of chemical weapons against its own citizens undermines international norms against these heinous weapons, which may encourage more actors to pursue and to use them. both before and after becoming a party to the chemical weapons convention, syria has brazenly violated the international norm prohibiting the use of chemical agents as weapons. ringing a horror that blighted
the 20th century into the current landscape. responsible face have reacted to these violations using mechanisms provided for in the chemical weapons convention, cwc, in particular to bring the assad regime back into compliance. the united states was critical in ensuring the creation of a fact-finding mission of the organizations prohibition of chemical weapons, or opcw. as well as a joint opcw united nations joint investigative mechanism, what is, referred to as the gym. these bodies investigations culminated in reports clearly establishing the syrian arab republic with responsible for at least four cases of chemical weapons use and that the
so-called islamic state was responsible for another two. after the russian federation vetoed extension of the j.i.m. mandate in an effort to hide the assad regimes crimes, we worked assiduously with other chemical weapons convention states parties to give the opcw the authority to fulfill the j.i.m. old mission. we continued our efforts and just last month we were successful in ensuring that the uk drafted use supported and cosponsored decision on attribution of chemical weapons use was adopted at a special conference state parties at the opcw. but i would be remiss if i did not also note u.s. effort outside of the opcw to bring pressure on damascus over its
use of these heinous weapons. these include treasury department sanctions on key figures within the syrian regime, the department of states efforts to impede the flow of key dual use supplies to the cw program, and, of course, u.s. militaries airstrikes. i also do not want to minimize the important role that our partners have played in the effort from the eu's long-standing dual use export ban on syria to francis international partnership against impunity and the french and british involvement in this past april airstrikes. >> now, syria's blatant disregard for its international obligations, of course, is not limited to just the chemical weapons convention. syria also remains in continued
noncompliance with the treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, mpg, and it's safeguards agreement with the international atomic energy agency as a result of its clandestine efforts to construct alka bar come in and declared plutonium production reactor in eastern syria. and for those of you are familiar with the facility, , it was built with north korean assistance. while the reactor was destroyed by israeli airstrike in 2007, syria has persistently refused to cooperate with the iaea investigation and denied the agencies request for information and access to address all outstanding questions regarding its activities at the site and other related sites. serious note to cooperate with
the iaea remains a matter of ongoing concern indeed for all of us. moreover, serious efforts to impede the iaea is investigation illustrates the degree to which the assad regime is prepared to go to conceal its clandestine nuclear activities, rather than responding in good faith to the iea request for information and access, syria continues to go to great lengths to deceive, obfuscate, and distract international attention from its perennial noncompliance. and in many instances with the assistance of the russian federation. the trump administration has been clear that we cannot allow serious npt and iaea safeguards to noncompliance to just merely fade into our collective memory.
all, all outstanding questions regarding syria's noncompliance must be resolved. now clearly, the behavior of the assad regime with respect to the chemical weapons convention and the npt presents a stark challenge to all other parties of this agreement, or a least those who remain in compliance with their own international obligation, other responsible actors as well as a challenge to the role that these very agreements play in the maintenance of international peace and security. within the region, the ongoing conflict fueled by assad's determination to remain in power through any means necessary ads to instability that provides
opportunities for even larger threats to develop, as i mention the so-called islamic state use of chemical weapons, in addition to other threats. syria has provided an opportunity for his fellow rogue, , iran, to expand its influence in order to threaten the security of israel, and even of the targets around the entire mediterranean region. turning to iran and the jcpoa. the jcpoa agreement was flawed at multiple levels. first i'd like to address the technical problems. it allows iran to continue to conduct certain research and development activities on more efficient centrifuge machines that, , if deployed on a larger scale, would significantly reduce the number required to
produce highly enriched uranium, and could make clandestine enrichment facilities are difficult to detect. it also does not provide irreversibility of limitations imposed on existing centrifuge equipment. for example, i are one centrifuges in excess of jcpoa limitations are stored, not destroyed. now, president trump has underscored the dangers posed in a sunset provision in the jcpoa. but technical examples include ending the limit on iran's stockpile of uranium hexafluoride, rich to 3.67%. in selling infrastructure for the advanced ir-8 centrifuges. and eventually ending containment and surveillance of
centrifuge rotors as well as ending prohibition to operate additional heavywater reactors or accumulations of heavywater. the verification provisions of the jcpoa did not go far enough. given iran's history of clandestine nuclear activities and extensive sanitation campaigns, something one of our members of the audience knows extremely well having been an iea inspector, iran's extensive sanitation campaigns to conceal the nature and scope of these efforts once detected, effective verification in iran requires an intrusive inspection regime that helps ensure the paramount objective of permanently denying
iran any pathway to nuclear weapons. the jcpoa at a political level creates the conditions under which iran's noncompliance had been addressed prior to the negotiation and implementation of the jcpoa. these conditions have drastically been altered since the negotiation implementation of this agreement. an answered questions about the possible military dimension of iran's past nuclear activities still loom large in our assessment of the potential threats that iran represents. playing on the other parties evident desire to keep the jcpoa alive, iran is now attempting to throw a scare into other jcpoa parties over continued compliance in order to provide
economic benefits that iran believes are due to the regime under the jcpoa. and most concerning the ball perhaps as a relates to broader u.s. nonproliferation objectives, the jcpoa did not cover iran's missile programs or other wmd programs and activities. the jcpoa failed to prevent iran from ever having fissile material production capabilitie capabilities. they were permitted to rapidly break out into weaponization. along with its failed to address iran's aggressive misbehavior in the region is why president trump has described the jcpoa as a terrible deal. iran asserts its perceived,
inalienable right under the npt, but the npt must be viewed in its entirety. one article of the npt must be viewed in relation to other obligations under other articles of the npt. article iv speaks of the states parties rights to develop research production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. but it connects that right to conformity with articles one into of the treaty. the safeguards described in article iii are also an explicit requirement of the demonstration and confirmation of the peaceful nature of a nuclear program. iran has not yet demonstrated to the world that it has rectified its egregious record of
noncompliance and deception, and with articles two and three which led the iaea board of governors to refer the iran matter to viewing security council, and which led to the passage of ten resolutions just between 2006-2014. iran is also using the jcpoa to justify its renewed acquisition of equipment and materials, ostensibly for its peaceful nuclear program. these materials have dual use application. the recent disclosure by israel of its discovery of thousands of documents preserved and in storage regarding iran's nuclear weapons program, including according to recent press reports plans for the design of a nuclear device should leave no when in doubt that iran has not
yet clearly put its unlawful nuclear weapons ambitions for ever behind it. acv experts are monitoring these and other developments that would inform our assessment going forward on a rainy compliance with, again, the totality of its obligations. now looking ahead, president trump has made it clear that we need to abandon the jcpoa mindset. but in withdrawing from this year the president also said it is the policy of the united states that, one, iran be denied a nuclear weapon and intercontinental ballistic missiles. and he later said that the policy of the united states is to counter iran's aggressive development of missiles and other asymmetric and conventional weapons
capabilities. sector and state pompeo has described how this policy will be pursued, and i said president trump is ready, willing and able to negotiate a new deal. but that deal is not the objective. our goal, the trump administration's goal, is to protect the american people. and we will not renegotiate the jcpoa itself. those are direct quotes from secretary of state pompeo. any new agreements must address the full spectrum of threats to u.s. security and interest present of iranian noncompliance with its international obligations. it should verifiably and indefinitely deny iran all paths to nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.
it should not just merely contain, control, or delay the regimes efforts. as such, it is incumbent for the u.s. in building b on the jcpoa to seek what is termed effective verification. the committee report accompanied the legislation which created my position as assistant secretary for verification and compliance, and the ensuing acv bureau. stated that effective verification consists of a high level of assurance in the united states ability to detect a militarily significant violation in a timely fashion, and should also, and this is, i must emphasize this because it has relevance to the jcpoa and iran, compliance, should also provide
detection of patterns of marginal violations. i would like to close with one observation. nothing in the conduct of foreign policy is ever done in a vacuum. the in-state that we must seek for the successful conclusion of any future deal with iran must also inform and be informed by the in-state we are seeking for north korea. inconsistency in our approach to either negotiation will undermine our credibility, and most likely doom the prospects for successfully dealing with the threats to our security posed by these and other actors, and the threats posed to address the proliferation challenges of the future.
once again i would like to refer to the national security strategy. in it the president states, the scourge of the world today is small group of rogue regimes that violate all principles of free and civilized states. in response to these threats, the strategy calls for the augmentation of measures to prevent the threat of and to eliminate wmd and related materials, their delivery systems and technologies. it further underscores the need to all states and nonstate actors accountable for the use of wmds. accountability is critical for deterrence. to do so we must be always vigilant, intensifying monitoring, detection, and verification of the activities of these pariahs, rogue regimes.
wishful thinking cannot substitute for such vigilance. and hope cannot be allowed to replace rigor. noncompliance and blatant disregard of international norms must dutifully and thoroughly reviewed, documented, and assessed. this is where the avc focus on other tools. serving as a predicate for action and accountability. and i'd like to just say i am honored and humbled by the opportunity to work with avc professionals in the service of our nation to ensure that this
accountability will lead to the prevention of wmd proliferation and to the elimination of the threats to our national security and our interest posed by wmd and these rogue regimes. thank you very much. appreciate it. [applause] >> we are going to move right into the panel, so i'd like to welcome the panelists to the stage. okay, so first, reaction to the speech. i'm pleased to introduce to my right, my colleague orde kittrie, senior fellow at fdd, the expert on nonproliferation and iran sanctions policy and he served for 11 just at the department of state as the
departments lead to nuclear affairs attorney. to his right is valerie lincy, eccentric director of the wisconsin project on nuclear arms control pitch he oversees the project risk report database and iran website. and andrew tabler is the martin j growth fell at the washington institute focuses of research on syria and u.s. policy in the levant. has really unparalleled access to bashar al-assad in syria. he spent 14 years of residence in the middle east and served as co-front and a sheet inserted a particularly. some really great expert on iran, on syria, on nonproliferation, on compliance issues. i'm going to turn to each of you just give me your reaction to assistant secretary, to anything that struck you or stood out to you? >> yet. i mean, i thought it was a very important reiteration of some of the key points that we've been
seeing come out of the administration. one thing that struck me, perhaps particularly as an international lawyer, was a statement where she said iran has not yet demonstrated to the world that it is rectified its egregious record of noncompliance with articles two and three of the npt. and my own view is that the iranian nuclear archive that was taken out of iran by the israelis is raising a lot of questions, indeed, but whether iran is currently in noncompliance, currently in violation of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, as well as iran's top rates of safeguards agreement with the international atomic energy which is required by the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. and i wonder if the statement was perhaps a reference to those continuing questions which have in fact, been accelerated,
exacerbated by the material that is come out as part of the archives. >> i was struck, and we were speaking about this before coming on here, and happily struck by the focus on syria, which their use of nuclear weapons which some who represents nonproliferation, the lack of continued, sifting emphasis on the need to do something about that, both within the opcw and the u.n. and outside of those organizations is not enough can be done. and a strong reiteration of the shortcomings of the jcpoa and a path forward on how to look for improvements. >> first, thanks very much for having me today and thanks for all of you for coming out. it's interesting, speaking about i expected this discussion to be iran first adventure because that's most of the time would
look at this problem for when, look at the threat posed by iran they see it as payment. interesting we shall see and then go to iran. i think this shows that syria remains a major problem in this regard beyond the civil war, beyond the politics. so syria before the war, we have problems with her chemical weapons stockpile. i think it was one of the largest stockpiles in the world if not the largest. there was an nuclear issue with the reactor and i think theory that day and let a telly, it was really eye-opening expense for all of us that covered syria to think that the first time that north korea would be found proliferating outside of its borders would be out in -- of all places, so there's that. of course we had bashar al-assad erratic and benevolent nature and how much different his
behavior was vis-à-vis -- [inaudible] brutal but more predictable. the shar haber was all over the place. since the war and after the war so to speak it's clear syria is becoming an even bigger problem on chemical weapons use, on chemical weapons, , we had utilities for cases which are verified by the regime, to buy isis, but then you have syria joining the cwc as part of the red light agreement for the subsequent red light agreement. then you have continued use in violating of the cwc good use of chlorine and sarin gas, and a couple of cases, and also multiple problems with obviously the declaration because of the gas use after supposed be disposed of. the question was where did it come from in the first place. it would be a good question, i don't know to orde and others,
what other pilot of the cwc how we had to that degree? it's what, 20 year history. we have the nuclear, nuclear problem outstanding, it was important to emphasize that but i thought it was very interesting as she got to the end of her comments, this led to our a conversation a little bit, that she was referring i think a bit to how much the context has changed. because bashar al-assad did not win the syrian civil war on his own steam. he wanted to a military intervention by number of neighboring countries, on his side was iran come has been iran and the russian federation. so in a way i think it implied that some of the subsequent problems that she talked about the threats coming from iran, that syria could potentially be a a launchpad for those problems, part of the general concern up
iran project its power to the mediterranean and the other. >> let me ask you because i was sort of struck and speech that often stuck during this discussion on nonproliferation issues, technical, a lot of acronyms but, of course, behind all of this is our humanitarian issues that in syria are stunning. is it fair to say that our syria policy, broadly speaking, has been an abysmal bipartisan failure? and despite all the speeches given and all the sanctions issued and a limited military strikes, bashar al-assad has won the syrian civil war. he did so using the most horrendous tactics, both chemical weapons and using conventional weapons. there's, what, half million people dead, 1 million, and emerge out of this not only victorious but in winning this
victory, what nonproliferation norms? what norms are left? >> it's a very good point. first of all in my opinion, this is not a secret, i am well known on the subject, primary responsibility for syria policy as we see it now is that of the obama administration because they handled so much of the syrian civil war and the various choices along the way. since that time in order to affect the outcome of the civil war would require one to become more military involved inside the country especially given the depleted nature of the assad regime forces, the various spirits of input inside the country the united states decide it did want to do that for a variety of reasons. so we are left with a current situation which we have american disaster, over half the syrian people outside of their homes, over 80 some incidences of use of chemical weapons as it pertains to this discussion.
haley i believe about 50 instances and you we talked about four but anyway it's important to note that a couple of things. one is western countries have noted that the problem is not so much about where the shar used this and that over the assad regime is a rather heart of us that come it's a set pattern of u.s. grant at this june people in submission under an iranian and russian sphere of influence. i think that becomes -- >> let's continue along those lines. we've had dozens of sanctions against the assad regime. we sat international condemnation, certainly not at the u.n. security council because of russia but the public condemnation. lots of speeches, we had limited no trade stocks by in our key allies, none of this has worked. none of it has been effective. i would posit to you, and i we
going to bring assad and his henchmen to justice? is this an indication that sanctions are a useless tool in actually deterring and punishing wmd violations and even limited military strikes of the very limited nature that were leveled by president trump seem to have had no effect. what do you say to that? >> i'm surprised to say that i feel like there is, there are some positive elements to be drawn out of syria with what is happening in syria, both from a nonproliferation point of view and from, more broadly. at first i would say it has, the process to the opcw and united nations has been slow but there have been some success. i mean, there was a declaration of its chemical weapons stockpile. that declared stockpile was
destroyed. the facilities that syria declared were visited, excuse me, by u.n. inspectors, by opcw inspectors. so the was a process that was successful. now clearly we can see from the continued use of chemical weapons that the declaration was not complete, but there have been technical teams going out to verify the declaration. and here you see a bit of a parallel with iran, the value of the declaration, the way which declarations be used to motivate inspections or to guide inspectors. and you didn't opcw inspectors able to interview personnel, review documents, compare samples. i mean, all of this i think was extremely valuable and it allows us now at the present time to start to assign blame. so that's why have the difference between, you have the 50 or the four. there are four instances where we can say for sure that the
assad regime was responsible. >> let me be somewhat provocative and just posit this. so yeah syria's situation with chemical weapons, , sanctions, limited military strikes, condemnations, declarations and at the end of the day bashar al-assad producing chemical weapons to slaughter his own people. so that was in the chemical context here let's take the nuclear context. syria was building the al-kibar nuclear reactor with north korea's hell. a lot of discussion about this. both administrations decided they wanted to handle that diplomatically through a process and the israelis said thanks very much, president bush. turned around and blue the reactor to smithereens. syria no longer has a nuclear program. and thank god because if it had, i shar al-assad or isis might've been in control of nuclear weapons. so isn't the lesson from that from the face of a brutal dictator building wmds,
willing to use w md, that you're better off obliterating the program rather than using the mechanisms of the u.n. or the npt of whatever other agency? i just put that out provocatively. >> it works for a while. >> i think it also works for the single, let's say single reaction first a chemical weapons program. >> but the are not complying with the npt anyway in terms of the follow-up and inquiries, inspections and so on. we don't know if the syrian nuclear program is finished. >> there's a question about that. >> an important part of the secretaries discussion because we don't know that. what we do know about bashar al-assad and the behavior is tt the response to military action, unilateral military action four-time spigots mowing the grass concept except here it's not mowing the whole yard. it's like pinpointed on the very important part of the yard. >> yeah, i mean, you know, valor
is right. in some small victories along the way in terms of holding, not only accountable that sort of attributing blame for the chemical weapons, strikes, et cetera. but overall i'm concerned that the message of the bashar al-assad winning the civil war and not being held accountable for all of the things he has done, including the wmd arena, including with regard to non-wmd atrocities. the message to rogue regimes is you ought to fight with no holds barred, and if you win, you won't pay a price for it. it sends, unfortunately, a green light to other rogue regimes other brutal dictators to fight no holds barred and to violate all of these norms. it seems to me that we need to find a way of reversing that, and since it looks like bashar
al-assad will win, we have defined some other way of reversing that. and i don't know whether, what that would be but it seems to me that that ought to be a high priority because it's not just about bashar al-assad. there is a serious issue of deterring future brutal dictators like bashar al-assad from engaging in the things that he did. >> let's switch topics to the second part of the speech, which really about iran. orde, you would mention, one of her takeaways was about the israeli atomic archives and its importance. i know there was a real debate in the analyst community about the importance of that archived, he said it was a big deal, nothing new. even if it was it was a violation of the jcpoa or the nct for the culprits of safeguards agreement. what is your view of the significance, the importance of
that atomic archive? what does it say to you and specifically as a lawyer, and international lawyer, can one say that the existence of the it is a violation of the jcpoa and its international agreement? >> in my view the iranian nuclear archives seem to indicate that iran is currently in violation of its obligations under the nuclear nonproliferation treaty and iran's comprehensive safeguards it agreement with the agency. a similar point, the archives show that the iranian nuclear weapons program was larger, more sophisticated, more focused and more advanced than previously understood. the archives contain considerable previously unknown data on iranian nuclear weapons design, high explosive test whether to weapons depot become individual involved in the nuclear program and sites for research development and testing. some of the archived images
appear to show a disclose equipment deployed for nuclear weapons work. in discussing u.s. withdrawal from the jcpoa, the iaea many analysts have asserted iran is compliance with the deals terms. and plying iran is not a violation of its nuclear related obligations or commitments and that the sole concern is a future change in iranian behavior. under that view international community is in a waiting mode with iran claiming the moral high ground and holding the reins at the brink of a nuclear breakout. right? its nuclear program largely unassailable until it chooses to dash at a bomb it seems most capricious. but iran, the atomic archive provides substantial evidence of current iranian violation of its obligations under the npt and the conference of safeguards. there's been too little attention to be has been paid to this.
the iaea and the broader international community need to investigate these questions now, and iran is obligated to comply, to cooperate with the iaea under investigation by desiccant now the iea with both fulfill its mandate and help to significantly reduce iran's ability to dash for a bomb at a time for its choice. the problem is that legal and political commitments came to serve as effective constraints only if they are enforced. and the failure to punish maybe lesser violations such as retention of prohibited nuclear weapons design material are retention of information received from outside nuclear weapons engineers, that typically serves to embolden greater violations. if you're not going to hold iran accountable for holding onto this all material, and iran it seems to me will be more likely to dash to great a nuclear weapon at the time of its choosing. >> do you agree with that?
>> he sang its explicit violation of the npt, csa and i know we didn't get into the jcpoa itself but there's been argument that a section with prohibit iran from acquiring, seeking, developing nuclear weapons, that the retention of this massive archives for nuclear weapon is a violation. are you as confident as orde is? >> i'm not. i mean, not to be seen, to you probably, not having seen the full scope of the archive, having seen quite limited amount that was in prime minister netanyahu's presentation and has been released in some news stories since then. it's my assessment is that it provides a lot more detail and in some cases images which are
of course quite vivid about elements of iran's nuclear weapon development history that we knew about in terms of the production of fissile material, weaponization of that fissile material and -- >> let me stop you there because i don't want you to focus too much on whether it was new or not new, how much do we know, we don't know. a raging debate which really can't have because we don't know. what i'm asking more specifically under think to the point is the fact that iran retained that documentation, , t only retain that i documentation within decide after reaching the jcpoa to take all of this information, consolidate it and then go hide it somewhere in tehran so it could be used in the future potentially for some potential military nuclear program. in your view is that a violation of the jcpoa, the npt and/or the comprehensive agreement? >> not being an international lawyer i would say it violates
the spirit, if i can revive a phrase that was used often in the past, the spirit of the jcpoa and certainly iran's treaty commitments under the npt. i think that it does reinforce a fundamental problem with the jcpoa which was iran never make a full declaration of its nuclear work in the past, that declaration would've guided inspectors and then a sort of strong mandate and basis for accessing military sites where this work took place. none of these things happened so the revelations to me reinforce and shine a a light on one of e shortcomings of the jcpoa. ..
that the deal reached with the russians on asad's chemical weapons program, a massive chemical weapons program, most was destroyed, able to get inspectors in there. there is an argument made that at least diminished what was otherwise a significant risk to israel, to jordan, do you accept the line of argument? >> yes i do. the massively reduced declared stockpile of chemical weapons is a great victory, getting agents out of syria. it could have gone either way.
it could have significantly contracted and those agents -- even more irresponsible parties than people like bashar al-assad. western countries have highlighted this, the declarations themselves were incomplete and there were concerns about that. in the sense they -- since the distraction of the all the declared stockpiles. that remains a problem. the larger problem and a complete political failure in the sense it was always put to us that it was either strike or we had chemical weapons deal. a big debate, there could have been a strike in political bounds and deal and that is in a better direction.
and 60% of this territory, outstanding issues on the cwc. >> let me turn back to you. we are talking about rogue regimes, arms control agreements, and they are incomplete, pooling and staff here, july 18th, atomic energy organization that he built, factories that can produce 60 centrifuges today, and the factory is all at work. and iran now has a stockpile of 950 tons of uranium after it was finalized.
significant? did these raise concerns for you? in the process of re-imposing sanctions against iran. how do we deal with those centrifuges, massive stockpile of uranium in the context of other violations. >> thanks. i briefly want to go back to the point about the iranian nuclear archives. the existing archives with all this data about nuclear weapons, you contrast that, in that situation, those came clean. pursuant to agreement with the us and uk, in 2004 about a team of british and american experts
to enter the country completely dismantling the infrastructure. libya turned over nuclear weapon designs it perceived and us and uk team shipped out of libya 1000 tons of sensitive documents and nuclear missile components. coming clean regarding nuclear weapons, the same with regard to south africa. to dismantle its nuclear weapons program devices, destroyed the hardware, manufacturing information. in 1993 they burned 2000 documents containing that kind of information. in contrast the iranian regime is holding information and i have not seen the archives myself but according to press reports, continuing the work under the guide. there is a violation going on,
in the libyan south africa situation, it brings out the problem with the current iran nuclear situation with regard to the announcement on july 18th, took a quick look, these may both be steps that are designed to demonstrate iranian restlessness without violating the jcp oa. a factory has been built and started, not additional centrifuges produced or installed that raise serious questions. the uranium stockpile appears to refer to non-enriched uranium rather than enriched uranium. the challenge when throwing so much against iran sanctionswise is you have very little left to specifically respond to and deter incremental problematic steps.
it is a matter of violating the jcp oa, since the us has withdrawn from jcp oa it is up to the eu 3 who are still in the deal to respond with commensurate measures. what are their plans to respond to incremental violation of jcp oa or incremental violations of the in pt and comprehensive safeguards? i see no evidence of such a plan, no announcement if iran does x we will respond with why. that is something you need to have. >> it struck me in the speech that there was a reference to iranian wmd. what do we know about that, the chemical weapons program or biological weapons program? do we know much? >> you will recall also that
four main statutes are sanctions legislation passed by congress, termination provision that statutory sanctions will only be terminated permanently when iran permanently dismantles its nuclear, chemical, biological programs. is that speculative? do we know much in the public domain about those other programs? >> i was struck by that sentence actually. an iranian chemical weapons program.
the us can't certify iran's obligations under convention but he or she is talking about one of the problems is it didn't address iran's other wmd programs. now she believes that iran has other wmd programs. it appears with regard to chemical weapons to be perhaps a little bit of a change from the compliance report that her own team issued in march 2018. it will be interesting to probe and see was this a significant statement, was an indication something is going on, new information about chemical and biological weapons program or was it just something we are putting a little bit in. >> there is a recommended next step for an enterprising reporter to follow up on that. that is very interesting. we are pretty much out of time. we will go to q and a.
we will have microphones going around. please put up your hands. i see my old friend over there managed to get by security. >> thanks for the invitation, this is great. so glad they got past those past safeguards. you think there is still noncompliance because of the atomic archives. can you with some degree of specificity say what provisions
of the jcp oa, the retention of documents of past nuclear weapons development, what are the specific provisions being violated? >> the principle provision is article 2 under which iran is obligated not to manufacture nuclear weapons or receive assistance in their manufacture. the retention of atomic archives including nuclear weapons design work and tangible substantive assistance it has received and keeping together its nuclear weapons research team puts iran in violation of article 2 as long interpreted by the united states. i will be publishing something on this shortly. the most appropriate and effective way to remedy the
violation would be for the iaea to do something similar to what was done in libya and south africa, destroy all information and agreement in iran including the atomic archives which has no purpose but to contribute to the building of a nuclear explosive device. iran's comprehensive safeguards agreement which iran has entered into with the iaea pursuant to article 3 of the npt requires iran to provide all nuclear material in iran subject to safeguards and information about features of the facilities relevant to the safeguarding of such material. the atomic archive appears to show that iran's nuclear program is more expensive than inspectors previously understood. iran appears to have had and may still have nuclear related material activity and facilities that was and is required as a comprehensive
safeguards agreement to declare to the iaea is not declared to the iaea, placing iran in violation of both the safeguards agreement and npt are 3 which requires iran to comply to the conference of safeguards. it seems to me one remedy for that is the iaea should undertake special inspections previously undeclared and other suspect sites reflected in the atomic archives to determine purposes, significance of iran's failure to report nuclear material activities and facilities as required by comprehensive safeguards. >> we think about compliance, something the assistant secretary didn't reference that is important is the most recent allegations in the secretary-general's report related to nuclear procurement. the debate about who is
responsible, technically noncompliance, having sent nuclear material to iran outside procurement channels established by the jcp oa but iran has obligations on its side as well in the most recent report contained a number of allegations about nuclear sales or transfers to iran that did not go through channels. that is a compliance question. i wish it would get more attention. >> i will take prerogative as moderator. i think section t of the jcp oa, take a look at it. iran has prohibited seeking and acquiring nuclear weapons. a common sense view, if you are taking a massive archive of detailed designs and documents how to build nuclear weapons and taking those documents that are sitting in various places in iran, consolidating all of it, clandestinely moving it to
a warehouse in tehran, hopefully to keep it away from the iaea and prying eyes of western intelligence, a common sense reading suggests iran is in violation because it is attempting to seek wmd. if it is not attempting to seek wmd, turnover these documents and wouldn't try to keep these documents away from spying eyes, michael? >> mark, you were famously in the not camp in terms of the jcp oa. what i would like to ask the panel is having identified these problems, where we go from here, because the documentation emerged a week before donald trump withdrew from the jcp oa.
one course of action might have been to confront the iranian's over this documentation and initiating discussion and listening to the factor in the discussion. they get out of the agreement so we are not party to this agreement to the united states. at the same time, putting sanctions, tied to iranian behavior in the region and us concerns on the nuclear front we won't take the sanctions off, they do a whole range of activities. we are not party to this agreement. sanctions don't seem to be an effective tool for resolving concerns from the jcp oa because they are tied to iranian behavior more probably, europe is keeping the agreement so the west is no longer unified. as much as donald trump talks about wanting to talk with the iranian there is no new negotiation going on and no discussion whatsoever that
anybody can identify. i like the other panels that they haven't gotten out of this agreement and pursue this policy, how you think one could actually construct -- try to resolve these issues with the iranian's. >> i have lots of ideas but i am the moderator so i will turn it over to you guys. michael's question, ask you, it is counterfactual. andrew as well. if iran was in violation of section t of the agreement for the nuclear archives, seeking nuclear weapons, why not actually take that violation to the joint commission, accuse iran of being in violation, give us amount of time to explain. and on the pmd issue, if they didn't, if they didn't move have the joint commission to
unilaterally stop us sanctions against iraq, the united states stays in the dealing uses tough sanctions, nonnuclear sanctions against the central bank supporting bashar al-assad or the activities michael is referencing. and the third iranian violation that the iranian say they are not in violation for living tens of thousands of documents to the warehouse so they could start a wmd program in the future. >> why not indeed? i cowrote a piece with my colleagues over there saying exactly that. it was titled atomic archive strengthens case to fix nuclear deal. and argued the us should have stayed in the dealing use
additional information in the archives to push. take advantage of not just -- when i talked about violations i focused on the comprehensive safeguards because iran is stilling those, they are legally binding, a little hard for the us to make arguments about the jcp oa in violation of section t since we have withdrawn from the jcp oa. what is the root forward? obviously the administration has decided to ramp up sanctions on iran and try to reach a new deal with iran. is that the way to be successful? i don't know. i do know a lot of european companies are pulling out of doing business with iran. will and iran -- will iran under pressure agreed to a deal better than the jcp oa? i suppose it could happen.
was that my preferred course of action? know it wasn't. >> i also wonder. i think i know the answer to this but what is the administration's desire for the jcp oa? does it see a way forward whereby the united states is no longer in the jcp oa but there is sufficient value and similar to the agreement to allow it to not actively try to get rid of it entirely? i think my impression is talking about the jcp oa in the past tense and sanctions they are looking to put back in place have been put into place aimed at accelerating that. i do think there is value to continue even if the united states is not in it. you have things like the procurement channel and the joint commission, the ability for enhanced inspections and a series of things, reconfiguration of the iraq
reactor, there are benefits to have the -- the administration should see that there are benefits to have jcp oa continue but for me that is the immediate question. >> to your point, what i hadn't thought of was a chemical weapons deal, president obama decided not to, quote, and force the red line, lunch military strikes. it was clearly an imperfect deal and are flawed deal. you wonderscored something important which is political dimensions of that deal, political consequences which we all agree politically speaking has been a massive failure, a catastrophe with respect to the charlotte side and survival of this regime. any effort to withdraw from that, the iran nuclear deal,
the whole discussion. >> an excellent question. the major criticism of the deal from a syria context was the problem with not per se about the agreement but what was baked into the agreement. not to mix metaphors too much, a license for iran -- that is indisputable. we say bashar al-assad is winning the syrian see the war. if you look iranian influence in syria, they are interspersed with what used to be the syrian arab army. in israel i have heard it referred to but also in other
places a massive strategic failure. what i expected after withdrawing from the nuclear agreement, that you would put in place a plan to rollback iranian influence in the region. the problem is you need to devote military resources at least in part to doing that but in the case of syria passively holding territory and keeping it out of the hands of the asad regime so you can strangle it in a way and pressure it. until now, this was still a matter of dispute whether it was the deal between the israelis and russians and jordanians over the southwest, the issue of what to do in eastern syria and should us troops stay. and the united states keeping those forces there.
and using leverage points on the asad regime as we tried to pull the iranian's with russian support. and from eastern syria. cutting a deal with vladimir putin. >> or a drawdown. there are iterations of this and it is a controversial issue in the us government. we could see a reduction of troops but the main driver that is important to watch in the context of the southwest agreement, isis exists in syrian territory. under regime control they are making raids on a regular basis but that is quite far westward. the problem is if troops are withdrawn too quickly than the likelihood of isis
reconstituting or reasserting itself more quickly goes up and that is something we all need to avoid whether it is in terms of regional security or national security. >> further questions? >> a comparatively dumb question. you mention the archives at several points. do we have an absolute sense of their actual size, location, and for instance could there possibly be more of them that are currently accounted for? you're making a case their very existence shows violations of jcp oa but if our understanding of their size is not complete, how do we make that determination? and what is the method after everything else is withdrawn for determining the size and completeness of our
understanding of those archives? >> the gentleman sitting next to you, introduce yourself. former deputy director general for safeguards. of that is over you should have a chat. >> with regard to that, the israelis, all i know is what i have read in the new york times and press reports that the israelis went in and took some of what was in the warehouse but far from all of it. they weren't able to carry all of it. we don't know whether there were other sites with archival material, or if the iranian's have kept other copies so it seems this is a job for the international atomic energy agency to visit that site, to see what is left, if the material left, out of that site
after they discover the israelis broken, where did they take it to? this, it seems to me is a job for the international atomic energy agency, this is why they exist, to track down this sort of material relevant to iran's nuclear weapons program and as far as i can tell the israelis have turned over copies according to press reports but i have heard no reference to the iaea going into iran to see what is left and certainly according to israeli reports there's plenty left. the of what was in that warehouse little and what was in that warehouse. >> on that note, thank you for coming and thank you, c-span, for broadcasting this and hope you will stay afterwards for follow-up questions. thanks, guys. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible
>> lots of people feel i don't want my kid to read stories that are sad, disturbing, downbeat, whatever. and that is like not a totally illegitimate thing to say, i want to choose as a parent when my kid understands stuff that might bring them grief but there's a point beyond which they are 14 now. when you introduce them to the idea that not everything is perfect outside of your all white suburb? all of those factors world together to create the perfect dumpster fire of mass censorship. >> science fiction author corey doctorow will be on in-depth fiction edition at noon eastern discussing his latest book, walk away. 's other books include down and out in the magic kingdom, little brother, for 14 other novels.