tv [untitled] October 19, 2011 3:30pm-4:00pm EDT
brings you the latest in science and technology from. the future of. close martin central moscow thank you for joining us tonight one of kevin these are our top stories for you enough is enough hundreds of thousands of desperately greeks spill onto the streets venting their anger over a new raft of tough austerity measures clashes have broken out between police and protesters who say they're fed up with attempts to stop the country's financial freefall. strain stand still serves ignore the cost of oh say the only clear there are roadblocks if albanian officials abandon border checkpoints despite nature's ultimatum most of them to leave before stamp. syria's two way violence with
soldiers reportedly turning on each other and being killed during anti-government protests fueling fears now of a fully fledged civil war. plus saw all hollywood know trap russian catches. spying allegations in a british court put it meant she had an affair with a married m.p. . it's eleven thirty one pm moscow time next on this channel crosstalk examines america's claims that it's uncovered in a radian plot to kill the saudi ambassador to the u.s. and whether there's more behind their salary relations so on air just. liz. liz. liz.
liz can you. start. to think you can. follow me well come across our computer laid out a hoax or a major security threat for oil to get the us what reads like a cheap hollywood movie script iran is accused to have been behind a plot to assassinate the saudi ambassador to the u.s. denies this the washington promise is a strong reaction to our american and iranian relations again on a collision course the same can. start. to cross talk us radian relations i'm joined by one hundred more randi in beirut he's a professor at the university of turn around in television we go to michael omar man he is a writer and journalist and in washington we cross to matthew das he's
a policy analyst and director of the middle east program for the center of american progress all right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want may very much encourage it but first marcia tell us the latest chapter in this troubled relationship that's been our relationship hostility for three decades now but last week so yet another downturn in u.s. iran ties after washington came out with accusations that iran had been wanting to assassinate saudi arabia's ambassador to the u.s. it is an outrageous act that really arrays are going to have to be held accountable and i think when you see the case presented during a forum there is compelling evidence. but few have found the evidence compelling enough to think the allegations are not part of a larger effort to further isolate iran and pursue tougher sanctions against it and these sanctions already up for discussion in congress could include a ban on financial transactions with iran central bank as well as a ban on petroleum products sold by companies controlled by the country's elite
military force islamic revolutionary guard were said to be involved in the plot meanwhile iran has continued to dismiss the accusations as a us conspiracy threatening to retaliate. they conduct such conspiracies against us frequently they are all useless and ineffective they say that they want to isolate iran but they have become isolated themselves but u.s. officials say the case stands on its merits pointing to the long term animosity between iran and saudi arabia driven by a power struggle between the shia and the sunni as one of the reasons to iran may have wanted the saudi a diplomat. there dead this alleged plot has been tied to previous accusations of iran's involvement in the murder of lebanon's prime minister rafik hariri on top of that some see this is a continuation of iran's terrorism is against well the u.s. itself previously conducted acts of terrorism against america killed americans but not in the u.s.
not in the nation's capital this is a real escalation and just to me that they just all feel any fear that we will come back. and so this poses a question why would iran want to risk provoking u.s. military reaction against itself by carrying out the alleged attacks also and i'm going to ask you this peter what can the u.s. hope to do right now especially given the fact that many believe the evidence to be trumped up well martial let's look at the merits of this case i'd like to first go to peru professor marandi and beirut i mean how do you make this because they've made this story out to be because even i've found it quite interesting even kind of humorous that the usual cheerleaders of american foreign policy that favor the new at the new york times find the story to be comical in many ways and quite gained wrist in other ways. well yes it is it's it's absurd and there's absolutely no motive the iranians have no reason whatsoever why they would wish to assassinate the saudi ambassador. if they hypothetically wanted to do it why would they do it
in the united states which is specially d.c. which is one of the most well protected places in the world they could do it in the middle east somewhere they could find a much high profile target that's a much more high profile the bastard or the saudi ambassador isn't a very important person at all so why would iran wish to pro provoke the united states and of course saudi arabia despite three decades of very poor relations with iran more or less. iran has never heard a single saudi anywhere at any time if you recall saudi arabia funded saddam hussein's war along with the americans and the europeans they funded the weapons of mass destruction program in the europeans americans helped them develop it but killing many thousands of iranians but the iranians never retaliated so why would the iranians do such a thing now so the then of course they're going in says pretty bogus as well but i
guess we'll get to that later yes ok michael by golly you tell me what do you think of the merits of this case because it looks like a lot of legal people are looking and saying this is an obvious case of entrapment of a buffoon. i don't know about entrapment i have to say the case itself works strange to say the least. but let's not forget that there is between iran and saudi arabia just seven months ago. we could look through this i quoted the saudi king of saying that the head needs to be cut off the snake of iran . not to mention that iran has. been very pleased with saudi involvement in bahrain and there have been clashes recently in between shiites and saudi forces you have iraq to that and there's obviously animosity between that. whether that
is a motive enough to carry out an attack this big in the united states i have to say it sounds strange already matthew to ask you your opinion about this case because the more we look at it the more comical it appears i mean this is a gentleman even his best closest friends say he couldn't walk in think at the same time and he's making these really get involved in things that can be so easily traceable i mean he seems like the most unlikely person to be carrying obvious high level care as to character assassination you could actually do a proper war between two countries i mean what do you think of the merits of the case. on its face the facts of the case as described by the attorney general eric holder seem very very strange they seemed you know they could force has carried out various acts of terrorism over the past decades but this seems a very very sloppy i think there's a real question here if they care if the allegations are in fact true where does this land within the iranian regime but i have to say i do it does seem to me that
they've done here they should be not shared as much of the evidence with the public as i would like to see but they have shared the evidence with members of congress including senator dianne feinstein the head of the senate intelligence committee who has said that the evidence she was shown was very very compelling so i'm not inclined at all to just dismiss this plot already mohamed if i can go to you i mean when i look at this time in my opinion here it's really eerie it's i feel like it's two thousand and three right now and colin powell is addressing the security council and to go to war against iraq i mean flimsy stuff is a say the least expensive the cast of characters involved i mean how is what's your reaction to this i mean and we have to remember this is an election year and i want to go into that dimension as well. well first of all i'd like to add just recently the iranians released to the two so close and hikers who entered iranian territory through iraq a military zone in an area where terrorists were active and american forces were
also stationed you enter the country illegally one of them's father was was in the israeli army. the iranians released them and that was a goodwill gesture so why would the iranians want to do this carry out such an entire. lot of really help the law in the first place treating this as an act of you know bring this since on the part of iran no no they're absolutely they entered iranian legally they entered iran through a highly military zone and it was absolutely absurd for any ordinary person to even be anywhere near that area let alone someone people with such a background but in any case. this was all really reminds one. the fact that they're both americans and three of them were americans and one of them a father worked in this way in the army so the fact that. he was really reserved in the army i mean that's. doesn't make it any easier the fact is that they
entered the country illegally the father of one of them was an israeli army soldier they were there was a military zone and terrorists and the american forces were active in that area i think it's very clear that he arrived to iranians and then to the united states illegally through the mexican border i don't think americans would release them out that easily even if the iranians demanded them to ok so let's in fact i think this is an interesting point and let's look at how the western media and western congressmen and women feel when the american government makes accusations it is immediately accepted to be true there are no questions when you i was watching c.n.n. right after the allegations were made and it wasn't why how do we know this is true it was why did the iranians do it so it does remind. me of through a very. i'm sorry that's simply not. remaining i've been. out in the mainstream really all this. plot it's all over the internet it's all over the blogs it's all.
i did and i think you gentlemen i think continue with michael here michael would say it's all true ok i mean are they trying to keep a war with the united states and if they are why. i don't think that from the start of war with united states. if you watched from the new drugs an interview with al jazeera last night he actually took what i consider to be almost conciliatory. deescalating tone. talk to the you know he said you know we don't have the american people although the american policies are making the iranian nation. the americans i don't think they're trying to. it started with united states and to be honest i think the united states government is also trying to back down a little bit from the accusations directly against iran if you listen to fight to the dianne feinstein's and if you believe it was on its embassy she said point
blank i have not seen any evidence that this goes to the higher echelons of the israeli government she only said within the force and flying that there is rogue elements within it now if they were if sort of more like the two thousand and three buildup to the iraq war you would see a lot more accusations that they really in government i don't think were saying that what do you think about that matthew i mean it is. broke out at the ranch let's see if it is even worse isn't it. so right now i think as i said earlier i think that so that's my real question is if this if this happened as described where does it land within the iranian government is this kind of a cell starting a member of the kurds force but i also have to respond to the allegation that this is somehow like the buildup to iraq i think the obama administration has made clear in innumerable ways but it does not desire a military confrontation with iran the military the u.s. military has made clear that it feels that a military intervention in iran would be. disastrous for the real intent for you
the same time and tell you hey i'm just here but it has to go to our break here and i think we have to recall you know everything is still on table john gentlemen we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on around the state party. in. wealthy british style. markets find out. why not what's really happening to the global economy with mike's concert for a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines tune in to reports on our
first solo album after all talk a little about your mind you were talking about iraq u.s. relations. muck the economy the solo. ok i'm a ham and you wanted to say something before i went to the break but i'd like to point out there's that and i want to talk about the israeli angle here is that israel for a long time has been calling for a military strike against iran ok but first i'm hama go ahead you want to finish up what we had to say in the first part. yes michael you mentioned a couple of things without being interrupted i'd be grateful one is that it does remind one of two thousand and three in the sense that the united states is being just as dishonest. to the facts are clear. there is no motive the story itself is completely bogus this this person who seems to be mad goes to mexico he said he says to a drug runner that i have
a cousin who is a high general in the iranian armed forces which no one in the world would give that sort of information to a mercenary after all he went to mexico for a ticket to give a deniability and then he he he sent a wire one hundred thousand dollars i mean even if the people who made up the story had read a couple of spy and i will say no that they don't wire money especially from iran and to mexican drug dealers they were getting cash then he when he is in prison he calls this so close an iranian general and he tells him on the phone to carry out the operation i mean come on the phone a senior iranian commander on an international line to the united states it is completely unbelievable and of course the iranians would know quite well that a drug cartel as huge as that which makes tens of billions of dollars they wouldn't risk themselves to carry out an attack on the united states would bring down the wrath of the united states but the problem is is that the united states is deals
irrationally with iran it's not a rational player when it comes to iran and this is this is just a part of that no one in iran believes this story i don't believe that many people in the united states believe this story but the fact that the u.s. government pushes such an absurd story i think it just shows that there is a very little hope for for a rational approach in any time in the future with iran in the near future at least we think about them out. i mean because i can i mean professor marandi gave a pretty good detailed account of the story to date again you know what is the rand benefit from all of this i mean and the absurdity of it all unless the more evidence comes out the ties it makes a tighter case it looks like utter nonsense. as i said i think there's a lot about this case that does not smell right to me. but i think the point about reading spy novels i think that goes both ways i think if we claim that mr marandi
seems to be making the obama administration simply invented this plot out of whole cloth well you know they've read spy novels too so you might think they would do a better more convincing job if they were just simply trying to snow the rest of the world i must say bomb administration itself that it necessarily. did it i mean even them so that sort of information it could be. terrorist organization it could be other i don't know but i understand there is a conspiracy theory you have about who is driving this i said i i think that even if you step on their hearing but the bottom line is we have in iran we have a regime that has regularly used terrorism regular assassination. all right michael i'd like to go to you gentlemen gentlemen please michael i'd like to go to you i mean over the years there have been many people in the israeli political and military establishment that if called for a military strike against iran i mean how does this is settled now in the
environment as we have in the arab spring and what not and we have the the sunni divide when we're looking at a bahrain and these other issues which of course saudi arabia and iran are are looking at very very closely how does this all play into the mix for you because we have heard this before coming out of israel and some supporters of israel the united states in a military strike against iran is necessary. well this this incident would be very good for those calling for a strike against iran by israel or america because. the strongest ally obviously not an open ally israel could have for such a strike would be saudi arabia they need saudi air space to reach iran and they need support in the arab world to do it but you know even though we have we've seen the strongest rhetoric in recent years and this under the premiership of prime minister netanyahu and even though they have all the military.
preparations ready for such a thing they are not prepared politically to do such a thing they don't have the support of united states they don't have the support of anybody really and at a time when israel is going under further isolation this would just make it more isolated than iran is because of it makes it more convenient those years and it makes it more convenient doesn't it i mean it does create a political atmosphere for that kind of attack i mean listening to vice president biden president obama hillary clinton you know it will be a strong reaction i mean what else can you do and what else can the united states do against iran that it hasn't done already except to go to war. president obama basically spelled out sanctions and isolation he pretty much made it clear while saying well repeating the same line that all options are still on the table he basically said we're not going to war over this. so you're right it does make it easier it does it does help the argument of
a strike against iran. but. i don't think it actually advances such as the possibility of it ok matthew it's very interesting here i mean we have the election cycle in the united states and just recently iran also talked about restarting negotiations with the west over its nuclear program now with this story this bizarre cockeyed story all of that seems to be gone away and now mr obama is running for reelection and he needs maybe foreign policy credentials because the economy isn't in there in iraq i mean i'm this is not a conspiracy theory this is called politicking. i understand but i mean if there's one area in which president obama is doing very very well among american voters it's foreign policy it's national security so it's unclear to me why he would think that he just needs this this other point on iran in order to bolster his credentials he's the guy who got bin laden he's been very very successful in in arranging cultivating in bolstering an international coalition to isolate iran over
its nuclear program the american people according to the polls approve of his performance on foreign policy and national security ok what do you think about that professor marandi i mean is this autolog taking the easy puzzle pieces coming together without being called a conspiracy theorist. it's obvious that the united states is doing very poorly in the middle east since losing its influence with the with awakenings the uprisings the economy's doing very poorly israel is in isolation and saudi arabia is not doing well at all it's fearful of its borders with yamin inside saudi arabia so it would be useful to sort of make the saudi ruling family the victim here so it does benefit the united states in many ways but there's another point that i'd like to mention and that is the the repetition of the claim that iran is behind terrorism. the americans have made these claims in iraq and afghanistan many times both iraq and government and the afghan government have denied them time after time
after time and also importantly it's the irony is that is the united states that regularly care carries out terrorist attacks they use the uses drones to kill thousands of people that occupied numerous countries and iranian scientists have been called on sanctions for this and the same people who who are put on those there's a greater assassinated and of course the western media shows absolutely no sense whatsoever for their families for their children because they assume that iran is developing a nuclear weapon is why the fact that there's never been any evidence to show that so in the west the problem is that the corporate the corporate media is more or less on the side of what the american government does and i think that the americans do have an interest in pushing this case for for many reasons for the saudi family for israel and for itself and i feel your pain go to us which pushes saudi angle because i think it is very interesting because there was the victim of
this alleged plot was a saudi citizen do you think that maybe this is something that you know not only israel and probably in the united states which are. at some point in time because of its nuclear program the sa. these are saying now and i'm kind of echoing what professor marandi had to say is that the saudis feel enormous amount of pressure because of bahrain and because of its very troubled relationship to around so this would be a nice card for them to play and get the americans to back them up on it. no i agree i think there are you can come up with a reason than just the case and for how this might benefit the u.s. saudi relationship again i do i will i will admit that is one of the points that actually makes me more skeptical of the plot as described because he ran which it clearly like the united states iran has also suffered from the arab spring from the arab awakening but iran is seems to be very pleased with the ongoing tension in the us out the relationship so it's unclear to me why they should want to carry out
a plot like this what seems to me to have kind of papered over those tensions for the time being so yes one can develop i think reasons for how this might benefit the saudis but to go back to president obama i think he came into office having argued strenuously for his effort isn't a joint effort with iran an effort to change the the u.s. iran relationship he tried that we met with with the iranians to try to hammer out some nuclear agreement this plot as described really does damage to that part of his agenda so in coming out in rolling out this the evidence as they have he seems to be going against his own stated efforts and desires to change the u.s. iran relationship so again it's not clear to me why he would want to do that. michel thank go to you i'm going to bridge mine to go ahead jump in. i just want to . make two points one is that i think the iranians feel pretty happy about the uprising and the awakening or the. spring or whatever you like to call it because
almost all the regimes are work or pro-american dictatorships that have very poor relations with iran so on the whole we run benefits but with regard to the nuclear program obama never did any good at all in fact when the iranians along with the brazilians and the turks if you recall were came to an agreement and obama promised to support it he gave wrote a letter to the brazilian president saying that he will back to agreements when they agreement was made he he quickly rejected it condemned the brazilians and the turks and then went for a new sanctions in the u.n. security council so you know obama has has not been honest he lied effectively very blatantly but again here this might go a little written by the american media welcome that is there and you can search it on the internet the american media never pursued this all right gentlemen we've run out of time very interesting discussion many thanks my guest today in beirut tel aviv and in washington thanks to our viewers for watching as you are to see you