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tv   [untitled]    February 1, 2012 3:00pm-3:30pm EST

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the weapons. because guns would still find their way to opposition groups which members refuse even to acknowledge. a diplomatic. resolution on syria calling for president assad to step down russia says no. and pushes for talks and all the details from new york just ahead of the program. on vacations of sexual assault. cases.
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based in the u.s. already feeling alienated by the spirit. stories. international news and comment live from moscow this is. russia will not agree to an embargo on weapons to syria moscow says doing so would not prevent the continued arming of opposition groups in the country there's deadlock at the u.n. security council where russia is refusing to back any military intervention or the resolution that could aggravate the conflict. the latest from new york. russia says it won't accept even a hint of an embargo on arms embargo when it comes to syria and its reasoning for this is pretty simple it says firstly that the weapons and arms are that russia provides to syria cannot be used against demonstrators thus don't influence anything that goes on inside syria when it comes to this conflict now secondly
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russia says that it is only following its legal obligations it's following its international contracts with syria and it's not breaching any international laws at all and most importantly it says that the lessons of libya need to be large because when an arms embargo was put in place on libya what ended up happening was government forces were embargoed but the opposition groups continued to receive openly arms from abroad and this is something that they don't want to see in syria and russia says it's time for the west to stop pretending like armed groups don't exist over there. it would seem logical if this is a conflict let's not supply arms and we saw what happened in libya you know an imperfect world this would have meant the following no weapons with the government much opposition point to get them from anyone that's what that would mean especially now our security council colleagues refuse even to admit the presence of groups they will not condemn them. being supplied with weapons and we said.
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hullo contracts longstanding relations with syria that they will start supplying even more to the opposition groups they did in libya. there is no sign of a break in deadlock just yet the arab and western backed regime change resolution calls for the. syrian president to step down if this does not happen within fifteen days further measures could take place and russia says no thanks we've seen this similar scenario in libya and this particular case moscow says what's important is for talks for syria to exercise its sovereignty for the opposition and the government to sit down together moscow has offered russia as the central. stage for these negotiations but it's important to say that russia still believes that a consensus can be found within the united nations security council it says that broad resolutions that are dangerous should not be put on the table that can split the council and really aggravate any sort of conflict and it continues to call for
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the importance of arab observers to are remain working on the ground and started checking in that well for more on this i can now talk to dr benjamin barber from the think tank demos joining me now from new york well mostly refuses to back a weapons embargo on syria saying that ricci will position groups anyway despite some security council members refusing to admit these groups even exist but what do you make of russia's view. well russia is reading history with some accuracy if we look back at what happened in libya because a live a u.n. arab league resolution led to what was supposed to be a mission to protect civilians but ended up as a mission that actually took the lives of civilians inadvertently all the way the way to supporting the insurgents and in time became an armed intervention on behalf of insurgents and an attempt to overthrow the government the background issue here
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that is a very real issues the issue of sovereignty and unfortunately it was probably applies to russia in other cases most nations seem to think when they talk about sovereignty sovereignty is good for our friends compliance is good for our enemies so enemies should be willing people we don't like should be willing to surrender their sovereign deal and let us intervene whereas the people like you don't do that for right now russia is defending because properly so the sovereignty of syria whether it would defend the sovereignty of other nations less friendly to its interests is unclear but in the meantime the united states and the west generally and many are countries like qatar are in effect saying syria has no right to sovereignty it's the role of united nations to force compliance with their directives this without regard to the talent of the repression internally that's a separate issue but the problem is and this is the problem in that resolution it's not just that they call for the sation of violence that we're pressure against
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protesters they are now calling for regime change and that does exceed any reasonable standard of the sovereign rights of the country to make its own decisions about syria syrian it's a syrian problem is moscow saying and it needs to be sorted out by the syrians therefore that's why it's almost for negotiations to take place between the syrian government and the opposition why is it that the opposition are not keen to take place with those moscow initiated talks. well i mean let's be realistic i mean i think russia is right to say that syria has a right to its sovereignty but to pretend that talks are going to make a difference i think is delusional it's been clear whenever there's been a supposed ceasefire whenever syria and the government has said they will not any longer act the more civilians are murdered more people are killed quite clearly in this was to the role of the assad government is to repress and put down the
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insurgency by any means possible and they've used talks discussions simply as an excuse to continue with the repression and i have no doubt that if there were talks you would find that the syrian army would go on shooting protesters and repressing the insurgents even while those talks happen so honest while i think the russians have a case to make in defending period sovereignty saying the u.n. has no right to call for regime change the stepping down of president assad to pretend that descriptions of talk going to do anything what the syrian army did from murdering insurgents is on the list what if the sound to step down if he were to be deposed or indeed made to a demise that is being threatened in the way that gadhafi met his demise by some of the opposition yesterday saying that they want to kill him. what would be the implication for the country after all the opposition itself is mixed up isn't it in terms of fragments of various elements with interests in syria so what if that does
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happen if the west pushes for regime changes had force who takes his place. well you're quite right and again the case of libya the case of yemen and a number of other countries egypt also suggests that you have to be careful what you wish for the west is rather uncritical recent insurgency is a good thing only to find that insurgency often means anarchy fractionalization splintering various groups up against one another and the triumph over time of forces that are no more welcome to the west from the ones that are displaced in egypt we see that. not just the conservative muslim brotherhood but the ultra conservative salafi just conservatives are in a very strong position in libya we see a country that is unable to create any kind of really where militias are fighting one another where recently. towns like bondo while the back of the answer broke out the forces and the danger of libya beginning to look not so much like egypt as like
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somalia with live on militias and tribes at war so nobody i think did what will happen if assad is overthrown or killed or steps down and that's one of the problems you know that the law it's a small minority of ten or twelve percent you know christians support him because they feel good checked and we know there is a much larger. shia and sunni. groups there and no one really knows what the outcome is likely to be the west is hoping it will be less supportive husband a lot less supportive and less supportive of hamas and that could be the case no one really knows what it's going to look like so the fact is would you support insurgencies you're basically taking a very difficult bet on a certainty complicated situation very interesting to hear what you have to say dr benjamin bought from the think tank the most talk to me not that in new york thanks for telling you. iran which is committed to resolving the issues over its nuclear
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program so says a u.n. delegation. three day visit to the country. also plans to make another trip later this month that follows claims by u.s. intelligence officials that iran is as dangerous as al qaeda and is planning terror attacks on u.s. soil well let's discuss this now with robert parry he's an investigative journalist with the consortium news website he's joining me now from virginia so both iran and the agency inspectors they seem pretty optimistic with the latest nuclear watchdog mission could we hope for some kind of resolution now well possibly i think the iranians have long said that they are not building a nuclear weapon so there was always the basis for some kind of agreement if people came to believe that they were not building a nuclear weapon and one of the interesting developments we've seen over the past few weeks is that there's been almost a consensus not just in the united states in the intelligence community but even in
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some degree in israel that the arena's have not made the decision to move ahead to build a nuclear weapon obviously there's belief that they are developing expertise that can be used in the future for such a decision if they were to make one but there has been this interesting. coming together of use both from defense secretary panetta and defense minister iraq in israel to suggest that their decision has not been made so. if iran is sincere about its lack of interest in a nuclear weapon and if the west is willing to show some more flexibility in terms of how they're willing to negotiate on this yes i think there could be some resolution and yet at the same time u.s. intelligence is being what somewhat alarmist at the moment by saying in fact making out iran is a serious terror threat at the moment saying that the u.s. is now warning that tehran could launch terror attacks against if it actually feels
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threatened by the u.s. i mean why that tack now then. well i think that's been a bit overplayed the it was sort of it was mentioned in testimony yesterday by u.s. intelligence officials before congress however the freezer by the reference was really to this very dubious al a set of allegations about an alleged iranian plan to kill the saudi ambassador in washington next which was initially pretty much rejected by by the u.s. intelligence community but there was some pressure to sort of give it some more credence and there were charges brought but many people have grave doubts that that's real but the but the other but the point if you read very carefully what. the director of national intelligence clapper said yesterday he was indicating that that if the iranians come to believe there's a real threat the united states really gauges in attacks inside iran they might
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retaliate. but that really isn't that unusual sends pretty much any country if it's attacked will look for ways to retaliate just despite the apparent easing intentions ive of the the nuclear question do you think that as many analysts are saying that the u.s. and the west will find some other excuse to try and get some sort of regime change in iran. well clearly the israelis want that and they have a great deal of influence with europe and with the united states in terms of keeping the pressure going so i think yes there may be other ways just to try to keep the sanctions being ratcheted up maybe to bring about some hope for you the regime change or at least weakening iran substantially in terms of the role of complaining. but i think that is not as clear that that will play out as it might have been even a month or two ago i think president obama and defense secretary panetta have not
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been on the side of really pushing those those buttons they'd rather have this situation calmed down rather than then accelerated but there are political forces in the united states there there are quite powerful including on the republican side in terms of the presidential race that wants to ratchet up the pressure robert parry great to hear your thoughts investigative journalist with consorting news the website there speaking to us from virginia thank you thank you. the world's top whistleblower has taken his long legal battle to stay in the u.k. to the country's supreme court where he's appealing extradition to sweden during the songes wanted on the negations of sexual assault dating back to august two thousand and ten which he denies but we can expound insists the case is politically motivated parties nor smith reports now from outside the high court in london. as often happens on the first day of these hearings you only hear one side of the story and what's happened today is that judy and i saw as this team has given that
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evidence they've all that point his lawyer diana ross seems to be quite convincing in front of the seven judges they would have not think she just a bit of hubris the proceedings which everyone always seems to have breached and she was talking mainly about judicial authority when in the swedish prosecutor had the judicial authority to issue the european arrest warrant under which noses extradition has been requested she said does this person pursue this prosecutor have it as somebody who is party to the case essentially who has a vested interest in the case and her argument was that the swedish prosecutor come to me impartial and independent to say that it goes against the fundamental principle of law there's been in place ever since you know existed basically associate himself notes during the hearing he listened very attentively and then he left at the end of the day looking fairly relaxed in the building the you see behind me to see if we can go to his basic you last chance saloon julian assange as
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far as his british legal fight has gays saying it's been going on for the for the yeah as we know he's gone up through the courts most recently at the high court he's finally got this to prevent colds he may have if he doesn't go his way here he may have recourse to take this year pinnacles human rights but that by no means a given of course this this is all about the fact that he's wanted for questioning in sweden for sexual assault allegation he has always maintained that this is a case that is politically motivated in connection with his work for wiki leaks when of course he released an enormous number of files that were very embarrassing for several governments and many international businesses he's made to fear really is that he could be extradited from here to sweden and then straight to the united . state that my colleague tom potter has beat in sweden has taken a look at what the relationship between sweden and the united states is the face
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that launched a thousand leaks julian a son does exposure of tens of thousands of secret documents has embarrassed governments the world over but the wiki leaks phenomenon is no longer his most pressing concern swedish authorities want to question a songe over allegations of sexual assault dating back to august two thousand and ten prosecutors have been criticized by a sign just supporters international civil libertarians with allegations of cumbersome contradictory and slone legal process huge arguments have also broken out over the nature of some of sweden's norms on sexual offenses such as those of sons races it's going to be a closed course and leading up to the trial is going to be held. while the chief prosecutor asked for him to be held in solitary confinement it's just bizarre so there are so many bizarre aspects to the wine which the management
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is being conducted up till now. from our perspective i just can't see how he would get a fair trial others have gone beyond legal arguments saying that the storm raised branson's through wiki leaks has made him a target for political interference across the atlantic u.s. authorities enraged at having their secret documents exposed may seek to have a son extradited there to stand trial but surely sweden's famed neutrality would stop such a thing i would take me as whether straight and it's an outright country sit in that's a very clear cut. proximity and cooperation event. in military operations with such campaigns initiated by nato you have for instance the swedish presence in afghanistan you have a clear cut it brought nato policy on the part of sweden and that it's not there
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credited with some u.s. politicians branding a son a cyber terrorist and calling for the death penalty it could get a lot worse for the wiki leaks founder the problem is not that we have too much wiki leaks we have too little. i think wealthy people agree with the fact. is a national public opinion polls indicate that very large majorities applaud and support the efforts of wiki leaks the why worry is not to lose all without julian assange governments around the world something to hide will now launch to scale assaults on internet freedom in order to keep their secrets secret but for now the focus is on the man not his website killing our son just connections with sweden have raised many questions about what really happened in august two thousand and
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ten but now with a son just future as uncertain as ever questions are being leveled at sweden's legal system and its relationship with the united states which could prove crucial to the fate of the world's most notorious whistleblower dumbarton r.t. stockholm sweden. twenty minutes past the hour in the russian capital time now for more news from around the world this hour in our world update seventy three people have been killed and more than a thousand injured in egypt when fans stormed the pitch following a match in the top league presence supporters were caught up in clashes which will stones and bottles thrown some of the dead the security officers and reports of knife wounds the two teams involved in a long history of rivalry and violence has been common in recent years. rival militia groups have been involved in a gun battle in the center of libya's capital tripoli witnesses report heavy and light weapons exchanging fire in the city the road along the coast has been blocked and smoke was rising from the scene of the fighting former allies who fought
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together to ask mama gadhafi last year and now engaged in a battle for influence in the new libya. i'll be back with some of our main news stories for in about nine minutes from now in the meantime we talked to the indian ambassador to the united nations about what he thinks the international community needs to do to resolve the crisis in syria.
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i'd like to begin with syria because that seems to be a great point of contention within the u.n. security council now the last and only time the council reached any type of consensus on the conflict in syria was nearly six months ago it was under your presidency of the security council a presidential statement was issued in august why has it been so hard since that for fifteen members to agree on does some kind of solution the only occasion on which the security council was entirely on the same page insofar as developments in syria are concerned was on third august two thousand and eleven under the indian presidency when the council accepted adopted. that statement is a fairly strong statement it cause on the government in damascus to walk back from the use of force against its own civilians it equally sends
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a message to the opposition to stop the armed insurrection and to enter into dialogue with the government and extend its board side store you know negotiate and go down the path of reform after the unanimous passage of this b.r.s. deal on third august another attempt was made this time. exactly two months later the council is faced with the situation where two permanent members of the security council co-sponsored the resolution two others vetoed it russia china russia and china and the fifth a member in the light of some aggressive public speaking in the open chamber the united states walked out now the reason the council has not been on the same page is because i think as long as the council is in a position to address and recommendation to both sides in a conflict i think you would get agreement but if the council wants to address its
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recommendation to one side that is the government and is not willing to encourage the opposition to come to the negotiating table then you've got a council recommendation which clearly is not acceptable to some members what we need to do on syria clearly is to realize that the situation there is spiraling out of control that syria is a sweetener this case that unraveling of the situation in syria will have very serious consequences for the other countries in the region. that unlike libya. the consequences would be far higher i'm not suggesting that what happened in libya is not serious enough but talking of libya i must tell you one of the difficulties that we are having insofar as the situation in syria is concerned is that the security council's expedience in respect of resolutions nine hundred seventy and seventy three on libya. vitiate inc the atmosphere in terms
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of the approach to words how to deal with the situation in syria it is reported that in the coming days the security council will be possibly voting on a resolution drafted by western countries on syria calling in part for the for the assad government to surrender its powers given the dynamic of the security council right now the positions being taken by the numbers do you think this resolution will be adopted if the proposition were to be advanced that somebody should handle the power. in other words a regime change proposition i think some members of the council including my own delegation would have a lot of difficulty with that they thought i'd like to see how that is scotched if for instance the call is for political dialogue between the government and the opposition that's something we could support if the demand is for. you know
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a joining violence reform and negotiation that we can support that if as a result of those negotiations there's a political formula which is that which results in power sharing or this thing that's an entirely different matter but this is something for the people of syria to determine i mean as a matter of principle i have a lot of difficulty with people advocating the reordering of societies as my prime minister put it in his statement to the general assembly in september the reordering of society. from outside using military force that's something i have serious objection to russia has proposed a draft resolution on syria well i was quite we were quite comfortable with the russian draft resolution we thought it was a good basis for seeking consensus in the council but i think some of our friends from the western countries had some difficulties with it because it did not contain the course of our punitive measures that they were seeking i think the russian
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resolution is still around it's not been put on that it's not been put in blue but it's still very much on the table i want to ask you about libya because that was the first time the u.n. security council used the responsibility to protect doctrine it was invoked how come the security council does not feel that the united nations has a responsibility to protect those in syria is it because of what transpired in libya insofar as the implementation of nine hundred seventy three is concerned it uses words all means necessary now all means necessary is a cord word for military action but there's a more even more serious issue of resolution one hundred seventy three specifically referred to an arms embargo but that resolution was interpreted as some people say well it means you can carry out military operations against gadhafi but arms embargo does not prevent you from arming the rebels now i find that situation
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unacceptable yes the libyan experience will continue to guide people now whether that should or should not be the gears depends on how what kind of resolution the council is faced with. the limited. to use. six.
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weeks to a. culture is that so much given to each musician to find the mark with siri on the brink filings escalates and listen battle country calls for strong sanctions and even a military intervention grow in intensity. you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so for life you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else and you hear or see some other part of it and realize everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm tom harmon welcome to the big picture.


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