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tv   To the point  Deutsche Welle  January 10, 2020 8:30am-9:00am CET

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it seems to me. one day you're today come from the future of. digital dot com for their history you don't need to. click through. months of saber rattling culminated over the past week in the u.s. 1st targeted killing of a high ranking foreign military official since world war 2 and in an unprecedented direct attack by iran on u.s. bases in iraq are the 2 sides now ready to back down or could iran's thirst for retail e.a.a. sion following the american drone attack on revolutionary guard leader customs to the money sparked further escalation the collateral damage following simply these killings was immediate and extensive iraq's parliament demanded foreign troops
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leave the country a departure that could threaten the fight against islamic state and iran announced that it would no longer be bound by key provisions of the 2015 nuclear agreement trump versus iran on the brink of war. and it's a pleasure to welcome our guests to discuss that question matthew carney chick is chief europe correspondent for politico and she says president trump has restored a modicum of order to the middle east by making it clear to iran's leadership that it cannot act with impunity and it's a pleasure to welcome out the photo and he's a german iranian political scientist working with the brookings institution in doha and he says so the manistee. it was
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a major blow to the islamic republic and it has opened to pandora's box leaving the middle east in uncharted territory and we're very glad to have andrea claudia huffman with us she is a middle east expert from the german weekly magazine focused and she says killing general so the money has harmed u.s. interests in the region and instead helped the iranian regime. so let me begin by asking all of you please to say just very briefly whether you think what we're seeing now also following the speech on wednesday by u.s. president trump is a real hiatus in the saber rattling or a temporary respite let me start with you matthew i think it probably is a real hiatus in terms of the big strikes the big public strikes with you know the u.s. taking out a prominent general and then the iranians responding directly where there was no question about who was responsible that said i would be surprised if we see a suspension on the iranian side of these attacks through proxies in the region
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which we've seen for years and i expect that will continue in the coming months how do you see it well i think after the killing of solem money the pandora's box was wide open but now after the so-called revenge attack of the iranians it has been a bit more closed but that doesn't mean that things are going to calm down totally i think we're going to see a lot of also from the iranian side also in view of elevating their leverage in view of possible negotiations with the united states that is in the realm of possibilities according to whether also trump said. well i think the situation today is less dramatic than it was yesterday which is good but as we have to from play as inside. each field we might not be sure that this is not going to run again thank you very much to dive a bit deeper on all of those points let us now take a look at who custom so the money was and why his killing has provoked such outrage
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in iran. next to supreme leader. he was the most important man. in the background his mission to extend iran's influence in the region and to. the u.s. . his tool. iran special forces. operations. the entire middle east. spiders are believed to have killed hundreds of u.s. soldiers lately the brigades were in action fighting against syrian rebels. as well as supporting. iran's supreme leader. of the revolution and has called his killing by the u.s. their greatest strategic mistake. for the us leadership is
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a terrorist his assassination and. the friends have hardened like never before. so i. referred to the retaliatory strike by iran. in the face that seems fairly moderate nobody was killed through the attacks on the basis in view of the fact that you say the killing of their money was a major blow for iran so let me ask you to say once again whether you think iran is really ready to stand out as president trump said yesterday won't there be pressure from iranian hardliners at least for other additional retaliatory measures well. what the iranians call. was precisely for.
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those hard line elements in iran who are calling for a swift and severe response to the killing. but the iranians know fully well that they cannot afford. a full blown war with the united states that might jeopardize their regime survival so this is why the attacks that we had on the iraqi base housing u.s. troops in from the iranian side was well calibrated in order to avoid civilian or any kind of casualties that my dad would have potentially triggered an escalation that would have been you know unpredictable iran often tends to rely on attacks by its proxies by militia who take their direction from tehran do you think we're likely to see attacks by them in the coming weeks and months deaths possible because the iranians have also signaled before the recent revenge they've signaled to their proxies that they don't want the progs to act on their own because as i
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said this would have opened you know you know potential routes toward escalation that iran didn't want so they did took matters into their into their own hand and did what they did. so but with. in terms of these number of public losing or you know having a major blow with the killing of silly money iran has lost its main man in the region was the courty mating force was directing iranian foreign policy in the region and as such destructuring force of iranian foreign policy has now disappeared now there is some reorganization of iranian foreign policy in the region and there is you know there are some of course risks in terms of people or groups who might act on their own. so matthew you said in your opening statement that the killing of sell the money restores order till the middle to the middle east to come of order. in fact both president george w.
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bush and president obama decided not to take out some of the money precisely because they feared it would unleash disorder and if we look at the justification that was provided yesterday to the u.s. congress by by the president and by the trump administration it departs pretty far from the international law standard about when such a preemptive killing in self-defense might be justified is that really the way to restore order but it's worth remembering that george w. bush also decided to go to war in iraq so i'm not sure that that his judgment you know should should should be the standard in fact doesn't this remind us in a way of all of the arguments. not really i think the reason is that if you if you look over the past 6 months there's been a steady escalation on the part of the iranians shooting down the american drones attacking the saudi refinery over the summer. and you know i think the
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united states response to that in the view of many in the u.s. even many republicans even was was a little bit too soft i mean if people might remember that at one point trump scrambled jets to go and retaliate for it for the downing of the drones and then at the last minute he decided not to do it and called and called them back because he thought that the dead that might result from a u.s. strike would not be commensurate with the downing of the drones or with the attack on the on the refinery so i think what we've seen here is a situation where the iranians kept pushing the envelope and thinking ok well if he's not going to respond to trump has been on the record saying he wants to pull the us out of the middle east he wants to get out of iraq he wants to get out of afghanistan he doesn't want these you know forever wars these endless wars as some people call them. so i think what that what that led to is the situation where the iranians kept provoking a broking and so the money certainly was the architect of the strategy but i think
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it's worth remembering that the u.s. has been kind of a soft war sometimes hard war with iran since 1979 and i think what this attack does is say look you know i'm unpredictable from tribes perspective you know you think you know what i'm going to do but you don't and you know some people said it's the sort of i'm crazy or the new strategy and i think that that has restored a sense of ok you know there are red lines and the red line was always going to be the killing of an american which happened in the lead up to this attack and the siege of the u.s. embassy in iraq by iranian proxies and that i think reminded a lot of people in washington probably trump certainly who's of a generation that remembers you know the taking of the u.s. embassy in toronto so i think this is all kind of led us to this to this point. if we stay with the idea of order and order isn't predictability a very crucial aspect of order and do you see any clear predictable
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strategy from the u.s. side here in the actions if we if we look back over all the different events that matthews just listed. no i don't i think. just like a theory and side there are different people within the u.s. government wanting fun following up different strategies and it's not very coherent and. we have the people that would like to see a reason regime change in iran we have the people who were in favor of the j p c o a. between iran 5 permanent members of the security council plus germany to stew essentially. contained iran's nuclear aspirations exactly we have a president who is constantly changing his mind and isn't is not very predictable at all. we've seen that in syria you just mentioned. did tack that was
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cancelled in the last minute so no with. it's pretty erratic you know so your opening statement that you think if anything the killing of silly money it would advance iran's interests in the region rather than the us why is that not as i said. it's against the us interests in the region when i look at iraq and see how the iraqi parliament has voted against american troops that is against american interests and breach region and that's why i think the killing of money was not a very you wise thing to do on m m merican side i think it helped the iranian regime in the sense that. they had a lot of problems was internal talk turmoil and in the last weeks and months you know we we saw the protests on the streets and they were continuing and now we have
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a mentor where the population is concerned about something else and that's the threat from outside and so. in iran and their leadership has contained this. this under us and that's why why it's favoring. the government only all of the iranian leaders who have spoken since the u.s. targeted killing of some of the money have said basically there is one central thing they want and that is for the u.s. to get out of the region is that more likely to happen now. well i'm not sure because the although. certainly one could argue that this has not been to the benefit of us interests in the region but the vote by the iraqi parliament to call for the expulsion of all foreign troops is non-binding
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and it has been voted by a. majority parliament in a session the word the sunnis and kurds were by cutting so this kind of shia government has you know is very close to iran so it was using the momentum. of this killing to found the flames of anti-americanism and also to divert attention from the popular uprising that we've seen in iraq that has been quite huge since october so this is a very you know cynical game so in terms of but of course there's a lot of pressure now whether the u.s. you know or what will happen with the u.s. troop presence in iraq but if the u.s. withdraws you know in terms of the balance of power logically discount to play into the hands of the iranians and its longstanding iranian interests for many many years since the revolution that they called both so-called moderates and hardliners
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or for the withdrawal of the u.s. military presence from the region and certainly there's a paradox if that's what i'm on here everybody wanted it he wanted the us out of iraq you know that he was a sure enough they are on iraq war and that's his big thing that iran should dominate iran and the u.s. should be kicked out. matthew many people would say well this is one area where trump interests may be converge with those of the iranians trump has said again and again he wants to take. the u.s. out of the endless foreign wars particularly in the middle east he wants to pull back troops he unilaterally pulled troops out of northern syria to the great distress for instance of their european and kurdish allies so could we possibly see in fact the us essentially handing over the middle east to iran and russia.
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well i think i think a lot of americans we would be happy for that to happen quite frankly i mean given all of the resources that the united states is put into these wars over the past 2020 plus years i mean i do think it's interesting that a lot of people say oh well this was you know so the money's grand plan all the time and the underlying assumption there is this his grand plan you know this military genius this is been such a success but it actually hasn't been a success it's been a complete disaster i mean iran is involved in every major conflict in the region now none of the other countries they're supported even in iraq where there are large you know shia militias there and shia population obviously people are out in the streets before this the shia population was out in the streets protesting iranian influence so you could also argue well you know let them have it you know good luck to iran running iraq if the united states leaves and i would also add the united states only has $5000.00 troops left in iraq right now the u.s. had pulled them out before put them in to fight isis so which is a sunni which is
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a sunni movement obviously so you know if iran which is completely you know under pressure economically now wants to go into iraq and fight isis alone without the support of you know western powers like the united states well you know more and more power to them i think is what a lot of people in washington would say. interestingly enough matthew just talked about iraqis protesting iranian influence will in fact many iranians about i'm going out on the street in the fall protesting their hardline government now we're seeing them all apparently united in or against the u.s. and in mourning for so many have we succeeded in fact in painting that resistance to the very regime that many people in the u.s. administration would like to overturn let me briefly say something about the iraq issue i think both in there is there can be no illusion whatsoever that in iraq both the united states and iran are deeply unpopular and are considered to be
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malign foreign forces i mean after. the u.s. has initiated 2003 invasion that this cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of hundreds of thousands of lives all over iraq so this is something that is of course you know still there and more recently we've seen the malign influences of iran through the proxies when it comes to the iranian protest movement that has been unprecedented in the. were according to authorities figures only 2 you know 200000 people were out in the streets were the most important protest since the revolution in iran i think these structural grievances that have fueled the protests both socio political socio economic and political are still there they're under the surface so we so we cannot you know we should not be diverted from this kind of high have been around the images of massive funerals. all of a sudden everything has change in iran there is national unity and everything is going to be you know fine i think sooner or later we're going to see the
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reemergence of those popular protests because of the existing ongoing grievances of the of the iranian so this but tickler moments overshadows also a lot of realities in iran you know those grievances of course among other things reflect distress in iran over the economic situation let us now take a look at one sound bite from the speech that donald trump gave on wednesday in which he said that his government will impose new and even tougher sanctions on iran iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and its support for terrorism the time has come for the united kingdom germany france russia and china to recognize this reality they must now break away from the remnants of the iran deal or j.c. p.-o.
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way we must all work together toward making a deal with the rain that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place. andrea what we got in yesterday's speech from president trump was basically an ultimatum not only to iran but also to europe how are the european parties including germany to the iran agreement likely to react to this he's basically saying the old deal is dead long live a new deal do you see a real path forward to get that kind of a deal and what could what would the european role be well it's it's the trump recipe right. you know do you go and try to fix a new one but the trump label on it he did that with nafta i have my doubt it's going to work with iran and with europe because the. iranians have experience that . the u.s.
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might not be trust that they're very very lucky europe has seen now that. the points of view are very far apart and they're pretty upset about that. i don't know if if i was the rhinos and i should give them some advice i would vote for a photo op with trump and then maybe he would be as nice to them as he was with north korea and. i don't think this is going to happen after they killed sort of money which is which was a close protege and close advisor to harmony's so does not going to happen the $4.00 top story. has been the reaction to the speech we heard trump say he's going to double down on economic sanctions certainly the iranians have said again and again they are only sticking with the nuclear deal if they get the economic benefits that were promised to them so is there any chance of a new deal well i mean hopefully this latest tree and macabre
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as collation we we've been witnessing is going to you know put you know put the realisation on both fronts that the only way forward is of the. a magic solution. and maybe hopefully we're going to see some momentum for the prospect of secret talks between the united states and iran going forward. it cannot be public because it would you know this is not something that the iranians would feel comfortable after the killing of saloon money to to engage in but the iranians have to do something about the sanctions that are there is really you know destroying the economy on they have huge economic difficulties so they have to do something about the sanctions and what trumps may be an opener for such talks matthew trump said he would double down on economic sanctions do you really
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see anything new in what he's offering will it work to only hit iran with sticks or don't we need to feel carrots to possibly get a new deal you know i think the reality is that the existing sanctions are so severe that there's really not much more than the u.s. and the west can do so i think that was largely symbolic i think the message you were standing was you know i'm not going to escalate now if you don't escalate and everything else was sort of you know a face to face saving exercise that said i think that it's clear and has been clear to the europeans if you if you speak to them off the record the iranian nuclear deal was it was dead anyway died the moment that the united states pulled out of its now what they're saying this way is not what they're saying publicly but i think that you know it's functionally not working iran also said this week that it was pulling out of the deal that it wasn't going to do it here anymore to the constraints around the in richmond of uranium and leaving inspectors in the country
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for now for now and this is you know the europeans always kind of hold hope you know that these but on the ground in terms of you know if you look at what iran has done in the region since 2015 is difficult to say he was the architect of this. strategy is difficult to say that the deal was really working and i think that in bless you know deep the europeans the you know the french french president francois a my call rather has been very active in trying to act as a mediator here and list the europeans can somehow convinced the iranians to you know come to the table perhaps in secret talks or and some other way and to make real concessions in terms of the nuclear program because that at the end of the day as what this is a really about i don't think that you're going to see much much change cheer and less the domestic pressure in iran really starts to sue's threaten the regime under a another saying that trumps said is that he it will be talking to the nato leadership he pointed out the the us is no longer dependent on energy from the middle east and that may be it's time for nato to get more involved ken you see
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that happening i think we're talking about money there. so this is this is trump's way to. put pressure on nato and its members. because hey he wants a. total half more financial burden there but i do not see that happening and the situation at all oh if i can just take us briefly back to our title and we have about 30 seconds on the brink of war is the question we asked what do you think. i think the chances of a war are much higher than the possibly years but neither the united states nor iran want a full blown war so hopefully there this provides for some avenue for a hopefully less militaristic outcome thanks to all of you for being with us and thanks to you out there for training and sincerity.
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this is news coming to you live from the u.s. in canada say it's likely in a rainy and missile brought down the ukrainian passenger plane crash near. canada's prime minister justin trudeau says multiple intelligence sources indicate shot down the plane u.s. officials believe it's highly likely iranian air defense systems hit it accidentally.

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