tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg July 20, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT
announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: mohammad javad zarif is here. he has served as iran's minister of foreign affairs since 2015. on monday, president trump certified iran was in compliance with the joint comprehensive plan of action, but on tuesday, the administration announced new sanctions, saying the united states will continue to aggressively target iran's malign activity, including their support of state terrorism,
ballistic missile programs, and human rights abuses. this is his 12th time at this table. i am pleased to have him back on the program. welcome. javad sharif: good to be back. happened sinceas the last time i saw you. characterize for me today how you think the relationship is between iran and the united states. we have a new president. the nuclear deal has been certified by both sides. the president says you are in accordance with it, but not the spirit of it. you suggested the united states is violating some of the tenants of the deal. but the relationship overall, where does it stand? the unitedf: i think states has had, unfortunately, a hostile policy towards iran for some time, and this administration is certainly pursuing an even more hostile policy. i think it is a misguided policy. i think the allegations against iran are tired and don't stand reality.in
i think it would be best for the u.s. to look at its achievements -- quote unquote -- in our region, and see what it has achieved. it has made all of the wrong choices. its allies are accusing each other of soup ridding terrorism. terrorism.ng i believe the united states needs to take a fresh look at the situation in our region and see how it is dealing with important issues of stability and security in our region. and decide for itself where it wants to stand. charlie: but as you know, at the conference in reality -- in riyadh, the saudi arabia and allies askedrab the united states to join them in isolating iran. they believe you are engaged in these activities that the united states suggests you are. javad sharif: i just want to ask you who was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks?
charlie: individuals or an attack by the state of saudi arabia? thed sharif: we know individuals came from saudi arabia, 15 of them. we also know the ideology came from saudi arabia. fromu just check, 2001-now, or even from 1998 to if not more of terrorist incidents throughout the world have been instigated and perpetrated by people belonging to that school of thought, which is the official ideology of saudi arabia, and promoted with billions of petrol dollars across the globe, spreading extremism everywhere. it's unfortunate, because we don't believe we need to have good relationships with our neighbors, and we want to have good relationships with our neighbors, but they need to decide about the policy. unfortunately for the united states, the yardstick is not whether the country supports
terrorism or not, the yardstick whether they are buying beautiful military equipment from the united states or not? charlie: do you think that's a test of the united states? byad sharif: it was stated the president that he would not go to saudi arabia until he was sure those things were on the table. charlie: but he believes it will create jobs, the effort to sell weapons to saudi arabia. javad sharif: it's good that they create jobs, but that should not be the yardstick for who supports terrorism. charlie: one thing that i think is interesting for the american people is what is exactly a terrorist and who is a terrorist question mark for example, al qaeda is a terrorist organization. you would agree? javad sharif: yes. charlie: isis? javad sharif: yes. charlie: hezbollah, you would agree? javad sharif: i wouldn't. charlie: but they are on the terrorist list. javad sharif: again, let's apply
a yardstick. let's take the united nations as an acceptable mechanism, an acceptable machinery to define for you who is a terrorist and who is not. at least except something multilateral. unitedot accept the states being the prosecutor, judge, jury, executor -- executioner, everything rolled into one. yardsticks, various but one would be to see who is on the list of terrorist states in the security council, and the united states as a permanent member of the security council. we have no role on the security council. the security council considers taliban, al qaeda, isis, and the nestor -- as terror organizations. charlie: and so does iran. javad sharif: saudi arabia and
the united arab emirates are two of three states which recognize the taliban. the three states recognized taliban before the united states overthrew them after 9/11. saudi arabia and uae were two of those three straits. saudi arabia and uae -- these are u.s. allies. i don't want to engage in saudi bashing, but the united states of terrorism,an and saudi arabia -- who was first in supporting isis and other terrorist organizations? let's i kid ourselves. -- not kid ourselves. you one let me ask thing. you believe that saudi arabia supports al qaeda? do you believe saudi arabia supports al nostrum -- el nost ra? which has new names now? javad sharif: i believe a lot of
saudi money went to support these organizations. are tribes of saudi intelligence services. --know that when al qaeda a arch builder and of saudi intelligence services. we know that al qaeda -- are children of saudi arabia intelligence services. aey were only recognized by three states. two were saudi arabia and the united arab emirates. charlie: the other was pakistan. javad sharif: well, that's a neighbor. as a neighbor, they have a problem. but for saudi arabia and united arab emirates, staying for behind the actual scene because iran is a neighbor, pakistan is a neighbor, some of the other countries in the former soviet union our neighbors, but saudi arabia and united arab emirates are not even close. but they support it.
they recognize the government. the money -- and it's clear. ask any intelligence person. ,he money that went to isis most of it came from these countries. -- more importantly charlie: not from the government, per se. javad sharif: well, that is to be investigated. i not here to accuse anybody. we have been accused by a lot of people of a lot of things, and i don't know if it's good to accuse people. what i'm saying is the ideology came from saudi arabia. all of these people along to the ideology -- belong to the ideology that is promoted officially by saudi arabia, and it is spread throughout the world to people who are engaged in acts of terror. charlie: but you had a summit in which there was a call for, in a sense, a recognition of where
radical extremist terrorism is coming from, and within islam, there had to be an understanding washat elements of who using the religion to hijack the religion to engage in terror activities and that all muslims should be opposed. javad sharif: i would agree with that and i would applaud such an effort. i believe everybody should come fighter and actually these extremist ideologies. fighting them does not only mean through military means. this is much deeper. it should be a comprehensive strategy to deal with extremism and terrorism. extremism and terrorism emanates from lack of hope. in addition to ideology and exclusion, there is a necessary fertile ground from which these ideologues are in fact demagogues.
they recruit new soldiers. new terrorists. we need to try that fertile ground. -- dry that fertile ground. the way to do it is to provide identity, hope, dignity, education, and to provide an economic future. this is what slacking in the region. and beyond. and even in the west. you see, it's mind-boggling that some people who behead innocent human beings speak french and english in perfect mother tongue accent. it's because they have been disenfranchised in their own societies. it's because they feel their identities are being attacked in their own societies, and that is why they are misguided into going into this type of extremist violence in order to address that feeling of disenfranchised -- disenfranchisement. we need to have a cumbrian some
strategy to deal with that. said, i what you just think the united states would agree with. mr. javad sharif: i hope so. charlie: the idea of a need to find what is the root cause people are turning to? misguided efforts to get them to that theyviolent acts were not necessarily headed for, but they were turned by something, whether it was , a sense of aity loss of hope. mr. javad sharif: it's a combination of factors. charlie: why can't there be common ground on these issues? mr. javad sharif: we believe there should be common ground because these terrorists are as much a threat against us as they are in saudi arabia and others. that is why the time has come for dialogue. every suggestion for dialogue was welcomed by iran, including the initiative that was delivered to iran by the kuwaiti
foreign minister. our president went to kuwait to respond positively to that initiative. unfortunately, as soon as iran accepted that initiative, saudi arabia, which was part of the group that initiated it, rejected it. now we have to see what we are moving towards. i think we have a common destiny in this region. actually, we have a common destiny across the globe. it's not a situation where you can win at the expense of others. whatie: let me tell you they say. and as you know, i have talked to many leaders from across the , the state and iran that it is, not an arab state but a persian state, they say -- in the famous words of henry kissinger -- that iran has to decide if it wants to be a revolution or a state. does it want to be a cause or a nation? does it want to be -- iran has to choose. that's kissinger.
eric states and others in the neighborhood say they are coming statescountry -- arab and others in the neighborhood say they are coming to our country and trying to metal. , in saudi arabia, in the emirates. in novad sharif: we are country without the invitation of their government. we are in iraq, obviously, because the government of iraq, not only the government in baghdad, but the kurdish government asked us to go and help them fight isis. charlie: and in syria? mr. javad sharif: on the invitation of the government in damascus. we have advisors, not malicious. we have military advisers in both iraq and syria, as we do in kurdistan, on the invitation of the governments involved. everybody knows that had it not been for iran rushing to the assistance of mr. karzai in
today, instead of being forced to liberate mosul isis, you would have had to fight for baghdad. in two hours. we have had a consistent policy of supporting those who were andting terrorists extremists. this has been consistent. in 2001, we were the ones according the people fighting al qaeda. probably the only country that was providing active support to the people who became the future government of afghanistan. the iranians. we're the ones who are supporting the fight against terrorism and extremism in iraq and syria. we are not involved in saudi arabia.
saudi arabia, as has been said by the new crown prince of saudi arabia, is trying to take the fight to iran. charlie: that's what he said. they are coming after us and we would rather fight in iran. but that's part of what he said, they are coming after us. mr. javad sharif: but you cannot neglect his own admission that he is trying to instigate terror inside the iranian territory. charlie: they say they want to stop you from trying to be the dominant player in the region. that's their agenda. mr. javad sharif: our region will not have a dominant player. i think efforts to become a hegemon in our region are deaf e doomed to failure as efforts to become a global hegemon are doomed to failure. gone beyond that point in human history where a single
country, even the united states, cannot be the global hegemon. in our region, nobody can be a hegemon. we understand that. i hope saudi arabia understands that as well. this is a problem. we are not trying to exclude saudi arabia -- charlie: but you recognize that is their complaint. mr. javad sharif: that is what they want to use as a cover to explain why they have made all the wrong choices. i asked a very clear question. why have they been on the wrong side? invading saddam in 1980 -- charlie: the united states supported saddam. mr. javad sharif: why did they make that wrong decision? he turned his weapons against the people who had financed him. at that time, we went to their aid.
we supported kuwait, after it was invaded by saddam hussein. they did not learn the lesson. unfortunately they went to support the taliban. then they went to support al qaeda. then they supported al-nusra. charlie cole and -- charlie: the united states and you must share and common enemy in the taliban. in fact, the united states cleaned up the taliban after 9/11, as you know. mr. javad sharif: yes, but i am talking about saudi arabia and the united states initially made some run choices, too. we both opposed the taliban, whether we were on the same side or not, it's for history to decide. ♪
charlie: when you look today, what does iran want, what role does it want to play in the world? mr. javad sharif: iran is a country that has been able to survive despite pressure, despite a war, despite sanctions . we have been able to make progress. to make scientific achievements, in spite of the fact that every restriction was imposed on our country and our people, even our students who are prevented from
studying physics and mechanics. at western universities. but we made advances for one reason. we are content with our size, our geography, and our national resources. charlie: and you have no global ambitions. mr. javad sharif: we do not have global ambitions, and most importantly rely on our own people. we do not rely on foreigners for our independence. for our security, for our economic progress. we would love to work with the outside world, but we do not rely on them. we derive our security from our people. we derive our legitimacy from our people. just remember that secretary mattis, the other day said that iran's presidential elections were a sham the cause someone -- because somebody chose who
should run in the elections. he forgot an obvious fact, that people waited in line for 10 hours, to vote for a sham. even worse, people in los angeles waited in line for four hours. he was remembering another fact, that there were people who wanted to run who weren't allowed to. you are talking about the ability to vote for those who were allowed to run. mr. javad sharif: 1200 people registered to run for president, can anybody anywhere in the world run an election with 1200 candidates? there has to be a process through which some who may not be qualified for the job, could be eliminated. charlie: there was an argument that they were to moderate in their views to be allowed to
run. mr. javad sharif: the fact is that in all democracies, you have a process through which candidates are excluded. here you have the primaries and the caucuses. others have other means. they were all allowed to run in the primaries. some of them lost. mr. javad sharif: you still need a number of signatures to be on the ballot. so in every place you have a mechanism. i don't want to engage in interference in internal affairs of other countries. but, as an observer, i can tell you that if you don't have money, if you don't have the necessary financial contributions from big corporations and others, you may not be able to stand for an election in many western -- four, like bernie sanders, who had a very successful campaign, primarily raising money from -- i have a lotrif:
of respect for senator sanders but at the end of the day, you had a vetting process. in the united states, only members of the establishment can run. at the end of the day, it is for the american people to decide whether they have the necessary choice. they showed that by coming to the polls, and iranians could stay home. if they wanted to stay home in iran, or if they wanted to stay home in los angeles even, just answer this question. why would iranians having lived in the united states for generations, stand in line for four hours in los angeles in order to vote for a sham election? let me tell you why. because there is always a love for the soil you were born. mr. javad sharif: but you do not
engage in a futile exercise. of course there is a love, i know the love of my compatriots who live in the united states, and unfortunately, they have been insulted by president trump with the travel ban. charlie: in some cases, they have been insulted by the revolution in some sense. maybe they lost their property or other things. mr. javad sharif: just a small segment. that is a historical fact. there are procedures to address that. but, at the same time, these people who live in the united states, not simply out of love for their country, but out of the recognition that they had a real choice, that there were candidates who presented different perspectives. different outlooks. had known persian and watched our debates, you would have seen something similar, if not even harsher, to
your debates, taking place in iran. that tells you, going back to your question, we rely on our people. that is why we are content with our size, our population, with our geography. we want stability in our region, we want stability within the countries in the region. we do not want turmoil in the countries in our region. we have shown that in our support of people in iraq, in syria, and in our support for the people of kuwait when they were invaded by saddam hussein. charlie: several things about that influence. the german intelligence, for example, said that you still have great desire to have nuclear capability. mr. javad sharif: we do have nuclear capability, but we have forgotten a nuclear weapon option. charlie: did you do that because of the pain of sanctions? mr. javad sharif: no, we did
that long before the sanctions. i believe the sanctions were misguided misplaced and did not achieve an outcome. charlie: the wisdom of almost everybody is that you were hurting so badly from the sanctions that you were willing to come to the negotiating table, to take the sanctions away. mr. javad sharif: charlie, i presented a proposal to the french, the brits, and the germans on march 23 2005, before all of these sanctions were presented. at that time i was ambassador to the u.n., and the nuclear negotiator, and the chief nuclear negotiator was our current president. i was negotiating on his be -- on his behalf and i resented -- presented a proposal which is very similar to the final deal we reached 10 years later. charlie: why did it take that time to do it?
mr. javad sharif: i will tell you. at that time, the ambassador was in the state department from takinghat deal shape representing the bush , administration and today he is trying to do that all over again. charlie: but he is not part of the government. mr. javad sharif: but he is one of the most -- there are quite a few of them. charlie: there was great issues with the nuclear deal, as you know. mr. javad sharif: the rented not bring sanctions to the negotiating table. did not bring sanctions to the negotiating table. the united states decided that the zero in option which it had pursued from 2003 until 2013, was not going to get it anything. what did sanctions do? they produce a lot of economic hardship. i grant you that. but, was that the objective of the sanctions, or was it to change iran's policy? charlie: what do you think? javad: i think it was to change
iran's policy on centrifuges to -- because everybody knew, in 2007, you had a national intelligence estimate that is no longer -- from their perspective -- i am trying to be accurate -- never pursued nuclear weapons. this is during the bush administration, before obama. it was established that iran was no longer pursuing nuclear weapons. charlie: everybody in the obama administration thought that you were pursuing nuclear reactions. -- weapons. they weresharif: wrong. charlie: john kerry thought that and he has said that. president obama thought that and he has said that. they all thought it. don't suggest that they did not. javad: they made a wrong assertion. nobody is infallible.
the international atomic energy established in november of 2015 that the so-called possible military dimensions of iran's nuclear program, were not significant. that is why they closed it. this is there was a resolution november 2015. by the governing board of the iae in which the united states and all of its allies are represented and iran is not. charlie: let me raise this point, there are many americans who believe the following. that, the deal that was done was done -- was done in the hopes that over the next 12 year period there would be a change, a move to moderation on the fact -- on the part of the iranian people and the iranian government. and that after 10, or 12 years, when the deal reaches one of its points, the iranians would no longer want nuclear weapons. mr. javad sharif: we never --
charlie: the idea was that confidence in a moderating force over a period of time. mr. javad sharif: two things -- iran never wanted nuclear weapons. iran believes in not only are nuclear weapons against our ideology, but against our national security. charlie: why is it so difficult to convince american leaders of that? mr. javad sharif: i do not know. we have a saying in persian that if you pretend to be asleep, no one will wake you up. i believe that people are pretending. if your national intelligence estimate, and this is not iran but the u.s. intelligence , community, if your own national intelligence estimates in 2007 establishes that iran is no longer pursuing nuclear weapons, why is it so difficult for american officials to recognize that? we believe that nuclear weapons do not augment our security, nor
, to be honest, do they augment anyone else's security. that is our position of principal. -- principle. we remain very compliant with that principle throughout our history. there are cases to prove it, including the use of chemical weapons against iran by iraq. with the support of everybody in the international community. report after report at the u.n. established that iraq had used those weapons against us, and report after report of the u.n. established that they had not. charlie: you are the victim -- mr. javad sharif: and we never retaliated. so, this is the record on which we stand. you made a point that was valid. and that is, that i tweeted on the day of the signing of the reaching of the agreement, because nothing was signed -- on the day that we reached the day of the nuclear deal, that this
was the foundation and not the ceiling. we had hoped, that through faithful and complete implementation of this agreement, we could rebuild some of the lost confidence between various participants, including between iran and the united states. kerrye: except secretary believed the same thing. mr. javad sharif: everybody believed the same thing. every single report of the international atomic energy agency, which was recognized in deal as the authoritative body to decide that iran was complying. every report of the iae has established that iran has complied. charlie: do you share the view that if iran had nuclear weapons , it would set off a rush to have nuclear weapons on the part
of the saudis, and of everybody that could afford them? mr. javad sharif: that is one of the reasons we believe that they -- the nuclear weapons do not augment anybody's security. because you will then have to engage in a very costly arms race. that would only, and particularly considering the patterns of alliances -- we're not the only ones buying 110 million dollars worth of beautiful military equipment. others are doing the same. if you want to engage in an arms race, particularly an unconventional arms race, it is not a winning battle. ♪
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about the idea of a shia crescent. it is said that the general, your esteemed leader of the who i understand only reports to the spring leader --, you can help me understand, is very much interested in having a clear route from iran to lebanon to support hezbollah. is that true? and therefore includes syria, iran, as a way to be able to reach them. mr. javad sharif: charlie --
people -- it is easy to make this conspiratorial allegation. charlie: these are arguments presented by the top levels of american intelligence. mr. javad sharif: conspiracy aeory is not a monopoly -- region of the united states once in every while can become a victim of conspiracy theory. charlie: you have some of your own. mr. javad sharif: our region is of burst -- birthplace conspiracy theories. charlie: when this was first set -- said by king abdulla, he was really talking about the religious crescent, and now he is talking about more of a political crescent. mr. javad sharif: i think, in 2004 when king abdulla made that statement, and it is interesting where he made that statement. he made it in washington. with all due respect, he knows that i have a lot of respect for
him -- this was an attempt in fear mongering. an attempt in fear mongering that has continued and has only , brought misery and despair to our region. there is no attempt to create a crescent, to create a corridor. iran has simply come to the aid of countries that have been fighting extremism and terrorism. charlie: you haven't come to the aid of lebanon, only to the aid of hezbollah. mr. javad sharif: no, we came to the aid of lebanon. we came to the aid of lebanon because it was not hezbollah territory that was occupied it , was lebanese territory that was occupied. charlie: by the syrians? mr. javad sharif: no, by the israelis. charlie: also by the syrians, as you know. mr. javad sharif: the syrians were in lebanon as the consequence of a prior decision in which we had no role. it was not our decision, but an arab decision. a decision that they took, they invited them to go and so they
-- and asked them to leave, so they did. i represent iran and no other country. i believe we are there in order to help people fight terrorism. but, you see, these arguments have been negated time and time -- time and again. and people do not observe that. kyrgyzstan, is it shia territory? is it part of the shia crescent? within hours was of occupying erbir. charlie: and very close to baghdad. mr. javad sharif: yes, we went to the aid of both. charlie: we went to the aid of both by doing what? mr. javad sharif: by sending out advisors. charlie: they were more than
advisors, were they not? mr. javad sharif: general suleimani was there with weapons and advisers. it is the people of iraq who are fighting the terrorists. it was the kurdish people who fought the terrorists. they needed support and help, and they needed people who knew how to organize them. we were there within two hours of president barzani calling us to go to their assistance. those who are talking about a shia crescent should tell me where in that crescent iraqi kurdistan falls. these are just fear mongering scenarios, narratives that are created -- presented, elaborated, articulated in order to create fear. this is not what we are after. we have called for a political solution in syria, where
everybody, shia, sunni, alwaite, everybody canws, participate in the running of the government. this is what we want. charlie: what do you think about president bashar al-assad what -- and what has happened to syria? mr. javad sharif: it is not my business to think about bashar al-assad. it is my business to think about the people of syria. we want them to decide for themselves. charlie: not your business? it is not say that -- my business, it is his business, no matter what he does -- mr. javad sharif: i think what has happened in syria has been the consequences of people redlinesyria imposing that this gentleman or another gentleman or lady should or should not be in the government.
charlie: the issue is the use of chemical weapons -- mr. javad sharif: we reject the use of chemical weapons. because of what happened to you and the iraq-iran war you should be at the top of the list to say if syria uses chemical weapons, it is a crime against humanity. you should of said it. and you should not be supporting a regime that uses chemical weapons. mr. javad sharif: no, you have to stop there. because who has established the facts? accept the united states, which is a party to the conflict, along with its allies, -- charlie: funding hezbollah -- mr. javad sharif: that is why you do not have to listen to me. you have to establish an independent, international monetary mechanism to go and check. this is what we called for.
the day after the allegations of which was weapons, followed unfortunately by a huge military operation in the united states, we asked the international community to send a delegation to investigate. on-site, both in the place of the alleged attack but also the airbase where allegedly the chemical weapons were loaded onto the airplanes. we were subject to the use of chemical weapons. we invited the united nation's to send the investigation. and, should i remind you that six or seven times, the u.n. established that iraq had used chemical weapons against iran and not a single time, was it -- not a single time to the united states condemn it. not a single time did the united states allow the un security council to condemn it. so i do not buy this, but this
is a redline for the united states. charlie: because they did not vote against it when it was used against you? mr. javad sharif: they prevented it. charlie: they did not vote for it? mr. javad sharif: it is more than that, they actively prevented it. charlie: they vetoed? mr. javad sharif: no, they did not even let it get to a vote to be vetoed. this is the sad irony of history. for us in iran, we have been very clear. we condemn the use of chemical weapons, no matter who uses them and against whom they are used. or and simple. charlie: but you denied -- mr. javad sharif: don't expect me to accept an allegation by the united states. we have asked for an investigation, for an international, impartial investigation of who used them. i'm not saying what happened because i was not there. charlie: they have video, they have everything else. mr. javad sharif: no, they had video of the victims.
and my heart goes out to the victims. charlie: victims of sarin gas. do you know what sarin gas does? mr. javad sharif: of course i do. nobody knows better than we do, what sarin gas does. i received patients who had been victims of sarin gas. i received them at kennedy airport. i took them to hospitals. i showed them to diplomats, and nobody gave a damn. nobody. nobody issued a declaration in condemnation of the use. i know what sarin gas is, believe me, i do. charlie: therefore, you should be a dominant and articulate argument against it. and holding countries who use it to account. mr. javad sharif: exactly. and we are prepared to do that. charlie: how many years has it been since -- mr. javad sharif: provided that
there is an international investigation establishing the facts. charlie: so, you doubt the facts? mr. javad sharif: yes, we doubt that the chemical weapons were used in han shaykun. charlie: we are talking about the entirety of a war that has gone on for six years. mr. javad sharif: yes, i wrote we should have stopped it a long time ago. i presented a plan in 2013 to end the war. incorporated four elements, cease-fire, a national unity government, including everybody and not people outside saying who should be in power and who shouldn't. constitutional reforms, and an election based on that constitution.
people started asking what would happen to the president. i said, you are putting the cart before the horse. because if we talking about constitutional reform, the reform may come with a parliamentary system. the syrian people should decide. mr. javad sharif: and after they decide of the form of their government, they should decide who is in it. for people to have prolonged this conflict for at least four years because this idea was on the table, since 2013. said,retary kerry has this idea, my plan, formed the basis for security council resolution 2254 on syria which was unfortunately adopted four years later. we are talking about real situations. we need to bring these conflicts
to an end. we need to bring the war in syria to an end. we need to bring the senseless bombing -- charlie: -- charlie: how do we bring the war in syria to an end? do think a cease-fire in that region will hold? mr. javad sharif: there is a de-escalation and three larger russia, andn, turkey responded and it is holding, more or less. you see the amount of killing and suffering of the syrian people, it has been drastically reduced since december of last year when this initiative by iran, russia and turkey has been in place. we believe it should be enlarged to include all of syria. except for fighting against isis and al-nusra, who are recognized by the security council as terrorist organizations and cannot be part of the cease-fire. but, other than that -- charlie: the united states does
not want them to be part of a cease-fire. mr. javad sharif: i am not saying it is a contention. i am just stating the principal, that we need to expand the cease-fire throughout syria. we need to allow unhindered humanitarian access to all syrians. charlie: the united states and president trump in this case, believe that russia and the united states can work together in the interest of changing syria. he said that. do you believe that iran and russia and america, can work together? to change syria? to stop the war and heal the country and rebuild the country? mr. javad sharif: i think everybody should work together in order to end this tragedy in syria. charlie: but are you prepared and would like to work with the united states and russia? mr. javad sharif: we were a member of the international syrian support group, which included united states and russia.
we did not hesitate -- it also included countries in the region. you would not be able to do this without the support and assistance of other countries in the region. i believe you will not be able to end the conflict in syria without saudi arabia or without turkey, without qatar, without egypt. or without iran. most important link, you will not be able to end the conflict in syria without the syrians. at the end of the day, the syrians should decide. the rest of us should facilitate. we should not dictate to the syrians what they should do. charlie: did you approve russia coming in? -- made a point that they were invited in by the assad government. were you ok with russia coming in to prop up the assad government?
mr. javad sharif: what we have said is that we do not interfere in the decision by a sovereign government. i give you a clearer example. we disagree with the united states, but we do not intervene against the united states cooperating with the iraqi government. we have not intervened against it. because we believe that is a decision that the iraqi government should make. we may oppose it, but it is their decision. charlie: so do you encourage the government of iraq? to make sure that members of the sunni islam, are not shut out from government? so that they do not see what we have seen time after time, first al qaeda, then isis, come out of people who felt like they were excluded. javad zarif: we believe that the
iraqi government should be inclusive. charlie: and you encourage the iraqi government to do that. mr. javad sharif: absolutely. charlie: the malachi government did not do that, and they were friends of iran. mr. javad sharif: prime minister abbadi is a strong friend of iraq. every government and iraq has been a strong friend of iraq. this is our advice to all of them, that iraq needs to be an inclusive government with all segments of the iraqi population represented in the government. iran maintains good relations with all members of the iraqi population. theave good relations with leader of the sunni community in iraq. charlie: but, you do not deny, do you, that isis got support
from sunni tribes because they felt like they had no voice in baghdad? it is thesharif: result of disenfranchisement. i would not disagree that the perception of not having a voice in society leads people to join these extremist groups. which is why i said in the beginning that we need a comprehensive strategy to deal with these extremist groups. and that strategy includes certainly, giving a voice to everybody. i think this is what the government of iraq is committed to. you heard it from prime minister abadi and leaders of every community in iraq. this is something that iran will wholeheartedly support. we want every country in the region to engage with us and the iraqis and united nations in order to support unity in iraq. particularly now when we have these prospects of a referendum and centrifugal activities in
various parts of iraq. we need to call for unity and inclusion. charlie: do we need to call for self-determination for the kurds? thejavad sharif: i believe kurds, within the constitution of iraq, have certain autonomy. charlie: within the constitution? mr. javad sharif: i believe self-determination is for all peoples, but the constitution of iraq, the territorial integrity and national unity of iraq are , of paramount importance. they are important for the kurdish population and for the rest of iraq. it is important for everybody. and i believe that there is consensus globally. charlie: haven't you just said no to independence for the kurds? mr. javad sharif: i believe that is a common view, not only myself, but of other political leaders in the region. charlie: so you think that the kurds should not have
independence? mr. javad sharif: that we should not play with the territorial integrity of the countries in the region, including iraq. it is a dangerous domino which would lead to even greater instability. i think people will get much more than they bargained for if they go this route. i believe this would be the beginning, and not the end. and the beginning of a catastrophe. if there is an attempt for separation. charlie: that was part one of a two-part series of a conversation with the foreign javad sharif an, tomorrow night, part two. ♪ alisa: i am alisa parenti in
washington, and you are watching "bloomberg technology." let's start with a check of your first word news. o.j. simpson will be paroled after serving nearly nine years in prison for armed robbery and assault with a weapon. a nevada parole board decided today that the 70-year-old former football and movie star will be released in october after serving his minimum term. jeff sessions announced today he has no plans to resign his position as attorney general. that, despite president trump expressing regrets about appointing him to the nation's top law enforcement job. robert mueller is expanding the probe into russia and the trump campaign. that is according to people familiar w