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tv   Face the Nation  CBS  September 22, 2019 8:30am-8:59am PDT

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captioning sponsored by cbs >> brennan: it's sunday, september 22nd. i'm marring marking -- margaret brennan from new york where world leaders gathering for the annual united nations general assembly and this is "face the nation." it is a troubling time around the world. already strained relations between the u.s. and iran deteriorate further as tehran threatens an all-out war as the u.s. and saudi arabia strike back following the attack on a saudi oil facility that hurt world oil production and caused oil prices to spike. >> iran knows if they misbehave they're on borrowed time. >> brennan: we'll talk with secretary of state mike pompeo and iranian foreigninister
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zarie youonfident you can a war? >>o no, i' no confent that not start one. but i'm confident whoever starts one will not be the one who finishes it. >> brennan: iran is not the only crisis facing word leaders. millions around the world protest to call for urgent action on climate change. is it too late to turn back some of its effects? in a rare interview, former secretary of state john kerry, who negotiated the paris climate accord, will join us. secretaries of state and a key u.s. adversary plus analysis on all the news only on "face the nation." good morning and welcome to "face the nation" in new york, where world leaders face a number of critical challenges at the annual united nations general assembly. late friday the pentagon announced the u.s. will deploy additional troops and military
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equipment to saudi arabia and the united arab emirates, increasing security in the region after last weekend's attack on oil fields in saudi arabia. the trump administration has placed blame for thosettas squarely on iran and announced on friday a new round of sanctions against iran's national bank. president trump has not ruled out military strikes, but it seems he is holding off on them for now. we begin this morning with secretary of state mike pompeo, who called the oil field attacks an act of war. mr. secretary, good morning. >>argaret, it's good to be with you again. >> brennan: you are the only u.s. official who has directly and definitively blamed every single part of these attacks on iran. is there any question that the attack was launched from iran? >> no reasonable person doubts precisely who conducted these strikes, and it is the intelligence community's determination that it is likely the case that these were launched from iran. >> brennan: likely? >> they came from the north.
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it was a sophisticated attack. these weapons systems had ranges that could not have come from the houthis. it is nuts to make the assertion this was an take by the houthis. this was iran true and true. the united states will respond in a way that reflects that act of war by this iranian revolutionary regime. >> brennan: it was launched from iran? >> this was an attack by iran on the world. i'm at the u.n. the u.n.'s primary charter is to prevent -- -- the u.n.'s primary charter was to protect peace around the world. this was a state-on-state act of war. >> brennan: iran's foreign minister has repeatedly denied any part police played by iran s attack. will the u.s. release evidence that proves he's lying? >> well, we already have. there is already ample evidence that demonstrates he's lied. you saw the saudis showing these were iranian systems built and
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manufactured inside of iran. >> brennan: but they haven't given evidence that it was launched from iran. >> i don't know why anybody listens to the iranian foreign must bester. he has nothing to do with iranian foreign policy and he's lied for decades an he resigned. it's not even worth responding to him. it's beneath the dignity to anyone in the world to listen to someone who repeatedly makes a claim that the houthis made this attack. >> brennan: saudi arabia has showed itself capable of defending its most prizeds a celt and it's america's best customer when it comes to buying american-made weapons. u.s. intelligence also didn't warn of this attack happening. are you concerned about the civility of the kingdom, that they were this vulnerable. >> you don't have all you facts quite right. you saw the announcement that the secretary of defense made on friday. we will continue to reinforce. we're looking for a diplomatic resolution. >> bre@ facts are wrong? saudi arabia was not able to defend itself? >> apparently the iranians are
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bloodthirsty and looking for war. president trump and i were looking for a diplomatic resolution to this. >> brennan: what does that mean? >> we had nation state attack another nation state, a largest attack on a global energy supply in recorded his try. the good news, oil trading at $6 4 a barrel. the world has responded in a way to make sure there is ample supply in the system. make no mistake about it, we're prepared to do the things we need to do to try to deter iran from this kind of behavior. >> brennan: what does a diplomatic resolution mean? the attack happened? >> the resolution looks like this. iran becomes a normallation. we laid out now a year ago in may -- >> brennan: these are your 12 steps? >> no missile strikes, no capacity to build out their nuclear weapons program broadly speaking, stop the assassination. they're killing people in europe. they have an assassination campaign in europe. this is not a normal nation. we hope the iranian people, who we think are demanding that their country stop this kind of behavior, act in a way that causes the iranian regime's
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behavior to change. that's our mission. that's what president trump is determined to achieve. first and foremost through diplomatic means. >> brennan: but the president hasn't laid those things out publicly as you just did. >> he and i fully understand the mission. i know it, because he's told it to me. >> brennan: if you look at just the things that have happened over the past few months, the u.s. has been very clear that it places blame for the shooting down of an american drone on iran, the take on the oil tanker in the u.a.e. on iran. this attack on iran. it seems iran's behavior is getting worse, not better, based on the trump administration's campaign. you've been very aggressive with these sanctions. why do you think sanctioning them leads to better behavior? >> margaret, you start the clock at the wrong point. 1970 -- >> brennan: i'm talking about what happened this summer. >> 1979 is the trajectory of the iranian revolution. 40 years of terror. the previous administration chose to arm them to, provide
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the wealth and resources that have underwritten these very attacks that we're seeing today. they were able to build up these missile systems. b so you thinke trump administration policy is working is what you're saying despite the fact these attacks are continuing to happen, because with cheney, lindsey graham, republican allies of the president said the failure to carry out some kind of obvious retaliation or military strike looks like weakness. >> we respond nod a number of ways. this is not about weakness. the strategy is working. we sanctioned the central bank on friday. margaret, you have to remember, the sanctions that we put in place ultimately will cause the iranian regime to shrink by 10% to 15%. they only went in place many may of this year they're five months only we're at the beginning of the sanctions campaign. i don't think anyone should mistake president trump for having the resolve to make sure we get this right. when the moment calls for it, i am confidence the president will take all appropriate action. >> brennan: i guess fundamentally why do you think sanctions will be preventative
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and not just punitive? why do you think making iran more desperate will get them to act more responsible? >> it will deny them the resources to foment the exact kind of strikes we've seen. it will deny them the money, the wealth, the resources. they're operating today in five countries. it's expensive. they've already had the make difficult decisions about whether they will feed their people, provide medicine to their people, or launch missiles into saudi arabia. i am convinced the iranian people see those choices being made, and as time goes on, they will continue to see that those conditions worsen. and they will demand, they will demand that their leadership not bring their brothers and sisters back home in body bags but rather use those resources, the iranian people are great people. we stand with them, and i am confident they will demand that their leadership behave in a way that reflects the great history of this place. >> brennan: are you considering cyber attacks? would that be a less obvious, less direct form of retaliation? >> the president talked about our use of those previously, bu
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i'm certainly not going forecast what we do as i move forward. >> brennan: sufficed to say, the defensive presence and sanctions are not the limit of what the trump administration is will do? >> oh, goodness no. >> brennan: i want to also ask you about ukraine. the president's personal attorney, rudy giuliani, is publicly calling for an investigation by the ukrainian government into joe biden, who is obviously a political opponent of the president. is it appropriate for the president's personal attorney to be inserting himself in foreign affairs like this? >> if there was election interference that took place by the vice president, i think the american people deserve to know. we know there was interference in the 2016 election, and if it's the case that there was something going on with the president or his family that caused a conflict of interest and vice president biden behaved in a way that was inconsistent with the way leaders ought to operate, i think the american people deserve to know that. >> brennan: so you think it's
quote
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appropriate for rudy giuliani to be doing that? has the u.s. embassy in ukraine been providing support? the statbhat other than to say this? we have consistently worked to support the ukrainian people. i remember the previous administration, margaret. you'll remember i was a member of congress, and barack obama refused to provide defensive weapons systems to the ukrainian people. he sale them blankets. this president, much to the consternation of vladimir putin, there is this story line that we're weak on russia. this president sent defensive weapons to the ukrainians so they could defend themselves while barack obama allowed one-fifth of ukraine to be stolen by vladimir putin. this administration is working to develop a great relationship with ukraine. we'll see president zelensky in new york and we're looking forward to that. >> brennan: have you asked him to open an investigation? >> i have talked to the foreign minuter the now a couple of times. we talked about the important relationship between our two countries and how we can make ukraine stronger and have great
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economic commerce between twowr great nations. >> brennan: secretary pompeo,yo. >> brennan: thank you very much, margaret. secretary pompeo's counterpart in iran is foreign mini jad zarif, we spoke with him yesterday. you think it's posturing? >> i think it's posturing. i think it's all going the wrong direction in addressing this issue. >> brennan: the united states says there is no way this attack was launched from yemen, and that the houthis don't even have the ability to do what happened. >> well, it is difficult for the united states to explain why its state-of-the-art equipment was not able to intercept these weapons, but the fact of the matter is that the houthis have accepted responsibility for that. if somebody else did it, then they should look for that culprit. it wasn't iran. >> brennan: the united states, saudi arabia, they all say that the weapons, the evidence that they have and have gathered was made by iran. >> well, they've made all those
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claims in the past. >> brennan: those missiles can be reverse engineered to figure out where they were launched from. rennan: .s.yst's just matter of time before other investigators determine that these came from iran. >> let them do that, because it will take a miracle for them to claim that, because it didn't come from iran. period. >> brennan: saudi arabia allowed in reporters to the oil facilities to look at the damage, and there is evidence the attacks came from the north, not from yemen, from territories that would indicate iran, possibly iraq, but the united states says iran. >> well, there is no evidence to that effect. the saudis made a show, but they could not move it. now, at the end of the day, they claim that the weapons were iranian, but they couldn't show even that. they have been showing a lot of lies. >> brennan: are you confident that the u.n. inspectors, that the french inspectors, that the other countries who are sending
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people on the ground to look at this equipment, that none of them will determine that iran played a direct role here or that these were fired from iran? >> i'm confident that iran did not play a role. i'm confident that anybody who conducts an impartial investigation will reach that conclusion. but i cannot say that the people who are being sent will conduct an impartial investigation, because we have had cases in the past where they didn't. >> brennan: so will you accept the results of the u.n. investigation? >> new york we will accept the results of an impartial investigation. >> brennan: who is impartial? >> we can create an impartial investigation team. we were not informed by the u.n. we were not consulted by the u.n. we do not know on what basis this has taken place. so we will take it up with the united nations. we are confident that if the united nations carries out an impartial investigation, the outcome will be that it was not launched from iran.
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>> brennan: saudi arabia said today that citizens from the region are being recruited by iran to carry out attacks. >> this means that -- >> brennan: what does that mean? >> it means that they are backtracking from the initial allegation that it's coming from iran. they're saying that it may have come from somewhere else, but it was based on citizens being recruited by iran to do this. so a lie falls apart sooner or later. >> brennan: can you say that these weren't iranian-backed attacks in any way, shape, or form? >> they were not iranian-backed attacks. we support the yemenis. you see, iran -- >> brennan: but you also support militias in iraq and elsewhere. >> we support the government of iraq. these militias that you talk about are part of the iraqi government. >> brennan: can you say these weren't launched from iraq by an iranian-backed group. >> new york they were not launched from iraq by an iranian-backed group or by any group. >> brennan: president trump has said he would be willing to meet with iran without precondition. and there has been talk among
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western powers about trying to give some financial lifeline to iran to stay in the nuclear deal. all of that was happening, and then this attack seemed to blow it all up. >> no, all of that was not happening, because... >> brennan: you didn't take the offer of talks as real? >> we have been talking to the french. the united states has been reluctant to engage in what is required. let me give you an example that president trump would easily understand in transactional terms. in real estate terms. i buy a building from you. and somebody inherits your company from you next year, and he comes and tells me, i didn't sell that building to you. i need a higher price and a worse building. would you buy it? would anybody in, to use president trump's word, in any history buy this building?
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ou have histga words, or anybody doing this? he is asking us. we didn't have a revolution in the united states. president trump inherited a government from another administration that was legally elected as a united states government. andis agreement has been endorsed by the security council. this agreement is in a security council resolution. now, last i heard, the united states sits in the security council as a permanent member. it has not withdrawn. it withdrew from the human rights council. it withdrew from unesco, but it hasn't withdrawn from the security council, at least not yet. >> brennan: but you said yourself that you were invited into the oval office to meet with president trump. >> but do meet him for what? for a photo opportunity, or the meet him for some substance? >> brennan: so when the president says he's willing the meet and talk, you're not taking it seriously? eof sme that is b valk, but talk
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thear o year talkboumething oul last. we already have an agreement. we talked. i have talked to what was a united states secretary of state, and the united states secretary of energy for hours upon hours of painful negotiations. these were difficult negotiations. it wasn't just a two-page document that we signed, so that we could do another two-page document. >> brennan: so you're saying you will not meet or talk or consider diplomatic negotiations with the united states unless the acceptance of that old deal, the jcpoa -- >> it's not an old deal. it's a deal that exists now. there is a negotiating room. there is a negotiating table. >> brennan: you will not meet with secretary pompeo outside of that? >> no
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>>eche no >> and baca sy. mpeos pted by lom designated me. >> brennan: u.s. officials told cbs news, though, that the supreme leader himself approved these attacks on saudi arabia. but they needed to be deniable. >> well, this is just a hypocritical, hype -- hypothetic allegation. no reality whatsoever. >> brennan: the supreme leader didn't approve these attacks? >> these attacks did not take place from iran for the supreme leader to approve them. had they taken place from iran, then he would have had to approve them, but it didn't take place from iran. >> brennan: do you think u.s. officials are lying when they say that, that saudi arabia is lying? >> i'm certain that they're being lied to, whether they want to accept that lie, i think the work of us diplomats, i think
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myself and my counterpart, the u.s. secretary of state, we need to try to push diplomacy, as senator sanders has recently said, not to push war. >> brennan: are you confident that you can avoid a war? >> no. no, i'm not confident that we can avoid a war. i'm confident that we will not start one, but i'm confident that whoever starts one will not be the one who finishes it. >> brennan: what does that mean? >> that means that there won't be a limited war. >> brennan: i'm told i'm out of time. there's plenty more to talk to you about, though. thank you. >> good talking to you. you're tough. >> brennan: our full interview with the iraniçnx foreign minister is available on our website. next we'll talk with former secretary of state john kerry. he negotiated that iranian nuclear agreement and the paris climate accords. both of which president trump has left. has left. we'll talk about what's next. don't go away.
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>> we're back now with former secretary of state john kerry. he is in town as part of a u.n. push to combat climate change.>k to you about this clitteot requiredo defend saudi arabia in the wake of this attack, but does the u.s. look weak if it doesn't militarily respond? >> not if we do other things that show strength and confidence in a genuine strategy and policy, and that's what's really lacking here i think. you've got to go back to the beginning here. we had an agreement. we have an agreement that the rest of the world supports. >> brennan: the nuclear deal? >> the nuclear agreement. i heard secretary pompeo say, well, we want to get to place where we know they can't have a nuclear weapon. we're. there we were there. france, germany, britain, china, russia all still support a multilateral agreement that was a model of multilateral diplomacy. we cake together.
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the world welcomed this. the united nations security council ratified it. they embraced it. that still is there. along comes president trump, and he pulls out. he broke the agreement. >> brennan: you think he caused this escalation? >> the escalation is the absolutely foreseeable and it was foreseen that this is what would happen. why do i say that? because we were ridiculed for saying that the alternative to what we were trying to do in making the agreement was war, was conflict. i mean, i personally had leaders in the middle east telling me, you have to bomb iran. we had a prime minister of israel come to america and ask for a green light to bomb. so we were averting war, and when we signed the agreement in vienna, the initial agreement, we all agreed thatvd aar and opn with legitimate other issues
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that are concerned with iran. we're concerned about their support for hezbollah. we're concerned about their missiles. we're concerned about yemen. concerned ab interference in other countries. but what is the best way to deal with that, margaret? that's the question. >> brennan: but can the nuclear deal be salvaged now given that iran is starting to push the limits and cheat here. >> of course it can be salvaged. yes, they are. look, i think, and you've got to be really clear and honest about what's happening here. i believe iran one way or the other was behind the attack that took place. that to me is obvious. it's also obvious that it's got to be denied and it will be denied right now because they need the plausible deniability. but the president i think is actually correct to be evaluating sort of not being rushed into a corner to go to war. that is what we shouldn't do. but you also have the look at what happenedu
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we basically declared economic war on iran. we have been pressuring them, maximum pressure, and it was entirely foreseeable that that would result in further conflict. so we're seeing the unfolding of really a bankruptcy of approach. the international community can come together now. i think there is a way to avoid war without showing weakness. >> brennan: want the take a quick break and have a more extended conversation on the other side of it. secretary kerry, all of you stay secretary kerry, all of you stay with us for a conversation on climate change ahead. so we make the most of it when the sun does shine. that's why bp is partnering with lightsource, europe's largest solar company. and should the weather change, yet again, our natural gas can step in. to keep the power flowing and the lights shining. no matter the forecast. at bp, we see possibilities everywhere. to help the world keep advancing.
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jim: we three in the nfl. phil: there is matt ryan and the falcons, great comeback win last week. you always feel good if you are matt ryan because you have julio jones and matt ryan as your receivers. boomer so far, so good, only 336 passing yards, but five touchdowns, only one interception, competing 69% of his passes. boyle there is

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