tv Charlie Rose PBS July 20, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. tonight for the hour, part one of a two-part conversation with dr. mohammad javad zarif the foreign minister of iran. >> i think everybody should come together and actually fighting these extremists idealogies. fighting them does not mean only through military, this is much deeper. it should be a comprehensive strategy to deal with extremism and terrorism. extremism and terrorism are from lack of hope in addition to an ideology based on hatred and exclusion. there is the necessary fertile ground from which these idealogues or in fact demagogues
recruit new soldiers. >> rose: the foreign minister of iran for the hour next. >> rose: funding for "charlie se" has been provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: mohammad javad zarif is here. he has served as iran's minister of foreign affairs since 201. he was iran's chief negotiator in the nucleic deal reached in
2015. on monday president trump certified that iran was in compliance with the joint comprehensive plan of action but on tuesday the administration now new sanctions saying the united states will continue to aggressively target iran's malign activity including their ongoing state support of terrorism, ballistic missile program and human rights abuses. this is minister zarif's 12th time at this table. i'm pleased to have him back on the program. welcome. >> good to be back. >> rose: lots have happened since 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, we have a nuclear deal certified both sides. president says that you're in accordance with it but not the spirit of it. you have suggested that in some ways the united states is violating some of the tenets of the deal. but the relationship overall. where does it stand? >> well i think the united
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's a misguided policy. i think the allegations against iran are tired and don't stand any test in reality. i think it's best for the united states to look at its achievements quote/unquote in our region and see what it has achieved. it has made all the wrong choices, the allies are accusing each other supporting terrorism. i believe the united states needs to take a fresh look at the situation in our region and see where its interests are, how it's dealing with important issues of stability and security in our region. and decide where it sell where it wants to stand. >> rose: as you know in the conference or the summit, saudi
arabia and some of the arab state allies asked the united states to join them in isolating iran. they believe you're engaged in these activities that the united states suggests you are as well. >> i just want to ask you who are behind the 9/11 terrorists attacks. >> rose: who do you think was behind it. was it individuals or was it an act by the state of saudi arabia. me from saudi arabia, 15 ofduals them. we also know the ideology came from saudi arabia. if you change the -- the ideology. if you just check from 2001 to now or even from 1 998 to now almost 90% if not more terrorists throughout the world have been insta gated and perpetrated by people belonging to that school of thought which is the official ideology of saudi arabia and promoted upon billions of billions of petro
dollars across the globe spreading extremism everywhere. it's unfortunate because we believe that we need to have good relations with our neighbors and we want to have good relations with our neighbors. but they need to decide about their policy. unfortunately for the united states, the yard stick is not whether a country supports terrorism or not, the yard stick is whether they're buying those beautiful military equipment from 9 united states or not. >> rose: do you think that's a test for the united states. >> i believe it was stated by the president that he did not go to saudi arabia before he made sure that all those years were on the table. >> rose: because he thinks it will create jobs is the reason he gives for the effort to sell weapons to saudi arabia. may i just go back. >> it's good that they create jobs. but that should not be the yard stick that supports terrorism. >> rose: one thing i hoped to have with you and i think it's interesting for the american people is, what is exactly a terrorist and who is a
terrorist? for example, al-qaeda is a terrorist organization, you would agree? >> yes. >> rose: isis is a terrorist organization, you would agree. >> yes. >> rose: hezbollah is a terrorists organization you would agree. >> no i wouldn't. >> rose: they are on the terrorists list. >> they are on the united states forces list. >> rose: and others. >> no. again, let's supply a yard stick. that's take the united nations as an acceptable mechanism, an acceptable machinery to define for you who is a terrorist and who is not. accept something, we cannot accept the united states being the prosecutor, the judge, the jury, the executioner, everything rolled into one. i believe it is important. we cannot have various yardsticks but one would be to see who is under the list of terrorists states or terrorists in the security council and the united states is permanent member of the security council. we have no laws in the security
council. the security council considers taliban, al-qaeda, isis as terrorists organizations. >> rose: so does iran. each one of those four, so does iran. >> yes. but unfortunately u.s. allies. saudi arabia and the united arab elm ritz recognized taliban after 9/11. saudi arabia had supported and ua is united states allies. i don't want to engaged in saudi bashing. i'm talking about the united states accusing iran of supporting terrorism while its own allies have been on the record. now they are exposing each other about who was first in supporting isis and other
terrorists organizations. >> rose: let's make sure i have time to raise questions of america. do you believe that saudi arabia supports al-qaeda. do you believe saudi arabia supports -- which has new names now. do you believe saudi arabia supports isis. >> i believe that a lot of saui money -- >> rose: not by the government. >> in fact some of them are in charge of the saudi services. we know al-qaeda when they engaged the soviets was a child of saudi intelligence services. taliban will recognize, the taliban government which was sponsored al-qaeda was only recognized by three states. two of them were -- >> rose: the other was pakistan you said. >> that's a neighbor. i don't want to deal with them because they have their own, because as a neighbor they have
a problem. but for saudi arabia and the united arab emirates because pakistan is a neighbor, some other countries in the former soviet union are neighbors. but saudi arabia and united emirates are not even close but they support it. they recognize it. the money, and it's clear, just ask any intelligence person, money that went to isis, most of it came from these countries. well more importantly -- >> rose: not from the government per se. >> well, that is to be investigated. i'm not here to accuse anybody. we've been accused by a lot of people about a lot of things and i don't know whether it's good to accuse people. what i'm saying is the ideology came from saudi arabia. all of these people belong to the ideology that is promoted
officially by unfortunately the government of saudi arabia and it's being spread across the world. and everybody who engages in acts of terror in one way or another has been affected by that. >> rose: but you had the summit in which there was a call for in a sense for a recognition of where radical extremists terrorism was coming from. and that within islam, there had to be an understanding of what elements of who are using the religion or hijacking the religion to engage in terrorists activities and all muslim should be opposed, whether shi'a or sunni. >> i would agree with that. >> rose: that's what they said. >> i believe everybody should come together and actually fighting these extremists idealogies and fighting them does not mean only through military means. this is much deeper. it should be a comprehensive
strategy to deal with extremism and terrorism. extremism and terrorism emanate from lack of hope. in addition to an ideology based on hatred and exclusion, there is the necessary fertile ground from which these idealogues or demagogues recruit new soldiers or terrorists. the way to do it is to provide identity, to provide hope, to provide dignity, and to provide economic future. these are what's lacking in the region and beyond even in the west. it is 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 society. and that is why they are misguided into going into this type of extremist violence in order to address that feeling of disenfranchisement. we need to have a comprehensive strategy to deal with that. >> rose: what you just said the united states i think would agree with. >> i hope so. >> rose: i think people have spoken to that idea that there has been a need to find that what is the root cause of people turning to misguided efforts to get them to engage in violent acts that they were not necessarily headed for but they were turned by something, whether it was a despair of identity, whether it was a sense of loss of hope or whatever it was. >> it's a combination. >> rose: why can't there be common ground on this issue. >> we believe there should be common ground because we believe these terrorists are as much a threat against us as they are
against saudi arabia and others. and that is why time and again it has called for dialogue. you know every suggestion for dialogue was welcomed by iran, including an initiate ive that s delivered two iran. we went to kuwait to respond to that initiative. unfortunately as soon as iran accepted that initiative, saudi arabia that was a part of the group that initiated this idea 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. >> rose: let me tell you what they say and we talked to many of the leaders across the arab world and iran and the state that it is, not an arab state, a
persian. whether it's a revelation or a state. it's a cause or nation. does it want to be -- iran has to choose because they say that's kissinger and then these arab states and others in the neighborhood say they're coming to our country trying to meddle in our country iranians are in iraq, iranians are trying to have an impact in saudi arabia and in the emirates. >> we are in no country without the invitization from their government. we are in iraq obviously because the government of iraq not only the government in baghdad but the government in irbil, the kurdish government is supposed to go and help them fight isis. >> rose: in syria. >> on the government of
damascus. we have advisors, not militias. we have military advisors in both iraq and in syria as we do in iraq kurdistan on the engagement of the governments involved. everybody nawptz had it not been for iran rushing to the assistance in the iraqi kurdistan. we were there within two hours responding. we've had the consistent policy fighting those fighting terrorists and extremists. this is consistent. as i said in 2001 we were the ones supporting the people who were 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 are the ones who are supporting fight terrorism and extremism in iraq in syria. we're not, we're not involved in saudi arabia. actually saudi arabia has been said by the new crown prince of saudi arabia is trying to take the fight to the iranian territory. >> rose: that's exactly what he said. they're coming after us and we'd rather fight in iran than fight in saudi arabia. that was part of what he said. they're coming after us and we'd rather fight in iran. >> we agree with the first part of his statement but we cannot neglect his own admission, that he is trying to insta gate terror inside iranian territory. >> rose: they say they want to stop you from being the dominant player in the region. that's their agenda. >> our region we're not in-- i
think efforts to become a hegemon in our region are doomed to failure as efforts to become a global hegemon are doomed to failure. we're gone beyond that in history. 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 the problem. we're not trying to exclude saudi arabia from the region. >> rose: you recognize that is their complaint. >> well, that is what they want to use as a cover. to explain why they have made all the wrong choices. i asked very clear question. why have they been on the wrong side whether it was saddam hussein invading iran in 1980 they were on his side. >> rose: the united states
supported saddam. >> not only the united states supported saddam. everybody else. why did they make that wrong decision. in 1988, he turned his weapons against the people who had financed him. we supported kuwait after it was invaded by saddam hussein. but they didn't learn their lesson. unfortunately then they went and support the taliban. and then after that they went and support al-qaeda. and after they went and supported mosul. >> rose: the united states and you shared an opposition to the taliban, and in fact, the united states cleaned out the taliban after 9/11 as you know. >> yes. i'm talking about saudi arabia making the wrong choices. and the united states initially made some wrong choices too. >> rose: there was a time when you were on the same side in opposition to the taliban. >> we both opposed the taliban.
whether we were on the same side or not it's for history to decide. >> rose: when you look today, what does iran want? what role does it want to play in the world. >> iran is a country that has been able to survive despite pressure, despite war, despite sanctions. we've been able to make progress, to make scientific achievements. inspite of the fact that every restriction was imposed on our country and our people. even our students were prevented from studying physics and mechanics. we made advances for one reason. we're content with our size, with our geography, with our national resources. >> rose: and you have no
global ambitions. >> we do not have global ambitions and most importantly, we rely on our own people. we do not rely on foreign aids 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 presidential elections were a sham because somebody chose who should run in the presidential election. he forgot that people in iran waited in line for ten hours to work for a sham or even worse, people in los angeles, they -- >> rose: he was remembering another fact, that there are people who want to run who were not allowed to run.
you're talking about the abiliy to vote for those who run. >> 1200 people who 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 are not highly qualified for the job can be eliminated. >> rose: they were too moderate in their views to be allowed. >> you see, the fact is, in all democracy, you have a process through which candidates are excluded. now, here you have the primary reason of the caucuses, others have other mains. >> rose: they're all allowed to run, they were excluded -- >> you still need a number of signatures to be on the ballot. so every place you have a
mechanism. i do not want to engage in interference in the internal affairs of other countries against international law. but as an observer, not as foreign minister i can tell you that if you do not have money, if you do not have necessary financial contributions from the corporations or others you may not be able to stand for election. >> rose: bernie sanders had a very successful campaign. he raised money from small donations. >> i have a lot of respect for senator sanders. but at the end of the day you have a vetting process. what is important? i mean people here, you have people who believe that the united states only members of the establishment can run. people can make a lot of allegations. at the end of the day it's for the american people to decide whether they have the necessary choice. and they showed that by coming
to the polls. iranians could have stayed home. if they want to stay home in iranian, or if they wanted to stay home even in los angeles. 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 for a sham election. >> rose: let me tell you why. because there is always a love for the soil where you were born. >> no, no. but you do not engage in a futile exercise. of course there's a love. i know that the love of my compatriates have been insult by president trump. they are loved for their country of origin as well as their
country of residence. >> rose: they've been insulted by the revolution, they lost their property or something. >> just a small segment. d there are procedures to fact redress that i 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 out looks. just if you had known persia and watched our debates you would have seen something similar if not harsher than your debates taking place in iran. that tells you going back to your question, we rely on our people. and that is why we are content with our size, with 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 the region and we have shown in our support for the people of iraq, in our support for the people of syria and in our support for the people of kuwait when they were invaded by saddam hussein. >> rose: several things about that influence. the german intelligence says for example that you still have great desire to have a nuclear cape bill fee. >> we do have a nuclear capability. but we have foregone the threatened option. >> rose: did you do that because of the pain of sanctions. >> no. we did that long before the sanctions started. i believe the sanctions were misguide and misplaced -- >> rose: conventional wisdom is by everybody that you were hurting by sanctions that you were willing to come to the negotiating table. and if you take the sanctions
away we'll agree. >> charlie, i presented a proposal to the french, the britts and the germans, on march 23rd, 2005, before all these sanctions were presented. at that time i was ambassador here at the un and i was the nuclear negotiator. our new negotiator was our president and i was negotiating on his behalf. i presented the proposal which is very similar to the final deal that we reached ten years later. >> rose: why did it take all that, why did it take that time to do it. >> i tell you, because at that time ambassador bolton was sitting in the state department preventing that deal from taking shape. and today -- >> rose: representing the bush administration. >> representing the bush administration and today he's trying to do that all over again. by calling -- >> rose: he's not part of the government. >> i know but he's one of the most productive -- there are quite a few of them.
>> rose: there's great division about the nuclear deal as you know. >> i understand. the sanctions did not bring iran to the negotiating table. the united states decided that its zero enrichment option which it had pursued from 2003 until 2013 was not going to get anything. you see what did sanctions produce? sanctions produce a lot of economic hardship. i grant you that. but was that the objective of the sanctions or the objective of the sanctions was to change iran's policy. i think it was to change iran's policy. >> rose: on nuclear weapons. >> no, on centrifuges because everybody knew 2007 you had a national intelligence estimate, 2007 states that iran is no longer from their perspective, no longer, i'm trying to be accurate from quoting. from our perspective we never
pursued nuclear weapons but in 2007nie, this is during bush administration before obama, nie established that iran is no longer pursuing nuclear weapons. >> rose: everybody in the obama administration thought that you were pursuing new clear weapons. >> they were wrong. >> rose: john kerry thought that and the earn negotiator thought that and president obama thought that -- >> nobody is -- they made a wrong assertion. the iaea, international atomic energy agency established in 2015, in november of 2015 that the so-called possible military dimensions of iran nuclear program were not significant and that is why they closed the tie.
this is november 2015. there is a resolution by the governing board of the aiea in which the united states and all its allies are represented and iran is not. >> rose: let me raise this moment with you. there are many americans who believe the following. that the deal that was done was done in the hopes over the next 12 year period that there would be a change, a mover to moderation on the part of the iranian people and the iranian gift. and that after 10 or 12 years when this deal reaches one of its points t the iranians no long want nuclear weapons. the idea was the confidence in a moderating force over a period of time. >> two things. first iran never wanted nuclear weapons. iran please that nuclear weapons are not only against our ideology but against our national security. >> rose: why is it so hard to convince american leaders of
that. >> i don't know. we had a saying in persian that if you're asleep somebody can wake you up. if you pretend to be asleep, nobody can wake you up. i believe people are pretending. if your national intelligence estimate and this is not iran, it's u.s. intelligence community. if your own national intelligence estimate in 2007 and again in another year that i can't recall, established that iran is no longer pursuing nuclear weapons, why is it so difficult for american officials to recognize that. now we believe that nuclear weapons do not augment our security, nor to be honest, do they augment anybody else's security. so that's our position of principle. we remain very compliant with that principle throughout our history, and there are cases to prove it. including the use of chemical weapons against iran by iraq with the support of everybody
international community, report after the report of the un and established that iraq used chemical weapons against us and the report at the un established that they did not. >> rose: you were a victim of -- >> of chemical weapons and we never retailate in kind. this is the record on which we stand. but you made a point that was a valid point and that is i tweed on the day of the signing of the reaching of the agreement because nothing was signed. on the day we reached the nuclear deal that this is the foundation and not the -- we had hoped that through faithful and complete implementation of this agreement, we could rebuild some of the lost continents between iran and the united states.
>> rose: except secretary kerry believed the same thing. >> everybody believed the same thing. every single reporter of the national atomic energy agency which was recognized in deal as the body authoritative body to decide whether iran was complying. every report of the iaea has established that iran was in compliance. >> rose: let me ask you this. do you share the view if iran had nuclear weapons, it would set off a rush to have nuclear weapons on the part of the saudis and on the part of everybody that could afford then. >> that's one of the reasons we believe nuclear weapons don't augment everybody's security. you would then have to engage in a very costly answer that would only and particularly considering the patent of aligns.
we're not the ones big $110 billion worth of beautiful military equipment. >> rose: that's the saudis. >> that's the saudis and others are doing the same. if we want to engage particularly in an unconventional arms race, it's not a winning battle. you see we rely on the resilience of our people and on what we produce ourselves as a defense. we have been capable of defending ourselves against very difficult circumstances. but it's not in our interest to engage in an unnecessary race that would only basically would be a quagmire that would attract all the money and possibilities. >> rose: the north koreans clearly believe this. if you have nuclear weapons, somehow that's going to protect you from being attacked. they have a fear of attack and therefore -- >> every country has a peculiar doctrine of their in.
we never accent the argument -- >> rose: you would argue with the united states that north korea should not have nuclear weapons and should do everything to stop them. >> we believe that every non-nuclear weapons state should not get nuclear weapons. like six former u.s. secretaries of state that nuclear weapons states should also begin putting aside there nuclear arsenal because they are prone to accident. they are prone to being, falling in the hands of terrorists and that is why we believe all nuclear weapons need to be dismantled. >> rose: let me just ask you about the idea of a shi'a crescent. it is said that general -- who is your esteemed leader of forces who i understand only reports to the supreme leader. you can help me understand where his level of reportage goes to,
is very much interested in having a clear route from iran to lebanon to support hezbollah. is that true? therefore it includes syria, it includes iran, as a way to be able to -- >> charlie. people, it's easy to make -- >> rose: i'm asking the questions that everybody asks. >> it's easy to make these conspiratorial allegations. >> rose: these are questions presented by at the top levels of american intelligence. >> conspiracy theory is not a monopoly of the people in our region. the united states can once become a victim of conspiracy theory. >> rose: you probably have some of your only. >> oh yeah. our region is the birth place of conspiracy theory. >> rose: tell me, i mean,
when this was first said by king a blah he was talking more of a relittle crestent but he's talking much more of -- >> i think in 2004 when the king made that statement and it's interesting where he made that statement, he made it in washington. with all due respect and he knows i have a lot of respect for him this was an attempt at fear monger. awe tenth in fear mongering that has continued and has only brought mistree and despair to our region. there's no attempt to create a crescent, there's no attempt to create a corridor. iran has simply con to the aid of countries that have been fighting extremism and terrorism. and i believe everybody -- >> rose: you didn't come to the aid of lebanon you came to the aid of hezbollah. >> we came to the aid of length belong because it wasn't hezbollah territory that was occupied. it was lebanonese territory that
was occupied. >> rose: by the syrians. >> no by the israelsys. it was a decision. they invited to go and asked them to leave and they did. here i represent iran and no other country. i believe we are the in order to help people fight terrorism. you see these arguments have been negated time and again and people don't observe that, is that shi'a territory, is that part of shi'a crestent? how would you explain when in
2014 isis was within hours of occupying libya. >> rose: and very close to baghdad. >> very close to baghdad. now we've been to the aid of both. >> rose: we went to the aid of both by doing what. >> by sending our advisors. >> rose: they were more than advisors were they not? >> general suleimany was there with weapons and add veersz. it's people within iraq fighting the terrorists. it was the kurdish people fighting the terrorists. they needed support they needed help. they needed people who know how to organize them and we were there within two hours of the president calling us. now those who are talking about the shi'a crestent should tell me where in that crescent iraqi kurdistan is. these are just fear mong ring
scenarios, narratives that are created to, that are presented, elaborated and created in order to create fear. we have called for a political solution in syria where everybody, shi'a, sunni, christians, jews, everybody will participate in the running of the government. this is what we want. >> rose: what do you think of president bashar assad and what's happened to syria? >> it's none of my business to think about president awe -- assad. it's the business of the people of syria. we should provide them with the opportunity to decide for themselves. >> rose: i think it's none of your business, for you to say that is in a sense a cop out. >> no, i'm not. >> rose: it's not my business, no matter what he
does. >> i think what has happened in syria has been the consequences of people outside syria imposing red lines, red lines that this gentleman or another gentleman or lady should or should not be in the government. >> rose: the issue was the use of chemical weapons. >> we reject the use of chemical weapons. >> rose: in iran more than any other country because of what happened to you in the iraq-iran war should be at the top of the list of people saying if syria uses chemical weapons, it's a crime against humanity. and you shouldn't be supporting a regime that uses chemical weapons. >> you got to stop there because who has established that. i cannot accept the united states which is a party to the conflict along with its
allies -- >> rose: you're a party to the conflict. >> that is why you don't 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 allegation of the use of chemical weapons which was followed unfortunately by a huge military operation by the united states we asked the community to send a delegation to investigate on site in the and should i remind you that six
times or seven times the u.n. established that iraq had used chemical weapons against iran and not a single time the united states condemned it. not a single time did the united states allowed the security council to condemn it. so i don't buy it was a deadline for the united statessor other members of the security council. >> rose: because they did not vote against it when used against you. >> not that they did not. they did not prevent it. >> rose: they did not vote for it. >> it's more than that. they -- they didn't let it get to a vote. this is the sad irony of history. for us in iran, we've been very clear. we condemn the use of chemical weapons no matter who uses them and no matter against whom it's used. pure and simple. >> rose: but you deny -- >> 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 wasn't there. >> rose: they had videos, they have everything else. >> they have video of the victim and my heart goes out to the victims. >> rose: victims of sarin gas. do you know what sarin gas does. >> nobody knows better than what he do what sarin gas does because here in new york i receive patients who had been victims of sarin gas. >> rose: from iran. >> no, from iran and from iraqi. 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, i believe me i do.
>> rose: therefore you should be the more prominent articulate argument against it. >> and we are. >> rose: and holding countries who use it to -- >> to account. >> rose: to account. >> exactly. and we are presented to do that. >> rose: how many years has it been since -- >> provided that there is an international investigation establishing the fact. >> rose: the facts. >> yes. >> rose: you doubt the facts. >> >> rose: you doubt the facts that -- that's one example. >> that's the example. >> rose: i know where the united states responded. >> it's easy. >> rose: the entire war that's gone on for six years. >> yes. it's a war that should have stopped long time ago. i presented a plan in 2013 to
end the war. it incorporated -- and not for people outside who should be in it and who should be it. executional reform see and an election based on that constitution. people were asking what would happen to president assad. i said you're putting the cart before the horse. because if you're talking about constitutional reform, the constitutional reform may come up with the parliament tree. >> rose: the people -- >> after they decide who is the formal government they should decide who should be in it. the conflict for at least four years because this idea was on the table since 2013.
and as second kerry has said time and again, this idea, my plan formed the basis for security council resolution 2254 on syria which unfortunately was adopted two years later. or even more than two years later. so we're talking about real situations. we need to bring these conflicts in it. we need to bring the war in syria to an end. we need to bring the senseless bomb -- >> rose: how do we bring the war in syria to an end. >> exactly how i said. >> rose: cease-fire now and that small region will hold? >> well, there is a deescalation in three larger regions that russia and turkey spawrnlingsed six months ago and it's holding more or less. you see the amount of suffering and killing of the syrian people has been drastically reduced since december of last year when
this initiative by iran and turk ehab in place and we think it should be enlarged to include all of syria except for fighting against isis recognized by the security council organization and who cannot be a part of cease-fire. but other than that. >> rose: the united states does not want them to be part of a cease-fire either. >> i'm not saying that this is the point of convention. i'm saying that, i'm just stating defensively that we need to expand the cease-fire throughout syria. we need to allow unhindered humanitarian access to all syrians. >> rose: the united states and president trump in this case believes 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? >> i think -- >> rose: stop the war and
heal the country and rebuild the country. >> i think everybody -- >> rose: and transition -- >> i think everybody should work together in order to end this tragedy in syria. >> rose: you're presented and would like to work with the united states and russia. >> we were a member of the international syria support group which included united states and russia. we did not hesitate. and also it included and continues in the region because you will not be able to do this without the support and assistance of other countries in the region. i do not believe you are able to end the conflict in syria without saudi arabia, you will not be able to end the conflict in syria without terry and qatar but most important you will not be able to end the conflict in syria without the syrians. at the end of the day the syrian should decide. the rest of us should
facilitate. we should not dictate to the syrians. >> rose: did you approve russia coming in and they always make the point they were invited in by the assad government. were you okay with russia coming in to prop up the assad government when it was almost tottering. >> it wasn't. russia was invited -- when the russians came to syria, assad was in a much firmer position than it was in 2012/2013. i mean, you're talking about comparisons. you're talking about relative situations. but that is not a debate that we want to engage in. that's not for me to debate that. what we have said very clearly is that we do not interfere in the decision by a solvent government. i gave you an even clearly
example. we disagree with the united states but we do not intervene against united states cooperating with the iraqi government. we have not intervene againsted that because we believe that's a decision that the iraq government should make. we may oppose it but it is their decision. >> rose: do you encourage the government of iraq to make sure that sunni, the immersion of the sunni and the islam do not be shut out from government so that they do not see what we have seen time after time. first allege -- al-qaeda and then isis come out -- >> exactly. we believe the iraqi government should be inclusive. >> rose: you encourage the iraqi government to do that. the maliki government did not do that and that was a very strong
friend of iran. >> prime minister abadi is a strong friend of iraq. >> rose: true. >> every government in iraq thankfully has been a strong friend of iran and this is our advice to all of them. that iraq needs to be an inclusive government with all segments of the iraq population represented in the government. iran maintains extremely good relations with all segments of the iraqi population. we have very good relations with the speaker of the parliament who is a sunni and basically -- >> rose: you do not deny, do you, or i'm asking that isis got support from sunni tribes because they felt like they had no voice in baghdad. >> well, isis got support from people who believe as i said these are the result of
disenfranchisement. so i wouldn't disagree with you that the perception of not having the voice in the society leads people to join these extremist groups. that is why i said in the beginning we need a comprehensive strategy to deal with these extremist groups and that comprehensive strategy includes certainty giving a voice to everybody. i think this is what the government of iraq is committed to. we heard it, you heard it from prime minister abadi. you heard it from the leaders of every community, in iraq. and this is something that iran will wholeheartedly support. and we want every other country in the region to engage with us and the iraqis and the united nations in order to support national unity in iraq. particularly now that we have these prospects of a referendum and centrifuge activities in various parts of iraq. we need to call for unity and inclusion. >> rose: do we need to call for self determination for the
kurds. >> i believe the kurds and the constitution of iraq have certain autonomy and i believe it is important. >> rose: within the constitution of iraq. >> within the constitution of iraq. >> rose: you're not in favor of them having self determination. >> i believe self determination is for all peoples. but the constitution of iraq, the territorial integrity and national unity of iraq are of paramount important, very important foot kurdish population, very important for the rest of the iraq and very important for everybody. i believe there is consensus globally. >> rose: haven't you just said no to independence for the kurds? >> i believe that is a common view of not only myself but every other political leader in the region and outside the region. >> rose: kurds could not have independence. >> that we should not have with the territorial integrity of the countries in the region including iraq.
it is a dangerous domino would lead to greater instability. i think people will get much much more than they bargained important 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. >> rose: what is the relationship you have with the russia government. >> we have very good relations with russia because russia is a very important neighbor of iran, is an important partner for iran and we engage with russia. we have similar views on many subjects. >> rose: what's your relationship with the turkish government. >> we have very good relations with turkey government. we have some difference of view with turkish government on some regional issues but our relations with turkey are excellent. and we engage with turkey on issues that we disagree with. including syria.
we have engaged more closely probably with turkey on syria than any other country because we feel these issues should be dealt with through dialogue and multilateral discussions. iran, turkey and russia i said are parts of the process and we've been able to do some good. >> rose: that's part one of a two-part series of a conversation with the foreign minister of iran javad zarif. tomorrow night, part two. for more about this program and early episodes visit us on-line at pbs.org and charlierose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh cess.wgbh.org
[water rushing] >>zeffirelli: >>narrator: it was a historic and cataclysmic flood which threated lives and some of mankind's most precious masterpieces. >>linda falcone: the whole world really felt that it had been damaged in some very profound way. >>paola vojnovic: we have so many things that were lost over time. not much was left just due to these floods. >>narrator: this is the story of how the world answered. >>jane fortune: the whole world came and answered florence's plea. they did it because i think the world loves florence. >>narrator: and how it's still answer50