- [Chris] President Trumpsays Iran is on the ropes.
- The first day that I got to office,
or let's look at it differently,
a day before I got tooffice, everybody was saying
Iran would be taking over the Middle East,
it was just a question of when.
Now they're just looking to survive.
- For months, demonstrators on the streets
of Tehran and other citieshave defied the regime.
Protestors blame theirleaders for the crumbling
economy by spendingIran's treasure on foreign
wars throughout the Middle East.
Iran's currency is plummeting and reached
its lowest rate on record.
- There is no glimmering of hope that's
the situation changes.
Up till now have seen no kind of practical
and effective way, the practical solution
on behalf of the governmentto solve this problem.
- [Chris] It's part ofthe administration's plan.
- I get the logic of itand there is a logic to it.
Is it through economic sanctions that then
produce internal unrest, and therefore,
pressure on the regime.
The regime has to start thinking twice
about its ability tomaintain these far flung
commitments against the region.
- [Chris] The US fannedthe flames by pulling
out of the Iranian nuclear deal,
reimposing sanctions,and there's more to come.
- Remember that in November,we have the beginning's
of oil sanctions on Iran.
The intention to endIran's ability to export
oil, so we have very major new blow.
So we're just at the beginning of this
to a certain degree.
The beginning of realWestern pressure on Iran.
- [Chris] Iran's President Rouhani
promises further defiance.
- We will continue by all means to produce
and export our oil, oil is
in the front line of confrontation.
- [Chris] Iran also warned it could shut
down the straits of Hormuse,
to which of the world's oil passes.
Another front line is this ongoing war
in Israel's regularaerosol on Iran's growing
military presence inside Syria.
The Ideav says it has hit more than 200
Iranian targets in the past two years.
- So there's a whole bunch of potential
tools in the books soto speak, to continue
to put pressure on the regime.
Economic, political, and military.
From what we're gonna beseeing in the month's ahead
is an increase in usage of those,
and an increase in the coordinated uses
of those to try to rollback Iran across the region.
- And Chris Mitchell is withus live from Jerusalem now.
Chris, what is the Trumpadministration's plan
to deal with Iran?
- Well, Charlene, Secretaryof State Mike Pompeo
outlined that earlier this year on May,
he had a speech at the HeritageFoundation in Washington DC.
He talked about unprecedentedeconomic pressure
against Iran, we saw that in the peace.
Working with the Defensedepartment to halt
and stop Iran's aggression in the area.
And also work with theIranian people and that
goes back to say anattempt in the Cold War
when the United Stateswould speak to the people
on the other side of the Iron Curtain.
So I think there's a definite pressure
to try to speak to the Irani people.
We see that playing out rightnow in the streets of Tehran.
- [Charlene] Indeed, and howwould you compare the way
that the Trumpadministration has dealt with
Iran the way that the Obamaadministration dealt with it?
- Well, Charlene, it's nightand day, day and night.
You could argue that theObama administration's
Middle East policy was Iranian centric,
and I think the crown jewel of that was
the Iranian Nuclear Program.
But that really upset a lot of people
here in the Middle Eastand many people thought
that was a very dangerous plan.
The Trump administrationhas really reversed
that dramatically, wherethey have confronted Iran
rather than appeased Iran.
And that has made such adifference here in the Middle East.
- And what kind of reactionhave Israeli leaders
and leaders in theregion had to the new way
that the Trump administrationhas dealt with Iran?
- Well I think they're relieved,
and I think gratified forthe first time in well
eight years of the Obama administration
when the Iranian Nuclear Position
by the Obama administrationwas probably the main
sticking point betweenthe Netanyahu government
and the Obama administration.
Now they're on the same page,
if you talk to Iranian leaders right now
you'd talk about the three main dangers
or enemies to Israel,they'll say Iran, Iran, Iran.
So finally they seethemselves on the same page.
The other thing is thatmany of the nations in
the region, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt,
many of the Gulf states as well,
they see for the first time in a long time
that the United States isstanding with them as well.
And that goes directly to one of the main
divisions here in the Middle East which
is the Sunni Shiitedivide and many of these
Sunni nations see Shiite Iranas their number one enemy.
And actually, they'regrowing closer to Israel,
so you see that maximhere in the Middle East,
the enemy of my enemy is my friend,
and you see that playing out right now.
And also I would just add this, Charlene,
that many here in the Middle East saw
Obama, they perceivedhim as a weak leader.
They perceive Trump as a strong leader,
and that really makes a differencehere in the Middle East.
- Huge difference, Chris Mitchell,
Middle East Bureau Chief, thank you
so much for joining us today.