UK Ambassador calls on Iranian government to de-escalate conflict


ARTHEL: KEVIN CORKE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. ERIC. ERIC: FOX NEWS IS GETTING REACTION FROM THE IRANIAN OPPOSITION TO ALL OF THIS. PRINCE REZA, SON OF THE SHAH TELLING FOX NEWS, QUOTE, THIS IS NOT HUMAN ERROR, THIS IS A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY. HE IRRESPONSIBLY EMPOWERED HIS THUG TO FIRE AT WILL AGAINST INNOCENTS. BEARS FULL RESPONSIBILITY. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. KHAMENEI AND HIS REGIME MUST GO. THE NATIONAL UNITY FOR DEMOCRACY IN IRAN, THEY WANT FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY FOR FRIENDLINESS WITH THE UNITED STATES AND THE WORLD. THEY DESERVE THE SPORT FROM THE UNITED STATES AND ITS GOVERNMENT IN SENATOR FOR NATIONAL LIBERTY. THE LEADER OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF RESISTANCE OF IRAN, ALL IRANIANS, ESPECIALLY THE YOUTH EXPRESS SUPPORT AND SOLIDARITY WITH THE FAMILIES OF VICTIMS OF THIS HORRIFIC CRIME BY THE MULLAHS. PROSECUTE, PUNISH THOSE RESPONSIBLE. ALI KHAMENEI AS COMMANDER IN THE CHIEF OF ARMED FORCES AND HUE SAWN ROUHANI AND IRG COMMANDERS.>>THEY HAVE SEEN MANY SAID DAYS SINCE 2011, BUT THIS DAY IT IS POTENTIALLY ONE OF THE SADDEST BECAUSE IT IS FIRST TIME THAT A SECURITY COUNCILMEMBER HAS CHOSEN TO PLAY POLITICS WITH HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE. ERIC: BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS CARE REASON PEERS DRESSING DOWN THE RUSSIANS ON SYRIA, HUMANITARIAN CATASTROPHE THAT SO SADLY CONTINUES AT HANDS OF PUTIN, ASSAD, THE IRANIANS AND GENERAL QASSEM SOLEIMANI. THIS AS THE IRANIAN PEOPLE CONTINUE TO TAKE TO THE STREETS IN ANGRY DEFIANCE OF THEIR GOVERNMENT, CALLING FOR THE REGIME TO GO. WHAT COULD HAPPEN? AMBASSADOR PIERCE JOINS US HERE IN THE STUDIO. GOOD TO SEE YOU.>>THANK YOU, ERIC. ERIC: PRETTY SHOCKING TO SEE THE PROTESTS GROWING. WE’RE TOLD THEY ARE CHANTING DEATH TO THE DICTATORS, TEARING DOWN BANNERS OF SOLEIMANI AND OTHERS. WHAT IS YOUR REACTION, YOUR GOVERNMENT’S REACTION TO WHAT SOME OF THE PEOPLE IN IRAN ARE DOING?>>THESE ARE POTENTIALLY INTERESTING DEVELOPMENTS. AS YOU SAY, IRANIAN PROTESTERS TAKING TO THE STREET AFTER THE DOWNING OF THE AIRLINER. I THINK IT IS TOO EARLY TO SAY WHAT IT MEANS BUT I THINK EVERYONE IS WATCHING IRAN VERY CLOSELY A THE MOMENT. I HOPE IT WILL BE ANOTHER SPUR TO THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT TO DE-ESCALATE TENSIONS, TO STOP PURSUING NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND, AS IT WERE TO COME IN FROM THE COLD. OUR FOREIGN SECRETARY, DOMINIC RAAB MADE THIS CALL TO THEM. THERE IS A WINDOW FOR DIPLOMACY NOW. WHICH HOPE IRAN WILL TAKE IT BUT ONLY IRAN CAN TAKE THAT DECISION. WE CAN’T TAKE IT FOR HER. ERIC: WHAT DO YOU LEADERS DO? DO YOU CALL FOR MEETINGS, CALL FOR DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THIS SPECIFICALLY, WHAT DOES YOUR GOVERNMENT WANT?>>THERE ARE MANY WAYS TOTIC SAL ONE IS READY FOR TALKS. PRESIDENT TRUMP, MR. POMPEO, MY OWN GOVERNMENT, BORIS JOHNSON, DOMINIC RAAB AS WELL AS THE FRENCH, WE ALL MADE OVERTURES TO THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT SUGGESTING THEY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A DIPLOMATIC WINDOW THAT HAS NOW APPEARED, THAT THEY COME IN FROM THE COLD. I WOULD THINK THAT SORT OF THING IS NORMALLY DONE QUIETLY IN THE FIRST INSTANCE WITH SENIOR OFFICIALS MEETING, PRIVATELY, PERHAPS TO PREPARE A WAY FORWARD SO THAT LEADERS CAN MEET. THERE ARE MANY WAYS OF DOING IT. I THINK THE IMPORTANT THING IS THAT THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT TAKES A STEP.>>WHAT IS THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT DOING? ARE THOSE OVERTURES RECIPROCATED?>>THEY HAVE SENT A VARIETY OF MESSAGES BUT THE MESSAGES TEND TO BE VERY IN THE MOMENT, VERY TRANSACTIONAL. THEY HAVE NOT AS FAR AS I KNOW ACCEPTED U.S., FRENCH, OR BRITISH OFFERS. WE REALLY WOULD URGE THEM TO DO SO. WE THINK WHAT THEIR OWN PEOPLE THINK OF THE CURRENT SITUATION. NOW IS A VERY GOOD TIME TO DE-ESCALATE TENSIONS. STATEMENT, OF COURSE, WE MUS’NT TAKE OUR EYE OFF THE NUCLEAR WE. WE REALLY DON’T WANT IRAN TO ACQUIRE A NUCLEAR WEAPON. ERIC: OF COURSE THE PAST FEW MONTHS THEY HAD PROTESTS AND THE IRANIAN REGIME KILLED 1500 OF THE PROTESTERS. DIDN’T ALLOW THE FAMILIES TO MOURN THE YOUNG PEOPLE THAT WERE KILLED. THE PRESIDENT TWEETED OUT ASKING IRANIAN GOVERNMENT NOT TO KILL THE PROTESTERS. DOES YOUR GOVERNMENT AGREE?>>WE ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH THAT. PEOPLE HAVE A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY, FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION. THAT INCLUDES THE RIGHT TO PEACEFUL PROTEST. SOMETIMES THOSE RESULTS HAVE A VARIETY OF MOTIVATIONS BUT I THINK THE IMPORTANT THING IS THAT THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO LISTEN TO ITS PEOPLE. IT NEEDS TO DE-ESCALATE THE CURRENT SITUATION. THAT IS IN THEIR HANDS. WE MADE OUR OFFER. ERIC: ONE OF YOUR COLLEAGUES, THE BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO IRAN, ROBERT KERRY, HE GOES TO THE VIGIL, GOES TO THE VIGIL FOR 15 MINUTES, HE LEAVES AND THEY ARREST HIM.>>AS WE SAID, AS DOMINIC RAAB SAID THAT IS A FLAGRANT VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW. THERE IS THE A CONVENTION, VIENNA CONVENTION ON DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS. IT GOVERNS WHAT HAPPENS TO DIPLOMATS ABROAD IN COUNTRIES SO THEY CAN GO ABOUT THEIR DUTIES IN SAFETY AND SECURITY. REPRESENTING THEIR GOVERNMENT. THAT IS WHAT AMBASSADOR McNAIR WAS DOING. HE WENT TO PAY HIS RESPECTS AT THE VIGIL. IT WAS IN HONOR OF THE IRANIAN STUDENTS WHO LOST THEIR LIVES ON THE AIRLINER. QUITE NATURAL HE SHOULD GO ESPECIALLY SINCE BRITISH PEOPLE WERE KILLED AS WELL. HE THEN LEFT THAT GATHERING, WHEN IT STARTED TO TURN INTO MORE OF A PROTEST. HE WENT INNOCENTLY OFF TO HAVE HIS HER CUT. THEN THE IRANIANS ARRESTED HIM, BUT HE IS OKAY.>>HE IS NOW OKAY, EVENTUALLY AND RELEASED AND WE TALKED TO THE IRANIANS ABOUT THIS BREACH OF INTERNATIONAL LAW. ERIC: QASSEM SOLEIMANI WAS SO-CALLED TERRORIST MASTERMIND OF THE HORRENDOUS CATASTROPHE THAT IS THERE. YOU DEALT WITH IT IN THE SECURITY COUNCIL AND IT STILL HASN’T ENDED RUSSIANS BLOCKED HUMANITARIAN AID.>>WHAT HAPPENED ON FRIDAY THE RUSSIANS HELD SECURITY COUNCIL TO RANSOM AND PEOPLE OF NORTHEAST SYRIA TO RAN SOME THEY REFUSED TO ALLOW U.N. TO SEND AID THROUGH WHAT ARE CALLED CROSS-BORDER CROSSINGS, GO INTO SYRIA FROM TURKEY, SYRIA, AND OTHER COUNTRIES WITHOUT THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT PERMISSION AND THE REASON THAT IS NEEDED BECAUSE THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT WILL NOT ALLOW ASSISTANCE TO REACH ALL THE COMMUNITIES MOST IN NEED. IT WASN’T JUST GENERAL SOLEIMANI WHO WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN SYRIA. I DO WANT AGAIN TO CALL OUT THE RUSSIANS BUT ALSO THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT THEMSELVES. GOVERNMENTS ARE SUPPOSED TO LOOK AFTER THEIR PEOPLE AND YET THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT WON’T ISSUE PERMITS FOR AID. THEY WON’T HELP GET THE AID TO PEOPLE MOST IN NEED. ERIC: FINALLY DO YOU FEEL WITH THE DYNAMICS PERHAPS CHANGING THAT THE SYRIA ISSUE AND THE TURMOIL WILL BE REDUCED?>>OH, THAT IS, THAT IS AN INTERESTING QUESTION. I MEAN, WE HAD SOME FOOTAGE EARLIER OF THE SAD DEATH OF SULTAN KABUTZ. HE HAD BEEN A STRONG MODERATING FORCE IN THE GULF. HE HAS WIDE ADVICE FOR LEADERS. HE TRIED TO KEEP A PRODUCTIVE WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH ALL SIDES. I THINK IT IS GOOD NEWS HIS SUCCESS ARE SORE PLEDGED TO CONTINUE HIS FOREIGN POLICY WE IN BRITAIN HAD A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE OMAN FOR 200 YEARS. WE’LL BE IN CLOSE TOUCH WITH THEM, HELPING THEM KEEP REGIONAL STABILITY GOING. ERIC: I KNOW BOTH SIDES, BOTH GOVERNMENTS WILL LOOK AND WATCHING OUT, TO MAKE SURE PROTESTS ARE PROTECTED.>>ABSOLUTELY. ERIC: AND THE REGIME DOES NOT RESORT WHAT THEY HAVE DONE IN