Jared Kushner & Robert O'Brien

Briefing on Israel-UAE Peace Agreement

delivered 13 August 2020, White House, Washington, D.C.

Audio AR-XE mp3 of Address


Mr. Kushner: Thank you, Kayleigh. And thank you all for being here.

I want to start today by congratulating the people of Israel and the people of the United Arab Emirates. Today is a historic breakthrough and a great day for peace.

I also want to congratulate President Trump on this milestone. He worked very hard on this with his team. We worked with Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, who really are two visionary leaders who made a big step forward today to really change the region.

The last time we had an agreement like this in the region was 1994, when Israel made an agreement with the Kingdom of Jordan, which stopped aggression and helped bring forward peace.

Over the last 26 years, there’s been a lot of developments in the region -- some positive, but many that have set the region back, and it has led to lots of lives being lost, lots of opportunity and hope being destroyed, and -- and a region that really has had a lot of problems.

When President Trump came into office, we had a caliphate for ISIS in the Middle East, which was the size of Ohio. We had a lot of instability. Iran’s aggression was being felt all throughout the region. A lot of their proxies were very well funded and causing instability in Yemen and in Syria and in other places.

And now we’re in a position where we’ve been able to work with our allies. A lot of our allies felt abandoned. President Trump has been able to rebuild those relationships. His first trip as President was to Saudi Arabia in May of 2017, where he laid out the problems that were facing the region and very clearly articulated that, in order to make progress, we’d all have to work together around common goals and we’d have to acknowledge historic differences and historic conflicts. But we can’t let those conflicts hold us back.

President Trump’s leadership, the ability to build the relationships with the leaders in the region -- people were modernizing their society and realizing that we needed a new paradigm.

On President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, we made an agreement with a lot of these countries that we’re going to start a counterterror finance center. And since then, we’ve worked to limit the amount of funding that’s gone to extremist groups.

We worked with Saudi Arabia, which is the custodian of the two holy sites, and we worked with them to do a counter center, a counter-extremism center to combat online extremism, and that’s made a big difference because you can’t solve the short-term problem without taking on the long-term fight. We’ve seen Saudi Arabia make a lot of modernizations over the last years, giving more rights to women and taking steps in the right direction, which have been very positive. And now today’s breakthrough really allows us to go forward.

To give you a little bit of background on this deal, this is something that’s been in discussions now for over a year and a half. We were talking with Israel; we were talking with United Arab Emirates about moving forward. Obviously, because of the Israeli elections and because of some other things that were happening in the region, this is something that was talked about but never really got to the right place for it to happen.

As you know, with deals, deals happen when deals are ready. And peace deals are very rare and very historic, and there’s a lot of reasons why people would be held back from moving forward.

What we saw was when the President rolled out his vision for peace, which we worked very hard on for a couple of years to really try to understand the issues in the region between the Israelis and Palestinians, he put forward 180 pages of detail on how we can address the issues of the past but also figure out how to move forward.

During that acknowledgement, President Trump was able to get Israel to agree to have a two-state solution with the Palestinians and, for the first time in history, to agree to a map that outlined the territory that they would be willing to work with in order to see that happen. That showed a lot of people in the region that Israel was serious about really moving forward and making peace and also showed them that President Trump’s leadership and diplomacy could make things happen that hadn’t happened previously.

What happened is, as Israel was discussing with us providing -- taking Israeli law and sovereignty to areas of the West Bank and applying it, we were having these discussions. And over the last six weeks, the discussions between UAE and Israel started accelerating around this being a potential different path.

We all saw Ambassador Otaiba’s op-ed that came out that said that he thought applying Israeli sovereignty to this -- to these areas would be detrimental to the region. And a new course, a new option was created that was discussed that ultimately both countries thought was a much more viable option to go forward.

Israel has agreed to suspend those efforts at this time. And as a result, we’re going to focus on bringing these two countries together. This is really a historic breakthrough, and it shows that President Trump’s leadership, from the Riyadh speech until today -- you see a much different Middle East than what he inherited. And hopefully, there’s a lot more good things to come.

This is an icebreaker between these two countries. This is the first Arab country to normalize relations with Israel in a long time -- 26 years since Jordan. And what we’re going to hopefully see from there is more countries start to do the same.

The final thing I’ll just say is that, here in America, the biggest threat that we saw in the last campaign was really two things. One was ISIS. The caliphate was growing, we were seeing journalists being beheaded, we were seeing people burnt in cages, and the threat of ISIS was something that was very scary to a lot of Americans and needed to be stopped. The instability was providing a place for extremists to plan attacks, to plan all kinds of terrible things, and the extremists were trying to radicalize the next generation.

One of the biggest excuses that extremists use to radicalize the next generation is the mosque and -- the Al-Aqsa Mosque -- and saying that it’s being threatened and the fact that Muslims aren’t able to pray there. This deal will allow for flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv, which will allow Muslims a real entrée to come and visit Israel peacefully and to come and pray at the mosque with whatever frequency they deem appropriate.

This is a big breakthrough. As people go there and pray and see that this is available, they’ll share it with their friends and they’ll share the experiences, they’ll share pictures of it on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter, and people throughout the world will see that the mosque is safe and that -- that all people are welcome there.

So this is a really great step forward for the region, a great step forward for the country, and a great step forward for the world. And again, I just want to really compliment the three leaders who worked very hard to make this possible: Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of Abu Dhabi, and President Trump here in America.

Thank you.

Mr. O’Brien: So, thank you to Jared for that summary. And it’s -- it’s been extraordinary work by a number of fine diplomats, working under President Trump’s leadership, to arrive at today’s outcome. Jared Kushner has been at the forefront of those efforts. Avi, Brian Hook, and others have -- have put in just -- just tremendous work, under the President’s direction, to get where we are here today.

And I know, Jared, you’re not a -- you don’t have a diplomat-title or ambassador title, but we don’t have the finer ambassador, especially in the region, than Advisor Kushner. So thank you for those -- those remarks and for the really incredible effort.

I want to start by congratulating, today, the President of the United States; the Prime Minister of Israel, Bibi Netanyahu; and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. This is a remarkable achievement, and they’ve been -- the achievement is now -- will now be known in history as the “Abraham Accords,” or the “Ibrahim Accords” in the Muslim countries, or the “Avraham Accords” in Israel.

It’s something very special. It’s something that doesn’t happen very often. Very few of my predecessors, as National Security Advisor, have been able to come to this podium to announce a peace deal in the Middle East. It’s a -- it’s a very rare thing.

As I said earlier in the Oval Office today, the President is going to be known in history as one of the change makers and one of the remarkable leaders in the Middle East. And that’s not something that you may have thought of when he came into office. But one of his very first steps was repairing our relationship with Israel, which had been badly damaged, especially in the last month of the prior administration.

The President did something that was unheard of. Many presidential candidates, going back two decades, had promised that if they were elected, they would move the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. President Trump had the courage to do it, and he developed wonderful credibility and a reservoir of goodwill in Israel.

He recognized the Golan Heights as being Israeli territory, and -- and took those away from a very -- what could have been a very destabilized situation that we’ve seen develop in Syria.

He destroyed the physical caliphate of ISIS, which, Jared had said, was the size of Ohio. It was -- it stretched across the Middle East, and terror reigned because of the caliphate.

He brought justice to al-Baghdadi, who had killed so many Americans: Sotloff and Mueller and Kassig and Foley.

He put maximum pressure on Iran and -- and cut off much of the terrorist funding that was going to the proxy wars in Yemen, in Hezbollah, in Lebanon, in Syria, and throughout the region.

And today, we have the -- the Abraham Accords. He’s brought peace to the Middle East, at least peace between the UAE and Israel. And what I have said is the President is often known as the greatest dealmaker, and he wrote the book “The Art of the Deal.” And he’s considered a great, great dealmaker, which he is.

But I think history is going to remember the President for being a great peacemaker. He brought peace to Israel and the UAE. He has signed a -- his diplomat signed a historic accord in Afghanistan. I want to remind people that we haven’t had an American casualty in combat in Afghanistan since February 29th.

He used his offices and his -- his pressure to stop Idlib from being overrun in Syria, and brought a ceasefire agreement when -- when Turkey had invaded Northern Syria.

A lot of people said that when he came into office that there would be war in North Korea. But through personal diplomacy, he’s -- has kept that situation from -- from turning into a kinetic event.

So, it’s really remarkable, I think, when you -- when you step back and take a look at what this President has done on the peace front. And it wouldn’t surprise me -- it’ll take some time in this environment -- but it wouldn’t surprise me if the President is eventually nominated for a Nobel Prize for the -- this -- today’s work is an example of why he would be rightly considered and should be a frontrunner for the Nobel Peace Prize.

So, I also want to compliment the courageousness of Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince. You know, there have been two other great Arab leaders -- King Hussein -- in my lifetime, King Hussein and Anwar Sadat -- who have made peace with Israel. And now, Mohammed bin Zayed enters that pantheon of great, courageous Arab leaders.

And I want to compliment President -- Prime Minister Netanyahu, in Israel, who was under tremendous pressure to extend Israeli law and sovereignty to portions of the country, but is -- has stepped up against that political pressure to make peace. Something that may have been politically popular, but he put the interest of his country and his people first.

And so I think we’ve got some very courageous leaders that worked with the President to come to today’s tremendous historical accord.

Stepping back from -- what does this mean beyond the historic idea of a major Arab country making peace with Israel all these years after 1948? It makes sense on so many different levels. The UAE and Israel are both capable security partners of the United States, and close -- close partners of ours in the region, standing up to Iran, standing up to Islamic extremism. They’ll -- them -- the peace agreement between these two countries will encourage and foster cooperation in those efforts.

These are very innovative countries. Israel is called the “startup nation.” And for those of you who have been there, it’s -- you feel like you’re driving through Palo Alto through half the country. The UAE is also a very innovative country. Putting those two nations together is going to create a dynamic of innovation and creativity in the region. And they -- both countries are populated by incredibly dynamic people.

There are tremendous opportunities that are going to arise from this agreement. Jared talked about the idea of Arab pilgrims and Muslim pilgrims going to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, going up to the Mount, and having the opportunity to pray in peace in Israel.

The -- as you know, the President has made religious freedom, especially religious freedom in the Middle East, a center point -- a centerpiece of his foreign policy. And this is a great step towards fulfilling the idea that the three great faiths that came from the Holy City -- Christianity, Judaism, and Islam -- will be able to pray and interact peaceably together in that beautiful city of Jerusalem.

Tourism, with -- Abu Dhabi and Dubai and the other Emirates have become meccas for tourism, especially before the Chinese virus -- the COVID virus. Israel is a great land for tourism. That’ll expand trade between the UAE and Israel, which both have incredible economies. And again, as we -- as we recover from COVID, this agreement will help the economies of those countries and the countries in the region expand. And I think you’re going to see an increase in jobs in all three countries as a result of these accords.

With respect to the peace process overall, we’ve got a great team. That team is going to be fanning out. We’re going to be on the -- working the phones. We’re going to be in the region. And we believe that there are other countries waiting in the wings that are going to watch and see how the -- the tremendous response to the courage of Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Crown Prince have been received by their people and by the world. And, I mean, I’ve -- I’ve already been on the phone with a number of European counterparts who have called to congratulate us for our role in -- in this accord but who are -- some of whom were astounded that this took place.

And we also think that this could lead to a great deal for the Palestinian people, that -- it’s a people that the President of the United States, President Trump, has not forgotten. And he’s -- he’s endorsed the two-state solution. He wants to see the Palestinian people in a prosperous country of their own. And the groundwork has been laid for that, so I think we’ll be working very hard on those efforts in the -- in the coming months and -- and year.

So, again, today is a great day. It’s a great day for the people of the UAE, it’s a great day for the people of Israel, for their leaders. And it’s also a great day for the United States of America as we played a role that we’ve traditionally played throughout the world, in coming in to mediate in difficult situations and -- and achieve peace and achieve prosperity for our friends and neighbors.

And again, I’m honored to be a part of the President’s team on this. And again, I’ll end with congratulations to the President for his leadership, and again, to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.

Thank you very much.

Mr. Kushner: We’ll start with Steve.

Question: How long did Israel agree to suspend its annexation plan on the West Bank?

Mr. Kushner: So the suspension will last -- it’s going to take a while for these agreements to get fully enforced and to go. And I think that right now the focus that Israel is going to be applying is towards building this relationship. The opportunities that are now created because of this from an investment point of view, from an innovation point of view, from a health point of view, from a terrorism point of view, and, most importantly to both countries, from a security point of view are very robust.

And I do believe that, for the foreseeable future, you’re going to see both countries focusing on that. I also think that Israel sees a lot of exciting opportunity in doing what’s being done today with other Arab and Muslim countries as well. So that’s really going to be the focus as to where we’re going to be working with them.

And, you know, one thing I also want to do is acknowledge the tremendous team that’s worked on this to date. Obviously, Secretary Pompeo has been leading the efforts. The Vice President has been very supportive. And then, obviously, Avi Berkowitz and Brian Hook have been just tremendous along the way -- both to get to today and also in the steps that will likely come forward soon.

Question: Jared, this has already -- you guys are telling this as a good step forward. But the Palestinian officials are already out criticizing it. If they aren’t on board, how is this a good peace deal right now?

Mr. Kushner: Right. So, look, we -- they have a fairly predictable response that we’ve si- -- seen time and time again to all types of things that help make their people’s lives better. Let’s just focus on the facts of what’s happening, and let’s focus on how to push things forward.

We laid out a 180-page, very detailed plan that we got Israel to agree to negotiate on the basis of that invests $50 billion into their economy; that allows them to double their GDP over 10 years; that can create a million new jobs; help their people have a much better standard of life. We also got Israel to agree to have them have self-determination, have a secure environment, and then, in addition to that, figure out how to get the right land -- the right land outcome where we can go forward.

So, look, I think that a lot of people in the region are seeing that we can’t wait for the Palestinian leadership to try and resolve this. Every country is going to do what’s in their best interests, what’s in the region’s best interests. And we have big problems in the world, and we can’t be stuck in the past. We have to be moving forward.

Now, I will just say that a big part of what motivated the UAE to move forward at this time and take the risk that they’re taking is the notion that they didn’t want to see Israel take the provocative action of applying sovereignty to areas of the West Bank, which hopefully allows more space to the Palestinian leadership to come to the table and make a deal.

So I don’t know if it will happen tomorrow. I don’t know if it’ll happen next month. I don’t know if it’ll happen next year. But at some point -- always learn, with deals, that there’s a thing called “gravity.” And right now you’re in a situation where Israel has said that they’re open to making peace. A lot of people in the region have supported the vision that the President laid out.

One thing you’ve seen with the President: He’s a deal- making President, right? And part of being a dealmaker is not always showing your cards. Again, we were able to hold this quiet until this morning when we announced it.

The President has had a very robust strategy for the Middle East that we’ve been executing piece by piece, day by day. And we’ve seen things have been getting better, problems have been getting resolved. The President has been taking things off the table -- you know, slaughtering sacred cows that were holding people back.

And so if you kind of look at the snapshot today and you look back at the snapshot of where the President was when he started, you have a much different Middle East, and that’s not by accident.

So, I believe, over time, we’re going to continue to ask ourselves two questions with that conflict. Number one is: Are we doing things that allow Israel to be more secure versus less secure for the Israeli people? That’s America’s strongest ally in the region. With this step, actually, UAE joins a very exclusive club and becomes, you know, really, one of America’s closest allies in the region.

And then number two is: Are we taking steps that allow the Palestinian people to live a better life? And so, you know, there’s a lot of people who find historical traps where they can find excuses not to move forward. But President Trump is focused on creating a bright future, crea- -- focused on progress and making people’s lives better.

So I will just say today that this is a big breakthrough. This is something that’s -- that’s public. We have a lot of things that are happening privately right now that are quite excited. And I do believe, again, that over the next years, if the President is able to keep going forward, you’re going to see some historic changes in the region that will make -- really make the world a much safer and better place. Thank you.

Question: Thank you, Jared. Appreciate it. I just actually want to ask you, Advisor O’Brien -- you mentioned Anwar Sadat, and I’m just curious: Do you see or envision sort of a -- a Sadat-Begin-Carter picture -- a moment like that for the leaders? Because that’s something, I think, people remember -- I want to say it was ’79, but going all the way back then.

Mr. O’Brien: Right. Right. No, I -- I think we will have a formal signing ceremony at the White House. And we’ll have to see who comes from the various countries, but I would expect that Prime Minister Netanyahu will be here, and either the Crown Prince or one of his -- one of the other princes would likely be here in Washington. And I think it’ll be a great day.

And, really, as you know, I normally don’t talk about things that -- that were said on presidential phone calls. But one of the -- one of the leaders said that we’ve had a tough 2020, and this is like the best news of the year. It really is good news. It’s a great news story for the American people, and it’s been great to see the -- how the press has reacted in a -- in a somewhat polarized time.

I think this is one of those stories that everybody -- regardless of your political stripes or on that sort of thing, everybody’s excited about the fact that an Arab -- a Muslim Arab government is making peace with Israel. Big day.

And we’d love to host them here at the White House. I think the President would very much like to host them. And so I think we’ll have an event, at some point, in the-not-too-distant future.

Thank you.

Question: And, Jared, if I could follow up on something that you mentioned earlier. You talked about “visionary leadership,” not just in the region, but to -- in general, including the President, to make something like this happen. He seemed, actually, fairly positive -- albeit maybe cryptically -- that may be something soon could happen again to keep this inertia going with perhaps another country.

Is it your sense that, yes, there’s a -- there’s a good chance that we could have a similar announcement here in the next, say, 90 days, 80 days?

Mr. Kushner: I do think there’s a very good chance. Now, one thing I’ll say about the President is that one of the things you see in great leaders is a sense of optimism. And the President is -- is a great leader for the country because he always wants to put forward a positive front and get people to do more than they’re capable of doing and help people achieve things that people don’t think is possible. And so his optimism is one of his great traits as a leader.

I will say here that we have had several discussions. Obviously, we -- we kind of stopped those discussions because this one looked like it was going, and it was very important to the United Arab Emirates to be the first. They wanted to make history and do it, but we do have several more that we’ve had discussions with, and now we’ll continue those discussions to see if we can continue to move forward more.

Look, at the end of the day, it’s an inevitability, right? People in the world want to move forward. The Middle East has to stand on its own two feet. We have some great allies there. We’ll continue to work with them and help them, but we’d like to see a security architecture and an economic architecture there where people have the safety and ability to live a better life, to have jobs, to have prosperity, and people need to believe that their children can have a better life than they can. And once that happens, people will choose a job over -- over some of the other less good areas that they’re being tempted to go to by the extremists.

Thank you.

Question: Jared, thank you. A couple of questions. First, you mentioned the flights. Can you tell us how quickly you expect to actually see those flights begin, embassies to open up? And to what extent is this strategy in part strategy [inaudible] hope that Iran will be further isolated?

Mr. Kushner: I think Iran is -- Iran, if they want to move forward -- again, the President has been very clear he’s not going to pay for a meeting, but he’s always happy to talk to people. And that’s part of him being a dealmaker, and that’s why, again, he was able to make this deal; he was able to make the deal for the OPEC Plus; he was able to make the U.S.-Mexico-Canada deal; he was able to make the Japan trade deal, the Korea deal. We’re able to get the FIFA 2026, the Olympics 2028. The President is a dealmaker, so he’ll always be flexible.

I do think, though, seeing the two best -- two of the best militaries in the region come together should be something that people take note of because it shows that, again, people are figuring out how they can optimize.

And I do think that Iran has benefited from kind of dividing and conquering. Through their proxies, they’ve tried to create instability, and they’ve -- they’ve tried to have the Middle East divided, which is why they’ve always taken advantage of the Palestinian issue and -- and they’ve tried to stoke fear around that issue. And they’ve used it to keep people from joining together with Israel.

You know, no Israeli has ever killed in Emirati, right? There -- there’s not that hatred between the people, which is why there’s no [inaudible]. So I do believe that we will start seeing interactions very quickly and that both countries are very motivated -- both from an economic point of view, from a tourism point of view, from a health point of view, from a technology point of view -- to start moving forward quite quickly.

Question: And very, very quickly, if I could just follow up with you. You’ve been in the headlines recently. Just to give you the opportunity to respond: Can you tell us why you were meeting with Kanye West? Did you discuss the election at all in any capacity?

Mr. Kushner: Yeah. So Kanye has been a friend of mine for -- I’ve known him for about 10 years. And, you know, we talk every now and then about different things, and we both happened to be in Colorado. And so we got together and we had a great discussion about a lot of things. He has some great ideas for -- for what he’d like to see happen in the country, and that’s why he has the candidacy that he’s been doing.

But again, there’s a lot of issues that the President has championed that he admires, and -- and it was just great to have a friendly discussion.

Thank you.

Question: Just to follow up on Steve’s question -- Netanyahu just did a live address tonight, and he said, “We received a request to wait temporarily on annexation from President Trump.” He said, “It’s a temporary postponement. It is not removed from the table. I’m telling you that.” So how long is “temporary,” because you said it could be a long time? And did you get guarantees that they will adhere to that?

Mr. Kushner: Somewhere between a long time and a short time. That’s what “temporary” means.

Thank you.

Question: But that’s important to them to know how long “temporary” is. He’s saying it’s not off the table, it’s not cancelled; it’s only being postponed.

Mr. Kushner: Look, our discussions with the Prime Minister have been very extensive over the last three and a half years. We have a lot of trust between Israel and America. We’ve done a lot of historic things together.

The people of Israel trust President Trump to make the right decisions that are in the best interest of Israel’s security and prosperity. And obviously, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump have a very close relationship.

I believe that they will not take action to move forward, unless we have an understanding between America and Israel, that it’s the right action at the right time. And again, you know, it’s not like a binary thing to move forward or not. There’s a lot of details, there’s a lot of things that need to be considered. And we had a lot of those discussions over the coming months, and then obviously put those discussions on hold as this came about.

So I imagine, at some point in the future, this is something that will be discussed. But today is a great day. This is a big breakthrough. This is a game changer for Israel. It’s a game changer for the Middle East. And it’s a game changer for the world.

So, I think, for the time being, people are going to focus on that and focus how to optimize from that tremendous opportunity.

Question: But just to be clear -- just to be --

Question: If I could follow up on Kristen’s question --

Question: Could I just --

Question: Did you discuss the campaign -- his campaign -- with Kanye West?

Mr. Kushner: We had a general discussion, more about policy.

Question: Jared, let me ask you about a different deal -- one here in Washington. Democrats, Republicans are $2.5 trillion apart, it seems. From your view, do you believe it’s possible right now of a phase four deal coming together?

Mr. Kushner: Working with President Trump for the last five years on the campaign and through government, I would just say that, with President Trump, anything is possible. So, you never know. The President has accomplished a lot of things that people thought would never be accomplished, and -- but to comment specifically on the deal, I’ll leave that up to the negotiators.

Since we seem to have exhausted questions on this topic, I’m going to pass it back Kayleigh. Thank you.

Question: Jared -- just to follow up on Iran -- please, Jared, you promised me earlier [inaudible]. To follow up on Iran, you said earlier this is part of the [inaudible] of isolating Iran. The administration has recently revised a U.N. Security Council resolution to extend the arms embargo on Iran. [inaudible] a lot of tough language on Iran, but still -- there is still a danger of veto from Russia and China.

So, some observers are saying that the administration is risking losing face if you can’t get support over this deal. Can you comment on that?

Mr. O’Brien: Well, the first thing is, we’re always going to do the -- the administration is always do the right thing. And President Trump is always going to do the right thing, whether it’s losing face or there’s a Russian veto or a Chinese veto.

If the Chinese or the Russians veto the continuation of the arms embargo and want to start sending arms to Iran and destabilizing the region, that’s on them and that’s not on us. So we’re always going to take the position -- the right position -- and not worry about what the Russians or what the Chinese might do at the U.N. If we did that, if we worried about that all the time, we’d get nothing done at the U.N.

We also have other tools that we’ll use to deal with Iran to make sure that that arms don’t flow into Iran, that there’s not further destabilization of the region. There are tools that we can use diplomatically, and there are other tools that we have.

And nobody in the region wants to see Iran on the receiving end of a bunch of Russian MiGs or Chinese missiles or Chinese drones. The region has made that very clear, we’ve made that very clear, Israel has made that very clear -- so I don’t think that’s in the interest of anyone in the world. It’s not in the interest of global peace and security and prosperity.

So we’re going to continue to prosecute our case at the U.N. and we’re going to hope for the best. I hope the Russians and the Chinese do the right thing. They should do the right thing. And -- and if they don’t do the right thing, well, we’ve got -- we’ve got backup steps that we’ll take.

Question: Can you clarify whether you’ll support the snapback option?

Mr. O’Brien: The snapback is certainly one of the tools that we could use. And -- and that’s something we’re looking at very closely. And it wouldn’t -- look, what we’re focused on right now is the vote to extend the arms embargo. We’d like a clean rollover of the arms embargo. We’d like to see our allies get behind it. We’d like to see the Russians and Chinese get behind it.

I just can’t imagine any leader anywhere in the world who thinks it’s a good idea to put advanced armaments in the hands of the Ayatollah and his regime, especially in today’s Middle East. I mean, that just makes zero sense whatsoever.

So hopefully, the countries at the U.N., at the Security Council will do the right thing -- they’ll roll over the arms embargo and keep it in place. But if that doesn’t happen, we’ve got -- we’ll take steps necessary, and one of those steps could be could be snapback.

Thank you.

Book/CDs by Michael E. Eidenmuller, Published by McGraw-Hill (2008)

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