In-depth investigation with Emily Maitlis. Topics include Theresa May's first six months as prime minister, press regulation and the resignation of NI's deputy first minister.
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Now it's time for Newsnight
with Evan Davis.
Spot the difference -
new cabinet - old cabinet.
Yes, we struggled as well.
A two-day reshuffle,
and quite a bit of a kerfuffle.
But it leaves government disrupted
but not altogether relaunched.
The Prime Minister has been
struggling with a pretty tough
joint, that is raising questions
about her mastery of some
pretty basic skills.
Was it much ado about nothing?
Or can it reset the Conservative's
With talks between the north
and south, we'll examine the search
for peace on the Korean peninsula.
In the Middle East we will examine
Iran's foreign policy.
It's accused of not
searching for peace.
is extraordinarily dangerous.
First of all, they have Shia groups
throughout the region they can rely
on that they can, if you will,
convert, or infiltrate.
Also tonight, Toby Young steps down.
Virgin West Coast says it will no
longer sell the Daily Mail
on its trains.
It seems a culture war
is raging in the UK.
James Delingpole and Paris Lees
will tell us whether it needs to be
conducted with quite
so much vitriol.
It's done, after two days,
government has been
reshuffled and reshaped.
124 jobs in government,
including junior ministers and whips
and all the hangers on -
and about a third of those have been
moved or are new.
Including moves for some names
you might recognise,
including Jo Johnson
and Rory Stewart who were shunted
from jobs in their comfort
zone, to jobs elsewhere.
Two important critiques
of the reshuffle are emerging though
- the Prime Minister has said
that it makes government look
like the people it serves,
but that is not quite true
of the cabinet, which is a little
more public school and a bit more
Oxbridge than it was and has
no more women in it.
The other point, made
by the Institute for Government,
is about the disruption to business.
In nearly every department,
half or more of ministers have now
been in their post
for less than a year.
The heart of government,
which is the Cabinet Office
will have an entirely new team.
Was it all worth it?
Well, Nick Watt our
political editor is here.
Let's talk about the handling today,
because yesterday it came
in for quite a bit of criticism.
It has been a tale of two
reshuffles, there is a feeling
in the Cabinet that yesterday,
which was about the Cabinet,
was not one of the Prime Minister's
most glorious moments with those
ministers resisting her.
I've been hearing scathing words
like chaotic, the Prime Minister has
no authority, and she
can't even sack people.
That's the Cabinet.
Today she had a much better story
when she started moving
through the junior and middle
ranking levels of government
and Downing Street is saying
that the Prime Minister has created
what they believe is one of the most
diverse governments in the history
of this country, 37 women ministers
and nine ministers from black
and minority ethnic backgrounds.
I talked to a Cabinet minister
who said look at the whips office,
six recently elected women MPs
brought into the whips office.
They were saying it's not that long
ago that there were no women
in the whips office and it was run
like a military operation,
orders were barked.
You can't do that in
the modern world so this
is a modern whips office.
There were some strange moves,
I mentioned Rory Stewart
and Jo Johnson, people said wife
move them from jobs that seemed
to be jobs they were familiar
with two things that
are not experts on.
Some people are spotting
a plot on the backbenches.
What the Prime Minister did
was create a praetorian guard
around her and then clipped
the wings of anyone who might
possibly be seen as a
Dominic Raab, given this important
job as housing minister,
but that is seen by these
people as a hospital pass.
Will he ever get to grips with this
issue that nobody seems to get
to grips with?
Rory Stewart taken out
of the comfort zone of Africa
to the Ministry of Justice,
somebody who made his name
as a governor of an Iraqi province.
And Justine Greening,
comprehensive educated Yorkshire
woman, given an offer yesterday
that she couldn't take her mind
off she goes.
I've really been looking
at what Theresa May was trying
to achieve in this
Most prime ministers
are reluctant butchers.
Margaret Thatcher lamented how
in her Downing Street years she had
been obliged to learn the craft
of carving the joint.
So, just how skilled
a butcher is Theresa May?
Well, in this rather
she's been struggling
with a pretty tough joint,
and that's raising questions
about her mastery of some pretty
basic prime ministerial skills.
If prime ministers red reshuffles
so much, what exactly is Theresa May
seeking to achieve here?
Well, the answer lies in one date,
June the 8th, the Prime Minister
is seeking to respond to the Tories'
surprise electoral setback
by shifting the dial in three ways.
In the first place,
she wants to restore her
own political authority.
Then she wants to show a more
diverse Conservative Party
to the country.
And finally, she wants to respond
to the concerns of voters who gave
the Tories such a bloody
nose back in June.
The Prime Minister gave
the impression yesterday
that she was unable to carve key
sections of the joint after Cabinet
some of her plans.
Tory MPs claim that the reshuffle
has exposed grave weaknesses
in her operation, though MPs
now say she did stage
a strong recovery today.
Expectations were far too high
on the run in because I always
thought it would be a moderate
reshuffle, only two or three
jobs needed changing.
Every reshuffle I'd ever seen
hits a problem somewhere
when administered doesn't want to go
somewhere and they want to keep them
in the Cabinet, which happened here.
-- when a minister.
Suella Fernandes, who has
coordinated the main backbench
Brexit group takes her first step
on the ministerial ladder
in the Brexit department.
Other new ministers include the QC
Lucy Frazer, who becomes a justice
minister and a former
entrepreneur Rishi Sunak,
who joins the housing ministry.
The Prime Minister invited a record
number of women appointed
to the whips office
to Downing Street, and No 10 says
Theresa May has created one
of the most diverse governments ever
with 37 women and nine ministers
from minority ethnic backgrounds.
It's probably the most diverse
governments Britain has ever had,
that's a good thing.
But more importantly,
the reshuffle is pretty much over,
senior Cabinet level right the way
through to junior ministerial roles,
we've got some really good
The Tories were shaken by the way
in which voters from their mid-40s
downwards preferred Labour
in the election, with concerns over
housing a key grievance
amongst younger voters,
there is a renewed focus on this
in a newly rebranded department.
All age groups in that election
will also alarmed by the confusion
over social care, so Jeremy Hunt
takes overall control
of that policy.
The challenge will be to show
that these changes amount to more
than shiny new
While the Prime Minister has been
panned for tinkering
with her Cabinet, in this reshuffle
she has gone further
than the limited changes
she made in the summer.
So, progress since her Midsummer
nightmare when her first
priority was survival.
But this is still not
Theresa May's ideal reshuffle.
Had she done better in the general
election there would have been
changes at the most senior
level of the Cabinet.
The Prime Minister tied up the loose
ends of her reshuffle this evening.
The troubled Cabinet changes show
Theresa May cannot altogether escape
the shadow of the election
but at junior levels
there was a more decisive
Prime Minister on display.
Nick Watt with an Atkins
diet metaphor as well.
I'm joined by Kelly Tolhurst,
Tory MP for Rochester in Kent
and as of today an assistant
One of those ones that Nick
was referring to earlier.
And in a moment I'll be speaking
to Camilla Cavendish,
director of the 10 Downing Street
policy unit under David Cameron
and to the journalist Paul Mason.
Good evening to you all.
Kelly, can we start with you?
It's interesting they have put
you up, the government have chosen
to put you up to speak
for the government today,
not one of these Oxbridge posh boys
in the Cabinet, do you think this
is a time for the party to try
and put forward a different face?
Well, I think, for me,
I'm a conservative and always have
been and I have become
a Conservative MP, and for me
I think the last two days,
especially what has happened today,
has shown really what the true
Conservative Parliamentary party now
is, and they do include people
like myself, and it's been really
good to be given the opportunity
to go into the whips
office this afternoon.
Theresa May explicitly said one
of the objectives and achievements
of this was to create
a government that looks more
like the country serves.
Last count there were more than 30,
30 5% women in the country.
Are you happy with
the way that's gone?
I think we have got record numbers
for us women into government
Is more reflective of
the people we serve.
It's true we need to do more
but today is a great step forward
and I think with what's happened
in the whips office,
it is a real indicator to show
that that's changing.
In fairness, you don't really get
to speak on any issue
in the whips office.
Cabinet average age, 51,
it was 52, not much changed.
In the Cabinet there is want black
or ethnic minority member
of the Cabinet.
48% Oxbridge, 34% went
to a public school.
Does it make sense to sort of shout
about how you are creating
a government that looks
like the country serves,
if you've got 34% public school
people in the Cabinet, 48% Oxbridge?
Is that a thing to shout about?
Well, I think we need to look
at the government positions
as a whole, and also look
at the people that came in in 2015
and have come in this year,
and myself, having not been
to university, and had
the opportunities to work hard,
and to become a member
of Parliament, there are more people
like me that came in in 2015
and I think if you look at this
as a whole we are from a more
diverse background, therefore I do
think some of the changes
Is your line that this
will pass through?
That the Conservative Party,
at the moment boasting around done
about its government's
when it is half public school?
The parliament to party has changed
significantly in the last two years
with the 2015 intake and 17.
Today's appointments have made
a difference and I think
we are moving forward.
The big mission is about
rejuvenating this government,
we know Brexit has got to be done
and Theresa May wants
to move beyond Brexit.
In a couple of sentences,
what is the big idea,
apart from Brexit?
What are you going to do?
Well, the government is committed
to delivering Brexit,
it's massively important.
Apart from Brexit?
My constituency is still the focus
but we have also said,
and Theresa May has been clear,
we cannot forget that domestic
agenda and there are things
like the NHS, the environment.
What are you going to do?
Well, one of the things
we are doing is focusing,
as you know, we have been speaking
about the NHS and winter crisis over
the last couple of days.
It is something we are looking at.
Kelly, I'm so sorry,
but speaking about the NHS...
You are struggling to say
what the big mission is.
There must be some sort of...
Has the party been told this
is what our priority is?
and we are going to do these 100
things, or build
a powerhouse in the North?
Saying we are going
to talk about the NHS.
It's one of the things that matter
to the people of this country
and one of the things about this
Cabinet reshuffle has been
about having the reshuffle
and being very clear,
the Prime Minister has
been very clear about
what she wants to deliver.
It's not just Brexit, absolutely,
it is still the main focus,
but it is around working
towards those things that matter
to people domestic is.
to people domestically.
With the greatest respect,
I've tried giving you a chance
to say what the mission is,
and the fact that you are sort
of struggling to say what it is,
or am I just being unfair?
Well, I think maybe
you're being unfair?
We've been clear about what we want
to do, there are key thing is,
we can list them for you,
we need to make sure the economy
continues to grow, we want people
to be getting opportunities to have
better paid jobs.
We've had the industrial strategy
just recently announced.
That is massively important for
certain areas of the United Kingdom
and the economy.
The NHS is included in that.
There are a number of things
that we have been clear
on and our Prime Minister has been
very clear about command the last
two days and changes that have been
made will hopefully drive forward.
Please stay there.
Let me turn to our other two guests
because the big question is,
does this reset the
I think today was
better than yesterday.
What this reflects is,
we have a Prime Minister leading
a minority government.
She was never going to be
able to do a reshuffle.
They have to fill in the gaps
in the domestic policy agenda
and make good on the speech she made
at the beginning of this
about social justice
and managing that.
That means they have to do
much more on housing.
It would be great if they could
integrate the NHS and social care.
There are a whole series
of unfinished things that need to be
done, partly because of Brexit
but partly because of drift.
Whitehall have been virtually
frozen for 18 months.
The question about this we shuffle
is, can some of these people...
Some of the junior
people are really good.
Can they unfreeze the system
or is the shadow of Brexit
going to loom over them?
I congratulate Theresa May
for appointing a diverse junior
layer of the Cabinet.
They will find out how little power
you have as a junior minister
but how hard it is to get things
done if you are not part
of the inner elite that runs
Britain, from which the core
of the front bench is drawn.
The Oxbridge set of people.
They don't just wield political
power, they wheeled social power.
The whole Toby Young episode.
This is like the BBC.
We did a
survey on this programme and it was
worse when I worked here. This was
an attempt by Joe Johnson to stick
it to student unions and have a good
go at them, like Donald Trump, and
have a go at them on the right wing
agenda. That is the agenda of the
elite Tory Party we are dealing
with. Welcome to reality for all the
black ethnic minority and women
who want to bring the normal world
into the Tory world.
Can I just butt in on that?
That is not the party I recognised.
I don't recognise your sort of
As a backbencher, I have
had many opportunities
to influence from within.
I don't want
to only talk about this. The
handling of the reshuffle,
the fact that it was perceived to be
what does it tell us
about the Downing Street operation?
There was a famous story about Tony
Blair and a guy I have forgotten.
Moving round the whiteboard and his
name came off. He never got into the
Cabinet because his name fell off.
Perculiar and arbitrary.
That said, the media management was
a bit surprising. Theresa May as
Home Secretary I always admired. She
did not like all this presentation
stuff will stop when you get into
Number 10 you need to do the stuff
properly. Unfortunately they
oversold the idea that big beasts
would be moved in this be a huge
clear out of the new generation. She
has not brought in Mercer, who is
regarded as a future leader. It
looks a bit limp.
Where does Theresa
May go from here?
The problem she has
is it is an Administration,
you need an overarching,
She cannot write the idea
down which is what does Britain
looks like after Brexit? The cabinet
would then split, you can do more
if you have a moral purpose.
The problem is
identifying just about struggling
people, managing people, is not
identify what you will do for them.
Right now we all know you are
absolutely right to raise the NHS,
it is on everybody's minds.
A guy who has overseen
the cancellation of
non-urgent operations was
reappointed with more power because
Theresa May did not have enough
power to sack him. Insofar as people
are seeing politics, no one is
obsessed with who is a junior
minister but they are concerned that
relatives being left on trolleys and
being made to wait in waiting rooms.
The person was promoted.
That was done by NHS England.
That is the sort of human shield
for the Government, isn't it?
Because of the Tories act in 2012
Jeremy Hunt had less power
than he should have.
You have to integrate the NHS...
How long have they been
in power to do that?
It is whether the budget
and the money will move
with the title.
Would you like the idea
of combining, integrating health
and social care?
That was in the name they gave
Jeremy Hunt yesterday. Is it just a
name or something substantive going
It was right that change was
made. There is a correlation between
the two and the two have to work
together. The biggest challenge we
have as the NHS, as the population
grows and the treatment gets better,
the pressures on the NHS continue.
Going forward we are looking at
those areas combining and the Health
Secretary has an opportunity to make
the changes where he feels he is
We really do need to leave
it there. Thank you.
It's been a busy day in Panmunjom,
the so-called "peace village"
in the demilitarised zone
on the border of North
and South Korea.
There have been talks
there today, between the two
countries and they appear
to have gone smoothly.
Five officials on each side
with a CCTV feed to the leaders
of the countries.
Now when enemies want to bury
the hatchet, they often start
with little gestures,
and avoid raising the things
that have divided them.
So it is with the North and South,
not agreeing the big stuff,
that North will throw
away its nuclear weapons.
But agreeing that the North
will take part in the
forthcoming winter Olympics.
There was more to it than that -
but is it a real step to stability?
Our diplomatic editor
Mark Urban reports.
Well, this is something,
surely, a thaw of sorts.
Face to face talks, a commitment
from the North to send cheerleaders
and athletes to the Winter Olympics,
and a resumption of schemes
to reunify families
divided by the Korean War.
Kim Jong-un is on a charm offensive.
The Panmunjom talks are the only
game in town right now.
And I think the South Koreans
would do well to try
to keep them going.
There are a lot of issues that are
Peninsula issues and that the US
should be careful not
to appear to be thwarting.
If there's a perception
in South Korea that the US is
keeping South Korea away
from its northern cousins
for the purpose of family
unification and issues like that,
I don't think that will help the US.
With just a couple of days
until the opening of the Winter
Games in South Korea,
the venues are ready
in the world is watching.
North Korea now says it
will send delegates,
as it did to the 2006
Olympics and World Cup.
And for the South, this is a timely
gesture that just might unlock
the bigger issues at stake.
I believe we can make
the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as a
kind of turning point in
the escalating tension on the Korean
peninsula and engaging
in a direct dialogue
and exchanges with the North,
and further creating
an environment conducive to more
serious negotiation on nuclear
and ballistic missile issues.
But lest we thought
peace was about to break
out, North Korean officials
delivered another message today,
telling southern counterparts that
Kim's nuclear weapons target only
America and not the South.
A version of an old
mantra designed to sow
divisions between America
and its Korean ally.
I think it's a pretty typical ploy.
You have to bear in mind
the North Korean view of South
Korea - South Koreans are great
except that they are dominated by
their puppet master,
the United States, and don't stomach
if only the puppet master
South Korea and North Korea
would have a terrific relationship.
But if the Americans are suspicious,
what about Moon Jae-in,
South Korea's President
and long an advocate
of better relations with the North?
The South Korean President Moon has
for decades been for improved
relations between North and South,
for engagement between North
and South, which is very
much on a different
page than President Trump
and his preference for maximum
pressure on North Korea.
Today's North Korean initiative
hasn't met with universal approval.
Even in the South, where some
against improved relations.
When the Winter Olympics are over
the nuclear issue will
remain unsolved, the Korean
peninsula on the brink.
We live in divided times.
Anyone who peruses
social media will see
a clash of values play out daily
in vicious zero sum argument,
on any number of issues.
One was the right wing
controversialist Toby Young stepping
back from his appointment
on the board of the new English
the Office for Students.
Having spent a decade trying
to be controversial,
he turned out to be too
a public appointment.
The second story was
Virgin West Coast trains,
stopping its sales
of the Daily Mail.
"We've decided that this
paper is not compatible
with the Virgin Trains
brand and our beliefs,"
the company said.
It did also point out that it barely
sells any copies anyway.
The Mail called the
While very different,
the two stories are just today's
examples of a culture war
that is currently being fought
on social media and beyond.
What characterises the culture war
is its preoccupation with words
Toby Young for example
is on one side of it -
a self proclaimed provocateur.
To be frank, he probably didn't even
believe half the obnoxious stuff
he wrote, he just wanted
to offend what he saw as
He's the personification
of the conduct of
the culture war under way.
At times he's been
vitriolic, relishing a
fight with those on the other side.
If that can be said of those
on the provocative right,
is it the same on the progressive
side as well?
Over in the US, Google
are being sued by
James Damore, the coder
sacked after writing
a controversial - not very PC -
memo, critiquing the company's
He said he and others
had been discriminated
against as white males.
Certainly he was vilified on social
media for saying and thinking
the wrong thing.
It's seen by the right as a case
of the left's intolerance.
Every day these kinds
of arguments are
erupting, even where
they don't need to.
Like Virgin - they're not banning
customers from bringing their own
copies of the Daily Mail
on to their trains, obviously,
but justifying the decision not
to sell the Mail in terms
of politics rather than
commerce ramped this up
as another divisive issue.
Again, on social media,
the debate polarised
around extreme positions
Each side's undoubtedly sincere
in its thoughts and really
believes the other is a threat
to either decency or free speech.
But is the virulent argument
a healthy sign or a vibrant
debate, or a sign that shared values
have more or less evaporated?
Build that wall.
Build that wall.
Build that wall.
With me now are two worriers.
Paris Lees is a broadcaster
and equality campaigner.
James Delingpole is
a columnist at The Spectator.
And writes the Breitbart.
James, Toby Young.
He tries to be controversial.
He cannot be surprised people say
we do not want to on a public body.
I don't think Toby
thinks, how can I be
controversial today? He just reacts
in the moment.
You use twitter, we react.
We get an instant thought and think,
The feeling dissipates
once you have got
the words out. We do not set out to
be deliberately offensive most of
Do you think he has been
We are talking about
Does Toby Young says some
spicy things on twitter?
Yes, he does. Should Toby be on the
office for students board, yes he
should. They are completely
different things he has worked in
the educational sector
and is a good man for the job.
Paris, do you see some
value in provocateurs trying
to challenge your views and those
of your friends, who probably think
quite alike on most of these issues?
Absolutely. I have written things
which people were deemed to be
provocative in the past. The idea
that Toby Young does not set out to
do that. This man published Julie
Birtles rant about transsexuals as
bedwetters and bad wigs
and dicks in chicks clothing.
We know 45% of trans
people in the UK have
attempted suicide. Are we saying it
is OK to bully people? No. I'm glad
people are waking up to that.
ask you about the manners? I'm
looking at some of your stuff or. It
is not very well mannered. Would you
The terrible thing is that secretly
in the green room before we came on
Paris and I have been getting on
like of dumb at a house on fire.
Forget about Paris.
natural mode in her life is we are
delightful people, but sometimes
maybe Twitter brings out our kind
of edgier side.
Do you stand by what
you put on Twitter? I will take one
example, when are we allowed to say
that Brendan Cox is a total arse?
That was December, six months
after his wife was assassinated.
He probably said something
to provoke that, this
is just my policy, I
cannot speak for Paris. My policy is
if somebody says something really,
really stupid then I am going to
call them on it.
Can't you be well
mannered? Understand where they are
coming from and correct them. One
thing that characterises all of this
is people going from zero to
shouting and angry and swearing
without the steps in between.
In the great scheme of things,
how bad is calling somebody an arse?
This is something I've
been thinking about
recently in the sense of being
complicit in this.
People would regard me
as quite a hostile, angry
You know, I've called people bigots
before and said things that maybe
I've regretted, and I
think that actually it is going a
bit far actually and I think people
are getting really polarised and I
think we all need to look at our
role within that and how we have let
it get this bad.
The key thing,
you've taken great joy today in the
fact the Daily Mail isn't on Virgin
You are sort
of cheering and clapping. Have you
ever tried to reach out to any of
the readers, it's one of the most
widely read papers in the UK, to
save let me understand where you are
coming from as well as you
understand where I'm coming from?
I have co-founded all about trans
when we take young trans people
to meet people in the media,
often times people that produce
shows like this.
That's you trying to get
them to understand you,
I've asked whether you have
tried to understand them.
Of course, when we come to meet them
we are trying to see
what their level
of understanding is.
But what about your
understanding of them?
Of course we are trying
to understand where they are coming
from and trying to further
the conversation and realise
what their awareness is.
Let me put the same
question to you, James.
Do you ever seriously try and engage
with anyone who thinks
differently to you?
We need to differentiate
between on a personal level,
should we all get along, you know,
when we meet somebody
at Glastonbury, having
a joint with them, yeah,
peace and love, man.
But it's very, very silly to imagine
that if only we all agreed and got
along somewhere in the squishy
middle the world would be
a better place.
There are certain issues
in the world where there
are very different views.
On the economy, for example,
on the size of government,
on what to do about immigration.
You are never going to get this
neutral point in the middle
where the rightness and truth is.
I'm sorry, we have to leave it,
you've had a constructive debate.
We overran on the first discussion.
Thank you, both.
This could be a decisive
year for Iran.
It started with protests that spread
across the country -
and although the authorities
say they are waning,
they have taken some extreme steps
to try and douse down the flames
of discontent - blocking access
to the messaging app,
Telegram and making
thousands of arrests.
Now, one trigger for those protests
was a leaked government budget
which cuts subsidies
and hikes up fuel prices,
increasing military spending.
Iran is ramping up financial support
to proxies across the region,
which has fuelled the anger of some
Iranians concerned about the state
of their own economy -
and fuelled anxieties across much
of the world.
BBC Persian's Jiyar Gol
In towns and cities across Iran,
poverty, unemployment and corruption
has drawn tens of thousands
to the streets to protest
against the Islamic regime.
These are not the only
reasons for the protests.
There is also disquiet
about the billions spent
on Iran's foreign adventurism.
"No to interference
in Lebanon," they are chancing.
"No to Gaza."
"Think of us."
The supreme leader lives like a god.
We, the people, live like beggars.
Over the past three decades,
Iran has spent billions of dollars
in an attempt to increase
its influence in the region.
Tehran now controls a route
all the way to the Mediterranean
via Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
And Iran is involved
in a devastating proxy war
with Saudi Arabia in Yemen.
The Iranian expansionism
is extraordinarily dangerous.
First of all, they have Shia groups
throughout the region they can rely
on, that they can, if you will,
convert or infiltrate.
And the man responsible
for Iran's military operations
in the Middle East is
General Qasem Soleimani,
the commander of the elite
Qods Force, a unit of
Iran's Revolutionary Guard,
which operates on foreign soil,
and funding militia groups.
A man feared by many and labelled
as a supporter of terrorism
by the US, General Solemani,
who once operated in the shadows,
is now one of the most powerful
commanders in the region.
He played Al-Qaeda.
He was the man in charge
all the way through.
He was always one
step ahead of them.
He used them.
They helped him, in his regional
designs on where he wanted to go
with the Qods Force and Iran.
To understand the power
and influence of General Solemani
and the Qods Force, you have to go
to the Iran/Iraq border.
In 2001, when the US
many Al-Qaeda members came
to this mountainous area
to establish a foothold.
They set up bases but,
two years later, they were bombed
by the US.
This man is one of the prominent
members of the local Sufi Order,
a peaceful branch of Islam.
He claims Iran assisted this Sunni
extremists He claims Iran assisted
the Sunni extremists
who survived the bombings.
But, why would a Sunni extremist
group like Al-Qaeda,
an arch enemy of Shia Iran,
cooperate with Qasem Soleimani?
Cathy Scott-Clark has interviewed
former Al-Qaeda members,
who lived Iran, about their
dealings with Qods Force.
Iran was an enemy of America.
Iran was nearby.
The people who negotiated
from the Al-Qaeda side believed that
Iran, the Qods Force,
saw this as an opportunity,
a) to know where the
Al-Qaeda members were.
If you know where they are,
and you are controlling them,
then you can use them.
CIA documents declassified
in November which were recovered
from Osama Bin Laden's compound
in Pakistan shed a new light on how
Iran helped Al-Qaeda
against the US in Iraq.
Some of those documents suggest
Iran has had a pragmatic
relationship with Al-Qaeda.
The documents suggest Iran
and Al-Qaeda had been helping each
other in Syria and Iraq.
In 2011, when President Obama
pulled out from Iraq,
I was in Baghdad.
The next day, the picture of Iran's
supreme leader was posted
in Baghdad's main square.
Most Shia militias were more
loyal to Qasem Soleimani
than the Iraqi government.
Vali Nasr is an academic and former
foreign policy adviser
to President Obama's
Administration on Iran.
Part of why Iran has been
so successful in the region
is because they've played this game
of manoeuvring between different
factions, relying on the one
that is most naturally
their constituency but yet build
relations with the other side,
play them against one another.
In October, Qasem Soleimani's
father passed away.
We examined the footage
and pictures of the funeral,
just to understand what kind
of people attended the funeral.
For example, one of them
was the leader of Shia
militias in Iran.
Another person was a
representative of Hamas.
Many other people attended
to express their condolences
in person to him.
It shows how powerful
and influential he is.
General Soleimani financed,
trained and equipped thousands
of Shia militias to support Iran's
allies in Syria and Iraq,
including Lebanese Hezbollah,
a group which is also
on the US terrorist list.
Its leader says Iran pays the bill.
It's been estimated that Iran has
spent $6 billion annually
on the Syrian regime,
basically, to keep it afloat.
This is a conservative
estimate on the proxy group,
the Lebanese Hezbollah.
Iran is estimated to be allocating
$1 billion a year to the group,
mostly according to Israeli
General Soleimani says,
if Iran does not engage with enemies
outside the country's borders,
it will have to fight them
in the streets of Tehran.
As he tells his fighters
on the Syrian front line,
he is committed to expanding
Iran's regional influence.
But, at home, protesters
on the streets are tearing down
General Soleimani's banner.
They are warning the tens
of billions of dollars spent
propping up Assad in Syria
and financing Shia militias
across the Middle East must be
invested in their country
and their future.
We asked to speak to the Iranian
government about this report
but they declined to comment.
That's all we have time for.
We expected James Delingpole
and Paris Lees to be at each other's
throats but I think they are fixing
dinner together in the green room.
Emily will be here tomorrow.
Have a very good night.
In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Emily Maitlis. Topics include Theresa May's first six months as prime minister, press regulation and Martin McGuinness's resignation as NI deputy first minister. Plus should UK addicts have access to an anti-overdose drug, and should colleges eschew western philosophers?