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Lieberman to Run as Independent; Captors of Journalist Under Arrest; Navy Technician Charged with Espionage; Israelis Exploring Options; U.S. Envoy Makes Surprise Mideast Visit; Arab League Leader Discusses Diplomacy

Aired August 9, 2006 - 13:00   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, HOST: Hello, everyone, I'm Kyra Phillips, live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.
Where is the Democratic Party going? Lieberman out, McKinney out. Do you even know who beat them?

Same story, different day. What will it take to stop the fighting in Lebanon? The reality of a U.N. resolution.

Higher gas prices and failed pipeline. I'm talking to the president of BP America about corruption and consequences. LIVE FROM starts right now.

Was it the war, the kiss, the blogs? Whatever the reason, Connecticut Democrats kicked Senate veteran Joe Lieberman to the curb and chose neophyte Ned Lamont to carry the party's standard in November. But Lamont's margin of victory wasn't as large as predicted, and Lieberman says he won't go quietly.

CNN's Mary Snow has the latest from Hartford.

Mary, was that infamous photo a kiss of death from Lieberman?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kyra, according to Senator Joseph Lieberman, it's not. He's remaining defiant, pressing ahead with an independent bid to win a fourth term.

Polls up until yesterday showed him in a three-way race, he would win. But that is three months away. And his decision to run as an independent is not sitting well with Democrats. We've seen the Democratic leadership in Washington come out and endorse Ned Lamont.

Also, just a short time ago, here in Connecticut, state Democratic leaders rallied around Ned Lamont, and that included supporters of Senator Lieberman. Senator Christopher Dodd, predominantly one of the big Lieberman supporters, now switching over, endorsing Ned Lamont, saying he was not happy about this independent run.


SEN. CHRIS DODD (D), CONNECTICUT: He's made a decision to run as an independent. I regret that decision, but that was his decision to make. And certainly will have, I hope, a spirited campaign if he stays in it. But my hope would be that the voters in this state, Democrats, unaffiliated and Republicans would see the importance of electing Ned Lamont.


SNOW: Connecticut's chairwoman of the Democratic Party said that she will call on Senator Lieberman not to continue with this independent run. But Senator Lieberman earlier today on CNN said that he would not bow to pressure if asked to drop out of this race.

He did get some support today, but from a Republican. In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that he credits Lieberman with making this decision to run as an independent and volunteered to support him and campaign for him, if asked.

But a number of prominent Democratic senators have come out in support of Ned Lamont. That includes Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who said she had already been in touch with Ned Lamont today and is also offering financial support. She's just one of many coming to rally around his side -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right. Mary Snow, we'll be talking a lot about this in the next couple of hours. Thanks so much.

Another incumbent gets the Democratic boot. In this case, it's Georgia. And the losing candidate is flamboyant Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. CNN's Rusty Dornin looks at how McKinney went down swinging and singing.

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She's outspoken. She says she is flamboyant. But I think many people when they saw her concession speech just couldn't believe their eyes. It was one of the most bizarre speeches seen in recent history. She actually sang part of a song by Pink, an anti-Bush song. Let's take a listen.


SEN. CYNTHIA MCKINNEY (D), GEORGIA (singing): Tell you about hard work minimum wage with a baby on the way. Let me tell you about hard work.


DORNIN: As you can see, she seemed to be the only one who knew the words to that song.

All along, McKinney has seen herself as sort of a vehicle of change. And she's always challenged President Bush's policies. She's also been very critical of Israel and had a very strong anti-war stance. And she continued on this concession -- concession speech to really rage at President Bush.


MCKINNEY: With Israel's invasion of Lebanon, there might even be a call for more U.S. or U.N. troops to be stationed in the Middle East. We, here tonight, say to our commander in chief, sir, no, sir.


DORNIN: Political analysts say that McKinney really misjudged her constituency. She didn't realize there were changing demographics and also, that people just weren't buying a lot of her odd behavior.

You know, there was, of course, the Capitol Hill clash, where she punched a policeman, and a couple years ago where she criticized the Bush administration, claiming that they had had -- they knew something about the 9/11 attacks.

PHILLIPS: And there's been talk that they -- that voters really weren't voting for her competition, but, rather, they were voting to get her out of that spot.

DORNIN: Well, there was that "anything but Cynthia." She was on the ABC ticket. That's what some people said Hank Johnson was. But certainly, she's also been blaming the press, of course, and also electronic voting machines for her loss.

PHILLIPS: Now she's claiming voter fraud?

DORNIN: Yes. Apparently, I talked to the secretary of state's office, and they said that her campaign had called several times yesterday, alleging police intimidation and poll worker intimidation. And they checked it out, and they said those complaints were completely unfounded.

PHILLIPS: Now do -- we even talked about this morning. Not a lot of people know very much about Hank Johnson.

DORNIN: That's right.

PHILLIPS: What do we know?

DORNIN: Well, he was a part-time county commissioner. He was also a part-time judge. He's a lawyer. He is, really, her opposite. Very soft spoken, seems to be very diplomatic, wants to negotiate, wants to see both sides of the issue, and that sort of thing. So we're going to see very, very different actions in Washington from this district.

PHILLIPS: Pretty interesting. No doubt it's not going to go away quietly. That's for sure. Rusty Dornin, thanks a lot.

And to Iraq where a Black Hawk is down, part of the crew is missing. Also word of arrests in the kidnapping of an American journalist. A lot happening out of Baghdad today.

Let's go to CNN's Harris Whitbeck for more -- Harris.


A spokesman for the multinational force in Baghdad spoke to the press today about the Jill Carroll kidnapping. He said that four of her alleged kidnappers were detained over a month ago. He gave details as to how those arrests came about.


MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM CALDWELL, MULTINATIONAL FORCE, IRAQ (voice- over): Troops on the ground. Young Marines and sailors paying attention to what may have been considered minor details at the time.

Ultimately, the four kidnappers were detained in several intelligence-driven operations that took place between Fallujah and Baghdad. Marines from the 1st Expeditionary -- Marine Expeditionary Force were able to identify the location in which we believe Jill Carroll was held approximately 13 kilometers...


WHITBECK: And apparently information gleaned from interviews with those detainees led Marines on the ground to three other houses in the area near Fallujah believed to be used as detention cells during Jill Carroll's time in captivity.

Meanwhile, there was an incident with a Black Hawk helicopter, you mentioned, Kyra. A Black Hawk went down west of Baghdad. Apparently, it was on some sort of recon mission. It went down. There were four crew members who were rescued. And they're being treated for their wounds. Still no official word on the whereabouts of the two additional crew members -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right. We'll stay on top of it. Harris, thanks so much.

Well, a U.S. military man with access to military secrets. Is he a spy? Is Russia involved? A sailor locked up for desertion is in considerably more trouble than we've learned.

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has a few details for us. Not a lot available to us.

Barbara, what do you know?

BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kyra, just today, the Navy acknowledging that a 21-year-old sailor is in the brig in Norfolk, Virginia, charged with espionage, and believed to have spied on behalf of Russia.

Twenty-one-year-old Ariel Weinmann was a fire control technician on board the Submarine Albuquerque. As that type of sailor, a fire control technician, he would have had access, we are told, to technical information, technical manuals, about how the weapons systems and other high-tech systems on board a submarine worked.

Now, according to the Navy, according to the charges filed against this sailor, he deserted the Navy about a year ago. But was caught on -- in March of this year, when he was trying to re-enter the United States at Dallas-Fort Worth international airport.

Obviously, his status as a military deserter kicked off alarm bells when he tried to come through U.S. customs. According to the charge sheets, this sailor traveled a good deal, allegedly conducting these activities, trying to pass classified information.

Apparently, according to the allegations in March 2005, in Bahrain, in October 2005, in Vienna, Austria, and then March of this year in Mexico City.

According to the charges, those are the three occasions in which he tried to pass classified information. Now charged with espionage and desertion and a court-martial pending against this man -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right, Barbara Starr, live from the Pentagon, thank you.

Almost a month in, maybe another month to go. Here's what we know on day 29 of the Middle East crisis.

Israel approves a broader, deeper ground offensive in Southern Lebanon. The military says it needs at least 30 days to clear the region of Hezbollah fighters.

New clashes in. At least two Lebanese towns with reported casualties among Israeli troops. An Israeli air strike, meantime, kills at least five people in the Bekaa Valley, and there are new strikes around Beirut and Tyre.

The U.N. is hoping to vote on a draft resolution tomorrow. But France is calling for changes in the current proposal reflecting Arab demands for a quick Israeli pullout.

Israeli ground troops poised to break more ground, barring a diplomatic breakthrough. CNN's Matthew Chance is near the Israeli- Lebanese border with more -- Matthew.


The Israeli government has made it clear that if there is no diplomatic breakthrough it has a military option on the table, and it's voted today at the meeting of its security cabinet to use that option if necessary.

The meeting today lasted for about six hours, as they agonized over whether they should expand military operations in South Lebanon or not.

Finally, they gave the prime minister approval to do that, although it hasn't actually issued the order to the troops yet. I can tell you, Kyra, from this vantage point, in the extreme north of Israel, just a few hundred yards from the Lebanese border, there's definitely been an upswing of military activity, with hundreds of Israeli soldiers backed by tanks and artillery strikes moving in across the border, into towns and villages in Southern Lebanon, linking up with the 10,000 to 12,000 Israeli troops that have already been there.

So it does seem to be a new push under way that we are witnessing here in Northern Israel into Southern Lebanon.

It has not been an easy battle for the soldiers inside so far. We're hearing reports of quite high casualties, as well, on the Israeli side, although we can't give you exact figures on that because of the censorship laws we're working under here.

But certainly, the Hezbollah guerrillas they're facing are tough fighters. They're well dug in. They're well armed, and they're well prepared. It's proving very difficult indeed to uproot them.

And if the operations are expanded, as is now a possibility, than that could mean many more Israelis killed in those battles. And that's something that is a big concern to the politicians and, of course, the ordinary Israelis who are watching this closer than ever now, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: And Matthew, just so we can hear the background here, not construction going on, obviously. I mean, there is action happening even while you're doing your live shot.

CHANCE: That's right. I mean, it's been absolutely bone- shaking, the artillery strikes, the air strikes, the tanks rolling across the border, the heavy machine-gun fire, the flares in the sky. It's been really astonishing vantage point we've had here across this battlefield in Northern Israel.

And it seems they're using a significantly larger amount of force than we've seen so far in this conflict. They're really going in with heavy armor, with guns blazing, trying to secure, it seems, as much territory as they can at this point in this specific area along the Israeli-Lebanese border. And so we're watching the battlefield very carefully from here, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Matthew Chance, appreciate it.

Now as we mentioned, Israel hit the southern suburbs of Beirut today, even as a top U.S. diplomat made a surprise visit. CNN's Beirut bureau chief, Brent Sadler, has more.


BRENT SADLER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On a main road from Beirut to South Lebanon there are very few signs of life. The shop owners are long gone. Unknown numbers of businesses have been abandoned, locked, and shuttered.

More than 70 bridges are in ruins across the country. Power lines are damaged. Water pipes are fractured. Israel's campaign to neutralize Hezbollah's rockets ignites more fires and smoke.

About a third of the population of Lebanon once lived in these rolling hills. But after four weeks of war, the conflict has uprooted as many as a million people. Israel seems to accelerating the air strikes and may be preparing to push its army deeper into South Lebanon, attempting military moves that could overwhelm Hezbollah by forcing everyone out. Much of the south is now a no-go area.

(on camera) It's becoming ever more difficult and dangerous to reach towns and villages here in South Lebanon. And Israel warns it will blast any vehicle moving south of the Litani River, cutting off the port city of Tyre.

And here, around the market town of Nabatiyah (ph), I can hear Israeli warplanes dropping tons of bombs.

(voice-over) Diplomatic haggling to end the month-long war brought a speedy return to Beirut of U.S. Middle East envoy David Welch. He consulted with key officials as the Lebanese capital came under attack for the fourth straight day.

Hezbollah escorted journalists to what they described as civilian areas destroyed by recent strikes.

More than a selfless act of defiance, say Hezbollah officials, but a strongly-held conviction felt by many here, to resist what they call "Israeli aggression."


SADLER: The southern suburbs came under renewed Israeli attack today, Kyra. And we now have official figures from the authorities here, that after an air strike in the Chia (ph) district of those southern suburbs Monday, the death toll has risen to 41 and 65 injured.

Now many of those people from Chia (ph) were buried today, amid scenes, angry, frantic scenes of sorrow and really anger at the way Israel, they say, continues to hammer at areas where civilians live on the outskirts of Beirut -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Our Brent Sadler in Beirut. Thanks, Brent.

We're expecting to hear from the president's press secretary in Crawford, Texas, at the top of the hour. We're going to go to that briefing live as soon as Tony Snow steps up to the mic.

Still no agreement on a Mideast peace resolution. So what's holding things up? We're going to ask the Arab League secretary general when LIVE FROM continues.


PHILLIPS: A very delicate balance. That's how the Bush administration sees the Mideast peace resolution being worked on at U.N. headquarters. Could demands from the Arab world tip that balance and prolong the war?

Arab League secretary-general, Amr Moussa, joins me now from the United Nations.

Mr. Secretary, good to have you with us. AMR MOUSSA, SECRETARY-GENERAL, ARAB LEAGUE: Thank you.

PHILLIPS: I was taking a look at what you have agreed to a fair resolution. You asked for the withdrawal of the Israeli army behind the blue line and the return of those displaced -- those that have been displaced to their villages.

Now if that were to happen, is there a guarantee that Hezbollah would no longer fire rockets into Israel?

MOUSSA: Well, we're working. Now, in order to reach a consensus, draft resolution. Based on the new developments, that are started by the new decision by the Lebanese government to redeploy 15,000 Lebanese troops of the Lebanese army, in addition to the Unifil, which is the U.N. force, that are there, beefed up, in order to guarantee that quiet will reign in the south, with the withdrawal of the Israeli forces, and building up a package that would launch a process that would end the current crisis.

PHILLIPS: Could there be a guarantee, though, that Hezbollah would stop firing...

MOUSSA: The guarantee should be mutual, that the Israeli army would stop bombarding the Lebanese cities and the whole thing comes to a cessation of hostilities, as the Security Council draft resolution is now saying.

PHILLIPS: And you also ask for the release of Lebanese and Israeli prisoners and detainees through the International Committee of the Red Cross. Now, how do you make sure that terrorists are not being released back on the street? How do you make sure that those prisoners that are being released legitimately should be released?

MOUSSA: Well, we're talking about prisoners, Lebanese prisoners in Israel, and the two. So we'll have to talk about a package, a general package that will include this step two on both sides, in addition to the movement of -- the moving in of the Unifil and the Israeli -- and the Lebanese army.

PHILLIPS: But would the International Committee of the Red Cross actually look at rap sheets, backgrounds, and understand what type of prisoner this is and what type of background that they have?

MOUSSA: Well, we need the good offices of the Red Cross and -- it could play a role in this and the question of exchange of the prisoners and the abductees.

PHILLIPS: Now this all began because of the kidnapping of the Israeli soldier in Gaza. How do you ensure that those type of kidnappings will not happen again?

MOUSSA: Well, you should also bear in mind that the Israeli army has abducted the speaker of the Palestinian parliament and half of the ministers. So abduction is being -- resulted to by all parties. So if we talk about abduction, we'll have to have a system or a guarantee or international work or Red Cross work to deal with the story of abductions on both sides, not on one side.

PHILLIPS: Is the ultimate goal to enable a legitimate Lebanese government to have control of all its territories?

MOUSSA: Yes, the -- the decision to move 15,000 troops of the Lebanese army is a good indication, and don't forget also that this decision has been taken by the council of ministers which includes representatives of all parties, including Hezbollah.

PHILLIPS: Exactly. And how do you do that? How do you create a legitimate government when you have an organization that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said has one foot in politics and the other foot in terrorism?

MOUSSA: First of all there is a legitimate government in Lebanon. There's not question of creation of new government. It's there, a legitimate government in Lebanon. And this government represents all factions and all political forces.

It is important to have the consensus of this government to move the troops and to work with the United Nations force in order to reach a point where the south would be -- with the withdrawal of the Israeli troops and the cessation of the hostilities.

PHILLIPS: Should Hezbollah disarm?

MOUSSA: The cessation of hostilities is a -- the first point for an action to reach a normal situation in Lebanon: in Southern Lebanon and in all of Lebanon.

PHILLIPS: Secretary-general, League of Arab States, Amr Moussa. You're probably going to want to listen to this next interview, as well, sir. We have to end it right there.

We're going to take you live to Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, speaking now on the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation.

HASSAN NASRALLAH, LEADER OF HEZBOLLAH (through translator): ... and the level of the whole country and the country institutions and to support the country, and particularly, the support of the cabinet to negotiate, to preserve the national interest.

As I said before, to create and to have a cooperation, to have a political will at the same level of the Jihadic will and to support the popular one, so we could leave this battle while -- while preserving, at the minimum, our national interest and our national dignity.

Therefore, in the past few weeks, I assured several -- I confirmed several points, and I would like to speak at the beginning of this political level to confirm that.

One, not to enter into political maneuvering with a -- with any Lebanese party or Lebanese official, no matter the criticism that had been directed or the speak (ph) that had been said, which was harmful to us and to the battle. And, unfortunately, some say exactly what the Israeli officials and the media officials -- Israeli officials, they are saying.

Despite that, that I assure our brothers and everyone else not to go into political problems or media one around these issues. Our priorities are to stick (ph) steadfast and to have a political cohesiveness for the best interests of our country in general.

Some sensitivities and some -- some faces in terms of belittling of the truth. We should go beyond that.

The second point, were we asked of the evacuees of the displaced ones of our people who are steadfast, the good ones, and I assure them now that to -- to take into consideration the environment they are in, as far as the traditions and the habits or -- of the media or any issue that it will create strife in their environment, in their locations.

Particularly their locations that welcome them in honesty and dignity and responsibility. Your responsibility and your duty to take this side into consideration, because there are those who try, from time to time, to create sensitivities, to create some weakness in the area of the steadfastness of those who are evacuated.

This will only serve Israelis in the first -- because any problem in the confrontation front will enable the enemy to achieve their goals.

Third, the third point, as far as the city of Beirut in particular, we wish -- and, again, I again wish that the popular and the organizations -- and the parties and the people we are trying to avoid any demonstrations or vigils so -- so we have not to prevent any elements that some people would create -- try to create, security holes in there, with the slogans and counter slogans, which would, in fact, lead to problems.

But now at this level, our work here and our efforts to have this governmental solidarity and political one, meaning at the political level and on an official level.

Since the first days, we noticed that the Israelis and the Americans were careful and incite (ph) to create strife between the Lebanese, inside the Lebanese government and inside the political forces of Lebanon.

And as evidence to that, since the beginning of the days, we were following the Israeli media. We find some Israeli officials and some major writers, intellectuals, Israeli ones, that there are official governmental -- officials in Lebanon, were calling them and wish them and ask them to continue on and this was the golden and historic opportunity to weaken the resistance in Lebanon and particularly to incite Hezbollah in Lebanon.

We do not believe this Israeli propaganda. And we categorize it in the field of trying to create problems within Lebanon.

What Mr. John Bolton have announced yesterday -- or before yesterday, the American Zionists to one of the American TV, when he heard that the Lebanese cabinet has reservations or to the -- to the draft resolutions, American/French one given to the Security Council, Mr. Bolton said he was surprised with the Lebanese officials' stance, because he said because this draft resolution was coordinated with the Lebanese and the Israeli governments.

We do not -- we do not accept that, because its goal is to create strife with the forces for participation in the Lebanese government. At any event, there are clear and many efforts, and serious ones, at the political level and at the media level. And inciting level to -- entangle (ph) the Lebanese people that have been going on since the beginning of this war.

PHILLIPS: You've been listening, actually, to a taped message from Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, as the Middle East conflict continues. If you want to watch it in its entirety, you can go to

We're going to get to our Aneesh Raman who has rare access in Iran, actually in its capital of Tehran. We're going to get to him in a moment.

But we want to follow up on a story that we first reported yesterday right here on LIVE FROM, and that was the FBI and immigration agents on the lookout. They actually issued a nationwide BOLO for 11 Egyptian students that came overseas, or came here to the United States, to study. They went -- they disappeared, and then the FBI was on a search for them. We understand there has been one arrest now.

Jeanne Meserve has been on this story for us.

Our homeland security correspondent. What do you know about this one student, and could it read to the rest of them?

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kyra, we do know that one of the 11, according to a federal law enforcement source, has been picked up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This happened at about 11:00 local time. That's around noon Eastern, so just a short time ago. Other details at this point are very scarce.

We do know that 11 of these Egyptian students went missing after they arrived at Kennedy Airport on July 29th. They got into the country on student visas. It was a group of 17. Six of them went on to Montana State University, where they had been expected. But 11 of them disappeared. So as you mentioned, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security put out a be on the lookout, or BOLO, Asking for information, advising that they did not think these 11 had ties to criminal or terrorist activity, but advising caution when law enforcement saw them and approached them.

Clearly finding them has been something of a priority. And now, as we hear, at least one has been picked up -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: So, Jeanne, the students that -- you said there were 16 and 11 of them went missing?

MESERVE: There were 17 of them. I may have misspoken. Six of them showed up at Montana state. Eleven went missing.

PHILLIPS: So those ones that showed up, were they able to give any information about these other students? Did they know anything about them, or know them well, or be able -- could they give authorities any details about them?

MESERVE: We don't know any of the details of exactly what they told authorities. Authorities, of course, are being very closed mouthed at this point. We do know that they had been in touch with foreign intelligence, and had working with foreign intelligence to get more information about these 11 to further flesh out the information that they would have gotten through the visa process, to find out whether they might, indeed, pose any terrorist threat. As I said, the indication yesterday, no, they did not. But they wanted to find them and question them, and they want to kick them out of the country, because they are now here illegally. They are in violation of that student visa status they have.

PHILLIPS: All right, Jeanne Meserve, we'll stay on top of that story. Appreciate it so much.

Now Hezbollah on the front lines, but it didn't get there alone. Syria and Iran are the group's biggest benefactors, especially Iran, as the president wants to wipe Israel off the face of the map. We're actually going to go to Tehran. Our Aneesh Raman has unique access. We'll talk to him right after the break.


PHILLIPS: And we continue to follow a taped message by Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah. You can also go to, listen to it in its entirety, but we are monitoring it as well, and we'll bring you updates from what he says. Meanwhile, Hezbollah's on the front lines. But as you know, it didn't get there alone. Syria and Iran are the group's biggest benefactors, especially Iran, whose president wants to wipe Israel off the face of the map.

CNN's Aneesh Raman has been granted rare access to the Iranian capital. He joins me now via broadband.

And, Aneesh, just to kind of set it straight, I want to ask you if you are being censored at all. I know you have unique access. But do you have a government official that has to be with you when you do these live reports?

ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: None with us right now. None with us when we've gone out on to the streets. Getting into Iran is its own hurdle. It's taken us some time. Once we've been here -- and I came here a few months ago -- we're really giving free access to rein about the streets. We do have to get permission from the government to shoot inside specific buildings, one letter for each building that we want to go into. That's standard procedure. But it really is open for us to tack to the people.

The people themselves, though, you get a sense right now amid these rising tensions, there are a little bit more conscious in what they say. Iran is in a precarious position. It is essentially, in the world's view, on two fronts, both in terms of its relationship with Hezbollah as well, as facing that U.N. deadline that comes at the end of August -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: So now let's talk about Israel, Hezbollah, the war that's playing out, how does this weave into Iran pursuing a nuclear program?

RAMAN: Well, at the moment, in terms of the Israeli claims that Iran continues to arm Hezbollah, government officials here publicly deny that. They say they only offer spiritual support to what is a Shia resistance movement, an offspring, they call it, of the Shia revolution that took place here. We did hear a few days ago in an interview done by a reformist paper here in Iran, from an Iranian diplomat who was an envoy to Damascus in 1982, he said during his watch there were some 300 training courses done for Hezbollah fighters. about 300 fighters within each of those courses. That, though, is the only firm statement we've gotten really that links Iran to Hezbollah in any operational way, and that was back in the early '80s.

Iran, though, does face that nuclear deadline. Iran is eager, as was Syria when I was there, to be engaged in this issue with Lebanon and Israel. They want any peace deal to be a broader peace deal, and they want to be acknowledged as regional players. It's, in part, why we've seen Iran so defiant amid the nuclear dispute.

But I have to tell you, Kyra, when I came here a few months ago, there was strong resolve among the Iranian people about their peaceful nuclear civilian program. There is now more of a sense, given the recent vote at the U.N., that sanctions might be inevitable at this point, that a deal seems near impossible to being brokered. But Iran, its officials say in the next few weeks, we'll have a new statement from Iran on its nuclear policy, and we'll see what that says -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right, Aneesh Raman, live from Tehran. Thanks so much, Aneesh.


PHILLIPS: Well, waking up on the wrong side of the race. What can other incumbents learn from the losers -- or the losses, rather, of Joe Lieberman and Cynthia McKinney? LIVE FROM goes straight to the polls.


PHILLIPS: Well, we're expecting to hear from the president's press secretary in Crawford, Texas, at the top of the hour. We will go to that briefing live as soon as Tony Snow steps up to the mic.

Also happening right now, Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah speaking on LBC, the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation. Actually, it's a taped message. If you want to listen to it in its entirety, you can go to We're also monitoring it to see what he has to say as the Middle East crisis continues. And you don't have to be a Mideast analyst to know that Hezbollah hates Israel. And that goes double for its fiery leader, Hassan Nasrallah. But why? Well, it's all because of who Israelis are, or where they happen to live. Is this a clash of religions or a turf war?

Well, CNN's Joe Johns investigates for us.


JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He has called the Israeli leadership stupid, arrogant, ignorant; called the Israeli army gigantic and blind, capable only of killing old men, women and children.

Though his speeches can be as subtle as they are direct, the supporters of Israel charge that Hassan Nasrallah's harsh view of Israel is part and parcel of a larger hatred of Jews.

David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Politics sees a man who scapegoats the Jews for almost every catastrophe.

DAVID MAKOVSKY, SENIOR FELLOW: Nasrallah's discourse is virulently anti-Semitic, on virtually every level.

JOHNS: What's impossible to dispute is that one of the aims and goals of Hezbollah is destruction of the Jewish state. Why? Hezbollah would call it the return of the land to its rightful owners, the Palestinians.

Seth Jones is an analyst for the Rand Corporation who says it can be explained as a fight against Zionism.

SETH JONES, ANALYST: It's less that Jews should exist and more that they should not exist on that territory that is what we call Israel. So it's really a fundamental opposition to the establishment of a Jewish state, where it is located. Less so to I think Jews in general.

JOHNS: Which is why it's so difficult for many analysts to see a clean diplomatic solution when Israel says it's fighting for peaceful coexistence, and the other side refuses to acknowledge Israel's right to exist in the first place.

But how could a man like Nasrallah, who is thought of as part pragmatist, part ideologue and pure politician, actually believe this stuff? Probably not, says Steven Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations.

STEVEN COOK, FELLOW, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Does he believe that he can wipe Israel off the face of the map? It's unlikely that he does believe that he can actually do it. Would he want to do that? Certainly. That's the case with many leaders of these types of organizations throughout the Middle East. They are anti-Zionist, anti-Israel to the core. JOHNS: Meanwhile, there's another dynamic at work. In some ways, it's as simple and complex as grassroots politics. The tougher Nasrallah sounds, the more he bolsters his own case among the people who matter most. Especially when there's been collateral damage.

JONES: This has worked to Hezbollah's favor. So by going on the record to argue for the destruction of the state of Israel, I think that has -- Hezbollah believes it has supported its message rather than anything else.

JOHNS: But how all of that gets unraveled into a livable peace in the Middle East remains for the analysts an open question.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


PHILLIPS: And you can see more of Joe Johns' reports on "ANDERSON COOPER 360," weeknights at 10:00 p.m., right here on CNN.

In terms of style and substance, it would be hard to find two Democrats more different than Joe Lieberman and Cynthia McKinney; yet both Capitol Hill veterans lost to newcomers yesterday. If both got booted for disappointing their constituents, how does that bode for other incumbents this fall?

CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider shows me how to leave some political tea leaves.

Let's just take a listen to Joe Lieberman real quickly -- Bill.



SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (D), CONNECTICUT: Well, it was real close. And the good news is I was closing -- closed more than ten points from a poll last week. So we're going to just keep on going in that direction and win in November.

But why -- it was clear to me all along that if I had opponent who had money, as this one did, they could make this, or would try to make it, into a referendum on George Bush and the Iraq war, both of which are intensely unpopular among Democrats.


PHILLIPS: Now, critics are saying, Bill, that no, that has nothing to do with it. Basically you, Lieberman, and you, McKinney, just ticked off the constituents and they wanted you out.

SCHNEIDER: Yes, well, certainly Democrats -- Lieberman is right about this -- Democrats are deeply opposed to the war in Iraq. Our poll shows 86 percent of Democrats, 86 percent, say they oppose the war in Iraq. Ninety percent are opposed to President Bush. Lieberman's critics called him a cheerleader for Bush because he had supported Bush on some crucial issues, including the war. He claimed he wasn't, of course, that he differed with Bush on some very important issues. But yet his opponents say he was too pro-Bush, he was too pro-war, and that's very much the issue that Lamont used against him.

But the larger message which I think is there in the election, both Connecticut and Georgia, is this is going to be a tough year for incumbents. They're both incumbents. And it is very, very rare for incumbents to be defeated for renomination in their own parties, and they both did.

PHILLIPS: So looking at those races, OK, with Lieberman and McKinney, do you think what happened was about voters wanting to vote them out, not necessarily vote Lamont and Johnson in?

SCHNEIDER: Well, certainly, it was a referendum on the incumbent. It always is when an incumbent is running. I'm not sure they knew a great deal about either Lamont or McKinney. They certainly knew Lamont's views on the war. They knew he was very wealthy. Johnson, I don't know they knew a great deal about him.

There was anti-McKinney sentiment in Georgia. There was a lot of anti-Lieberman sentiment in Connecticut. Very different candidates, very different reasons. But I think what happened yesterday sends shivers through every incumbent in Washington.

PHILLIPS: At least you know what you're getting with Lieberman and McKinney, right? Could this be an absolute disaster, having Lamont and Johnson in place when people really don't know them and how capable they are?

SCHNEIDER: They want to try something new. They were voting for change. They're not entirely certain what that change is going to be, but when people are unhappy with the status quo, they vote for something different, even if they're not sure what it is. They do that even at the presidential level.

PHILLIPS: What do you think about the blogs? A lot of political ...


SCHNEIDER: This election in Connecticut really is a coming of age in of a new force in Democratic politics. We saw them emerge with the Howard Dean candidacy in 2004 where they did not make it, but this time they had a candidate with a strong cause and a vulnerable incumbent. They had targeted Lieberman for a long time.

There are other Democrats, even Hillary Clinton, who had voted for the war, but Lieberman continued to defend the war and there was the famous embrace with Bush during the State of the Union back in January. They had a special vituperation towards Lieberman.

The victory of Ned Lamont really looks like a coming of age, maybe even a power shift in the Democratic Party in the direction of the anti-war left who dominate the conversation on the blogs. PHILLIPS: Thanks, Bill.


PHILLIPS: Separate at last. An update on those 4-year-old conjoined twins, conjoined no more. The news keeps coming. We'll keep bringing it to you. More LIVE FROM next.


PHILLIPS: Well, an emotional reunion for the Herrin family. Mother and father see their twin daughters in separate beds for the very first time. The 4-year-old girls were born joined at the midsection, sharing one kidney, one liver, and one pair of legs.

Surgery to separate them lasted a good part of yesterday. The twins are said to be in stable condition, in intensive care. They'll be there about a week and in the hospital at least a month.

Sounding a warning on ultrasound. A team at Yale reports that pregnant mice scanned by ultrasound for 30 minutes or more were more likely to have offspring whose brain cells failed to grow in the proper places. Ultrasound effects on human brain developments aren't known and until they are, pregnant women are urged to avoid unnecessary scans.

Well, we're starting something here at CNN and we want you to join us. Watch and learn how you can become a bigger part of the world's most trusted name in news.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ever wish you could say "I report for CNN"? Well, here's how you can join the most trusted name in news. When you have pictures or video of breaking news or cool stories from your part of the world, go to and click on I-Report. There you'll get complete instructions on how to submit your stories to CNN.

It's fast and easy, and if we use your pictures or video on air, you can tell your friends, "I report for CNN."


PHILLIPS: Well, something seems to be brewing in the tropics. Let's check in with Jacqui Jeras in our new CNN Weather Center. Hey, Jacqui.


PHILLIPS: All right, Jacqui, thanks.

We're expecting to hear from the president's press secretary in Crawford, Texas, at the top of the hour. We're going to go to that briefing live as soon as Tony Snow steps up to the mic. Also ahead, Alaska oil, corroded pipelines shutting down production. Crude prices are sparking -- are spiking, rather, again. And you know who's inspecting a lot of those pipelines for leaks? Try nobody. That's right. Details coming up.

And later on LIVE FROM, I'll interview the president of BP America, Bob Malone. The next hour of LIVE FROM starts in two minutes.



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