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CONNECT THE WORLD
Oscar Pistorius Sentenced To Five Years In Prison; The Story Of Judge Masipa; One Square Meter: Fujitsu's Hydroponic Lettuce; Nigerian Government Close To Ceasefire Agreement With Boko Haram; Iran's Role in Iraq and Region; Total CEO Dies in Moscow Plane Crash; Iran and Iraq's Influence in Oil Market; Parting Shots: Timeline of Pistorius Tragedy
Aired October 21, 2014 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARNOLD PISTORIUS, OSCAR PISTORIUS' UNCLE: The court has now handed down judgment and sentence. And we accept the judgment.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: With those unremarkable words, an end to one of the most remarkable court cases the world has known. The uncle of Oscar
Pistorius responds to news his nephew is heading to prison for the killing of Reeva Steenkamp.
But after 19 months of drama, we'll examine what the outcome means for the Bladerunner and for South Africa.
Also ahead, it's been isolated for weeks, the stricken city of Kobani finally gets much needed U.S. aid. We'll investigate whether that aid is
getting into the right hands.
And a meeting of two neighbors with implications for the entire global community. Why we need to care about relations between Iraq and Iran.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: A very good evening. It is 7:00 in the evening here in the UAE.
After months of wrenching testimony and debate in a South African courtroom, the Oscar Pistorius trial came down to this very moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOKOZILE MASIPA, JUDGE: The following is what I consider to be a sentence that is fair and just both to the accused. Count one, culpable
homicide, the sentence imposed is the maximum imprisonment of five years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: The once renowned and respected Paralympian is now sitting in a South African prison for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The
judge also gave him a three year suspended sentence for a gun charge.
Now although Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison, he could ask for that sentence to be converted to community supervision after 10
Well, Robyn Curnow is standing by in Pretoria, South Africa with details on what happened in court today. It's been a long 19 months for
Oscar Pistorius, for the judge, and for all of those who have been watching and reporting on this trial. Robyn, you are one of them. What was the
reaction in court?
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It -- I think it was - - it was a shock in the sense that there was no silence. I mean, there was no noise. There was utter silence, not this over emotion at times that
we've seen in this courtroom, there was no crying, there were no shout outs of relief or emphatic -- there was just nothing.
At some point -- at some point, Becky, I sort of looked at the journalist sitting next to me and we sort of said is this it? This anti-
climax was quite powerful. And I think you got the same sense what we were experiencing there in the gallery from both Reeva Steenkamp's family and
from Oscar Pistorius's family. There was just this sort of settled nothingness.
He also, after all -- even on Friday he was crying and weepy and very fragile looking. He was very, very stoic today. And when he went down the
stairs to the holding cells he quietly touched one or two of his family's hands. There was not an over emotive goodbye in a sense. And he walked
away very quietly, frankly, with a lot of grace and dignity.
In the same way that this judge delivered that sentence, a woman who had been under no doubt extraordinary pressure over the last few months.
And she also delivered that verdict with a confidence, with grace and dignity, but it kind of petered out in the end after all of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PISTORIUS: The court has now handed down judgment and sentence. And we accept the judgment. Oscar will embrace this opportunity to pay back to
I hope Oscar will start his own healing process as we walk down the path of restoration.
As a family, we are ready to support and guide Oscar as he serves his sentence.
(END VDIEO CLIP)
CURNOW: OK, so there you're hearing Arnold Pistorius, Becky. He's the uncle of Oscar Pistorius. It's where Oscar Pistorius has been living
since the shooting. And he made this quite strong statement on the steps speaking for Oscar Pistorius who is now of course behind bars.
What's important is not only did the Pistorius family come out and say what they had to say, very crucially Reeva Steenkamp's parents coming out
and saying they were satisfied. They were glad it's over and very importantly, Becky, they feel justice has been done.
ANDERSON: Robyn Curnow reporting from Pretoria for you.
And just ahead -- thank you, Robyn -- a closer look at the woman who held Pistorius's fate in her hands: the judge. Her journey from a young
girl growing up in Soweto to a respected judge.
And later, CNN legal analyst Kelly Phelps tells us what the outcome of the Oscar Pistorius case says about South Africa's justice system. That is
coming up on Connect the World with me Becky Anderson this hour. Do stay with us for that.
Well, the world has been watching for the possible release of more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls since word of a ceasefire deal emerged from
276 girls were taken by Boko Haram militants, you will remember, in April in the Nigerian village of Chibok.
Now officials say some of them escaped, but the group who took them are believed to be still holding about 200 of them captive.
Well, the Nigerian government says a ceasefire deal and negotiations should lead to their release.
Well, what do we know? Isha Sesay joins us now live from Abuja.
Isn't the Nigerian government any closer to recovering these missing schoolgirls at this point?
ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Becky.
That still remains unclear. We spoke to the senior special assistant to the president on public affairs just yesterday here on CNN. And hew as
keen to stress that talks are still underway in nearby Chad, talks being mediated by the Chadian President Idriss Deby.
Those talks underway as they still try and thrash out details. He wouldn't go into the substance of those talks or what any kind of deal
would look like. But what is noteworthy, Becky, is that he was keen to stress that the Nigerian government will do absolutely anything and
everything it takes to ensure that these girls are returned, going on to express extreme confidence on our air that these girls will be returned in
the next couple of days, saying by Wednesday to expect some significant moves, some significant development in all of this.
But as to the substance, as to where those talks stand right now, we continue to monitor very, very closely, but few details emerging -- Becky.
ANDERSON: That's fascinating.
There is a long and ongoing negotiation, clearly, about these girls. We are also hearing there may be terms of a ceasefire released any time
soon. Again, any more details on that?
SESAY: No. No, Becky. No details on that. As you may well know that in light of that reported ceasefire deal being struck on Friday, we
then went on to hear of attacks on Friday and Saturday carried out by Boko Haram, really highlighting the difficulties, the fluidity of the situation.
But again this senior Nigerian government official that we spoke to made it clear that the talks are ongoing in Chad aren't just about the
release of the girls, but they're very much about bringing this multi-year insurgency to an end once and for all. As you well know, Becky, this
insurgency has really brought life to a standsill in much of northeastern Nigeria leading to a state of emergency for many, many months now, leading
to many children being out of school and just day to day life really being brought to a standstill.
So for the Nigerian government as we understand it, it's not just about the girls, it's about bringing this insurgency, this fighting to an
end once and for all -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Isha Sesay on the story doing the groundwork for you. And as we get more details on both sides of that story, of course we will get
you them here on CNN. Isha, thank you.
Kurdish forces fighting ISIS militants on several fronts of course across Iraq and Syria. We've been hearing a lot about the progress that the
Kurds are making in the northern Syrian city of Kobani, but in northern Iraq ISIS, well it's pushing hard to regain territory, launching about 15
coordinated attacks on targets that included the Mosul Dam and the Sinjar Mountain range.
A Peshmerga official tells -- or says that the attacks mostly failed.
Meanwhile, the Kurdish fighters in Kobani again in Syria welcomed new airdrops of military and medical supplies from U.S. warplanes. Ivan Watson
reports from the Turkish-Syrian border with some exclusive images of those supplies from inside Kobani.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNAITONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, CNN has obtained exclusive video footage showing that at least some of the aid that was
airdropped by the U.S. military to the besieged city of Kobani early Monday is reaching its defenders and civilian citizens.
WATSON: Precious medicine delivered to a city under siege. In exclusive footage from inside the Syrian border town of Kobani, medics show
the supplies they received on Monday, lifesaving stuff dropped from the sky by U.S. airplanes.
"Today we received equipment," says Dr. Woolat Omar (ph). "It was various types of medicine, antibiotics, anesthetics, sanitary supplies,
Dr. Omar has been here for weeks braving enemy artillery to treat the desperate stream of wounded fighters and civilians hit during the ISIS
siege of this Kurdish city.
The city's Kurdish defenders have Arab allies: Free Syrian Army fighters who show off a suicide bomb vest and vehicle they say they
captured from ISIS.
Only days ago, it seemed like Kobani would be all but lost to ISIS's furious assault, but the U.S. is helping Kobani's defenders with airstrikes
and now with the first airdropped deliveries of weapons and ammunition.
In this tiny, makeshift clinic, it's the medicine delivered by America that may turn the tide in this battle.
"We thank the people who brought these medical supplies," Dr. Omar says.
And then he gets back to his very important work.
WATSON: But, Becky, we're also seeing that perhaps at least one parachute parcel of American assistance reached the wrong hands. Look at
this video that emerged on social media. It shows an ISIS militant next to what is clearly some kind of parachute parcel. He says it's American aid.
He then shows crates of what appear to be hand grenades and mortar rounds.
Now the U.S. military says when it carried out these aid drops, these air drops, that at least one parcel drifted off course and U.S. warplanes
then destroyed it to keep from getting into ISIS's hands. The video suggests that maybe another did get into ISIS hands.
We're trying to get answers from the Pentagon on this.
It underscores how difficult it is to get assistance to the defenders of Kobani, even though they're only about two kilometers from where I'm
standing right now.
And what's even more confusing is that Turkish troops, Turkish tanks, are between me and Kobani, but the Turkish military, the Turkish government
has decided that the Kurdish defenders of Kobani are terrorists, the same as the ISIS militants besieging the town. And as a result they will not
allow their NATO ally, the U.S., to road deliver, to land deliver assistance to Kobani's Kurdish defenders. And that's why these airdrops
are so complicated and why some of that ammunition and medicine may have landed in the wrong people's hands -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Ivan reporting for you.
And continuing with our reporting on ISIS, still to come tonight Iraq's prime minister arrives in Tehran to solidify ties with his Shiite
neighbor in the fight against the militant group. We're going to talk about what this relationship means for the region and indeed to the West.
First, though, she is perhaps the most important player in the Oscar Pistorius trial besides the Bladerunner himself, the remarkable story of
this judge just ahead.
ANDERSON: This is CNN and Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
Now the Oscar Pistorius trial certainly captured the attention of South Africa as well as most of us around the world, didn't it? The
intense and sometimes sensational trial was broadcast around the globe for months putting South Africa and its justice system firmly in the legal
Some of that scrutiny may now die down so that the so-called Bladerunner has been sentence to five years in prison. But the trial and
its outcome will likely be analyzed and discussed for some time to come.
Well, the fate of Oscar Pistorius always rested in the hands of one woman. CNN's Robyn Curnow explains just how this judge went from
journalist fighting apartheid all the way to that high chair.
CURNOW (voice-over): A high-profile trial full of characters --
GERRIE NEL, PROSECUTOR, OSCAR PISTORIUS MURDER TRIAL: Why are you getting emotional now?
CURNOW: --with the potential of becoming a media circus. But sitting above the fray --
MASIPA: If you do not want to adhere to the rules, you are free to leave, and security will make sure that you leave.
CURNOW: Judge Thokozile Masipa. MASIPA: It's important that you should be all here when you are in that witness box. Do you understand that ?
OSCAR PISTORIUS, DEFENDANT: I do, my lady.
CURNOW: Stern, yet at times, compassionate. Inscrutable throughout.
SUZETTE NAUDE, CLERK: She's a bit of a different person in court than in the office.
CURNOW: Masipa is a study of contrasts, says her clerk.
NAUDE: I've been working with her since January, and -- she's just always smiling, almost like working for an angel. In the mornings, she will
say, "Good morning, how are you?"
CURNOW: Now, her courtroom is again broadcast to the world, and her judgment, not just deciding Pistorius's fate, but for many here, an example
to the world of justice in democratic South Africa.
NAUDE: She told me from the beginning we will treat this case as a normal case, as all other cases. And she's not really showing much emotion
about the case.
CURNOW: Perhaps because she's a judge who's faced far greater challenges.
(on camera): It was here in Soweto in the late 1970s at the height of apartheid that Matilda, as she was then known, became part of a new class
of female journalist, ready to risk everything to report on the political violence and the fight for democratic freedom.
NOMAVENDA MATHIANE, RETIRED JOURNALIST: We were writing those stories. We were writing about the people who were activists, people who had been
detained, people who had been tried.
CURNOW (voice-over): Nomavenda Mathiane was a fellow journalist and part of that close-knit group.
MATHIANE: We were doing things, and Matilda was not there. After work, Matilda would go to the library and study.
CURNOW: Others in the newsroom so the young Matilda Masipa as detached, but Mathiane says it was because she was driven, focused on a
future few could imagine.
MATHIANE: If you look at where she comes from and where she is now, it just shows that she knew that one day, we are going to be there, and will I
be ready when we get there ?
CURNOW: A journey that's taken her from a once-segregated Soweto to the high court.
MATHIANE: This is a woman from the dusty strips of the township. Today, she is trying a white boy. In my lifetime, I never thought that
PISTORIUS: I'm in the hands of the court, my lady.
CURNOW: Robyn Curnow, CNN, Pretoria.
ANDERSON: Well, the families of both Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp say that they accept the judge's decision, but I want to take a
closer look at the reasoning behind the sentence.
Joining me now from Pretoria, South Africa is CNN's legal analyst Kelly Phelps who has been with us throughout what has been this 19 month
This will be, Kelly, a hotly debated sentence. Before discuss that, what does it actually mean in reality for Oscar Pistorius from today on in?
KELLY PHELPS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, a lot of that will depend on the discretion of the department of correctional services. What it means
as of today is that he will be assessed when he arrives at the prison and his living conditions will be decided by the person who is admitting him to
We do not know whether he will be put in a communal cell or whether he will be given special treatment and be put in a single cell in the medical
wing. And much of his time in prison will depend on that decision, because the circumstances in the communal cells are not very well adapted to people
with disabilities. And they would also be more of a security risk to him.
He would have a far smoother time in prison were he in isolation in a single cell or in the medical wing.
We also don't know just how long he'll spend in prison, because we know that the sentence that he was given is a sentence that gives the
department the ability to convert it into one of correctional supervision after about 10 months of that prison term have been served.
ANDERSON: I want to just pause for a moment and find out how the South African public has been reacting to the judge's sentence this
morning. Have a quick listen to this with me, Kelly, if you will.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dude, it wasn't fair. And because of his disabilities, are they make the sentence to be a little bit short, but it's
not fair. He should get a life sentence.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's harsh, but then who am I to judge? Although what he did to Reeva, it's so bad, you know, but I believe the
judge has spoken.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: One common (inaudible) in the UK, Kelly, today remarking that, and I quote him, "beyond the cause of consistency, imprisoning
Pistorius can serve no purpose. The judge," he said, "she did not want to send the wrong message, a praise repeated by 1,000 judges," he said, "but
what did she mean? It is trotted out when no other reason for imprisonment can be imagined."
How would you respond to words like that?
PHELPS: Well, I think the judge was in a very unenviable position, because she had so many competing demands resting upon her. And she was
also dealing with two exceptionally different suggestions put forward by the state and the defense.
And I think she did manage to strike a balance. And there is a purpose to be served by imprisonment, and that is the purpose of deterrence
and also the communicative function that is served by the criminal justice system. So in other words, what she was trying to communicate to the
public is that actions of gross negligence will not be condoned by the South African criminal justice system and that this should be a warning to
other people, for example, who have firearms that they need to behave with caution with those firearms and be cognizant of the great harm that can be
caused as a result of using those firearms.
So it was that part of the sentence, that function that was being served by issuing a period of imprisonment.
It is a bit harsher, compared with other similar cases where there has been no direct imprisonment given. But having said that, it's not so
harsh, it's not so out of keeping with the spectrum of other cases that the defense would be likely to appeal.
ANDERSON: Kelly Phelps it's been a pleasure having you on. Your analysis has been incredibly insightful through these, what, 18 or 19
months. Thank you. And from our viewers as well.
Big day in South Africa. And we move on. Thank you.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. We've got a lot more news and analysis to come in this hour, as
you would expect. And up next, the decline of manufacturing generally means factory closures and job losses. One part of Japan is proving that
the shoots of a greener, brighter future can rise in, well, quite frankly, the most unlikely places. One Square Meter is up next.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When is a lettuce nor ordinary vegetable, when cultivation takes this level of care.
Fujitsu, a company best known for tech innovation is changing focus. Haruosu Myabe (ph) used to make semiconductors in this sterile environment,
now he nurtures lettuce using the water-based hydroponic method.
HARUASU MYABE (ph), FUJITSU (through translator): In semiconductor manufacturing, a wafer goes through a number of processes. Production of
lettuce is the same. We start with seeding and go through a number of processes.
DEFTERIOS: In the late 80s, Japan's electronics industry slumped, sliding even further after the 2008 global economic crisis. Factories
closed, workers were laid off.
Last year, Fujitsu reopened this 8,000 square meter factory in Izu Fukushima, transforming 2,000 square meters into one of the largest
hydroponic farms in Japan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We have just (inaudible) preoccupation of low potassium lettuce. It is a profitable venture because
of its high value-added nature, and therefore this can contribute to the regional economy.
DEFTERIOS: Before the Fukushima earthquake, land prices in the region were approximately $140 per square meter. Today, they dropped to $114.
Farms are predominately owned by small stakeholders with an average age of 70. Hours spent toiling in the field cannot match the laboratory crop
yields unaffected by contamination and vagaries of nature. And in some cases, certain nutrient levels can be adjusted in hydroponic crops.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our low-potassium lettuce is produced for people who have kidney problems. There are about 300,000 patients needing
dialysis and 10 million others who have kidney problems in Japan. Even if a fraction of them eat our lettuce, that makes a large customer base.
DEFTERIOS: Priced between $2 and $5 per bag, it's pricier than conventional vegetables. In the first year, Fujitsu expect sales of about
$1.3 million with ambitions to double that by 2016.
John Defterios, CNN.
ANDERSON: A very good evening, this is CONNECT THE WORLD, the top stories for you this hour. The families of Oscar Pistorius and Reeva
Steenkamp, the girlfriend that he killed, both say they accept Pistorius's five-year sentence. The Paralympics track star has already begun his time
in prison. In 10 months' time, he can request his sentenced to be changed to correctional supervision, usually house arrest.
Health care workers in the besieged northern Syrian city of Kobani welcomed US airdrops of medical supplies. A local government official says
Kurdish fighters control about two thirds of the city. Still, though, two car bombs detonated there, killing at least two Kurdish fighters.
Several car bombs have struck in Baghdad. The attacks reportedly killed at least 18 people and wounded around 50 people. The blast mainly
targeted restaurants and security personnel.
Well, the violence in Shiites in Iraq -- and that's where that violence was -- comes as the Iraqi prime minister travels to neighboring
Iran. Haider al-Abadi arrived in Tehran overnight for his first visit since taking office. The Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, pledged his
support for Iraq in the fight against ISIS. He also said Iran will continue to provide military advisors and weapons to the country.
With al-Abadi's visit to Tehran, let's talk more about Iran's role in Iraq and how it impacts the rest of the region. Joining me tonight is Ali
Khedery, he's a political negotiator and advisor and chairman of the -- CEO Dubai-based Dragoman Partners.
Also we've got Mohammad Ali Shabani in Stockholm, an Iranian political analyst and a doctoral researcher at the University of London's School of
Oriental and African Studies. There's a title for you, soon.
Mohammad, clearly the military campaign against ISIS will dominate the prime minister's visit to Iran. What will his message be, and what will he
want to leave Tehran with so far as promises are concerned, do you think?
MOHAMMAD ALI SHABANI, IRANIAN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think he's interested in getting a bit firmer message that Iran will be more flexible
in how it negotiates with other regional stakeholders in how to deal with this issue.
Right now, Iran has been quite recalcitrant in its position that it insists on the campaign against ISIS to not be coordinated in the current
way where, for example, the Syrian government is not involved, even though it's ISIS's biggest adversary.
I'm not sure how much headway he's going to make. But the fact in itself that he chose to visit Iran as his first regional trip instead of,
say, Turkey or Qatar or Jordan, is a big message of his priorities. And I think the Iranians saw it -- appreciate this.
ANDERSON: Ali, put us straight on this. What sort of influence does Iran actually wield on the ground in Iraq in 2014?
ALI KHEDERY, CEO, DRAGOMAN PARTNERS: Reality, Becky, is for years now I have heard from Iraq's top leaders directly that they view Iran as by far
the most influential foreign actor on Iraq. Much more so than the United States and other regional players.
So, we have to recognize the fact that Tehran, and particularly its Quds Force, represent -- has vast amounts of influence over the Iraqi
cabinet directly. And for example, directly intervened recently to have one of its operatives, a Badr corps commander, a militia commander, named
Mr. Ghabban, appointed as top -- as Iraq's top law enforcement officer and minister of interior.
Obviously, Iran sees an existential threat to its security interests with the instability in Iraq, because it wants to have its sphere influence
stretch from Tehran through Baghdad, through Damascus, and to Hezbollah to the Iranian -- to the Israeli border. And that's very dangerous for us,
the Americans, and our regional allies in the Gulf: Jordan, Turkey, et cetera.
ANDERSON: All right. Mohammad, Iraq has been a proxy battle for Iran and the United States since 2003, hasn't it? Face it.
SHABANI: That used to be a proxy battle, but I think today, it shouldn't have to be that way. Iran and the US have so many common
interests in Iraq, and the most primary of which right now is ISIS.
Prior to ISIS, it was the establishment of a stable central government. And as I said in an op-ed in "The New York Times" back in
June, there are many ways in which Iran and the US can cooperate, but they need to agree on their approach. Right now, they don't.
One of the main sticking points, again, as I said earlier, is the configuration of efforts to undermine and attack ISIS. Iran feels that if
the Syrian government, which is the biggest adversary of ISIS, is not involved in any shape or form, if not enough pressure is put on regional
states, which are perceived and accused of backing ISIS, it doesn't see a credible way to fight this threat.
ANDERSON: You also said in that article in June that despite their adversarial past, the two countries could save Iraq if they acted together.
To both of you, starting with Ali, is that realistic? I'm talking about Washington and Tehran getting into bed together to sort out Iraq.
KHEDERY: Unfortunately, it's not, given what Iran has actually done on the ground. In that June op-ed, Mr. Shabani cites, for example,
negotiations between a senior American delegation and a senior Iranian delegation in Baghdad in Nouri al-Maliki's office.
I was a member of that delegation, and I can tell you, it took us absolutely nowhere. And the reason why is because the Quds Force was busy
supplying, training, arming, equipping the Shia Islamist militias in Iraq to kill and slaughter and maim literally thousands of American troops,
British troops, and Iraqi civilians and military officers.
Iran more recently has not only stepped up that campaign after the American military withdrawal of Iraq, but is also directly aiding and
abetting Bashar al-Assad's campaign of genocide in Syria, a campaign which has killed 200,000 Syrians, wounded 800,000 more, and displaced millions.
Literally half of the Syrian population, now, is displaced, about 11 million people.
That campaign of genocide has directly led to the disenfranchisement and the disillusionment of Syria's Sunni Arabs, which are a majority in
that country, and also the minority in Iraq, about 6 million. And that has pushed them toward radical and militant Islam and directly led to the rise
So, without Iran playing a much more constructive role in the region, the situation is only going to get much worse and is becoming a global
SHABANI: Ali was in the room in the negotiations, and I've spoken to people on the Iranian side, who were also in the room. And one of the
things which I think Ali can agree on is that those talks, even though they didn't lead to concrete results in terms of actual agreements, did reduce
the violence. Iran did put pressure on many of the militias to stop their actions.
I think today, considering the big picture here, which is that we have a nuclear issue between Iran and the P5 plus 1. It's very difficult to act
on regional issues, even though both sides don't want to mix these two issues. I think if we can have an agreement on the nuclear issue in
November, that will be very helpful.
But as I said in my op-ed, these are separate issues. In 2007, when we had these talks, dialogue between Iran and the EU 3 at that time was
almost dead. We didn't have any nuclear agreement --
ANDERSON: Yes, all right. Let me stop you there.
SHABANI: -- but we still could talk on Iran.
ANDERSON: And you're absolutely right, and that nuclear agreement, people are hoping they'll talk that out by November the 24th. Who knows
whether that will happen?
To both of you, starting with Ali: Washington, it seems, has no choice but to a certain extent get on board with Tehran, whether overtly or
covertly. The elephant in the room, though, here, is an external force, isn't it, in the shape of Saudi?
How does Washington get buy-in from Riyadh, who is hideously offended by what is going on with Bashar al-Assad in Syria, on working with Iran in
Iraq, if it wants to do that?
KHEDERY: Well, the reality is that Washington has been in denial since 2003 and our invasion of Iraq. The issue of Iraq transcends both
Democrats and Republicans, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
What needs to happen now is we as Americans need to get real and understand again that Iran is the most influential actor in Iraq, followed
by Turkey, followed by the Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia. We obviously continue to wield a lot of influence in Baghdad, but first we
have to recognize reality.
Second thing we have to do is I think the United States and other international players, including the permanent five members of the Security
Council -- the United States, France, the UK, Russia, and China -- should actually cooperate very closely on both Iraq and in Syria to try to
stabilize the region and global energy markets.
And one of the things that's critical to stabilizing the region is reaching a condominium between the three most powerful actors in the
region: Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Because without that agreement, what you're going to continue to see is the continuation of the very
bloody, violent, caustic, proxy war that has been waged in Iraq since 2003 and in Syria since 2011.
ANDERSON: We've asked this question before -- and finally to you, there, Mohammad -- a rapprochement between Iran and Saudi, otherwise, quite
frankly this thing just keeps going. Can you see that? Is it realistic?
SHABANI: I think both sides, both Iran and Saudi need to make some tough choices in these coming months. On the Saudi side, they need to come
to grips with realities on the ground, some of which Ali just mentioned.
For example, the reality as -- that Bashar al-Assad is still the president of Syria after several years of civil war. And that we do have a
Shia-led government in Baghdad, which is going to sit. For several years after 2003, the Saudis even refused to send an ambassador to Baghdad, which
kind of gives you an idea of the mindset.
On the Iranian side, I think they're coming to grips with the idea that to move forward in Syria, there might need to be a way to go past
Bashar, which is going to take a while, but they're getting there slowly.
ANDERSON: Dubai-based Ali Khedery, a regular guest on this show, and for the first time but I hope not the last, Mohammad Ali Shabani with you
this evening, normally in Tehran, but I believe tonight coming to you from Stockholm. We appreciate your thoughts.
SHABANI: Thank you so much.
ANDERSON: Live from Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, death of an oil tycoon. Total's CEO killed in plane crash, leaving a void
at the helm of one of the world's biggest petroleum companies.
And the Iraqis who are poking fun at ISIS. We'll take you behind the scenes at a TV comedy series that is not afraid of the Islamist militants.
ANDERSON: This is CNN and CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. And I'm happy to say that I'm joined by one of my colleagues tonight. The
chairman and CEO of French oil giant Total has died in a plane crash in Moscow.
Christophe de Margerie and three crew members were killed after the private jet they were traveling on hit a snow plow during takeoff on Monday
night. Russian officials say the driver of the snowplow was drunk and that a criminal investigation has been launched.
As I said, I'm joined by my colleague, John Defterios, the emerging markets editor here at the Global Exchange. You interviewed Mr. de
Margerie twice this year --
ANDERSON: -- and you knew him well.
DEFTERIOS: Yes, I did. In fact, the industry is in quite a shock, to be very candid, Becky. This is a man who graduated from an elite business
school in Paris and spent his entire career at Total, 40 years, in fact, to this year, before this tragic passing.
He was dying pursuing more oil and gas in Russia, which I think is very interesting. He had a meeting with Dimitri Medvedev, the prime
minister of Russia, trying to take production from 9 percent of total production for Total and to double that by 2020. That was very ambitious,
despite the fact there were sanctions on the table from the European Union and the United States.
And what I found very interesting about him is that despite that very bushy mustache that he had -- that was his trademark -- and jovial laugh,
he was a tough negotiator, and he never shied away from controversy.
At the St. Petersburg forum, for example, this year, when everybody was trying to avoid Vladimir Putin or at least hide behind the scenes, at
the major panel, he sat in the front row. And during the conversation, I went up to him and said, "Do you mind if we talk, and talk about the
controversy of you being here?"
And he said, "Why not? I'm not afraid of anybody." Here's the sound bite from that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTOPHE DE MARGERIE, CEO, TOTAL: There are no sanctions, as far as I know, against Russia as far oil and gas. Business is concerned. I've
been always participating to this forum. I was the first non-Russian CEO in this forum. So, not to come would be a political move.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEFTERIOS: And so he was saying that not to show up would be a political message, particularly to Vladimir Putin and to Brussels at the
same time. It was that sort of chutzpah, if I can put it that way --
DEFTERIOS: -- that made it the fourth-largest Western oil company in the world by market cap. He drove it quite hard as CEO since 2007.
ANDERSON: I have to ask, because this region is so steeped in oil --
ANDERSON: -- and oil revenue, how did the Middle East fit into his overall strategy? We've been talking tonight, for example, about Iran and
DEFTERIOS: Yes. Well, it plays very, very importantly in his career, as a matter of fact. And when people look at his legacy, they often
overlook his role in the Middle East. He ran this region for Total in the mid-1990s and had phenomenal relationships.
In fact, we have some video here with him and the UAE oil minister at the big conference last year. He came because he wanted to try to renew
the concessions that they've had in this market for 40 years. So, he played hard in the Gulf, had very good stakes here, the UAE the most
important market, represents about a quarter of their production.
Very importantly, though, going back to his very kind of tough language sometimes, he leaned on Brussels and he leaned on Washington to
say isn't it time we open up Iran? It has the second-largest proven reserves right now, it has the largest gas field. Let's lift the
Then he said to the Iranians during the same interview, Becky, he says but they need to negotiate seriously. There has to be a win-win, and the
Iranians don't normally do that. I thought it was pretty bold for him to say that.
ANDERSON: We were discussing the sort of proxy war that is oil in this region --
ANDERSON: -- at present, and remarking last night on the price of oil at present, down quite a significant lot, given the sort of --
ANDERSON: -- roiling region that is the Middle East at present. Remind me where Iran and its oil revenue and where it needs to be going
forward in order, if these sanctions were removed --
ANDERSON: -- by the US and the EU going forward, that Tehran could once again take off.
DEFTERIOS: Well, it's very interesting. You can even go a step further and combine Iran and Iraq. And this is what worries Saudi Arabia,
the UAE, and Kuwait. If you take Iran and Iraq's proven reserves, it'll be head-to-head with Saudi Arabia, and that's where you and I have talked
about before, the Sunni-Shia divide in this clash of oil titans.
Iran right now needs $140 barrel to balance its budget. It has very high subsidies. Iraq's not that desperate at all, so very high subsidies.
So, many believe what's taking place right now is Saudi Arabia, the Gulf producers, the UAE and Kuwait, suggesting we can live with $80, we can live
with $85 because we produce it for $4 to $7.
We spend a lot on subsidies right now. Our break-even point is probably $80, $85, can you set the floor? But we can put a lot of pressure
on Iran, a lot of pressure on Iraq and try to keep them at bay for a while, because combined, they'll be very powerful forces going forward.
And this is the worry in the region, to be candid. Can you have two giant forces, Iran and Iraq, together, going head-to-head with Saudi
Arabia? That's going to be the challenge.
ANDERSON: I have to say, viewers, with my business news hat on of old, as it were, when John and I would wax lyrical into late into the
evening on the price of oil --
DEFTERIOS: You're not that old, what are you talking about?
ANDERSON: -- I'm talking when it was down $12 in 2001, and John and I have known each other for a very long time. Watch that oil market. John
will watch it for you, but keep an eye on it, viewers, because it really is -- it's sensitive, and it's indicative of times.
And we talk a lot about politics and diplomacy. Watch that market, because it can tell you a lot more than, perhaps, the politicians and the -
- and even the journalists will about what is going on around this region - -
ANDERSON: -- so far as politics, and even sort of military --
DEFTERIOS: An interesting caveat, going back to OPEC very quickly --
DEFTERIOS: -- when they had the meetings, Saudi Arabia always had to have the top floor at the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva. And the
rivalries that used to exist between Iran and Iraq, they would rotate the second-to-the-highest and the third-highest floor.
DEFTERIOS: So, now that they're coming together and going against Saudi Arabia, a little kind of inside baseball, but it gives you a sense of
how delicate it is.
ANDERSON: Find out who that hotel manager is, wherever they are, mate, so we'll find out where they're staying.
ANDERSON: Good, thank you. John Defterios, always a pleasure.
ANDERSON: You're at the Global Exchange here on CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson, and tonight, John Defterios, of course.
You can find out much more about Total's CEO, Christophe de Margerie - - who has sadly passed away -- online, along with cnnmoney.com's read about the oil magnet's life and legacy and what a character he was. You can also
get up to date on the information you need to know about commodity and currency markets, of course.
You're with CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. On the other side of the break, reflections on a court case that has captivated the
world, tonight's Parting Shots.
ANDERSON: You're watching CNN, this is CONNECT THE WORLD, your Parting Shots this evening. For more than seven months, we've watched the
sometimes dramatic proceedings of Oscar Pistorius's murder trial. I want to remind you of some of the moments leading up to today's verdict.
August 2012 -- seems like a life ago, doesn't it? -- when South Africa's Blade Runner first became the first double amputee runner to
compete in the Olympics in London. Weeks later, he went on to compete in London's Paralympic Games.
February 2013 came news that Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at his Pretoria home.
March of this year, the trial began, with the athlete pleading not guilty. At times during the trial, Pistorius broke down. Last month, the
judge found he was guilty of culpable homicide. And today, he was sentenced to five years jail time. CNN has covered that all.
Just before I go, I had promised you tonight some black humor that can often calm our nerves when we're confronting our darkest fears. People in
Baghdad, the threat of living under ISIS rule has become all-too-real.
Ben Wedeman has a fantastic report -- I haven't had time to run it tonight. It's using comedy to dispel some of the tension in the region.
I'm going to get that on the blog as soon as possible, that's cnn.com/connect. Do have a look.
I'm Becky Anderson, that was the show. From the UAE, it's a very good evening.