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Greece Prime Minister Walks Back From Earlier Statement, Urges Greek To Reject Referendum; The first of Britain's Terrorism Victims Returns from Tunisia; Iran, U.S. Nuclear Talks. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET
Aired July 1, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:20:35] JONATHAN MANN, HOST: A technical problem there with our transmission from Vienna, but if you've been watching, it is a day of
history -- oh, I believe our transmission is back up. Once again, the U.S. Secretary of State.
(U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE PRESS CONFERENCE)
MANN: And so the words of the U.S. President and the U.S. Secretary of State and on this day words attributed by Cuban state television to the
Cuban President Raul Castro who in a letter read aloud by a spokesman on Cuban television said we want to develop a friendship between our two
nations that is based on the equality of rights and the people's free will in the spirit of cooperation in developing and encouraging the respect of
human rights and fundamental rights of all.
So, in one party's state, a police state, that the United States has been essentially locked in a cold war for half a century, talk of human
rights and friendship and freedom, the words of President Raul Castro, the words of the U.S. President Barack Obama and John Kerry when, after 54
years, the United States and Cuba decide to reopen relations.
One of the stories we're following at this hour, another one, another blast of defiance from the Greek prime minister, one that comes just hours
after he appeared to be making serious concessions to his European creditors.
A short time ago, Alexis Tsipras went on Greek state television to defend his plans for a referendum on what's now an expired bailout
proposal. But, he urged the Greek people to vote no, saying a no vote would help him negotiate a better deal with the country's creditors.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXIS TSIPRAS, GREEK PRIME MINISTER (through translator): (inaudible) choose (inaudible) accept (inaudible) a viable solution. In
any case, I would like (inaudible) governments who (inaudible) come to an agreement with the partners, but it's a matter of viability.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANN: Up until that speech a short time ago, the focus had been on a stunning about face by the Greek government just a few hours earlier.
After arguing against it, Mr. Tsipras surprised everyone by telling the EuroGroup that he accepted most of Europe's terms.
CNN's Richard Quest is in the Greek capital where it has been a day of twists and turns. And Richard, just to recap, there was one about fact.
He offered a deal, a new deal to Europe's creditors and then another about face, he called on the Greek people to reject that deal.
Can you explain what's going on?
[11:25:10] RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, I wish I could. Unfortunately that second move -- we all -- look, I was expecting
Alexis Tsipras, as indeed were others, to say I've accepted the deal. I'd like you all to vote yes. And we'll on move on. But he didn't. He just
said he wants people to vote no. And that, of course, leaves everybody questioning well what's the point other than, as he believes, he can get a
better negotiation thereafter.
Joining me is Constantine Michalos, the Athens Chamber of Commerce. Were you surprised, first of all that he accepted the deal, and then
secondly he asked people to vote no?
CONSTANTINE MICHALOS, ATHENS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: I wasn't surprised as far as accepting the deal, because this is exactly what we urged him to
do during the last few days.
Now it's not my role to interpret the prime minister, the leader of the country, however I need to pass a message to the world that the vast
majority of the Greek people, of the country, is in favor of their European identity. And we want at all costs to be able to maintain this identity.
QUEST: The PM says that by voting no, it will strengthen his hand to go into the negotiations after the referendum.
MICHALOS: Well, we've seen over this last five month period that there's been a lot of back stepping from the Greek government, and no
movement whatsoever from our European partners. So the more we antagonize our European partners, I think the tougher the situation will get.
He had an opportunity yesterday by accepting to re-surface this deal, to take the deal, but I just can't understand this charade, this sham
referendum which is going to be held on Sunday, who it really helps.
QUEST: You see the other European leaders, Matteo Renzi describes the referendum as a mistake, Angela Merkel says by all means have your
referendum and we'll have to talk about whatever comes afterwards.
Don't you think the prime minister might have a point in that Europe will have to deal with whatever the consequences are?
MICHALOS: Well, I think that he opened the window ever since this charade has began. And I'm sure that they want Greece to remain within the
European Union. And the question is let's find an honest and mutually beneficial deal so that we can strike it and get on with business.
QUEST: Talking about business -- tell me, because you've got to a couple of businesses, how difficult is it. Give me real live problems that
you are facing as a result of the banking sector being closed.
MICHALOS: There's a lot of problems. Let me give you two circumstances that, you know, are extremely critical.
First of all, if you've got a manufacturing company in this country, you need to import your raw materials. As a result of non-function as far
as the Greek companies are concerned over the so-called target two, electronic remittances that is the overall European umbrella that regulates
these payments, although you may have the funds in your bank account, you cannot transfer it to your supplier abroad.
QUEST: Are you having a problem with that?
MICHALOS: Absolutely. On a personal note, yes I am having such a problem.
On the second -- on the homefront, if you've got a trading business, you are collecting past whatever is left of it, on a daily basis, but you
cannot possibly deposit it to the banks. So, there's people running around with cash that cannot be utilized simply because you can't make payments,
because cash payments are not allowed. We need to make them through the bank.
QUEST: Constantine, good to see you.
MICHAELOS: Thank you very much, Richard.
QUEST: Just -- Jonathan, it really is extremely bizarre, because at one level you listen to the prime minister and you listen to the
announcements from Merkel and Renzi and Juncker and everything seems to be moving forward or backwards or whatever, but then you put it in the
perspective of the banks are closed and will have been closed all week. Deposits -- sorry, withdrawals are limited to 60 euros, and now you wonder
what on Earth happens after next week.
MANN: It is a mystery, but for the people of Greece it is a trial, really.
Richard Quest in Athens. Thanks very much.
The latest world news headlines are just ahead, plus a very somber homecoming in Britain earlier. Forces began repatriating the remains of
British tourists massacred in Tunisia.
[08:32:14] MANN: Welcome back. This is Connect the World. I'm Jonathan Mann with the top stories this hour.
U.S. President Barack Obama has just announced that the U.S. and Cuba are formally reestablishing diplomatic ties. The two nations will open
embassies in each other's capitals. Relations between the country's have improved almost 50 years after the U.S. first imposed a trade embargo on
the communist nation.
Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras is now urging Greeks to vote no in this Sunday's referendum on an EU bailout deal only hours earlier his
government wrote EU creditors saying it was willing to accept most of the package. The deal has now expired and German Chancellor Angela Merkel says
there will be no negotiations on a new one until after the referendum.
Search and recovery efforts at the site of a military plane crash have been suspended for the night in Indonesia are set to resume Thursday
morning. So far, 135 bodies have been recovered from the wreckage of the military transport. Indonesian authorities think engine trouble may have
caused the plane to go down.
Tunisia's health ministry is working to identify the final victims of the beach resort massacre in Sousse as a somber homecoming is underway in
Britain. The royal air force began repatriating British victims today. Eight bodies arrived a short time ago at a base. At least 27 of the 38
people killed in the massacre were British subjects. Tunisia says tourists from Germany, Ireland, Belgium, Portugal and Russia are also among the
Max Foster joins us now live from RAF Brize Norton. Max, tell us about the scene there and what you can about the people who are making
their final trip home.
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's horribly grim. You've got people coming from the whole region, really, to sort of
line the streets as the coffins are going to be driven past. But at the moment, we're seeing the coffins taken off the plane.
So, eight bodies, eight Brits, British bodies being brought back from that Tunisian terror attack and a moment of reality, really, for the
families who have gathered here to see that happen, but also for the UK as the prime minister talks about how to commemorate this as a national event
But it feels like a military occasion. And it is somehow fitting because this was an attack against Britain. It may have happened abroad,
but 27 Britons died, and it's probably going to go up to 30. And these are just the first batch of bodies, if I can call it that, coming back to the
And as each one is taken down through the plane, the families watch on and have to come to terms with what's happened. They won't be able to have
funerals straight away, because this is a major national security event. There has to be a proper investigation. More than 800 police officers
involved in that. And the bodies need to be studied. And they need to go to an inquest which -- a special inquest being held for all of the bodies,
very unusual, all to be held together in London. Normally that would happen in their home areas.
And just imagine if you are, for example, Suzanne Richards (ph) at the base where I am right now watching this unfold. She lost not just her
brother, not just her father, but also her son, a group of four family members going on holiday to celebrate her son's exam results. And this is
how it all ended for her.
And I think for a lot of people in Britain, it's not just that happened abroad, but it happened on sun lounges on a beach as people were
feeling comfortable and marking events in many ways
So, consider a few of the other bodies coming off that plane. We don't know which one is which, but in a way they all tell the same story.
So, John Saulery (ph), he was 58. He was on holiday with his wife and his son when he was killed. His wife has said we still had a long life to
live with plans and dreams for our future together.
Steven Meller (ph), he was 59. He was killed as he attempted to shield his wife Cheryl (ph).
I mean, these are just horrendous stories, aren't they?
And then there's also Carlie Lubbock (ph) -- sorry.
Sorry, the atmosphere here. Carlie Lubbock (ph), she was just 24, a blogger. Let's just give it a moment.
MANN: Once again, if you're just joining us, these are the remains of innocent people who were enjoying the innocent pleasures of a holiday
abroad, British victims of a massacre at that beach resort in Tunisia, being brought home. Live pictures from RAF Brize Norton.
The first eight of the victims, there are at least 27. The British prime minister said in parliament a short time ago, he expects that number
Seven Tunisians have been arrested in connection with the attack, bu at this moment, the people of Britain, and we, have our eyes turned here,
not to the seven who have been arrested, but to the first eight of the British who were killed and who return home.
Max Foster has been watching this along with us. And Max, there's hardly a sound in the air, except for the uniform personnel there's no one
on the scene. This is just a sad occasion, echoing through the empty air there.
FOSTER: Well, it is.
And it's just being here, really, and the atmosphere that comes with it that really hits one so hard. There was a guy who was in Tunisia by the
time of these attacks. And he came down here just to stand by the road. And you're going to see these hearses traveling in a convoy down to London.
I think people are going to be gathering around that and it's just that idea that they've been so specific, the families, about what they want from
this occasion, but they also do want to share it with the world, which is why they've allowed us to take these pictures and show them to the world.
We've got people talking about the evil and how we've got to tackle this evil. It's almost like a -- it's actually quite -- it's brought a
great deal of solidarity to Britain, but also to other countries. So many other people from other countries were affected by this as well, not least
Tunisia. And I think it's brought this cohesion that there's this international threat, it could strike you anywhere. And as David Cameron
described it, an ideology really, that's what we're all fighting now. And it can hit anywhere. And we just -- I just had an email just now from the
metropolitan police saying they just concluded a rehearsal for an attack on home soil.
And that's what people tend to expect to happen, and in London in particular, but this I think really showed that it can happen anywhere.
And because the stories are so powerful coming from so many eloquent statements coming from the families gathered here, I think it's really hit
people very, very hard indeed. And I think people feel quite vulnerable right now.
But at least, you know, metropolitan police commission saying that that operation in the UK and London went very successfully and people can
rest assured that there is the best possible protection. And I think now we're going to have a situation where security agencies need to work more
closely together, technology companies need to work very closely as well to try to monitor those social media conversations, which is where this
ideology is very much being pushed, Jonathan.
MANN: And if you're just watching us, these are live pictures of a difficult day for a handful of families and a very dramatic day for the
United Kingdom as the bodies of eight of the victims of the Tunisia resort massacre are returned to the UK. The first eight of at least 27 victims.
38 people were killed, but there were victims from Ireland, from Belgium, from Portugal, but the bulk of them, at least 27, were British.
And Max Foster, this, though committed overseas really does feel like an attack on Britain and of a kind that the British hadn't suffered for a
[08:40:31] FOSTER: I'd say that's -- yeah. Well, that's right so we have 7/7, which is 10 years ago, more than 50 people died in that. We've
got the commemoration of that coming up. So we've got that atmosphere behind it.
But it was really over the course over the last few days, since the attack happened that really the news sunk in. And I think this is one of
those moments where Britain is going to realize that this was a major attack on Britain, because even now we don't have the full identity of all
the victims of that massacre.
And we expect at least another three to be Brits. So the number is going to probably be around 30. But that's the sort of drip, drip effect.
And it's moments like this where it sort of all comes together. And these amazing stories of heroism, you know, there was a guy on there who was
protecting his wife. He died. She's got to live with that now.
She talks about how they've got a great future together, they would have had a great future together, but they haven't got that now.
But also, I think, in Britain talking to people, there's a great amount of sympathy with Tunisians. You know, these sort of those heroic
stories, did you, of people working in the hotel trying to do what they can to give chase against this killer who was, it seems from all anecdotal
evidence, avoiding shooting any Tunisians and just aiming at tourists.
And that the idea for Brits that they could lie in a sun lounger and be shot in that sort of environment is a big shock.
Interesting that David Cameron made the point that he doesn't advise Brits and the foreign aren't advising Brits not to go to those Tunisian
resorts. That would have been an easy option, but also seen as cowing to the terrorists who are really sort of attacking the economy really of the
country as well, not just the people there.
So, an attack on Tunisia, an attack on Brits, an attack on Britain, and also all those other nations as well represented on that beach that
MANN: As we watch the remains of another victim come off the transport.
Imagine the pain of the families who sent off their loved ones for a lighthearted holiday and said goodbye quickly and probably with laughter in
their voices and smiles on their faces and will never get a chance to address those loved ones again.
But imagine also the families, the handful of families still waiting for confirmation that the people they sent off, who are not answering their
phones, who are not responding to email, who can't be found in their rooms, but aren't officially identified yet. There are families still waiting for
the grim news that they know is coming that their loved ones are dead. They're still waiting to have that confirmed.
And you think about the possibility of hope at this hour and the overwhelming burden of grief given what they know is ahead. And for the
time being as painful as this ceremony is, they are denied even this.
FOSTER: And it's true. But actually there was one daughter whose parents died in the attack. And they didn't hear the news for some time.
But actually they gave huge praise to the Tunisian authorities. I mean, the reason was the Tunisian authorities wanted to get this right, they went
through a great deal of bureaucracy to make sure they got the identities right and all the information right. And that was a huge sufferance for
But actually, she appreciates the care that was taken by the Tunisian authorities. And I think actually if you speak to sources at the foreign
office, those family members of the victims yet to be identified are pretty clear that they've got the bad news coming. But you just imagine that
situation where you're -- I guess, I mean, I've never been in that situation, but imagine if you're just waiting for confirmation that your
loved one has died. And you're watching these images. And you've got that ahead of you.
So, there's eight bodies here. There's probably another 22 that are going to come in this way.
Also, Jonathan, we have here a Brize Norton a plane coming in before this, which was carrying the injured. And they've been taken off to a
hospitals in their respective areas. But one of those injured is also in critical condition. So, the numbers may rise even further, but certainly
their family very confident that they're going to pull through.
But, these occasions are always so solemn. And Jonathan, you and I have reported on these repatriations on so many levels. And usually
military ones here , but on this occasion a civilian one.
But with the military on -- associated with it as well and the sort of great national sense that this moment brings and an international sense as
well, because we're obviously broadcasting around the world. And I think this is something that people in so many countries now have to come to
terms with and associate with.
It's a global threat right now and it's a threat that can strike anywhere by anyone that buys into an ideology, which is coming from these
[11:45:41] MANN: And parliament a short time ago, Prime Minister David Cameron promised a full spectrum response. The government is
preparing, the government has been staging exercises to protect against a terror attack on home soil, but at this moment the eyes of Britain are at
RAF base Brize Norton and the remains of eight victims coming home.
We'll be back with more right after this.
MANN: Welcome back.
Iran's neighbors are waiting to hear from the U.S. secretary of state in Vienna. And they're watching as the International Atomic Energy Agency
chief makes his way to Tehran for talks with Iran's president.
The reason for all the high profile globetrotting, the Iran nuclear talks. The trip by the IAEA's head comes as world powers try to make the
most of a seven day window created by Tuesday's decision to extend negotiations on a nuclear deal.
There are still big questions over how, for example, the inspections will work. And access to Iran's military sites, another sensitive topic.
But, the two sides are still talking. John Kerry may tell us how it's going some time this hour. In the meantime, we have our senior
international correspondent Nic Robertson and Fred Pleitgen standing by in the Austrian capital and Tehran respectively.
First, let's got to Nic in Vienna. Nic, the last details inevitably are the hardest ones. What are the sticking points?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As far as we know, the sticking points include some of the issues that have come to light in
the past few days, although what we've been told is that everything is still under discussion, so it's hard to know precisely the sticking points.
But one of the big sticking points does seem to be Iran's desire not to have the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear watchdog,
inspecting sites all over the country. They're saying that military sites should be off limits.
But as part of the agreement, the IAEA would be able to send its inspectors to verify the compliance that Iran is complying with what it
said, but also to check on the completeness of what they declared about what they're doing, which would give the IAEA the right to spot and point
out sites that they say they want to visit.
And it seems to be that's causing an issue. This has caused sort of additional protocols that the IAEA learned, for example, when they were in
Iraq that there are sometimes places that aren't declared by the country that you realize you need to visit, you need the power to visit. And those
are built into the protocols that Iran would have to sing up to.
And right now, Iran doesn't want to sign up it seems to -- that level of detail and scrutiny, John.
[08:50:22] MANN: Those details in mind. Let me ask you about the broad signals, the comings and goings, the comments by the various sides.
What should we make of it? I mean, does it seem like there's going to be real progress?
ROBERTSON: The sense is that there is. Both sides have said now that they will, you know, the State Department has said it is -- and President
Obama said it just yesterday as well -- that anything that they talk about now has to be based on what was agreed in Switzerland three months ago,
which was the stepping stones, and a brief -- and a rough statement to get them to this point today. The Iranians -- the foreign minister came back
from Tehran yesterday and said essentially, yes, we agree to work on those -- on those same principles.
So, in broad brushstrokes, yes they're working in the same direction, on the same principles. But they've still got intersect on these key
issues. You know, their discussion about particular sites in Iran about a heavy water plant that needs to be redesigned, redevelopment, a research
and development facility, an enrichment facility that needs to have its -- you know, its activities changed and inspected.
So, some of these have been the stumbling blocks from the past, not to mention the sanctions, not to mention the research and development that
Iran's supreme leader has said he doesn't want to see curtailed. But the agreement will say that it should be off limits to Iran for 10 to 12 years
at least, Jonathan.
MANN: Well, Nic, I want to ask Fred Pleitgen in Tehran about that. But let me ask you first of all, what are they saying there today?
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, one of the things that they are saying here today, and one of the words that you keep
hearing, Jonathan, here in Tehran is the word dignity and the Iranian national interest.
And one of the things I think that we always have to keep in mind when we speak about the Iranian side in these talks is that there is also a lot
of politics here in the country.
Of course, the majority of Iranians want a deal, they want sanctions to leave, they want sanctions relief. They want a compromise with the
But there are also hardliners who quite frankly don't' want to give an inch to the U.S. and the other powers negotiating on the other side.
The interesting thing is that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of this country and in the end the man who is going to have to sign
off on any deal has ordered all Iranians to support the negotiating group. And even hard liners are doing that, albeit somewhat begrudgingly. Let's
have a look.
PLEITGEN: An anti-American song denouncing what they see as U.S. violence and imperialism. That's the tone of this rally at Tehran's Azade
The song ends with the usual chants of death to America. But the event's main message is different: support for Iran's negotiating team in
"Our negotiators are very honest. And we believe in them," this woman says. "But I'm not very optimistic that a deal can be reached, because the
other side's people are not honest to us."
And this man adds, "we're not optimistic and we don't trust the Americans. They've proved that we cannot trust them in the past 50 years."
They put up banners with thousands of signatures meant to drive home Iran's main demands. No inspection of Iranian nuclear sites and immediate
The man selected to read them out, the father of an assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists.
"We don't want a deal at any price," he says. "It should preserve the independence, the dignity, and the rights of the Iranian people."
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has laid our Iran's red lines in a recent speech. and they could prove to be dealbreakers.
But he also ordered all Iranians to back their country's delegation.
The vast majority of the people here at this rally are hard liners who don't want to make any sort of concessions to the United States. But even
they say they support their team at the nuclear negotiations and hope for a beneficial outcome for Iran.
The monument at Azade Square (ph) is meant to symbolize Iran's independence and its dignity, words the protesters here often use when
referring to the deal they want with the west for their country's nuclear program.
PLEITGEN: So, as you can see, there still is a lot of distrust towards the United States here. But going around here in Iran, you can
really see how badly many people here want sanctions relief, need sanctions relief.
I was at a factory that makes auto parts earlier today, Jonathan, and most of the equipment that was there was from the 1980s, a lot of it quite
frankly coming from the Soviet Union. and people there were just saying they really, really would like to upgrade their facility. And they believe
that if they had the capacity to do that, if sanctions were lifted, they could be up to international standards quite quickly.
And so of course they're hoping for a deal. But at the same time, we always have to keep in mind that the Iranians are a very proud people and
they do see at least a civilian use of nuclear technology as a right that cannot be taken away from them, Jonathan.
[11:55:23] MANN: That much is clear. What's also clear is that the supreme leader seems to be opposed to things Tehran already agreed to. Is
anyone explaining why that isn't a veto already?
PLEITGEN: Well, I mean, I would say that there is some discrepancy on what both sides believe has already been agreed to.
Certainly, there was a speech by the supreme leader about a week-and- a-half ago where he said there would be no inspections of military sites and also where he said that sanctions relief would have to come immediately
when a deal is signed.
Certainly, on the latter point, top level Iranian politicians have told me that they believe that there is some wiggle room, that perhaps the
document would say that the sanctions would be eased immediately, however, the actual implementation of that could take a little bit longer.
As far as the red lines are concerned, that certainly is something where it's not clear how much room for negotiation there actually is.
However, of course as we've noted, we do have the head of the IAEA who is coming here tomorrow and will probably speak about that issue as well.
But, considering the fact that Jawad Zarif has gone back to Tehran to continue these negotiations, that the deadline is extended, it appears as
though both sides still believe some sort of agreement can be reached Jonathan.
MANN: And Nic Robertson, we heard from John Kerry comparing Iran to Cuba. Cuba is a done deal, that' already a success.
ROBERTSON: Yeah. And he was kind of using the announcement here, his statement here to say, look, to the Iranians. He says even for people
here, they should see that there can be change. And under leadership, they can bring about that change. And that's almost sort of a message there to
the Iranians, look, the United States can keep good on its commitments. President Obama-- he only referenced President Obama's leadership over
Cuba, President Obama is that leadership, and if he's committed to something, then they will follow through.
Because of course it these negotiations it's all about trust. And I think that was a point Secretary Kerry was trying to make, reestablishing
diplomatic relations with Cuba. This is something that could happen with Iran. And under President Obama, that would be the leadership to do it.
MANN: It's all about trust. Nic Robertson at the talks in Vienna. Fred Pleitgen in GTehran, gentlemen, thank you both,.
I'm Jonathan Mann. You've been watching Connect the World. Thanks for being with us.