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CONNECT THE WORLD
Lebanese Christian Factions Compromise, Nominate Presidential Candidate; Pakistan Mediates Iran-Saudi Diplomatic Conflict; Worry Key Emotion Headed into World Economic Forum. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET
Aired January 19, 2016 - 11:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:19] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Iran engaged. Is the world entering a new chapter when it comes to the Middle Eastern nation? Well, this
hour, we'll examine its impact on politics and global markets.
Also ahead, Pakistan steps in to mediate between Iran and its regional rival Saudi Arabia. Can the relationship be mended after diplomatic ties
have been cut?
Well, I'll ask the Pakistani prime minister's special adviser on foreign affairs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I hope the election process goes smoothly. And once it happens, I will lend my support to all
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: After almost two years without a president, is Lebanon one step closer to breaking the political stalemate paralyzing the country?
We're live in Beirut later in the show.
Well, from an international pariah to a nation with growing influence on the world stage. Iran is flush with oil and now cash thanks to the
nuclear deal and the lifting of sanctions.
But the country's supreme leader is still skeptical of the U.S. and its allies. A short time ago, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the U.S.
deceitful and bullying. Certainly lots to get through regarding this new era -- nuclear compliance, the old (inaudible) relations with Iran's rival
Let's get started.
And I want to get to the most immediate impact, at this point families who have been reunited
with their loved ones after being released from detention in Iran over the weekend. CNN's international correspondent Frederik Pleitgen is outside a
U.S. military hospital live where some of the freed ones are undergoing security checks.
And Fred, what do we know, briefly, about how they are and how How long before they're able to enter the U.S.?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, there seems to have been a lot of headway in the past 24 hours as far as
the condition of these three men are concerned -- Jason Rezaian, Amir Hekmati, and Saeed Abedini. We've gotten some photos in the
meantime of JKason Rezaian having been able to meet his family, specifically his brother, his wife, and mother were of course with him when
he was released in Iran.
Amir Hekmati has also been able to see his family. And that is something that many here
interpret as a sign of progress, because the physicians here at the Landstuhl medical center wanted to
make that process not too fast for these three men, because they felt they could be overwhelmed if too many well wishers descended upon this place too
One of the interesting things -- I spoke to Ali Rezaian yesterday, Jason Rezaian's brother, and he said that he had been able to be on the
phone with Jason but hadn't been able to see him at that point.
So, now that has come, that is seen as a sign of progress. Nevertheless, we are still hearing from inside the medical center that of
course there is a protocol that needs to be followed, there's these medical checks, these psychological evaluations. They feel they need to put this
time and effort now to help these men as they then, obviously, will make their way back to the United States, possibly in a couple days, but there
really isn't any set timeline, Becky.
ANDERSON: Fred, we have, then, seen some progress in relations between Iran, the U.S. and its allies, but certainly some skepticism by
Iran's supreme leader earlier today. What did he say?
PLEITGEN: Well, a lot of this came from a larger right, which appeared on several Iranian news agencies. It apparently comes from a
speech that the supreme leader gave.
And then there were tweets that followed on his official Twitter account. And some of them were addressed to the president, to Hassan
Rouhani, who of course was a big backer and really in many ways one of the people who initiated this new round of negotiations for the nuclear deal.
And he said to the president, it has to be clear that all sides will comply by the terms of this agreement, and he says that he feels that recent
things that he's heard from the U.S. are things that are cause for suspicion.
Now, he clarified that a little bit more in a larger right (ph) on this issue where he apparently
said that he believed some politicians in the U.S. had said that Iran is still a threat to global security. He found that these words were
something that maybe show that the U.S. was not serious about its side of the bargain.
But certainly it does show that there are -- is still this great suspicion between these two
nations that even though you had this gesture of goodwill with the prisoners being released, you obviously have this big achievement as far as
the nuclear agreement is concerned., these two nations by no means have regular relations and probably will not have regular relations in the not
too distant future, Becky.
ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen is in Germany for you. We are out of Dubai in the UAE this evening.
The IAEA, then, has confirmed Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal so far, but now the question becomes how to ensure Tehran continues to meet
Well, CNN's Nic Robertson gained rare access to the IAEA's nuclear monitoring lab in Vienna. Have a look at this.
[11:05:21] NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the director general at the IAEA said Iran is entering a new phase, he has
rubber stamped, if you will, approved their compliance, but that new phase now allows for monitors in Iran, UN inspection monitors from the IAEA, the
International Atomic Energy Agency, to oversee Iran's compliance with the rest of the deal. They will have a vast array of tools at their disposal.
Hidden beneath the UN's Vienna headquarters, the world nuclear watchdog's labs. I've been invited for a tour. It's highly secure.
Thank you. Thanks very much.
The ground rules? Don't video anyone.
Inside, an Aladdin's cave of monitoring and detection devices.
In this lab, new equipment is being tested, like this radiation hardened underwater camera. And this over here, a uranium enrichment
detection unit. State of the art technology that's been in development for about five years.
It's getting its debut in Iran and will allow monitors to keep Iran honest to agreed enrichment
limits. It will keep its uranium stockpile under 300 kilograms of up to 3.67 percent enriched uranium hexaflouride, UF6.
Nearby, a bank of sealed cameras under test, carefully calibrated to record and store pictures for months between inspection, remotely
controlled and monitored as necessary.
Fordow, "Iran will convert the Fordow facility into a nuclear physics and technology center. All other centrifuges and enrichment related
infrastructure will be removed and stored under IAEA continuous monitoring."
Inside the camera is this complex anti-tamper technology. At its core, a super secure encryption key that will delete if anyone tries to
break into it.
The scientists who work this equipment have decades of experience outsmarting recalcitrant regimes. They handled the WMD inspections in
Iraq, developing new tactics, gaining additional powers of access, not just confirming compliance, but getting the right to go anywhere they believed
clandestine nuclear work may be under way.
If the IAEA has concerns about undeclared nuclear materials and activities inconsistent with the
agreement at locations that have not been declared, the IAEA will provide Iran the basis for those
concerns and request clarification.
These labs have a solution.
And this looks like something out of "Star Trek," but it's yet another tool in the armory for inspectors. The absence of any radioactivity, it
can help detect if something has been designed to have a nuclear application.
All this only a fraction of the inspector's entire arsenal.
The IAEA chief in Tehran for meetings. He will meet with President Rouhani to make sure that this compliance continues. The additional
protocols are powerful tool as well in that arsenal that the UN monitors will have. This will allow them to tell the Iranians that they want to
inspect a site, whether or not the Iranians have declared it, and that will give UN monitors the right to go to places that they have suspicions about
and ensure the complaints across the board.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Vienna, Austria.
ANDERSON: Well, oil has been dominating financial headlines, dropping to 12-year lows. And the question many are asking is,will it go any lower?
Well, the international energy agency certainly thinks so. In its latest report, it says the world is, quote, drowning in oil. And it says
weak demand has failed to match the relentless pumping by the world's biggest oil producers.
All this and Tehran preparing to boost production. So, what is the floor when it comes to oil prices?
Well, Richard Quest joins me now from Davos in Switzerland.
Richard, how bad can it get -- and I'm talking about the oil price -- with Iran effectively now boosting production?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's a very, very strong point, because as you said in that introduction, Becky, you have
both two sides of the economic equation. You've got the increased supply, which comes as a result of OPEC's refusal to back down,
and you've got this weak demand, the clear s example of that we've seen comes from the China
GDP numbers today.
Now, if you put that into the same oil barrel, you're going to get a falling price.
And you've got to really question, is there a reason for oil prices to start rising, or to rise again, and at the moment that doesn't seem to be
What you have, Becky, is oil bouncing about around between $28 to $30 a barrel, and in the absence of new direction, that's where it stays.
ANDERSON: A massive concern, of course, to regions like this and other big oil producers. Consumers like it, of course. It ought to cut
the price of fuel, shouldn't it?
Look, the IMF cutting its global forecast for this year and next. What is the mood like in Davos at this World Economic Forum this year?>>
QUEST: I think you're got -- you're going to see two distinct moods here. You're going to see those following Klauss Schwab's entreaty to
think about mastering the fourth industrial revolution of digitization, of artificial intelligence and of the new economy. And they will be big
thinkers thinking big issues.
And then you're going to have the worry. And this is why I'm here this week. And we'll be talking about it during the course of the week.
We have got the CNN #worrywall here, Becky. And what we're doing all week here, is we're asking people where on the scale of worry are you?
I'm not worried at all or I'm very worried indeed.
Klaus Schwab is very worried, indeed, others are as well.
That's Philip Jennings of the global trade union UNI (ph).
Most so we're going to throughout the week, ask the question, where are you on the worry wall when you bear in mind just what has happened
since the turn of the year.
ANDERSON; And, clearly, some incredibly important issues will be discussed, not the least this issue of the price of oil and its impact on
big producers like those in this region and elsewhere. Who are we speaking to this week? What can we expect?
QUEST: Well, who I will be talking to are the entire range of people. I mean, there's obviously Christine Legarde, the managing director of the
IMF, the president of the World Bank we'll be talking to. Muhtar Kent, the chief executive of Coca-Cola.
We're going to be talking to European policymaker Jyrki Keainen of the European Commission.
The goal here, my goal here at Davos, is not necessarily to come to any answers, because I don't think there are answers to those, what I think
-- listen, Becky, your a student, a scholar of Davos of old, and you've done a few of them yourself. So as you know, what you really come away
from here is want does the pulse feel like? What are people worried about? What are they -- when they leave here, the idea is this is the landscape.
America thinks this. Russia thinks this. The tech industry is doing that. You get an idea of where everybody sits in the global economy.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. I did a decade of it myself. Good luck, mate. Thank you very much, indeed.
Richard Quest is in Davos all week, and as we say, focusing very much on what's going on with these oil markets, massive issue. What's going on
as far as Iran is concerned. Coming in from the cold. How that might reshape relations in the Middle East, not least those between Riyadh and
All important stuff all coming up this week.
Still to come tonight, we'll shuttle diplomacy from an unexpected actor. We're going to take a look, a special look at Pakistan's efforts to
mediate this growing route between Riyadh and Tehran. that's next.
The ideological fight against ISIS, our Atika Shubert talks to a young French woman who fell victim to the propaganda. What stopped her from
joining? That is an exclusive story you'll get in ab out 30 minutes from now.
[11:16:39] ANDERSON: Right, you're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson out of our Dubai studios this evening.
And to our top story, again, and the affects of Iran being brought in from the cold after years of isolation. Now those effects are being felt
far and wide. Some countries look set to benefit from the move felt far and wide. Some countries look set to benefit from the move while others
are concerned about Iran's reengagement.
And one of those is Saudi Arabia, which recently cut ties with Tehran amid a growing regional row.
Well, one country trying to mediate that fallout is Pakistan. On Monday, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was in Riyadh for talks with
King Salman. He followed that up with a trip to Tehran on Tuesday where he met President Hassan Rouhani.
Pakistan is no stranger to sectarian silence itself, given its sizable Shia population, which has faced attacks in recent years. Well, to discuss
all of this, we're joined by Sartaj Aziz. He's an adviser to Pakistan's prime minister on issues of foreign affairs.
And first off, sir, thank you for joining us. Why is Pakistan trying to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia?
SARTAJ AZIZ, FOREIGN AFFAIRS ADVISER TO PAKISTANI PM: First of all, as you said, the standoff started on the first of January when (inaudible)
Sheikh Nimr was hanged in Saudi Arabia, and the next day the Iran embassy - - so the embassy was burned in Tehran.
And then diplomatic relations were broken up by Saudi Arabia by several other GCC countries and some downgraded.
So this tension between the two countries coming at a time when the Middle East is in turmoil. It's very unfortunate because this can
definitely create lots of problems. First of all, it creates space for terrorists and other groups who are looking for these kinds of tensions.
It makes it much more difficult to resolve (inaudible) problems like Syria, Yemen, even Lebanon.
So, Pakistan, being a country which is both friendly -- Iran is our next door neighbor and we have good relations, Saudi Arabia, we have a very
AZIZ: So, obviously it's the kind of thing in which to create communication between the two
itself is important.
So, the prime minister when their...
ANDERSON: Right, OK, from what you've seen, then -- sorry -- from what you've seen, and you were going on perhaps to say this, is there any
appetite from either side?
AZIZ: Well, I think both of them -- I've said I think the Saudi king when he met the prime minister said, we do not regard Iran as our enemy,
and we do want good relations among all Muslim countries. And Iranian, of course, said similar things.
So, I think to the extent -- the decision between the two is quite deep and longstanding. It's not something new.
But for these tensions to come to this pass and their diplomatic relations are broken, and this degree of hostility is very bad for the
entire region and for security as well as the fight against extremism.
So, at this stage for a country like Pakistan, which are friendly to both, it's a very good initiative on the part of the prime minister who
believes in peaceful neighborhood and better relation among Muslim countries to try to create communications.
And as you know, today the president of China is arriving. And then Secretary Kerry and then the foreign minister of Germany and France.
So everybody is worried about this relationship, and therefore Pakistan is equally concerned.
[11:20:17] ANDERSON: OK. All right. I understand that. And thank you for that. Apologies our communications between the two of us are a
little bit ropey, so it's the reason why perhaps I'm jumping in when you hadn't quite finished what you're saying. So apologies for that.
Now, in April, sir, Pakistan's parliament voted against joining the Saudi coalition in Yemen, opting for, quote, neutrality instead. Now since
then, thousands of civilians have been killed and many more have been injured in that conflict.
Pakistan's decision surprised very many given what you've just described as longstanding military ties with Saudi Arabia.
Is it an indication of Islamabad shifting more towards Iran?
AZIZ: I think it's not shifting towards one or the other. You want to maintain a balanced relationship between the two. But we are not -- we
have decided not to interfere in other country's wars. We have paid a heavy price for interfering in the Iran war and many other wars, and
therefore two years ago we decided that first priority is our own security and we'll follow a policy of peaceful neighborhood.
So in this process of repositioning, the Yemen (inaudible) was there. And even now we are seeing that we want to maintain a balanced
relationship, and our purpose is to become a (inaudible). And we are actually redefining our foreign policy and repositioning ourselves as
facilitators and peacemakers to the extent possible.
And I think our initiative has been well received both the prime minister made a proposal to Iran to appoint a focal person for talks with
Saudi Arabia. He made a Pakistan will appoint a focal person and hopefully Saudi Arabia will respond positively. So at least indirect communication
between the two can start, and then we hope that at least some common ground can be found for the relationship to become more normal, or at least
diplomatic ties restored.
ANDERSON: All right, let's get realistic. Let's follow the money. Let's look at trade. Pakistan's economic relationship with Saudi last year
worth almost $4 billion. On the other hand, trade with Iran only worth about $230 million.
But both companies have recently said they want to increase that to about 20 times more.
So which is more important going forward for Pakistan, Iran or Saudi?
AZZ: I think both are important. Our trade with Iran was close to $1.5 billion to $2 billion before the sanctions. And they'll get back to
But our purpose here is not really economic. We have a very large Shia population, so tension between the two countries can create sectarian
tension within Pakistan. So for Pakistan to maintain a balanced policy is also critical from a domestic point of view.
Also in this case, to the extent a new role as peacemaker and facilitator is expected, the same role can be played in Afghanistan.
So, I think basically once you look at it in terms of Pakistan's new policy framework in which we want a peaceful neighborhood, in which we want
to concentrate our own security, our own economy and do whatever we can to bring a better relations between other countries and also try to play a
constructive role in global (inaudible) issues, because the -- our region right now is in great turmoil.
HAYES: Yeah, and Pakistan, of course, faces big security concerns at home. Today, another bomb killing at least 10 people near Peshawar. In
his final State of the Union Address, U.S. President Barack Obama said Pakistan will remain unstable for decades. What did you make of his
comments? Do you agree with him?
AZIZ: Well, I think it's a prediction based on the old narratives.the ground situation in Pakistan is changing. And I think the actions we are
taking, if they continue and intensify, we can probably prove that his predictions was wrong -- or not realistic.
And I think on the internal security front, we have taken very decisive action against terrorism in the last one-and-a-half to two years,
which has very good results, and why in the world incidents are increasing, in Pakistan the incident bomb blasts and suicide attacks have grown by 50
percent in 2015 compared to the preceding year.
Externally as I just mentioned, we are following a policy of a peaceful neighborhood and trying
to maintain better relations with India, with Afghanistan with Iran with China, and so it's giving us a much better external environment and we
don't face any external threat of...
The economic instability, which can indeed to melt down instability, the economy is started improving after the security environment.
And finally, the political instability, democratic democracy is taking root and political stability is getting more and more ensured.
So if these are very positive terms, I'm not saying that we're out of the woods totally because two years is not a long time, but if these
expectations are realized, I hope President Obama's prediction -- and we are surprised he mentioned only two countries and they were Afghanistan and
Pakistan. And so many of our members of the senate where this was discussed were disappointed by the statement, but I said it's challenge for
us to prove him wrong, his prediction being unrealistic, and I hope we'll be able to do it.
[11:25:45] ANDERSON: Excellent, sir.
And again, apologies because we had a slight delay between the two of us, but I know our
viewers will have been delighted to have heard your words today, and from my side, I hope you didn't
think I was being disrespectful when I was jumping in.
Sir, thank you, and we will move on.
Live from Dubai this evening, this is Connect the World. Coming up, Lebanon may soon have a new president after almost two years of political
stalemate. And it's because of a very surprising U-turn. Details on that are ahead.
And replicating reality: a dream job for anyone who likes to build 3D models. We'll tell you why it's big business for one company here in
Dubai. That is next on One Square Meter.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Enter the world of a luxury lifestyle on a tiny scale complete with ding rooms, Porsche sports cars and
landscaped gardens. It's the craft of this man, Danny Becheroni (ph) and a team of 560 tradesmen, who make property models for a living.
Becheroni (ph) was an early mover in this space, having established his workshop here in Dubai back in 1990 just when the Emirates started to
open up to the outside world.
This is a business where attention to detail and discretion are at a premium. Models help the developers see their vision come to life. For
example, the W Hotel being built in Dubai and Becheroni's (ph) latest piece of work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Model maker is like the psychic of the world, basically, but with confidentiality, cannot speak about it. You can see it
(inaudible) but he can't talk about it.
DEFTERIOS: Models range from $5,000 to $10,000 per square meter. His most expensive project cost over $5 million.
What's the personality or the profile of the person can that can work in this sort of detail of the work that you do?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We give them the hand test. Not shaking when they start. But they have to have the passion for details and creativity.
DEFTERIOS: And he's a stickler for setting the right tone with lighting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Each floor, we don't light up a model we just put one tube of light inside. Each floor actually lighted up separately because
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, we sent all the files drafting, cutting files for the craftsman teams.
DEFTERIOS: Production manager Shaman Dali (ph) oversees the painstaking process.
UNIDENITIFIED MALE: These are cut all by lasers.
DEFTERIOS: The latest laser and 3D printing technology helps keep the assembly line moving.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We use the (inaudible) which is very good and which is long-lasting paint.
DETERIOS: Becheroni (ph) has people on call every day to ship and assemble these high-end models for viewing.
UINIDENTIIFED MALE: Any given point of time, we have 20 people somewhere in the world installing a model.
DETERIOS: The stakes are high.
Here's the ruler of Dubai and his son, the crown prince, taking in a 3D model at an annual property show. Multi-Billion dollar projects that
Becheroni (ph) says can live or die based on a viewing.
I would imagine the pressure to deliver a perfect model, you have a sheikh looking at a big project, is essentially. It's a very delicate
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is the worst times of my life, when we have a presentation or an exhibition, because the model is not here, doesn't
matter how big the standard is, it's useless.
DEFTERIOS: Like the real property business, model making suffers from peaks and troughs. But with $120 million in annual turnover, this is
certainly not child's play.
John Deterios, One Square Meter, Dubai.
[11:34:21] ANDERSON: Well, 3,500 people are being held as slaves by ISIS. That disturbing headline from a new UN report that warns the terror
group continues to subject women and children to sexual violence.
It goes on to say those being held are predominantly women and children and come primarily from the Yezidi community. But a number also
are from other ethnic and religious minority communities.
Well, for more on what is a shocking story, let's bring in our senior international correspondent Arwa Damon from Istanbul.
Area, what more do we know about what's said in this report and what it is revealing at this point?
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, the sad reality is that whilst continuing to be shocking, there is not a lot that is
necessarily new when it comes to the severity of the atrocities people have been suffering at the hands of ISIS and because of the war in general.
That particular figure of at least 3,500 people being held by ISIS, the vast majority of them,
Yazidis, taken captive when ISIS swept through mostly Mt.Sinjar quite some time ago.
Thousands were captured at the time. Some of the women, the lucky ones, although they in the minority, did manage to flee. But those who we
have been able to talk to over the course of the last year plus have told horrific stories of what they suffered at the hands of ISIS, many of them
forced into marriages, many of them being held as sex slaves.
Also highlighted in this report is quite another gruesome and potentially chilling detail, and
that is that according to the report, it is verified that around 800 to 900 children, Becky, in the ISIS-held city of Mosul had been abducted by the
terror group for religious education and military training.
And we have, over the course of the last few months, heard various reports from some of the front lines that fighters who are trying to fight
against ISIS are coming across children trying to target them.
Another figure also in this report, Becky, is that at least 19,000 civilians were killed in Iraq alone between January of 2014 and October of
2015. And these are not fighters who were killed, Becky, these are civilians.
And this report, really, is just underscoring the ongoing terror, the ongoing violence, that has racked Iraq and other areas under ISIS's
ANDERSON: Yeah, sorry, that we have been reporting on that you and your colleagues in our
reporting teams have made our viewers very aware of.
Arwa, thank you. Out of Istanbul this evening.
Lebanon's political stalemate may be one step closer to being resolved today after a key Christian politician came out in support of his archrival
for the presidency.
Now remember, the country hasn't had a head of state for almost two years now. Under Lebanon's political system, you have to be Christian.
It's a blow to the Saudi-backed faction that had put forward its own candidate, and not to mention a political move that reveals much about the
wider proxy struggles across the region.
Have a look at this.
ANDERSON: For a tiny country, Lebanon has some big issues. Recent protests bemoaned
corruption, cronyism, and crippling economic stagnation, as well as infighting that left the state
without a president for almost two years.
Now, a sight many thought they would never see. Two civil war enemies and bitter rivals from the post side by side revealing a shocking U-turn.
SAMIR GEAGEA, LEBANESE CHRISTIAN POLITICIAN (through translator): I announce today after a long process of study and deliberation and
discussions within the executive body of the Lebanon forces, the nomination of General Michelle Ayun as a candidate for the presidency.
LU STOUT: Samir Geagea is part of the alliance led by Sunni Muslim politician Saad Hariri, who is backed by Saudi Arabia, while his rival,
Christian leader Michel Aoun, is supported by Iranian-backed Hezbollah.
Both say this latest move is to end Lebanon's political crisis and unite the country.
MICHEL AOUN, LEBANESE CHRISTIAN POLITICIAN (through translator): I hope the election process goes smoothly. And once it happens, I will lend
my support to all Lebanese and we will not act in a malicious way.
And I would like to say that even in the midst of the deepest rivalries, in the past we were not malicious. And it is more important to
ANDERSON: The stalemate over electing a president who has to be a Maronite Christian under Lebanon's political system is one glimpse into how
much the tiny state is buffeted by regional power struggles with Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria and swestern powers all vying to influence the
political stage in Beirut.
And even this latest rare show of Christian unity is by no means a done deal.
Former army chief Aoun still has to secure wider backing before he becomes head of state, including from Sunni politicians.
And at 80 years old, the man critics accuse of being too close to Hezbollah, will inherit a country with numerous longstanding problems as
well as the fallout from a raging war in neighboring Syria.
[11:40:10] ANDERSON: Well, let's do more on this. This is a complex story that has so many layers. And Mario Abu Zeid is out of Lebanon for
you, the Beirut bureau tonight. A Lebanese political analyst working with the Carnegie Middle East Center.
mary, first of all, how soon might Lebanon have a president after waiting for so long?
MARIO ABOU ZEID, CARNEGIE MIDDLE EAST CENTER: Good evening, Becky.
First of all, after this bold move yesterday by the endorsement of the presidency and the candidacy for the presidential seat of Michel Aoun, we
should be having an election of the president in the next session that is dedicated by the parliament for the presidential elections, which are going
to take place on the 8th of February.
However, this is not enough to have a unity among Christians to nominate a president. Still, this candidate has to get the approval of the
various political actors in Lebanon from which will be part of the March 8 coalition as well as the March 14 coalition.
But the important point that happened yesterday is about the Christian community. For the first time we are witnessing the unity -- yeah. Yes,
ANDERSON: OK, sorry.
Again, we have slight technical issues, and I don't want to jump in on you. You were going to finish your sentence. Go on.
ZEID: Sure, no problem.
Yeah, so as I was saying, for the first time since decades we are witnessing the unity and
collaboration of two major Christian leaders that historically they never approved and they've been fighting since the Lebanese civil war.
However, for the first time we are witnessing that these two opponents are backing each other
and finally accepting to nominate one of them to be nominated as a president.
Usually what we have seen across the past few years after the Lebanese civil war, whenever you had a regional agreement -- yeah.
ANDERSON: Let me jump in here. Sorry, because we're struggling a little bit here. I want to go to what is a very surprising U-turn from
Samir Geagea. What does he hope to get out of this declaration of support for his rival, I wonder?
ZEID: The first thing that he might get is being the kingmaker and to prove that the Lebanese forces are the gatekeepers of the presidential
palace, which without them you won't be able to nominate a new president.
For the first time, we are witnessing that the Christian community is taking the initiative to
nominating a president rather than waiting for the regional compromise to having a president being elected. Usually what happens is when you had a
compromise between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, a president will be nominated in Lebanon even without the approval
of the Christian community.
However, for the first time we are seeing two major pools of the Christian community agreeing and backing each other and nominating one
president, things are changing. And this is practically a gamechanger.
ANDERSON: Are the, let's look at the wider picture, because we're talking sort of the machinations of Lebanese politics here, but this
stalemate over the presidency perfectly sums up Lebanon's big problem. A small country enthralled to the ambitions of big regional players. If we
look at Lebanon as another country where Saudi Arabia and Iran are vying for influence, who came out on top this time? And can it ever be this
ZEID: Actually, it's not that simple. We cannot say that the Saudis have won or the Iranians have won.
Though Michel Aoun is part of the March 8 coalition which is backed by Iran, and Samir Geagea is part of the March 14 coalition practically backed
by the Saudis, we cannot say that one of these two pools have won, because won because this endorsement of our own candidacy and this endorsement of
the Aoun candidacy is based on a specific platform which goes along the lines of
the March 14 coalition which is practically not worth the March 8 coalition would hope for, specifically when we are talking about the sole legitimacy
of the Lebanese army and its sovereignty over the Lebanese state, which is not something that Hezbollah would be so mch happy to hear about.
And when we are seeing that General Michel Aoun is approving on a number of terms to be endorsed as a presidential candidate by the Lebanese
forces, this will practically change the equation, and for the first time we will be witnessing in the upcoming few days some changes along political
However, we cannot talk about a definite realignment of the major coalitions in Lebanon between March 8 and March 14, yet regarding the
presidential elections we will see a different set than what we used to see in the years before. And for the first time we will see, for example, some
coalitions, some like the Druze community or the Shiites or the Sunnis will be approving on what the Christian community has approved and presented for
the presidential election.
ANDERSON: All right.
And with that we'll leave it there. But we thank you very much, indeed for your thoughts. Mario Abu Zeid out of Beirut for you this
Again, slight technical issues. We apologize for that.
This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson out of Dubai for you this evening.
Coming up, CNN's Atika Shubert talks to a young French women who nearly joined ISIS after she was lured by their propaganda.
We're going to tell you what stopped her in an exclusive report. That is up next.
ANDERSON: Welcome back to Dubai this evening. We are doing Connect the World
with me Becky Anderson.
A U.S. military official is revealing new details about the battle to wipe out ISIS in Iraq. Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for the U.S.
operation against the terror groups says coalition forces are targeting ISIS leadership. And they have had a number of successes.
Now, he sat down to speak with one of CNN's senior international correspondents Nima Elbagir.
COLONEL STEVE WARREN, SPOKESMAN U.S. MILITARY OPEARTION AGAINST ISIS: We've killed over 100 of their mid and high-level leaders on an average of
one to two days since May. And this continuous pounding of their leadership causes their knees to buckle a little bit.
We're trying to break their war machine, their industrial base, if you will. So we attack their oil, we attack their bomb factories, we attack
their ability to finance themselves. We've moved a long way since 2014 when this enemy came screaming through Mosul and seized most of northern
portion fo Iraq.
And what we've seen is that training works. We've spent a year rebuilding this army, an army that frankly was shattered a year ago.
But it's also an army that was trained to fight counterinsurgency, which means road clearance, it means checkpoints, it means combating a
guerrilla warfare based enemy.
What they found in ISIL is an enemy that fought conventionally. And they weren't able to deal with that and they collapsed.
So, since then we've spent a year rebuilding this army and training it how to fight a conventional fight. So they've come a long way.
We've trained almost 16,000 Iraqi soldiers. All of them have been equipped with very modern, very conventional equipment. Gaining Ramadi,
which is the capital of the largest Sunni province here in Iraq, was a major victory for them. Ramadi, as the main city of Anbar, once it's
cleared and once the Iraqi forces are able to really establish themselves there, will be a platform from which the Iraqis
are able to then push out through the rest of Anbar.
And the idea is to pressure them in all locations simultaneously. This causes the enemy to not have good options. Any decision that this
enemy makes turns out to be a bad one. If we're pressuring the enemy on the ground in one place and pressuring them on the ground in another place,
and he tries to move to reinforce himself then he's killed from the air.
Mosul is a long way off. This will -- this is going to be a long fight. We're not done with this fight yet. The enemy still has
capability. We still have work to do. We're in the process of rebuilding and continuing to train the Iraqi army. And there's still activity in
Syria that's happening.
We're not going to put a timeline on it. It's really an Iraqi decision. The Iraqis have the campaign plan, the Iraqis have the
specifics. It's their plan. We're hear to support them, but I will tell you it's going to be some time.
[11:50:54] ANDERSON: Well, it's no surprise given the brutality of ISIS that many tried to flee the terror group's rule. But there are others
who have been drawn to its propaganda. One young french woman we'll call Joanna was raised Catholic, but got caught up in extremist ideology after
converting to Islam.
CNN's Atika Shubert has an exclusive look inside the intervention that's helping turn her life around.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the midst of the Paris terrorist attack in 2015, a 15-year-old girl found herself in contact
with one of the women directly involved in the attack.
JOANA (via translator): This woman spoke to me on social media. She wanted to go to Syria with someone. She didn't want to go alone. She was
also trying to control everything I was doing.
SHUBERT: Joana, not her real name, is one of the youngest in France's de-radicalization program. Along with mandatory counseling, she must now
report to police every day.
She and her mother allowed CNN to observe her counseling session. Both wanted to remain anonymous.
She tries to explain to her counselor the grip ISIS recruiters had.
JOANA: They made sense of my life. Made me think I had an important role on earth.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via translator): They gave you support, you felt you were supported, you were loved, you were cherished.
JOANA: Yes, I really felt like I was loved. Evan more than my own family.
SHUBERT: Joana was recruited entirely online. Groomed by propaganda that painted ISIS as defender of Muslims. As a fervent convert seeking more
understanding of Islam, Joana was an easy target.
JOANA (via text translation): They are really sneaky because they know exactly how your family's going to react to the situation.
For a family that is not Muslim, they know what the parents are going to reject the hijab or halal food. They know they are going to forbid you
from going to the mosque. They know and they tell you that your parents will reject you an they will stop loving you. They say that the only ones
who will love you are your brothers and sisters in Islam.
SHUBERT: At first, At first Joana's mother chalked it up to teenage rebellion. But when her daughter called her an infidel, she called a
national hotline to alert authorities.
MOTHER OF "JOANA", DAUGHTER IS IN DERADICALIZATION PROGRAM (via translator): I felt really bad. I was feeling guilty. Our first reaction to
feel guilty as a mom. We tried to find out the reasons why our child suddenly changed.
SHUBERT: Joana says the program has allowed a way for her to reconnect with her family and still maintain her faith, far from the toxic ideology
JOANA (via translator): I took the decision not to get a new phone. It's better this way. I need to learn how to think be I myself. Without a
phone and internet, there's no one to tell me what to do anymore. For now, I don't feel like going back on social media.
SHUBERT (on camera): What advice do you have for other girls like you and how not to fall into those same traps?
JOANA (via translator): You should always be careful on the internet. Don't even go there. Don't speak with them. Don't take any risk. For those
who are already radicalized, please open your eyes to reality. Don't go to Syria. It's suicide. It's death.
SHUBERT (voice-over): There are some days when Joana is confident, but she still fears a relapse. She refuses to have a smart phone and won't
touch a computer with internet access.
But it's a daily struggle. Especially for a girl so young.
Atika Shubert, CNN, Paris.
ANDERSON: Well, we can still count Joana among the lucky ones for whom intervention did come just in time. Atika spoke with another young
woman, Hanane, who made the trip to Syria lured by ISIS propaganda like this. And what she found there shocked her. Hanane says she was thrown in
prison and beaten. Hear about her escape and escape and her message for the girls she left behind. That is Tuesday on Amanpour, 7:00 p.m. in
London, 11:00 p.m. here in Dubai. That's in a couple of hours.
We'll be right back after this.
[11:52:10] ANDERSON: Right, well our Parting Shots tonight, a bit of a pat on the back for us, a celebration of our colleagues here at CNN
Arabic in Dubai. As you probably noticed, we've been bringing you the show from Dubai this evening. That's because today marks the 14th year our
colleagues at CNN Arabic.com have operated out of the Emirate. And what better anniversary than to officially open our new HDTV studios here with
the help of his Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, who you see there getting a tour from our senior engineer Leo Tuckerbrand (ph).
And what a milestone it's been for our colleagues at CNN Arabic, spearheaded by Karoan Faraj (ph) and under the guidance of Rani Raad, CNN
International's commercial president.
And remember, you can always get all the latest news and analysis about this region through the prism of this region by heading to
I'm Becky Anderson, that was Connect the World tonight from Dubai. Thank you for watching from the team here and those working with us around
the world. It's a very good evening.