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CONNECT THE WORLD
U.S State Department Sends Mixed Messages On Iranian Nuclear Deal; France Set for First Round of Presidential Elections; Emirates Airlines President Offers His Advice on United Airlines Situation. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired April 20, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:00:12] REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future
administration on Iran.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, HOST: This hour, Tehran in their sights: Trump's White House is taking aim at Iran again while at the same time for the Iran
in the same corner as North Korea just as Washington is doing this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDETN: We're being told this is as close a simulation as you can get to a possible war situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: CNN takes you to an airbase that's playing war games for a possible battle with Pyongyang.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM CLARK, PRESIDENT, EMIRATES AIRLINES: Well, I'm sure they are delighted, but be careful because we'll be back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: We'll be back. The boss of Emirates Airlines tells his U.S. rivals don't get too comfortable. Why? Just ahead.
Hello and welcome to this edition of Connect the World. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in London sitting for Becky Anderson.
Now, the White House is putting Iran on notice once again, calling for a comprehensive review of the 2015 nuclear deal brokered, of course, by the
On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson blasted the deal as a failure and said Iran's provocations threaten the U.S. and its allies.
Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif fired back calling that a, quote, worn- out accusation it's in compliance with the nuclear deal. Earlier this week Tillerson's State
Department also reported that Iran is, indeed, following the rules of that deal. Joe Johns walks us
through the somewhat mixed messages coming from Washington.
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: The JCPOA fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran. It only delays their goal of becoming a nuclear
JOHNS (voice-over): Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declaring the
Iranian nuclear deal a failure one day after the State Department said exactly the opposite, affirming in a statement that Iran has been compliant
with its commitment to the deal. Despite this compliance, Tillerson ratcheting up the rhetoric against Tehran.
TILLERSON: An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea and take the world along with it.
JOHNS: Announcing that the deal is under review, but stopping short of threatening to issue additional sanctions or dismantle the agreement, one
of President Trump's top campaign promises.
TRUMP: My No. 1 priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.
JOHNS: Tillerson's attempt to clarify the administration's position, the latest in a string of mixed messages on foreign policy. Earlier this week,
President Trump called the Turkish president to congratulate him on a referendum that strengthened his rule, just hours after the State
Department noted reports of irregularities in the vote.
The White House also struggling to get its story straight about why the administration said in April that an aircraft carrier was racing toward the
Korean Peninsula in response to North Korea's provocations.
TRUMP: We are sending an armada. Very powerful.
JOHNS: When in reality, the fleet was headed in the opposite direction.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president said that we have armada going towards the peninsula. That's a fact. It happened. It is
happening, rather. The statement that was put out was that the Carl Vinson group was heading to the Korean Peninsula and is heading to the Korean
Peninsula. And it will arrive there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it there now, though?
SPICER: What's that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's headed there now. It wasn't headed there last week.
SPICER: But that's not -- that's not what we ever said.
JOHNS: Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan rallying NATO allies amid escalating tensions with another international power, Russia.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Russia interfered in our elections. And they are interfering in elections here in Europe as we
JOHNS: As the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee says, the Russia investigation is back on track.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER: I think we're very close to agreement on our initial witness list and the process
JONES: CNN senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns reporting there. And Joe joins me now live from the White House.
So, Joe, this Iran deal, it's a failure but a failure they are happy to stick with for now?
JOHNS: I think the takeaway from this administration is that, yes, Iran is complying with the terms of the deal as set us by the previous
administration, but that the terms of this deal are suspect, if you will. The administration launching this review in order to find out how they
might be able to change it sometime in the future, what's wrong with it, and why they are not accomplishing what they want to accomplish, Hannah.
[11:05:11] JONES: And, Joe, a big day for foreign affairs and diplomatic efforts in the building behind you today.
JOHNS: I think that's right certainly right. The Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni is coming here to the White House to visit with President
Trump for a while. There's also going to be a news conference following that, a number of possible items on the agenda that we haven't gotten a
read out from the administration just yet.
We know that security would be high on the list. There's also a question about the Paris Accord on climate change, which certainly could be of
So, some things for the president and the prime minister of Italy to talk about in advance of the G7 summit which occurs in Italy at the end of next
JONES: And, Joe, just briefly Rex Tillerson, the U.S. secretary of state, speaking with the
Vietnamese today at the State Department. Can we expect to hear any more comments from him about Iran potentially?
JOHNS: Very interesting, he doesn't do a lot of news conferences and yesterday's news
conference was characterized, I think, correctly as rare. So the question, of course, is whether we're going to hear more from Rex Tillerson. He's
certainly become much more visible in the past two or three weeks than he has previously in this administration. So, anybody's
Joe Johns live for us there outside the White House. Joe, thank you.
Now to a blistering new threat from North Korea as its war of words heats up with the United States. Pyongyang warns it could launch a quote super
mighty preemptive strike that would destroy the U.S. and South Kore in an instant.
Well, North Korea regularly threatens its enemies but its aggressive rhetoric is intensifying as the Trump administration takes a hard-line on
its nuclear program.
North Korea accuses the United States of heightening tensions by dispatching a war ships. Mr. Trump said just last week that he'd sent a,
quote, armada to the Korean peninsula, but those ships were actually headed in the other direction. They are now on their intended course.
Well, all of this happening as dozens of war planes are thundering across the skies in South Korea. That's all part of an annual drill meant to send
a clear message to Pyongyang. CNN's Paula Hancocks takes us close to the action at a South Korean airbase.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is Max Thunder, a massive air exercise between the U.S. and South Korea. There is about 80
aircraft involved, more than 1,500 personnel.
Now, we're told it's routine: It is annual. The lieutenant colonel in charge of it said that it has been planned for months, and they don't have
a specific enemy in mind when they're carrying out this exercise.
But, of course, with what is happening on the Korean peninsula, that right now, means that this is very much in the spotlight. We know that North
Korea has blamed the United States for pushing to almost the brink of war. There is rhetoric on both sides being very strong at this point.
But from this point of view, the people who are involved in this particular exercise say that it's just important for them to be able to know how to
work with each other in case of a war. We're being told that this is as close a simulation as you can get to a possible war situation.
Now, of course, North Korea does not like these military options. They see this as a practice for invading North Korea. The U.S., though, says that
they are defensive. China doesn't like them either. They have even suggested to the U.S. and South Korea that if they actually hold these
drills, then North Korea may suspend their nuclear and missile program.
It's not a new suggestion, and it's not a suggestion that the United States accepts.
Paula Hancock, CNN, at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
JONES: Well, it didn't go over well in Seoul when the U.S. war ships didn't arrive in Korean waters as promised.
Some people are now questioning Mr. Trump's overall leadership while others are accusing him of a flat out lie.
Let's get more reaction now from our senior international correspondent Ivan Watson who is live for us in Seoul. Now, Ivan, great to have you on.
The South Koreans no doubt bemused, confused and quite angry about trump's missing armada.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. I think this is being exaggerated a little bit. Yes, there's been some commentary in some
newspapers about this and one presidential candidate who has single digit support in the polls called into question U.S. credibility.
There's actually been a lot more buzz, Hannah, believe it or not, about a quote from Donald Trump to The Wall Street Journal where he quoted the
Chinese leader Xi Jinping and he said, hey, I learned from Xi Jinping that Korea once belonged to China. That has inflamed some anger and criticism
on social media with people saying that the U.S. president needs history lessons because they argue it's simply not true.
But you combine this together and it does call into question the credibility of the White House, of the U.S. government when it's saying one
thing, and it isn't pretty much adding up, it's also feeding in to the propaganda and anger coming from Pyongyang, where you had North Korea's
ambassador to the United Nations talking about the dispatch of the Carl Vinson carrier strike group last Monday when it was clearly nowhere near
the area, and saying that this was a provocation. And then you have North Korean newpaper in the last 24 hours also arguing that not only the
dispatch of the carrier strike group, but also these joint aviation drills with the remarkable name Max Thunder, that they are a threat to North
Korea, that they are a precursor to an invasion.
That's pretty much typical propaganda coming out of North Korea. And it is also typical that North Korea then threatens South Korea and the U.S., that
it will turn it all into a pile of ashes as well, part of a pretty standard war of words this time of year during the series of joint military drills
that the U.S. and South Korea conduct on an annual basis that North Korea hates so much - Hannah.
JONES: And one person who has had quite a lot to say about North Korea since he's been in the region is the U.S. vice president, of course, Mike
Pence. He's continuing his Asia tour. And now in Indonesia. What's he been saying there?
WATSON: Well, he just announced that Donald Trump, the U.S. president, will be traveling back to the region in November to attend two major
summits, that's the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a further sign of the engagement of
this new and young American presidency with the region.
You've had a number of top officials traveling to here, including currently Vice President Pence who currently is visiting the world's most populous
Muslim nation, that's Indonesia. The Trump administration has been accused of Islamophobia with candidate Trump talking about a ban of Muslims coming
to the U.S. Well, Mike Pence, his vice president, had much kinder words to say during his visit to Indonesia. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: As the largest majority Muslim country, Indonesia's tradition of moderate Islam frankly is an inspiration to the
world and we commend you and your people.
In your nation, as in mine, religion unifies, it doesn't divide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: Hannah, I traveled and worked in Indonesia during the election campaign when Trump was promoting his Muslim ban as a candidate, and I
heard from many Indonesians who were deeply troubled by that type of rhetoric and some of them argued, hey, then maybe Trump shouldn't be
allowed to invest in our country. He shouldn't be allowed to build golf courses and tourist resorts here as he has several projects with his Trump
company underway there right now.
Another message that Vice President Pence, rather, has been bringing is for fairer trade deals with Indonesia, with that country singled out among 15
other countries as having a trade surplus with the U.S. and one of Pence's messages was he wants a fairer trade with that country. That is one of the
topics of conversation there - Hannah.
JONES: Yeah, OK. We'll continue to follow Vice President Mike Pence and his tour of Asia, but in the meantime Ivan Watson live for us in Seoul,
Now, Venezuela's crisis is getting worse, much worse. On Wednesday, the government seized a General Motors plant, leading the automaker to halt
operations. On the same day, two students and a National Guard sergeant were killed during mass anti-government protests. Demonstrators spoke out against the President Nicholas Maduro who they say
is becoming a dictator. He's accused of plunging the once wealthy oil rich nation into political and economic chaos.
And the journalist Stefano Porzebon joins me now live via Skype from Caracas.
Stefano, good to talk to you. We saw this violence unfolding yesterday. What's happening on the street today, and are the authorities starting to
get a grip on these protests?
STEFANO PORZEBON, JOURNALIST: Yes, Hannah, thank you for having me.
As we speak, people especially in the east of Caracas are starting to gather to try yet another time to March towards the west and towards the
Ombudsman Office, which has been the target of the most recent protest down here.
We have seen a slow morning, a slow build up, perhaps because today is not a national holiday as it was yesterday. And we don't know if they will
have the same vast amount of protesters as it was yesterday.
It seems like the government so far has a little bit of the upper hand, because they managed time
and time again to stop the protests and reached the government buildings in the west of Caracas, which has been the target and goal of these latest
cycle of protests.
[11:15:19] JONES: How organized is the opposition there, though?
PORZEBON: The opposition is made up of a variety of parties who are joined together in vast anti-(inaudible) cartel called the (inaudible) of
But at the same time, he has been weakened last week because the judiciary gave of this tribunal emitted a sentence against the most vocal and perhaps
the most charismatic leader of the opposition Henrique Capriles, who is now banned from running for office for the next 15 years.
So the opposition risk the paradox of demanding an early election, but running out of candidates to run against President Maduro.
JONES: Yeah, he's running out of opponents to fight against him, as you say, but this has
being described as the mother of all protests, presumably leaving Nicholas Maduro increasingly vulnerable.
PORZEBON: That is correct. And especially if you look at international dimensions, we're
seeing stronger and stronger cause from organization of American states and as well as from the Department of State who just two days ago made a call
trying to calm the situation down and inviting everybody to respect human rights and to step back on the violence of the protests.
Of course, the regime of Nicholas Maduro finds himself more and more isolated as the economic crisis and economic downturn goes down. As long
as - as much as private investors like General Motors are prevented to invest in Venezuela, at the same time public governments do not want to
deal with them.
JONES: Stefano Porzebon live for us there in Caracas. Great to get your perspective on what's happening there in Venezuela. Thank you.
Now still to come on Connect the World, just three days to go and the race is too close to call. We go the French countryside to explain exactly
what's at stake.
And smoking pot outside the Knesset. Why hundreds of Israelis are lighting up in public. all that later on Connect the World.
JONES: Three days to go, 11 candidates, scandal, intrigue and a race that's simply too close to call. It would be easy to get very confused by
all that's going on with the French election. Luckily, though, for you and for me, CNN's Jim Bittermann is here to explain exactly what's going on
with the help of one favorite French pasttime.
[11:20:04] JIM BITTERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So I don't think there's any question French elections are complicated and very difficult to understand,
especially if you're not French. I decided maybe one way to give you an explanation would be to show you through one of the games that's one of the
most popular games in France. It is called bocce in Italy, Tag in the United States, and Boules here in France.
To help me to explain is the French Boules club from France. Some of their champions are going to help play this very special game of Boules. We
called it Presidential Tank.
Aside here we have eleven balls that represent the eleven presidential candidates. Normally, you play with three balls per player but here we have
eleven candidates. You might ask why so many presidential candidates in France. It has to do with the way presidential candidates are selected. You
have to have 500 signatures from mayors or officials to be a candidate, and eleven people have gotten that. You might think that's a lot of choice.
Even the French think it's way too many balls to have in the air at election time.
And now you may have noticed there's twelve balls. Here there's a small ball here, called a jack in English. It's the target, the goal of all
Boules players to come as close to this as possible. This is the place, we've got photographed on here, and that's what all these presidential
candidates would like to get close to. This is not big enough for the presidential palace, not for the presidency of France. So we got down here
our rather large jack or goal that the presidential candidates will be approaching trying to get close to the presidential pass.
It's hard to believe that some of these people think they can win the election for presidency. But according to public opinion polls, we can
eliminate some of those who will fall short. And we'll take them out and see how they do with our expert Boules players here in Bayou (ph).
For a long time, the Boules players had a hard time getting some of these candidates, who are an anti-capitalist worker, conspiracy theorists, a
follower of Leon Trotsky, anywhere near the presidential palace.
Clearly, those first six really don't have much of a chance if the public opinion polls are correct. And the next president of France is right here
among these five that are remaining. So I'm going to give these five to the president of the Boules club, and he'll distribute them, and we'll see how
they do in the first round of the election.
Here, things get interesting. The left-leaning Socialist candidate, for example, who started the campaign strongly, has been knocked away by an
even farther left-wing candidate for the Communist Party who is coming out strong. The mainstream right-wing candidate, who also started off strongly,
has been knocked about by scandal, but he could make a comeback. Is it too late? Everyone is talking about the final two candidates, the leader of the
National Front Party, who lands far to the right, and a former banker, who never ran for office before, and some say, wobbles all over the place.
Now, at this point, if we were really playing Boules, we'd get out the measuring tape to determine the winner. But in presidential tag, the only
way to measure is with a public opinion poll.
Sorry, folks, that's not in the cards.
You didn't really think I was going to tell you which candidate Boules came closed to reaching the palace in the first round of the election, did you?
No way. I wouldn't take that risk.
But the two candidates who actually do come closest on April 23rd, will then go on to the second round of the elections on May 7th. Only then will
we know who the next president of France will be.
Jim Bittermann, CNN, Bayou (ph), France.
JONES: CNN's Paris correspondent Melissa Bell has also been following the ebb and flow of this election for months now and joins me now from the
French capital. Melissa, if Jim's ball explainer tells us anything is that France is very much a divided country and there is a lot of choice at stake
in this election.
Who has got the edge, though, as far as the polls are concerned?
MELLISA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is a bewildering amount of choice and many French voters say they have yet to make up their mind.
Historic levels of undecided voters out there, Hannah. A third of the French say they haven't yet decided and, of course, we're on the eve
practically of this first-round of the presidential elections, Sunday night, of course, by about 8:00 p.m. local time we will find out whether
any of the candidates have scored the magic 50 percent.
That's looking unlikely, none of the leading candidates are really polling above 20 percent at the moment. But we will then have the names of the two
leaders, the ones who will then go into the second round of voting.
So, huge numbers of undecided voters, a vast array of platforms on offer, radical programs that are radically different amongst themselves that the
French have to chose from. And of course a lot at stake beyond the borders of France, Hannah, because two of the leading candidates, two in the top
four there, according to the polls, would hold referendums on the future of Europe, opening the door to a Frexit.
So, this is an election that is bewildering from within, full of uncertainty and unpredictability and full of excitement from without. Lots
of questions about where this is going to take not just France, but the European Union as a whole.
JONES: And Melissa, one of the emotions, I suppose, when the snap election was announced
here in UK was one of - this is just too much politics going on at the moment.
I'm wondering what's the mood amongst the French public. Is there excitement for this election or just exhaustion and they just want it all
to be over?
BELL: Well, there is a bit of that, Hannah. And someone was making the point to me the other day that actually the French, we've been talking that
anger that's been expressing itself in the poll in the United Kingdom on the Brexit vote, in the American election a few months ago.
Some one was saying to me here in France the electorate has been crossed for about 40 years. Because they have been voting for successive
candidates, successive presidents that they feel simply have failed to reform the country.
Now, there are those who say this will just be another election. Will any of them deliver on those promises? But given how radically different those
programs are, given the threat currently being posed by the far right. And Marine Le Pen is very much leading these polls along with Emmanuel Macron,
the centrist. There is a sense that France really is in for a change and that people need to go out to register their vote one way or the other.
Either way, what it's looking like if you listen to the polls for the first time being is that for the first time in the history of the Fifth Republic,
so since 1958, the mainstream left and the mainstream right could be entirely excluded from the second round. And that is a measure really,
Hannah, of how much that sort of populist wave has already changed the French political landscape even before a single
vote has been cast.
We're looking at the lead at the moment between Marine Le Pen for the far right and Emmanuel Macron, that centrist candidate you just heard about
from Jim who has never been elected to anything before, who is standing without the benefit of an established party. That is also something
entirely new in French politics and he's saying that he's going to clean up the system, get rid of a number of the Ps that have been in office for too
long and really change French politics for good.
So France really on the eve of what looks to be an enormous change.
JONES: That first round kicks off in a couple of days. Melissa Bell live for us there in Paris. Thank you.
And in the days ahead, we will be bringing you our in depth coverage of the run up to the
French election. Remember, France is a nuclear power and the world's sixth largest economy. So, what happens there really does matter. And there's
nowhere better to follow all of the action than right here on CNN.
And that's not all that we have got ahead for you. Up next, the latest world news headlines, plus getting stoned in Jerusalem. Hundreds of pot
smokers celebrate a new ruling outside of the Knesset. We'll go live there in just a moment.
[11:31:24] JONES: Hundreds of pot smokers are lighting up outside the Knesset in Jerusalem. They are celebrating the Israeli cabinet's decision
to decriminalize recreational marijuana use. Under the new policy, first time offenders will be fined around $250 for using pot in public, but they
won't face criminal charges.
CNN's Oren Liebermann joins me now from outside the Knesset. Oren, it's rare to get agreement across the political divide. So, how have they found
some common ground on cannabis?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A big step there was the ultra-orthodox health minister who signed off on medical marijuana and said
it was okay to pursue that as a medicine. And that opened the door a little bit to decriminalizing marijuana here. In fact, it's the only
fourth offense that will land you jail time now in Israel after it was decriminalized.
And that's what people here are celebrating, many here calling for full legalization of recreational marijuana use.
Legal or not, decriminalized or not, what we don't see here among hundreds of those marijuana
enthusiasts, we'll call them, are any police. There are some on the outskirts, but I've talked to organizers who have held this event before
who say the police seem to be much more laid back with a few hundred pot smokers here outside of the Knesset enjoying what has turned out to be a
lovely evening here in Jerusalem. Quite laid back I should point out, Hannah.
JONES: I imagine it is. Passive smoking there for you, Oren.
Aside from that, though, the financial incentives of this particular piece of legislation, how big a
market is there in marijuana? And how could Israel benefit from that?
LIEBERMANN: It's worth pointing out that it's not leverage, and this point it's a ruling or a decision from the public security minister to
decriminalize marijuana. And as you point out, it did get agreement from across the political spectrum here.
The big point that would bring the financial incentive is, is medical marijuana, and that is beginning to grow here again with the sign off of
the health ministry who said medical marijuana is kosher. It's okay to develop, it's OK to research here.
As for the number of medical marijuana users here, the number is somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000. It has grown dramatically over the past few
years. And that's where the financial incentive would be, especially as marijuana itself, or recreational use, hasn't been fully legalized.
But it seems, and these people are hopeful here, that the full legalization here may be coming at
some point down the road. At the moment, the market is medical marijuana where Israel remains a world leader in developing its uses for a number of
JONES: OK. Oren Liebermann live for us there in Jerusalem. Keep calm. Carry on.
Now, after days of tough talk on North Korea, our top story this hour. The Trump administration is tangling another adversary, this time it's Iran.
U.S. secretary of State Rex Tillerson is calling for a review of the 2015 nuclear deal, even though the State Department says Tehran is complying
with the rules.
President Trump's long criticized that deal, both on the campaign trail, and since he's taken office. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One of the worst deals I've ever seen is the Iran deal. My administration has already imposed new
sanctions on Iran and I will do more to prevent Iran from ever developing, I mean ever, a nuclear weapon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: There are other issues at stake as well. Iran has continued to test ballistic missiles, which was not part of the nuclear agreement, and
Iran is a key backer of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.
Well, overseas President Trump's actions will of course be closely watched. Remember that major powers, including the UK, Russia and China, were all
part of this 2015 nuclear agreement.
So to discuss this in more depth I'm joined by senior fellow policy and friend of the show Ellie Garamaya. Ellie, thanks very much for talking to
If it's accepted that Iran is indeed complying by the rules of this deal, what are the other threats that Iran are posing to the outside world that
aren't necessarily covered in this deal.
[11:35:27] ELLIE GARANMAYEH, EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Well, in Tillerson's remarks yesterday, he set out all of the threats that are
perceived by the U.S. administration that are not very different to what we've heard even in Obama's administration in terms of Iran's behavior in
the region, Iran's ballistic missiles program, Iran's human rights. But what was different about the speech, unlike his predecessor, he was linking
these behaviors directly to the nuclear deal.
Now all of the signatories to the deal, including the United States, had tried to separate the non-nuclear issues from the issues related to Iran's
nuclear program. So, what was happening now was a connection between the two.
We mentioned in the introduction there that it's not just the U.S. and Iran who have a stake in this particular deal. There are other countries as
From a European perspective, what do European nations need to do? What should they do in order to try to preserve this deal?
GARANMAYEH: Well, they have had a key stake in not only negotiating the deal, but also
putting in place the sanctions framework that they work together with the Obama administration on this.
So, they have had a high stake in this game. And so far they have been given assurance by the Trump administration that the U.S. would continue
abiding by the deal. But there are still some concerns surrounding what this review of this policy means and whether Mr. Tillerson's remarks
yesterday mean they won't continue to ease sanctions as they are committed to do so under the nuclear deal.
So what the Europeans really need to be doing is making their voices heard not only to the U.S. administration here, but to the U.S. congress as well
who has a heavy hand to play on the sanctions issue.
JONES: Yeah, extraordinary mixed messages, isn't it, coming from amazingly the State Department and U.S. secretary of state. Do you think this is a
deliberate move, deliberate rhetoric or are we talking about novice diplomats at play?
GARANMAYEH: Well, a day before Mr. Tillerson's remarks there was a statement certifying that Iran was abiding by the nuclear deal which made a
lot of people think that this was a premise to the continued easing of sanctions on Iran pursuant to the nuclear deal. And a day later we got
quite a different message from Mr. Tillerson.
Some people are thinking that this is actually a counter balancing act to say we're not cozying up to Iran from the United States White House, but
others are seeing this as, you know, the name of the game for this administration is unpredictability and putting everyone on edge and this is
another tactic that can be seen as pursuing that.
JONES: When we look at the makeup of the Middle East and the powers at play there, we think about Iran and we think about Russia as well. Now,
the U.S. has its own problems, ongoing problems with Russia. But why would baiting Tehran bring about progress as far as the United States is
concerned in say Syria?
GARANMAYEH: Well, they are looking at ways that they can isolate and marginalize Iran's role in Syria which from a U.S. perspective sees as
being unconstructive to the regional playing field.
Now, Russia the other big player in the Middle East takes a different role and views Iran in the region quite differently on that. So being able to
create a balance between what the U.S. sees and what Moscow sees is going to be a challenge going forward for this
JONES: I wonder if it gives us any indication as to whether regime change in Syria is at the top of the agenda for the United States. They're given
the fact that we've got the Iranians and the Russians both backing Bashar al-Assad. And now we've got the U.S. really going hard after Iran. Does
that suggest that his - that Assad's days are more than numbered when it comes to U.S. foreign policy?
GARANMAYEH: I mean, it's very hard to draw those kind of conclusions and despite the U.S. strikes in Syria, they were pretty low cost on the regime
in Damascus and pretty low cost for Russian assets and Iranian assets.
So, unless there's a political strategy attached to these bombing campaigns, and given that the
military effect has been quite low cost there's very little conclusion to draw for the (inaudible) United States.
JONES: We talked a lot about what the United States and what everyone else wants out of this deal. But what do the Iranians want? I mean, presumably
they're saying, well, we lived up to our side of the bargain. We want these sanctions to continued to be dropped.
They must feel hard done by?
GARANMAYEH: Well, Iran's foreign minister today tweeted essentially that the United States is the party who needs to continue abiding by the deal.
And you know we heard a lot of messages from Iran to say when we were negotiating this deal everyone doubted Iran's predictability adhering to
this deal, now we've had over a year of international inspections verifying that Iran is adhering, but there's very little control in adherence on the
So, what they want to see is commitment from the other signatories that they will continue to abide by the deal even if there's unreasonable
behavior from the United States on their part and that sanctions and economic trade that was legitimized under the nuclear deal continue to
JONES: OK. Talks coming up on the status of the deal as well in the coming months. Ellie Garamayeh, thanks very much for coming in and
speaking to us about this.
Now, live from London you're watching Connect the World. Still to come on the program, the boss of Emirates tells CNN what he would have done in
response to the passenger incident on United Airlines. Find out what ahead.
And later, he was the face of Fox News, but now suddenly Bill O'Reilly is out of a job. Find out why.
JONES: You're watching CNN and this is Connect the World. I'm Hannagh Vaughan Jones live in London for you. Welcome back to the show.
In an interview with CNN, the president of Emirates Airline says if what happened on United
Airlines flight had happened under his watch, he would have resigned. Tim Clark says the video that
shows Dr. David Dao being dragged off a plane in Chicago shamed the industry. We'll hear more from him about that in a moment.
But first we had to ask the Emirates president about the U.S. restrictions that led his airline to cut the number of flights to America. Here he is
with our John Defterios.
CLARK: All the areas that we clustered together in this particular time, whether it be the laptop ban, whether it be the visa requirements, H1B
visas, et cetera, but there are unintended consequences. And whether or not the United States government chooses to look at those and see where it
is affecting them possibly adversely, it's not for Emirates and it's not for the airline community, there are many stakeholders in this, the
hospitality segment who also be passing out the same messages.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN MONEY: You said this was not a commercial decision, but in a
statement from the lobbying group supporting the three U.S. carriers they said that demand has never played a role in the decision of the Gulf
carriers. It seems like there's commercial influence behind-the-scenes, then.
CLARK: Well, all I can say is they would say that anyway. They use any opportunity to spend a lot of time throwing bricks at us. It is clear that
we do not put $400 million assets in to places that are not is going give us a return on investment. One would hope they have better things to do with their time but clearly they haven't.
DEFTERIOS: Doesn't your decision to reduce some of the frequency into the United States play into the hands of the three major U.s. carriers that
want to see you reduce your presence overall?
CLARK: Well, I'm sure they are delighted, but be careful because we'll be back.
DEFTERIOS: Over which period of time would you suggest?
CLARK: I would say that we will see how the summer goes. We will continue to grow our product and our presence in the United States throughout the
cities that we're already serving and others to come.
DEFTERIOS: United Airlines and its treatment of that passenger because of the overbooking has been a huge story in the United States. What's your
CLARK: Let me say it was a disgrace. It shamed the airline industry as a whole. We don't go about our business in that way. Its symptomatic of a
corporate culture within that company from the board and chief executive downwards. And therefore had it been me in that position, I would have had
blue flashing lights on cars going right the way through the company to find out how this could have been allowed to happen in the first place.
That was probably the last thing I would do before I resigned.
DEFTERIOS: So, you're suggesting that you should have a rethink about who is running United Airlines at this stage after those incidents, it's not
CLARK: It seems to me that there is a cultural issue where the customer is clearly not at the
heart of the business. and that's where it should be in our business.
The brand damage it did, the market cap effect it had, with significant amounts of money, that would be for me if I was sitting on the board a very
Most importantly, how did it happen? Why did it happen? And who allowed it to happen? And that it was an acceptable incident in the sense of the
first response from the company was almost to blame the passenger for the incident.
It's totally unacceptable. That is not the way to go.
JONES: John Defterios there with the Emirates boss. Very interesting.
And if you want to hear more on that interview fly over to where else but CNNMoney.com. All the latest and greatest news from the world of business
always lands right there.
Now before we move, a quick note. Travel to America is going through something of a Trump
slump. The travel website Forwardkeys.com says bookings to the United States have gone down more than 6 percent since the president first
announced his travel ban. And that can translate to a whopping 4.5 million fewer visitors in 2017, something to ponder for the White House there.
Coming up, he was the most powerful personality on Fox News. Now Bill O'Reilly is out, his show canceled. We'll tell you why next.
JONES: Welcome back to the program. Sources tell CNN 21st Century Fox will pay Bill O'Reilly tens of millions of dollars after he leaves the
network. For years, he was the top talent of the Fox News lineup, but today he's out of a job forced to leave over allegations of sexual
harassment that have been kept secret for years.
Our Brian Stelter has the details.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bill O'Reilly's two-decade reign as the king of FOX News coming to abrupt end.
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, FOX NEWS: Bill O'Reilly, the biggest star in the 20- year history of FOX News, is leaving the network in the wake of mounting allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct.
STELTER: His namesake show cancelled among growing sexual harassment allegations from women associated with the network. FOX News quickly
removing the anchor's name from his show, Rupert Murdoch and his sons, who lead 21st Century FOX, announcing the decision in a statement on Wednesday
that, in quotes, "After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Bill O'Reilly will not be
returning to the FOX News Channel. This decision follows an extensive review done in collaboration with outside counsel."
O'Reilly, who has been on vacation for a week overseas, dismissed the accusations in a statement. It is tremendously disheartening that we part
ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. That statement,
a sharp contrast to a "New York Times" investigation, which this month, revealed that O'Reilly and 21st Century FOX have paid out $13 million in
settlements to women who have lodged sexual harassment claims against O'Reilly.
[11:50:41 LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY: This is a disgusting human being. These women not only stood up for their rights not to be sexually harassed by
their boss, but they were then driven out of FOX News and driven out of the television industry entirely.
STELTER: It was only nine months ago that FOX News chief Roger Ailes was ousted by the Murdochs after his own firestorm of sexual harassment claims.
President Trump stood by Ailes, who also denied the accusations, and just two weeks ago, defended O'Reilly, a friend of 30 years in a "New York
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's a good person. I think he may -- I think he shouldn't have settled, personally. He shouldn't
have settled. I don't think Bill would do anything wrong.
STELTER: Critics wondering if this latest firing by the Murdochs goes far enough in addressing what they see as a systemic problem at the network.
REP. MAXINE WATERS, (D) CALIFORNIA: Let me just say this. The day will come when rich persons with rich men won't be able to buy their way out of
this criminal activity. And they will go to jail, and they should go to jail.
JONES: Brian Stelter reporting there.
Let's take a closer look now, CNN media and politics reporter Dylan Byers joins me from Los Angeles. Dylan, good to have you on the program. Let's
talk about this payoff. I mean, I was hearing tens of millions of dollars at stake. Do you have any more details on that, or indeed that backlash
that this sort of payoff might get?
DYLAN BYERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the backlash will be immense. As for the exact total amount of money that Bill O'Reilly was the highest paid
figure in cable news. His contract was well north of $20 million. It was a high possibility it's $25 million a year. It just resigned his contract
with the company, again, despite the fact that the company knew about many of these settlements, was even involved in many of these settlements that
were paid out to his accusers.
So, you look at a three year contract. You're talking about $20 million, $25 million, all of a sudden you're looking at figures 50, 60, $75 million
perhaps that Bill O'Reilly could walk away with here. No doubt the fact that he is leaving the company is seen as a sign of progress for his
accusers and for many others, but the fact that he's walking away with so much money, I think, will, you know, I think it's cause for concern that so
many powerful figures who are forced to leave their companies amid sexual harassment allegations, you know, go away with these golden parachutes.
JONES: Yeah, it's extraordinary sums of money we're talking about, isn't it?
What about the reaction from other staffers inside Fox. Is there a sense that this is the house of cards that's come tumbling down.
BYERS: Yes, there is - I think more than anything there's a sense of relief. I will say based off of my reporting conversations with many
sources within Fox News recently and over the years there weren't a lot of people inside that building who liked Bill O'Reilly. He was is not a very
well respected figure not just because of the fact that he was sort of divisive on camera, but just his personality.
And obviously there were a lot of women, perhaps more than accused him of wrongdoing, there were a lot of women who were uncomfortable with the way
he behaved in the workplace. And we're beginning to see that sort of come out. We're beginning to see more women speak up now that he is
I think the question right now for people inside of Fox is what is our future? What does our future look like without Bill O'Reilly who is the
face of this network for decades and what does it took like without our former CEO Roger Ailes who left under his own cloud of sexual allegations
nine months ago.
And that's to be determined. That's really the million dollar question. They are going to continue to try to be the voice for conservative
Americans in this country, but that's harder to do without star power like O'Reilly.
JONES: It will be interesting to see how Fox's organization responds to this. Dylan Byers, thanks very much for your analysis. We appreciate it.
BYERS: Thank you.
JONES: Now we are coming to you live from London today where as some of you may know it can get pretty nippy at times. And I guess that's why they
call it Great Britain.
You would think someone should be shown the door for that one? Well, you and me both.
But it is colder elsewhere, of course as you can now see in these stunning images of mountains of ice, beautiful plentiful sometimes deadly drifting
in the waters off Canada's east coast.
It's a place known as Iceberg Alley, but even in a place with so many icebergs, when this one
floated up and got stuck near land there was bumper to bumper traffic as people stopped to try to snap the iceberg up close. Take all their photos,
and we're so glad they did, of course. Amazing stuff and amazing shots for the rest of us to enjoy.
Now, for more incredible photos from around the world, you can click your way to our Facebook.com/CNNconnect. Plus, stories you won't find anywhere
else but online. So, do go over to that page.
Well, that was Connect the World. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in chilly London. It was great to have you with us even this evening. Up next, it's
all aboard the Quest express for the most fun you can have while getting all the latest from the world of business.