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CONNECT THE WORLD

Deadline Extended for Doha; Social Media Lifeline For Those Trapped in Raqqa; Top Four Men All Healthy for Start of Wimbledon; Venus, Kvitova Favorites on Women's Site; Iran Signs First Western Business Contract Since Sanctions Lifted. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired July 3, 2017 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:00:11] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: A deadline extended and a response delivered the Qatari foreign minister visiting mediator Kuwait this hour.

We are live in Doha and here in Abu Dhabi for the details on what is this Gulf crisis.

Also, a furious fallout to an anti-media post but the U.S. president tweets on. Reaction and analysis on this show.

Plus...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Every day I live in fear for tomorrow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: In their own words, we get an exclusive insight into the plight of people trapped inside ISIS-held Raqqa.

Hello and welcome. You're watching Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson in the UAE. It is just after 7:00 in the evening.

Now a chance so far, at least, that's basically been all that Qatar has to say on these demands from its neighbors. In just the last few hours, it's

put that feeling, we can only imagine, much more eloquently with its foreign minister flying in to Kuwait, the main go between in this mess to

hand delier its full response.

It was only able to do that because the Saudi-led faction against it pushed back its deadline by two days -- new time, that is quickly running out.

In the meantime, those neighbors are now waving this around: pages of names, dates, even photos of people in groups they claim are terrorists and

who they allege Qatar looks after.

All the while, this: ring, ring, it's for you and you and you. The American president picking up the phone to the Qataris, the Saudis, and the

Emiratis trying to straighten all this out.

Well, Connect the World as you would expect is all over this story for you. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is out in Doha. Nic Robertson with me here in Abu

Dhabi.

Jomana, let's start with you. We know that the foreign minister of Qatar has been in Kuwait, a country mediating this mess. We know that a letter

has been delivered. What do we know about what is in that letter responding to these 13 grievances?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, I don't think we know right now what the exact content of that letter is, but we do

know that it iis a response to that list of 13 demands. We know that it was handwritten by the ruler of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim and hand delivered

today by the foreign minister, as you mentioned, to the emir to Kuwait, the main mediator in this crisis.

Some sources we've spoken to here are indicating that the format, possibly, of that letter is not a yes or no response to each of those demands, it's

more of a detailed response to each of them. But I think, Becky, it is safe to assume at this point that the Qataris are not going to be agreeing

to those demands, whether that deadline was extended or not.

Of course, we know they haven't come out and completely objected this outright, but they have been indicating what their position is throughout

this crisis and especially after they received that list of demands. They say that they will not be accepting unrealistic demands as they have

described them. We've heard the foreign minister reiterating that point over the weekend, saying that this was a list that was made to be rejected.

And that Qatar will not be agreeing to demands that they feel or targeting its foreign policy, forcing the country to change its foreign policy, or

stripping it of its sovereignty. But they have said again this weekend saying that they are open for dialogue and negotiation, Becky.

ANDERSON: Again, they are open for negotiation.

What we do know, then, at this stage -- because there's an awful lot that we don't know -- thank you, Jomana, Nick, is that a letter has been

delivered, a deadline has been extended. We know from the foreign minister of Saudi that there is no negotiation on these demands. And we are pretty

confidence, I think you and I would agree, that the Qataris are not prepared to back down.

[11:05:02] NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: And certainly that's been the message that's come from Turkey as well, because

of course one of Turkey's -- one of the demands was that Turkey pull its troops out of a base in Qatar. So that does seem to be the message.

I think we're all a little perplexed about why the 48 hour deadline, because we understood the deadline to be Monday, and the clock was ticking,

and the letter was delivered Monday so why the 48 hours? Is there another phase of this to come. It's hard to judge because we don't know what's in

the document.

But what we do know is that the Saudis, the Emiratis, the Bahrainis and the Egyptians at the foreign minister level will get together in Cairo early on

Wednesday to discuss this and come up with their next move, if you will.

Of course, the demands were leaked. What remains to be seen is the response going to be leaked? So far, clearly not.

ANDERSON: Yeah, we don't know what this letter says, as we've pointed out. We also don't know, as you were just eluding to, what the next steps are

if, indeed, Qatar is refusing to budge on these demands.

We've all been talking to our sources, trying to get to the bottom of what is the possible next phase. What's your best guess at this point?

ANDERSON: A tightening of the financial screws is one option on the table, and a proposal from the Saudi-Emirati side that you can get around some of

these issues, the concerns about financing terrorist groups by overseeing financial institutions, by making sure that those monies don't leak out of

the country, that you can correct the issue of -- the perception of what's on al Jazeera by having -- that western-backed monitoring there, U.S.,

European.

That the issue of terrorists, for example, designated terrorists living in the country that there would be process, an internationally monitored

process to allow a legal cases to begin again. So, these are some of the things.

But it's not even clear, you know, what the language of Qatar's response is I think is going to determine, therefore, the language of the response that

comes.

ANDERSON: The language, Jomana, of this response is likely to be along the lines of, for example, these demands fail under this sort of framework of

respect and sovereignty of states. They've been very quick to suggest that these demands are a breach of international law. But let me put this to

you. I want to get your -- what the perspective in Qatar is, for example, to these. This is a list of a number of designated characters who are

either seen as terrorists or are in support of terrorism. It's some of the few intelligence that has actually been released by the Saudi-led quartet.

Saudi Arabia calling on Qatar to act against named terrorists. This is the details of more than the 59 individuals and 12 entities identified 10 days

ago as terrorists.

Released at the time, as I say, not much intel to back up the demands from this quartet, but this document does exist. How do the Qataris respond to

this?

KARADSHEH: Quite dismissive, Becky, of this list. They do confirm that five of the individuals on this list have gone through a Qatari process

that they have been -- you know, they went through whatever the legal process is here. They say that some of those people are under surveillance

at all times and that everything is being monitored when it comes to these individuals. When it comes to others on the list, including entities, they

basically are describing this as a witch hunt. They say that there is no evidence against some of those individuals and some of those entities, but

they're only confirming five of those. And they say that they have acted against them.

And they also say, Becky, that they have, you know, the United States has complimented Qatar in the past on what it has been doing. For example,

they say that they are the only country in this region that has a special envoy who deals with the issue of combating terrorist funding.

So, they think that they have been making steps towards this issue of fighting extremism. They say that this is not just a Qatar issue, that

this is an issue in other countries in this region, too, and that they cannot be singled out. While they believe they have made an effort already

to fight this issue.

ANDERSON: And so it continues the next iteration of this, a meeting of foreign ministers of this quartet. That is Saudi, the UAE, Bahrain and

Egypt in Cairo on Wednesday.

To both of you, thank you.

Well, this is the story of a lifetime. And it's not going anywhere, and neither are we. Connect the World, going full steam ahead on this. Myself

and my team here and around the world, I'm going to keep bringing you the biggest hit as foreign ministers, ambassadors, and analysts from both sides

all this week and beyond, so do stay with us for that.

In France, a man has been charged with a plot to assassinate French President Emmanuel Macron. Well, authorities say the 23 year old was

planning the attack on Bastille Day on July 14.

Now, it comes as Mr. Macron delivers a rare state of the nation address, complete with pomp and ceremony at the palace of Versailles. He told

lawmakers France is ready to embark on, quote, a radically new path. And he said he was elected to reform France and that, he says, is what he will

do.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): I stand here for a profound transformation and change, especially in the light of recent

years where the results have been disappointing, the results of government.

The people trust us and are giving us the strength -- the strength we need to realize our ideals.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, let's get you to Versailles and speak to CNN's Melissa Bell. Let's put some flesh on the bones, as it were. What does he mean?

What are we going to see in France going forward?

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think you're going to see something radically different from what you've seen before. That was very

much the sense of the hour-and-a-half speak that he made here a short while ago, Becky, profound changes about how France will govern. He's going to

cut the number of parliamentarians by a third. And he was speaking after all to those very parliamentarians, a joint session of parliament,

something that's very rare in French politics that Emmanuel Macron intends to make annual, a sort of American style state of the union address.

And this was really the first time that we'd heard from him. He was elected just under two months ago. He's put together his government. He's

held parliamentary elections. And all that ambition that we heard in his most improbable political campaign, that many had imagined was absolutely

impossible from the start, and that had led him not only to the French presidency, but to have the strongest majority, really, of any other

president in the Fifth Republic, all of that power was what he was describing here today, all of that power and what he intends to do with it.

And it is, I think, a profound shakeup of France economically, socially, politically, that you're likely to see over the coming months.

This has been a fair amount of controversy, though, about the very forum of this speech, Becky, a fair amount of controversy about that power that

Emmanuel Macron now holds in his hand. Here's a look back at the last couple of months.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC)

BELL (voice-over): From his first determined steps as France's president- elect, Emmanuel Macron has sought not so much as to fill the role as to redefine it. France's youngest ever president seems also to want to be the

strongest since the founder of the fifth republic, Charles de Gaulle.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Congratulations. Great job.

BELL: Through his handshakes with other world leaders, like Donald Trump at the NATO summit in May, and Vladimir Putin, who was welcomed there five

days later and then given a lecture on human rights, Macron has not hesitated to impose himself on the world stage. Going so far as to twist

Donald Trump's campaign slogan after the American withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, in an address to the world, delivered in English.

MACRON: Make our planet great again.

(MUSIC)

BELL: And nationally, Emmanuel Macron has also shaken up the established order. Having seen off the mainstream parties in his campaign, his movement

won an unprecedented victory in June's parliamentary elections, handing him an absolute and historic majority.

In his new official portrait, Charles de Gaulle's memoirs sit on the desk behind Macron, a portrait that's been described as more imperial than

presidential.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BELL: Now that, Becky, is a criticism that's been made over and over again. And once again when the announcement was made that this joint

session was going to be held here at Versailles today, some MPs chose to boycott it, believing that Emmanuel Macron is really becoming more regal,

perhaps, than simply presidential.

But really what you heard here from him today in the content of that speech was that it is that power, that real definition of the very role of the

French presidency that he believes is necessary to reform a country that simply hasn't been reformed in decades.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Melissa, what do we know of this plot to assassinate Macron? And what of the general security atmosphere ahead of

Bastille Day, July 14, which of course Macron has extended an invitation to the U.S. president for -- to join him for celebrations?

[11:15:08] BELL: You could imagine security here will be extremely tight for that visit. Emmanuel Macron extending that invitation, something of a

coup for this young president that Donald Trump should have accepted, Donald Trump, who will be taking part, then, celebrating the 14th of July,

which afterall, Becky, is a celebration of those very principles borne of a French revolution that have tied the United States to Europe, that have

underpinned the creation of things like NATO and United Nations. It will be a fascinating spectacle to watch.

But of course security very tight. The state of emergency here in France has been extended. In fact, Emmanuel Macron announced here today that he

would be seeking to have sit lifted by the autumn. But this is a country that has lived, will have lived, under a state of emergency for two years.

Extremely tight security.

And you mentioned that 23-year-old who was arrested last week. We learned over the course of the weekend that's now been confirmed to us. The man

who claims to be a right-wing activist, a man who was hoping to carry out some sort of terror plot on the 14th of July. We don't know precisely,

Becky, just how elaborate or far advanced his plot has been. But, clearly, the police security forces keeping an extremely close eye on people in the

runup to the 14th of July. This here, in particular.

ANDERSON: Melissa Bell is in Versailles for you in France. Thank you.

You're watching Connect the World live from Abu Dhabi. I'm Becky Anderson. Lots more ahead this hour. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Eighteen minutes past 7:00 in the UAE, in the Gulf.

Iraqis getting ready to celebrate a victory three years in the making as Iraqi troops appear to be on the verge of pushing ISIS out of Mosul.

The terror group is still putting up a fierce fight in the city, but look at this. All of that green area was once an ISIS stronghold. Now, the

militants boxed into a few hundred meters of the old city. You can see it there right along the Tigris River. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh joining us now

with the very latest. He's in Irbil to the east of Mosul -- Nick.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, as you say, we're down to the last hundreds of meters here now. And there will come a

point surely in which ISIS's defenses inside that tiny pocket of what is increasingly becoming rubble actually collapse.

These are fighters who have committed, clearly, to fighting to the death, many of them will, in fact, turn out to be suicide bombers, the fear is.

But at some point, of course, they'll run out of bullets or resources or simply water, potentially, the question then really is how long until that

moment? And what does that spell for the thousands of civilians who could still be trapped in that ruinous area with them?

We've seen people pouring out between gaps in the rubble over the past weeks and months speaking of the hell they've endured, how they've simply

lived off water, some of them. But this is now the very final chapter, really. And even though the old city may well be cleared in the next hours

or days ahead, it really isn't clear -- this is how war, sadly, works -- there is still a substantial challeng for Iraq after that. That's possibly

when maybe the hardest work for society and for the politicians actually begin.

Once the military bloodshed is behind them, what do they do to heal the rift between Sunni and Shia, the two important parts of any ethnic makeup

of Iraq that have always really been vying for power to some degree in the country. The Sunnis, many of them, the extremer wings, providing support

to ISIS, allowing them into their towns. The Shia, now, making up so much of the military and the government.

They have to find some way to reconcile. They have to also find a way to rebuild, because at this point there are hundreds of thousands of Iraqis

who have been kicked out of Mosul and the surrounding areas, possibly as many as 900,000 say the UN who need to go back to their homes. They can't

do that, because so much of the area they've come from is rubble right now. There are still booby traps there. The fighting is still ongoing.

And they're now facing potentially years of ISIS becoming a low level insurgency, of sleeper cells, suicide bombers, attacks against civilian

targets. Iraq's history has been bloody. It may continue to be very troublesome indeed, but there is a brief moment, perhaps, that politicians

in the days ahead can declare some sense of victory, or at least accomplishment -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh in Irbil for you in Iraq.

Well, ISIS under pressure in Syria as well. Coalition forces pushing in to the city that ISIS declared as its capital, Raqqa. But those caught there

live in constant danger. In a CNN exclusive, we meet a woman who escaped Syria, but whose daughter is trapped in Raqqa and she told Atika Shubert

social media have become their lifeline.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: : As coalition forces circle the ISIS capital of Raqqa, somewhere in the city the daughter

records messages, she begs for help, whispers for rescue from ISIS and airstrikes. Her mother weeps as she listens.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, TRAPPED IN RAQQA (through translator): Get me out of this horrible situation. I am tired. My son is exhausted. Get me out of

here! I beg you!

SHUBERT: Watha is not the mother's real name. She does not want to be identified fearing ISIS will target her daughter. But her voice and enough

to understand the horror of life in Raqqa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, (through translator): when you go to the market to buy food and other things, you see a hand here, a leg here, a head there that

ISIS has left. We used to drink coffee there. Now it's full of bodies.

SHUBERT: Watha has already lost one daughter to the sea when she fled for Greece. The boat sank and the little girl drowned. She was two and a half

years old. Her body washed up on the shore months later, now buried on the Greek island of Chios. Now Watha is determined not to lose her eldest

daughter in Raqqa, to get her out. The 23-year-old had tried to leave, but ISIS arrested her, then beheaded, her husband. Her son, Watha's first

grandchild, is almost two years old.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, (through translator): I'm exhausted, mom. I can't bear this life anymore. My son is sick, and there's no medicine or clean water

or anything for my child.

SHUBERT: You've never seen your grandson before.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): No, I haven't seen him. My dear, I wake up in sadness. I go to bed in sadness. I don't know any other

emotion than sadness. Every day I live in fear of tomorrow.

SHUBERT: But when you see those photos and you get those messages, it gives you hope that it might be possible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): When I see the pictures, my heart breaks into pieces. There is no hope. The only hope is their voice. The

only hope I have are their voices.

SHUBERT: You cannot see her face, but Watha weeps as she talks. She clutches at her phone and her heart, filled with hope and dread at every

new message. She doesn't respond straightaway, but only once her voice is steady.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Sweetie, the most important thing is that you take care of yourself. And god willing, as I promised, I will

come and get you. God will come and get you and we will see each other again. Stay strong.

[11:25:10] SHUBERT: A mother's plea only one voice of so many struggling to be heard amid the terrifying noise of war.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We moved to another place today, I don't know when I'll be able to get online again. The army (ISIS) is all

over the place.

SHUBERT: Atika Shubert, CNN, Netherlands.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Wel, you can read more of Maha's (ph) messages to her mother online. See our story "Mama, save me," exclusively on CNN.com.

World news headlines -- I'll put my teeth back in for you during this break -- are next.

Plus, he says he wants to focus on jobs, ISIS, and so much else, and yet Donald Trump is back on Twitter today attacking his favorite target. Guess

who? We'll take a closer look at his war on the media up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(HEADLINES)

[11:30:08] ANDERSON: Well, Mr. Trump has a lot of other challenges on his plate as well. CNN's Phil Mattingly live on Capitol Hill with an update.

And a week when the president is due to travel to Europe for a very big meeting of the leaders of the leading 20 global countries. He has these

efforts to overhaul health care overshadowing his domestic entree. What's the later there?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Still moving, and still working, and still no clear pathway to the votes they need to actually get this done.

It's the interesting element here that any president obviously juggling multiple things at one time, obviously a huge foreign policy week ahead for

the president. But behind the scenes really his domestic policy, and kind of the crowning achievement they're hoping to have at least early in his

first term, is still on the ropes.

As you talk to Senate GOP aides, Senate Republicans who are working on this process, right now they are home for recess. They are not in Washington,

but the work continues. And the reality remains that they aren't there yet. There's a lot of work that still needs to be done.

You have more moderate Senators who believe that the health care bill simply goes too far. You have Congressional Budget Office numbers that

show as many as 22 million individuals fewer would have insurance by 2026 under this proposal. There would be significant reductions in spending for

Medicaid, a really crucial program for a lot of these Senators. So, for their purposes, behind the scenes, they're trying to add more money to this

bill, try and make a softer landing for these very largescale reforms to Medicaid that we're seeing right now.

On the other side of the ideological debate, you have conservatives, Republicans as well, who want the bill to go further in cutting back the

Affordable Care Act, kind of the crowning achievement of the Obama administration.

So, as long as these two very kind of ideological divides sit on opposite sides of the fence, Republicans are having very real problems, and for the

president right now, even with senators not in Washington. The reality remains that they're just not there yet. And they're not sure a pathway

exists, to be frank, Becky.

ANDERSON: Phil Mattingly is on the story for you out of Washington. Phil, thank you for that.

President Trump firing off new tweets this morning, once again taking the media to task. He write at some point, the fake news will be forced to

discuss our great jobs, numbers, strong economy, success with ISIS, the border and so much else. But of course, he, himself steered the

conversation away from substantive issues with an earlier tweet taken straight from the playbook of pro-wrestling. It shows a doctored video of

President Trump pummeling a man with a CNN logo over his face.

Well, many Americans are appalled and outraged. Some of Mr. Trump's supporters say they need to lighten up.

Let's get some perspective now from CNN political commentator Sally Kohn, columnist for the Daily Beast. Sally, disgraceful is the overwhelming

reaction on the president's platform of choice, Twitter, in response to that latest salvo against the -- against the media, specifically CNN, in

the mocked up wrestling match.

But there will be those, of course, who say lighten up and, you know, don't say anything wrong with it.

The issue is this, though, isn't it? As much as the president, his naysayers accuse him of not getting on with the job, I have to say that the

media itself is consumed with what the president says across Twitter these days, and is also, it could be suggested, you know, playing slim on some

substantive issues itself.

SALLY KOHN, THE DAILY BEAST: I mean -- OK, so there's so much to unpack here.

First of all, just for Trump, right, the irony here is he's complaining about the media coverage, which is literally at this point it's almost like

taken ripped from the headlines of his own tweets. So, if he doesn't like the coverage stop tweeting the things.

The question, then, becomes either is he is worst enemy? This is like -- this is, if you'll forgive the metaphor, the Kremlinology of the inner

workings of Trump's mind, such as it is. And the question is, is he his own worst enemy? He just can't help himself. He keeps sending these

ridiculous tweets that distract from his agenda. Or, is that his goal all along? Because the fact of the matter is his base might -- the people who

actually voted for him, who wanted him to do things, like it or not, what they wanted him to do, but wanted him to do things in office, if they were

paying attention to the legitimate press reports they would see that his agenda is failing on every measurable level, that he can't get anything

done. And his answer to that may, in fact, be instead of, I don't know becoming a better president and growing up and growing into the role, to

just attack the media and make his base doubt the reports of his -- please, go ahead.

[11:35:06] ANDERSON: Yeah, and -- sorry, you're making some really valid and good points. If I was to play devil's advocate here, I could say that

why doesn't the media just completely ignore ignore what he says on Twitter. Why doesn't the media get on with covering the stories of

substance, which might just possibly, who knows, persuade him that he needs to get back to the job at hand which is if he is pointing at himself --

jobs, making America great again, health care, that sort of thing.

KOHN: I think that's a really brilliant thought experiment. Let's try it.

I mean, this is how -- this is how races to the bottom happen, right. It only takes one person sinking that low. And so if, you know, we saw this

with the, you know, British -- the British spy service linked dossier on Trump and his activities and Russia. It only took one news outlet,

Buzzfeed, deciding to publish it, but then everyone was discussing it.

So, you know, the sort of holding the line thing requires, actually, the media saying like, no, we're -- all of us saying we're no longer going to

give you that oxygen for these tweets.

I mean, it's this -- and by the way, I'm not drawing this analogy at all in terms of the substance of their behaviors, but it's somewhat akin to when

we publicize, as the media, when we publicize terrorist incidents. You know, we know that what terrorists want is publicity, so when we give, you

know, around the clock, 24 hour coverage to terrorist incidents, particularly in the western world, we're giving them what they want.

When we, as the media, jump on and dissect for hours on end, Trump's tweets we're arguably giving him what he wants.

Now, the problem is that the one group are terrorists we can't even stop ourselves from, you know, the ratings and the publicity and the attention

to feed their whims. The other one is the president of the United States, are arguably -- the argument against what I'm saying is, it is news when he

tweets, right. It is. I mean, so, the question becomes sort of is it really the job of the media to become the arbiter of taste, of morality,

let alone of democracy and civil decency and to start drawing these lines or not? And that -- and honestly this is a really tough one.

ANDERSON: Yeah, no. And you are making -- yep, these are all questions that I think, you know, are definitely worth discussion.

Sally, I want to show our viewers another take on a U.S. president getting into a fight. You've probably seen this. The former White House

photographer Peter Sousa tweeted this throwback picture to the video that we were showing earlier. It shows former President Barack Obama raising

his fist, smiling as he shares a fist bump with a medical worker. The caption: "fighting for a good cause: health care."

It does seem timely, doesn't it, to remind ourselves of that image, whether you agree with the president and his position on health care or not, it is

a timely reminder of the juxtaposition, perhaps, between the former president and the U.S. President Donald Trump.

KOHN: Look, even -- they won't do it maybe sometimes publicly, but behind closed doors even the most staunch conservatives and Tea Party folks,

whatever, will say, look, you know Barack Obama was scandal free. He was presidential. He upheld the standards of the office. He was dignified in

office. Things that didn't seem like the highest bar, highest standard at the time, but now we long for those days.

So, you know, there's a kind of parlor game you can play if you're watching American politics, which is every single thing Donald Trump does or tweets

or says just imagine if the same thing were to emerge, were to have happened coming from President Obama, and to imagine for a second the

incredible outrage if Barack Obama had, for instance, tweeted a picture of him punching Fox News, which would be the analog, right, or I don't know,

gone to an event for veterans and use that event to attack the media, which is what Donald Trump did a few days ago.

In any of these situations, the right would be legitimately, I would agree, I would say, I would be outraged. They would be outraged. But this sort

of giving Donald Trump a constant pass for behavior that is beneath the standards of our presidency, honestly beneath the standards of a toddler,

that -- it's a sad statement on how partisan we've become and how blinded we've become to our own politics.

ANDERSON: It is 11:39 a.m. in New York. Who knows what we'll get on that social media platform of choice later, because it's only mid-morning in the

U.S. It's a pleasure having you on. Thank you.

[11:40:10] KOHN: Nice to be on with you.

ANDERSON: Still to come, Iran signing an historic deal -- thank you -- with a major western company. The details of the multi-billion dollar

agreement and its significance just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: You're with CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. It is just before quarter to 8:00 here in the evening in Abu

Dhabi.

Our top story this hour, the mess that is the Gulf crisis, the bitter dispute between the quartet of Arab states, led by Saudi on the one hand,

and Qatar on the other, Doha delivering its response in the past couple of hours to demands from its erstwhile allies to stop funding terrorism and

drop its ties with not least Iran just across the Persian Gulf.

Well, I want to tell you about something that is a really big deal, literally. Iran itself has just signed a multi-billion dollar energy

agreement, the first, with a western company since world powers rolled back sanctions as Iran scaled back its nuclear program.

You rely on us to connect the world, and that is what we're doing.

The agreement is with French oil giant Total, along with Iran's Petropars and the national -- sorry, the China National Petroleum Corporation. It

will develop the south pars natural gas field, the largest in the world.

For context and some consequences at what is an incredibly important time in this part of the world, John Defterios with the details for us from

London.

John, why in the first instance is this deal significant in the broader context with Iran and the nuclear agreement?

[11:45:00] JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, I think you nailed it in the lead-in there, Becky. In fact, this is a first western

agreement in the post-sanctions era. So, it is a landmark deal in that context.

It's not a new one, to be candid, but it took awhile for it get finalized. This was announced back in November during a major oil conference. In

fact, where you're sitting in Abu Dhabi ahead of that deal, but it took the sanctions waiver from the Trump administration, which happened just over a

month ago, to give an absolute green light for Total to proceed.

Now, the CEO of Total, Patrick Pouyanne, was suggesting he didn't have to worry too much about Washington, but he did want to make sure that the

European governments, the signatories to the P5+1 agreement, were in alignment. Let's take a listen to what he had to say today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PATRICK POUYANNE, CEO, TOTAL: Of course, I have been very transparent with all the political authorities. And I have told them that we were

(inaudible) to sign. But I don't need their approval, you know, and I'm not sure I will have the approval of everybody, by the way. But if I'm here,

it's because I'm convinced that we have, of course, the support of the French government, of the European governments.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEFTERIOS: Patrick Pouyanne suggested he'll live to the letter of the law even when it comes to the U.S. Treasury. Becky, here's the structure of

the deal, how they break down the ownership of the field. It is Total with just about 50 percent, as you suggested the Chinese National Petroleum

Company at 30 percent and the local partner, Petropars, just under 20 percent.

The initial investment is $2 billion, but the life of the fields, some 20 years, they're suggesting that the value should be pegged at $54 billion.

And that's pegged at the lower oil prices, the lower gas prices of today.

We often talk about Qatar and sharing that peeled with Iran and South pars (ph). This is a field that's not shared with anyone else, and Iran sits on

some 18 percent of the proven gas reserves of the world, 9 percent of the proven oil reserves. And this is a landmark. It breaks that ice in terms

of the investment coming in to Iran in the post-sanctions era. And I thought it was fascinating that Total and China signed on today when we

have the chaos taking place, the tensions taking place, of course, amongst the Gulf players of Qatar.

ANDERSON: Yeah, no, fascinating.

We've got a new crown prince, of course, in place in Saudi. And this, the first economic snapshot that we've had since he's been in that position.

It's not a good one when you reflect about this from the perspective of Riyadh. John, very briefly, what's the score here, then?

DEFTERIOS: Well, we often talk what's the impact of $50 oil or less? This is evidence of that with oil hovering around $45 a barrel, the economic

scorecard for Saudi Arabia in the first quarter was a contraction of 0.5 percent. Becky, that's the first time since 2009 that it's happened, since

the global financial crisis when oil prices plummeted down to the low 30s from $147 a barrel.

I think it's significant, particularly from Mohammed bin Salman, having moved into the position of Crown Prince, he's promising diversification in

the Vision 2030 plan, but he's also promising better job growth, better economic growth, and breaking the addiction to oil. He's going to hit

tough times if oil prices don't go north of $60 a barrel and that's why this is somewhat of a disappointment. When I saw Saudi officials at the

end of December and then the early part of this year, they said the worst is over. The first quarter numbers don't indicate that just yet, Becky.

ANDERSON: John Defterios normally with me here in the UAE in London this week. Thank you, John.

You know what you are watching. Connect the World.

Now, tennis, the original sport of kings was famously played by England's Henry VIII. Nowadays others are holding court better than the royals. We

are serving up some goodness from Wimbledon. Up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:50:33] ANDERSON: 10 to 8:00 here in the UAE. You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson.

See you in court: half a million people will be delighted to hear that this Monday as they get set to go to the world's most iconic tennis tournament:

Wimbledon, where there are some burning questions this year. Could we see a Federer versus Nadal final? And will Serena Williams' sister Venus grab

the spotlight just days after legal trouble over a fatal car crash.

Christina Macfareland, my colleague, is so close to the action, she is practically on center court for us right now. Christina, tennis's big four

expected to dominate the men's draw.

CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN WORLD SPORT: Well, Becky, that is the expectation, because the big four, as we've known them, and as we've known

them for the past decade, that is Murray, Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic are back as the top four seeds in this competition for the first time since

2014.

Between the four of them they've swept the past 14 titles here at the All England Club. And earlier today, Andy Murray began the defense of his

title on Centre Court. And he went through his first round quite easily in straight sets. He, of course, is tracing his third Wimbledon title here

and also looking to retain his world number one spot over the next fortnight. And all this, of course, just 24 hours after it was announced

that he'll be expecting his second baby as well.

But I think a lot of the fans here very keen to see a Nadal-Federer final. They, of course, are the first two players to take the first two grand

slams of the year, the Australian Open and the French Open, the 10th for Rafa Nadal. They -- if they are able to face each other in the final, it

will be 11 years since they did so the first time around. It really is turning into a vintage year for this pair.

And as Federer neatly summed up in his press conference yesterday, there are so many story lines around this year's championship, you don't know

where to look and you don't quite know where the winner is going to emerge. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROGER FEDERER, TENNIS STAR: It's very even, you know, when we put it all out on the line. Everybody has got their own little story right now, but I

don't -- me, everything that happened sort of before in Queens for Andy or whatever doesn't matter so much because I feel like Andy is one of the best

players in the first week of Wimbledon. So, I don't worry too much for him there and that he can play himself into shape hopefully for week two.

Look, Novak is just coming back from (inaudible) now.

Rafa is coming in red hot from the clay.

So, I see positive for them rather than negative and some shape, which I'm sure people will try to see it that way, but I see that they are going to

be tough to beat here.

RAFAEL NADAL, TENNIS STAR: I feel better, obviously, but always a (inaudible) I am able to play well from the beginning.

STAN WAWRINKA, TENNIS STAR: As you can see in every tournament, you have some great match, great tennis, Roger and Rafa coming back to the best

level. That's always going to be something special. They've been here for so many years, winning so many titles. It's always amazing as a fan to

watch them play. And you have the young generation pushing and pushing, becoming better every year. So, it's going to be, I'm sure, a big

Wimbledon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACFARLANE: One other interesting nugget, Becky, is that the top four players ranked here, and the top four players -- the top five ranked

players in the world, including Stan Wawrinka who you just saw there, now aged 30 or over, which is a first in the Open era. So it seems that

experience counts for something.

ANDERSON: Such old me -- I'm joking. Whippersnappers still.

Women's draw, then, it seems wide open with the absence of Serena Williams and Sharapova, of course.

MACFARLANE: Yeah, it certainly does seem that way. And I think in their absence all eyes are on the two former champions who are the only former

champions to be playing this fortnight: Venus Williams, Petra Kvitova. Now, Venus Williams has been up on Court 1 and she has gone through her

first round today, although it was somewhat troubling for her going to a tiebreak in the first set and not particularly easy.

It was just 23 days ago now that she was involved in a car accident that lead to the death of a 78 year old man, something now she is facing a

lawsuit against.

And, you know, we haven't seen much of her in the buildup to this Wimbledon tournament and really the first time we've had the opportunity to talk to

her and a question about her came in the past 10 minutes. She's been in her press conference. And I can tell you that when a question was put to

her about that incident, she became visibly upset, her eyes misted over and she really couldn't speak. She actually had to leave the press conference

and then come back again in order to -- and then continued to talk about the tennis.

So, she is one of the main contenders here, as is Petra Kvitova, of course, back from that horrific knife attack and out on court right now one set up.

[11:55:31] ANDRESON: Christina is in southwest London for you today. Thank you.

From Venus, then, to Earth. We are always on our game, offering you news that is all encompassing. For more grand slamming news and features use

the Facebook site, Facebook.com/CNNConnect. I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World from me, the team in Atlanta, London, and here in Abu

Dhabi as ever. Thank you for watching. CNN continues after this short break.

END