Return to Transcripts main page
Trump: U.S. Will not Recertify Iran Nuclear Deal; Iran Reacts to Trump Policy Speech; Jane Fonda: Actress and Activist. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired October 13, 2017 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: President Trump talking about overhauling the Obamacare there on the south lawn. Just earlier, he's
given a speech about a dramatic new American policy towards Iran. We'll dig deeper in a moment.
Tonight, President Trump rebuffs world leaders refusing to recertify Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal and even going this step further.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the
agreement will be terminated. It is under continuous review and our participation can be canceled by me as president at any time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And we've got the latest reaction from the United States, from Europe and from Iran.
Plus, more from my conversation with the Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda on her extraordinary career and on fighting sexism and ageism in Hollywood.
Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
It is official. President Donald Trump has said that he will no longer certify that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal, or that it is in the
United States' national interest. This goes against what his own national security team and all the allies and global powers that sign the deal
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Based on the factual record I have put forward, I am announcing today that we cannot and will not make this certification. We will not
continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran's nuclear breakout.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: President Trump has thrown the ball into Congress' court and even into allies' lap, saying that if he does not get what he wants in
terms of a new and better deal, he can decide to re-impose U.S. nuclear related sanctions against Iran.
President Trump also cracked down heavily on Iran's military. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps announcing a whole raft of new sanctions against
them. And the national Security Council has just said that the administration has, in fact, done a first, designated the guard corps a
Now, before the speech, Iranian officials had said that would be a declaration of war. So how will Iran react now? Will allies agree to
renegotiate the deal? Can it even be opened up to cast a wider net?
We'll discuss this with a Trump ally in the U.S. Congress and with the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the German parliament.
Republican Congressman Francis Rooney serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which will have a major voice on the president's new plan. And
Norbert Roettgen is chairman, as I said, of that Foreign Affairs Committee in the Bundestag and he's a close ally of Chancellor Merkel.
Gentleman, thank you very much both for joining me.
Can I first ask you, Congressman Rooney, the United States National Security Council has announced that it has declared the Iranian military as
a whole, the IRGC as a terrorist organization?
Did you expect that and are you prepared for Iran's reaction? It has said that this would be declaration of war?
FRANCIS ROONEY, U.S. HOUSE REPUBLICAN: Well, I think if any organization ever was a terrorist organization, certainly this one is. And that's why
the Congress has urged the Security Council to take this move.
AMANPOUR: Congressman, I want to know whether you expected that, whether you think it's a first, which it is for the United States. Even the Bush
administration, which you were an official under that administration didn't do that, but used existing sanctions to penalize the IRGC.
Are you concerned that they will now target American forces overseas?
ROONEY: Well, I think their behavior continues to become more pernicious to the United States interest, anyway. Look what they've been doing with
the Hezbollah/Shiite access across Syria and Iraq. The occupation of the Eastern side of Iraq by the Shiite government that's linked to Iran.
These guys continue to perpetuate mayhem and abuse human rights all around the place.
AMANPOUR: I'm going to get to the nuclear deal with you in a second, but I first would like to turn to Mr. Roettgen there in Germany.
Sir, you heard the president's speech. You were hoping all the allies said very publicly that they were hoping that this would not happen.
What is the next step as far as you're concerned?
The foreign policy chief, Mrs. Mogherini, has said that no one country can unilaterally terminate that deal?
[14:05:00] NORBERT ROETTGEN, GERMAN MP: Yes, she's absolutely right. Since this agreement is established in the United Nations Security Council
resolution. And it is an accord in force. And there beside is no realistic alternative and the president didn't present anyone how to make
sure that Iran at least for the next decade or 15 years will not acquire a nuclear weapon.
So, I can't detect and identify any alternative to this goal that Iran not get a nuclear weapon and so we have to stick to the agreement. We have to
scrutinize and make sure that Iran is in compliance with the agreement, but everybody says and confirms, yes, the Iranians conduct in a compliant way
with the agreement. So we should -- we should do this as well as parties to this treaty.
AMANPOUR: Practically are there any areas of that treaty that can be reopened, that can be strengthened?
The president talked about missiles, about Iran's behavior in the region and elsewhere.
Are there any -- is there any realistic way of increasing any of the sunset clauses, for instance.
ROETTGEN: I would -- I can't give for my view a clear answer, a clear and brief answer, no.
I haven't talked to anybody who sees a practical prospect of renegotiation. We have an agreement. This agreement is working. It is in force and there
is no realistic practical opportunity for renegotiation and everybody knows that.
AMANPOUR: So Congressman Rooney then, back to you. You've just heard it. The president threw the gauntlet down to the allies like Mr. Roettgen's
country and to you.
What will Congress do now? What bills are you thinking about are already drafting?
ROETTGEN: Well, there's certainly the opportunity to discuss sanctions. Just this week, the house of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee
passed a bill to impose sanctions on every vendor, supplier and other entity that's connected with any of Iran's cruise missile or ballistic
missile programs. And I think those things can go a lot further.
And, you know, now that this decline decertify phase one has taken place, we can go to phase two. We can look at all the options to let Iran know
that if they want to have an agreement that's in the United States' interest anyway, I can't speak for Germany that will allow inspection on
military bases and things like that and give enough time to make sure that they really don't become the nuclear power instead of giving them just
enough time to get there, then we can talk about that.
AMANPOUR: So that I'm clear, when you said phase two, you mean nuclear- related sanctions? I just want you to answer that and also answer what Mr. Roettgen has said?
What other mechanism is there? If this deal fails now, for the next years and decades, what other mechanism is there to contain Iran's nuclear
program, as this deal does now?
ROONEY: A deal is a two-party contract. In this case maybe one party being a lot of western nations, one party being Iran. And so, if we put
things on the table and show them that we are not satisfied, that this agreement protects our country, I'm in the hope that they're going to
realize we mean business, unlike the Obama administration that was definitely interested in getting any kind agreement they could get, that
we're going to make sure we'll get an agreement that protects the United States. Maybe Iran will say, OK, we can tighten up a couple of these
AMANPOUR: First of all, do you really think that's realistic? Particularly after its military is now being designated, according to the
National Security Council, I don't know whether they're going to clarify this, but being designated a terrorist organization?
ROONEY: Well, that's one more aspect of showing Iran that there's a new sheriff in town who's ready to protect United States' interest after eight
years of appeasement and vacillation.
They are a terrorist organization. Look at all the mayhem they caused back as early as the 2006 Lebanon war.
AMANPOUR: One quick question, final question to Mr. Roettgen there.
So what do you think is going to happen next? What will the allies do? I know you've been lobbying Congress. What is -- what do you see the next
weeks and months bringing?
ROETTGEN: There is a clear, unanimous position by all the other parties to the treaty. The Europeans, the Chinese, the Russians, they say we have a
very basic principle of international law and this is pacta sunt servanda.
And we should not put into question the reliability, the credibility of any of the party to this agreement put into question. And in any case, the
West should not put in any doubt that we are trustworthy, that we are reliable and that we stay to our obligations and we are ready to fulfill
I think this is extremely important. Think alone of the North Korean conflict. If the Americans put into question their reliability, they will
really further complicate the situation and the political resolution of this conflict.
AMANPOUR: Norbert Roettgen at the Bundestag and Congressman Rooney in the United States, thank you both very much for joining us on this evening.
And now we are going to go straight to Tehran, where our Fred Pleitgen is joining us on the phone.
Fred, you've been listening, you've been reporting today. Has there been any official reaction after the speech? And what do you think is going to
be the reaction to what the NSC is saying that the IRGC, Iran's military is now for the first time been designated an actual terrorist organization?
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, we're still waiting for reaction from the president, from Hassan Rouhani, who apparently is going
to start speaking very soon.
So far that's probably going to be the main reaction coming out of Tehran. I quite frankly expect there will be very harsh reaction. We've seen that
in the build up tomorrow, especially in regards to designating the IRGC a terrorist organization.
You've really seen people who have criticize the IRGC in past, including Hassan Rouhani in his most recent election campaign, but also now saying
that they fully support the IRGC, and that the IRGC is an integral part of the government complex here in Iraq and certainly part of this society as
So, if anything, it seems at least in the short term, this is something that could strengthen the IRGC's standing in Iran rather than weaken it.
And you know, just looking at it really from the people's perspective here, also Christiane, because that's something that we've done today as well.
We went out and we spoke to both moderates and also hard liners as well.
The moderates who are really very, very disappointed, because a lot of them have felt there could be better relations with the United States. Also
that there would be more economic benefits that this country could open up and many of them really see that fading away very quickly.
For many of the hard lines, who really are gloating at this point saying, look, we told you all along, the U.S. is not a partner that you can trust,
so therefore, any sort of negotiations with the U.S. are something that's simply won't lead to anything.
AMANPOUR: Fred, this is an ongoing story, a very important one. We'll be following your reports and following it in the days to come. Thanks so
And when we come back, so from blowing up a hard one nuclear security deal to blowing out the worst kept secret in Hollywood, the sexual harassment
and abuse of women.
In part two of my interview, the legendary Jane Fonda talks more about that after a break and about her rare achievement, a major revival on TV as she
enters her 80s.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
Now on last night's show, we brought you the first part of my interview with the actress Jane Fonda. She was open and frank about Hollywood's
horrifying sexual abuse story.
And we talked about her new film, "Our Souls at Night," which reunites her with her long-time screen partner Robert Redford.
Today we look deeper into her decades as a movie star and an activist and why the Weinstein's scandal reawakens horrible nightmares.
(JANE FONDA INTERVIEW PART 2)
AMANPOUR: So, you'll see more of that interview when it replays at 10:00 p.m. But now President Hassan Rouhani is speaking in response to President
Trump's new Iran strategy.
Let's listen in.
HASSAN ROUHANI, IRAN'S PRESIDENT (through translator): Good evening, the great and wise nation. It was important for me after this speech that we
heard from the current president of the United States to make a number of points to our nation.
In Trump's speech and his -- he talks about Iran's policy, only bad- mouthing and baseless accusations were made against the Iranian nation. He had nothing else to say.
I invite the president of the United States to better read history books and the geography and as well as international commitments, as well as
respect and ethics, international ethics.
[14:25:17] Apparently, he is not in the know that the U.S. government, that more than 60 years ago help in a coupe to bring back to power a
dictatorship in Iraq. It's the same power that used money and pressure and agents to topple an elected, legal government in Iran.
Apparently, he has forgotten. That during that resistance, -- during the uprising of the Iranian nation for democracy and Islamic Republic, a
country that did throw most of its support to this dictatorship in Iran was the United States.
President Trump has forgotten the fact that after the victory of the Islamic revolution and in the early days of the revolution, the plot by the
United States was another coupe.
Of course, one more time, they tried -- in 1981, they tried to repeat it. Apparently, they have forgotten the fact that during the imposed Iraqi war
on Iran in the 1980s, it was the United States that backed the invaders.
They also forgot the fact that when Iran was being bombarded by missiles, and being chemically attacked in Sardasht and Halabja, the statement that
they used was supposed to make in order to condemn the invaders and support the oppressed they invaded, they did the opposite.
We need to go through the history much more carefully. Over the past six decades or so, what they had done to the Iranian people over the past 40
years, after the victory of Islamic revolution, how they treated the Iranian nation.
They should also go through geography. How come a president -- how does a president doesn't know how to refer to an important internationally
recognized gulf, which is Persian Gulf.
The same Persian Gulf that, unfortunately, U.S. warships keep coming and going for no apparent reason. They should have ask their own military men.
Look at their own maps, military maps, even their own pilots, how they have written the name of this important waterway.
Therefore, he should also go through his geography also. He should also study. He hasn't studied well.
How come -- this is an international, multilateral deal that has been ratified by the U.N. Security Council. It is a U.N. document.
Is it possible for a president to unilaterally decertify this important international deal? Apparently, he's not in the know.
This is a document -- isn't that a document between Iran and the United States that he can treat it the way he likes. Respect and ethics are also
important. Incorrect statements, unjustified false accusations, baseless accusations, against Iran, against the Iranian people.