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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Economic Concerns Fueling Iran Demonstrations; Israeli Law Makes It More Difficult To Negotiate Jerusalem; Logan Paul Apologizes For Gruesome Video; Gretchen Carlson Named Miss America Organization Leader; Demonstrators Defy Warnings To Demand Change; Supreme Leader Blames Enemies For Mass Protests; Haley Praises "Great Bravery" Of The Iranian People; Israeli Law Makes It More Difficult To Negotiate Jerusalem; Palestinian Girl Charged With Assaulting Israeli Soldier; South Korea Welcomes Overture From North.. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired January 2, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:02:39] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Sarah Sanders there, the first press briefing at the White House of 2018, addressing a range of
issues and questions. Many foreign policy questions directed at Sarah Sanders.
First and foremost, on Iran, Sarah Sanders echoing what we heard from the American ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, just a few hours ago, calling
on that government to respect the citizens` rights -- its citizens` rights to protest and saying that the president or the Trump administration has
not made a final decision on signing a waiver on sanctions embedded within the Iran deal.
The White House also addressed Pakistan, the question of Pakistan saying it wants that country to do more about terrorism and to announce more actions
on Pakistan in the next 24 to 48 hours, Sarah Sanders as well talked about North Korea and South Korea saying nothing would get in the way of the
U.S.` alliance with South Korea on North Korea, calling it again on Pyongyang to suspend its nuclear program.
A lot to get through. I want to get back to the question on Iran, which was addressed both by as I mentioned, Sarah Sanders and Nikki Haley at the
U.N. today. Front and center as far as the Trump administration is concerned. It`s something that Donald Trump himself has tweeted about
repeatedly over the last 48 hours.
Now defying government warnings and police armed with deadly weapons, protesters in that country are back on the streets of Iran today. They say
they are demanding change. Take a look at this video.
GORANI: This is amateur video. It appears to show crowds clashing with police in the city of Sherrod. Scenes like this are rare in Iran. No one
knows where these protests may be headed. At least 21 people have been killed since they began last week.
As Nick Paton Walsh reports, Iranian leaders say enemies and infiltrators are to blame. Take a look.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The death toll nearly doubled overnight. Most in one place around this police
station where six died as the worst protests for eight years stretched into a troubling sixth day. Largely, an anticipated leaderless, their severity
drew a rare statement from Iran`s supreme leader.
The enemy is waiting for an opportunity for a flaw, he said, through which they can enter. All those who are against the Islamic Republic, those who
have money, the policy, the weapons and the intelligence mechanisms, they have all joined forces.
Iranian security officials amplified claims this largely young and spontaneous crowd, seen here unleashing fury as police, but outside
probably American help. While such claims perhaps once caused President Obama to keep his distance, Donald Trump instead chimed in tweeting, "All
of the money that President Obama foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their pockets."
What began on Thursday some say as a protest fermented to pressure the moderate President Rouhani has spiraled into a groundswell of angry youth.
Here with the rare and illegal in Iran chant of death to the Khomeini, the supreme leader.
A quarter under 25 are jobless and oppression still bites for many. Leading their recently re-elected moderate president to sound a note of
sympathy. The problem is not only economic ones, he said, it`s not like people have come to streets to say that we want money, bread, water. They
have other demands as well. One demand is allowing freer environment.
But few expected this call, let alone for it to be so big, wide or last this long.
ELLIE GARANMAYAH, EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: It`s taken shape in parts of the country that previously haven`t been politically active or
at the forefront of the politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It`s been in small provinces as well as big ones. But small provinces that even
Iranians haven`t heard the name of before.
WALSH: Iran`s decades long struggle between conservatism and reform in a new, unanticipated chapter. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.
GORANI: So, what do the protesters want? If you listen to the videos, you will hear that that message differs from crowd to crowd. Listen.
GORANI: This chant reportedly translates to not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran. Focusing on the government`s backing of Hamas and Hezbollah.
Also this -- take a listen to this.
GORANI: This crowd focuses on law enforcement saying we don`t want the rule of force and we don`t want a corrupt police. Listen to this crowd now
in another part of the country.
GORANI: So others are fixated on the very fundamental nature of the Iranian regime chanting we don`t want an Islamic Republic. This group
brazenly tears a symbol of that regime ripping down a poster of Ayatollah Ali Khomeini. CNN can`t independently verify the content of these videos
at this point.
Let`s get some perspective now from journalist and filmmaker, Maziar Bahari, who spent months in prison during the 2009 protests in Iran and
wrote a memoir about his time in captivity called, "Then They Came For Me." Maziar is now editor of "Iran Wire." Thanks for being with us. How are
these protests different from 2009?
MAZIAR BAHARI, AUTHOR, "THEN THEY CAME FOR ME": In 2009, people had a certain objective. They wanted their votes to be counted. This time
around, people are frustrated, are angry, and there are different protesters. This time around, in 2009, people were mostly from major
cities, bigger cities, educated, middle class, lower middle-class people.
But this time we see poor people, angry with four decades of clerical rule. People who have nothing to lose and that`s why they dare to come to the
streets and demonstrate.
GORANI: But was it a surprise to see this? Because it erupted. It feels like it erupted.
BAHARI: I think it took everyone by surprise. Even the protesters by surprise. From what we know from circumstantial evidence, we think that
the conservatives organized the first protest in (inaudible) last Thursday, but then they triggered something around the country.
GORANI: Against Rouhani, the president?
BAHARI: Against Rouhani, but, right now, I was counting the cities last night. There were 54 cities that I could count. But there are up to 70
cities and small towns are involved in this protest. These are poor people who have nothing lose. People who have -- lost their jobs. People who
cannot -- who have been unemployed.
People fought in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, but they are still poor. They see some Revolutionary Guards living in palaces. They see children of
the (inaudible) living good life in London, Toronto, Tehran. They are just frustrated and angry.
GORANI: But is this a threat to the sort of establishment, status quo?
[15:10:07] BAHARI: Of course, it`s a threat. It is.
GORANI: Because will it -- I mean, this is the sixth day today. It`s not dying down.
BAHARI: It`s not going to die down. They may be able to suppress them. They may be --
GORANI: With force?
BAHARI: With force, of course. But the problem for the regime is that as soon as people find any measure of space, they will come out. Two years
ago, not a very good singer, an Iranian equivalent of maybe Michael Bolton died. Thousands of people came to the streets for his funeral and chanted
against the government. Who knows? Another funeral, another football match can result in demonstrations again.
GORANI: So, that frustration is there. It`s under the surface. It could once again given the opportunity boil over as it is now. Could you please
stand by for a couple minutes because we`re able to go to Tehran and connect with the "L.A. Times" reporter there on the ground, Ramin
Mostaghim. Ramin, I want to ask you, you are there in Iran. What`s the situation now in terms of protests?
RAMIN MOSTAGHIM, REPORTER, "L.A. TIMES" (via telephone): I suppose we can say it`s a tense situation, but today, less than yesterday, we cannot say
it` fizzling out or if it`s spreading. It takes time, at least until Friday, we have to wait and see it is going to fizzle out or fizzle away or
just spreading to other cities and to other parts of Tehran streets.
But for the time being, I can say, tonight, comparing to last night, it is less tense. But we have witnessed some arrests today in the evening around
Tehran, (inaudible) and Tehran University.
GORANI: We see that this is more widespread this year that it was in 2009. Dozens and dozens of cities. Is it just -- is it a homogenous group of
protesters? Who are the people demonstrating by and large?
MOSTAGHIM: I can say the officials have been astonished to find out that out of the blue moon, a group of people, mostly young, under 25, just took
to the streets, let out their anger and frustration. They are not among those who have voted in 2009. They are not political minded.
They just need job and future, predictable future. They are young, educated, even high school graduates. So, I can say in the -- in terms of
the number of the cities, yes, it is much more wider spread than 2009. But in Tehran at least according to my observation, the number of protesters
are not too many, but there are handful but determined and agile.
GORANI: All right. Thank you so much for that on the ground report. Ramin Mostaghim of the "L.A. Times" joining us live from Tehran this
evening. We really appreciate your time. Thanks again.
Maziar Bahari is still with me. So, it appears as though -- Ramin was careful to say this doesn`t mean it`s fizzling out, but it`s not
snowballing day to day to day. We have to wait and see.
BAHARI: We have to wait and see. The government and the security forces, they`re trying to take away the space from people both in terms of
cyberspace and in terms of physical space. So, people may be afraid to come out, but they cannot get rid of the anger.
People are becoming even more angry. We have seen that at least 12 people have died in the past few days, and I think it`s going to be much worse in
the next, and we will see more protests. Maybe not as many as Ramin said in 2009, but we will see that it will be more widespread.
GORANI: Geographically, certainly when you look at the map. Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the U.N., was quick to react. The Trump
administration is saying that these demonstrations are proof that ordinary Iranians want to topple their regime. This is what she said, if you could
listen just a few hours ago in New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: By the thousands, Iranian citizens are taking to the streets to protest the oppression of
their own government. It takes great bravery for the Iranian people to use the power of their voice against their government, especially when their
government has a long history of murdering its own people who dare to speak the truth. So, we applaud the tremendous courage of the Iranian people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, we also heard from Sarah Sanders, the press secretary, calling on the government to respect citizens` rights to protest. The Trump
administration has an agenda here, obviously.
[15:15:07] BAHARI: Yes, sure. Whatever we think of Donald Trump, he is the president of the United States, and as such, many people in Iran, many
protesters, want to hear from Donald Trump. They want his support and they want the support of the international community, and they want the support
of other heads of state as well.
So, whatever we feel or think about Donald Trump, he is the president of the United States, and the Iranian people and especially the protesters,
they expect him to support them.
GORANI: Last one on the Iran nuclear deal. It was expected that it would at least help alleviate some of the economic pressure on the country, some
sanctions lifted, the banking system perhaps open. The people who are protesting are still living a lot of them in poverty. They`re not
benefitting from any of the fruits of this new revenue stream.
BAHARI: Of course. It was the wrong expectation to think of the nuclear deal as a panacea to take away all problems with the Iranian economy, but
also these people are protesting against corruption and inequality.
BAHARI: Against endemic corruption that neither President Rouhani nor the Revolutionary Guards nor the supreme leader of Iran can get rid of. That
is why they are chanting death to the dictator meaning death to Ayatollah Khomeini, the supreme leader of Iran.
GORANI: Maziar Bahari, thanks so much for your take. Really appreciate having you on this important news day with many, many developments just in
last hour. Thanks again.
Now let`s turn our attention to Israel. That country has passed a new law that makes it more difficult to negotiate any part of Jerusalem, a two-
state solution seems like a very, very distant dream. It makes the possibility just more remote.
A spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, says the decision accounts to a, quote, "Declaration of war against his people."
Oren Lieberman is in Jerusalem. First of all, talk to us, Oren, about what this law is and what impact it could have.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It`s worth pointing out that this isn`t just a regular old law. It was passed as an amendment to basic law,
which is the closest thing Israel has to a constitution. That means essentially it has more weight, more political clout and it has two
The first part makes it more difficult for the Israeli government to give away any part of the city of Jerusalem to a foreign entity. Obviously,
that would be the Palestinians in negotiations. It used to just require 61 votes in Israel`s parliament of 120 seats, a majority, now it requires 80.
The idea being that Israel has tightened its grip on the city of Jerusalem. There is a second part to this law, different but related. That
essentially allows Israel through a few more votes and a little more political wrangling to redefine the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, to
redraw what the city of Jerusalem is.
That means Israel can advance what it is calling the greater Jerusalem plan, and if it wants to, remove Palestinian neighbors from Jerusalem to
ensure the city has a larger Jewish majority -- Hala.
GORANI: I want to ask you about this young girl as she`s become online kind of an icon of, I guess, the Palestinian -- what her supporters say is
the resistance to occupation. This is a teenager named Ahed Tamimi. She was charged yesterday. That was several weeks after slapping an Israeli
soldier not far from her village.
We have the video to remind our viewers of that event. There she is in court. I believe we have the video of that event. There it is. Let`s
talk a little bit about what -- how this story has played out. We know online she`s been discussed as this symbol of resistance to the Israeli
military. What`s the reaction --
LIEBERMANN: Icon was a good word. As I said, icon was a good word. She really has become a symbol largely because in this age of social media,
videos like that get disseminated and shared very quickly by both those who agree with her and those who disagree with her. Either side seems to have
an incredibly strong opinion.
That propagates the video. That cements her status. She`s a 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi from the village of Nebi Salah in the Northern West Bank. She
was arrested a couple weeks ago after she was filmed as we saw there slapping and punching an Israeli soldier.
She`s been charged with a number of charges, five charges to be exact, the most serious of which is assaulting a soldier. It`s worth pointing out
that this is not the first time we have heard of Ahed Tamimi or her family. Her village holds weekly Friday demonstrations. They are filmed, shot and
She herself became famous here and internationally when she was shown holding up her arm like this to an Israeli soldier. That started her
status as an icon. This has cemented it. As the debate Continues on both sides here on the Israeli and the Palestinian side, it further cements her
There are those who agree with her on both sides and those who disagree with her on both sides for different reasons. This is, of course, the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but each little argument cements her status there.
[15:20:14] GORANI: I get that, but she`s 16 so regardless of your political opinions, how do you charge a 16-year-old with crimes like that,
that could carry years in prison? How would that play out?
LIEBERMANN: It`s Israeli military court. It`s Israeli military law that governs the West Bank. It`s not Israeli civilian law because Israel has
never annexed the West Bank. That`s why it`s called a military occupation because it`s Israeli military law that governs the West Bank. It`s in that
court she will be tried for these charges, which include assaulting a soldier. It`s in the court that she will be tried, I believe, as an adult,
which is according to the system.
GORANI: All right. Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem. Thanks for joining us this evening.
Still ahead, a disturbing video got six million views, many of them from children before it was pulled offline. So, why did it take so long for a
reaction? We will tell about you this YouTube star and why he has come under fire. We will be right back.
GORANI: The rocky relationship between North and South Korea already may be showing signs of improvement in the new year? I will put a question
mark at the end of that. There was a surprisingly warm New Year`s Day message from North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un. Paula Hancocks has that from
Seoul -- Paula.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We have already been seeing a flurry of statements from the South Korean side in response to the
North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un saying he is willing to talk with Seoul. There`s been some positive responses here in South Korea.
The president, Moon Jae-in has said that he welcomes the suggestion, and also saying that if they`re going to talk, then they should be talking
about the nuclear aspect as well, saying that could be a natural progression from that.
We`re also hearing from the unification minister today. He has given a date. He has suggested January 9th, which is next Tuesday, for senior
level talks with North Korea. He suggested the (inaudible) village, which is in the DMZ, half in North Korea, half in South Korea.
He said the peace house, on the southern side of the border, is where that could take place. We don`t know whether North Korea will agree to that.
We`ve heard from the foreign ministry that they have made two phone calls today. They have tried to contact North Korea through the hotline that
they have at the border at 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. There`s been no answer.
But to put that into context, they have actually been making two phone calls every single day since February 2016, which is the last time that
North Korea responded to that hotline. South Korea trying to normalize the communication methods that they have with Pyongyang.
[15:25:02] But certainly, there is some very positive feeling here in South Korea. Obviously, there is caution. Many experts saying there should be
cynicism as well. In the past North Korea has made promises, they have signed deals and not kept them.
But interesting that Pyongyang and Kim Jong-un is almost sidelining the United States now. We saw dire relations between the U.S. and North Korea
last year, very bad relations between the two leaders themselves. So, it appears as though North Korea is changing its strategy and trying to focus
on South Korea. Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.
GORANI: Thanks, Paula. The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. was asked a short time ago about the possibility of talks between the North and South. Nikki
Haley says the world doesn`t, quote, "need to smile and take a picture with North Korea."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HALEY: North Korea can talk with anyone they want, but the U.S. is not going to recognize it or acknowledge it until they agree to ban the nuclear
weapons that they have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The U.S. president, Donald Trump, has kicked off the new year with more than a dozen new tweets. We call that a tweet storm. It was coming
from Washington, D.C. It was on a variety of subjects.
Early Tuesday, Mr. Trump tweeted on the ongoing protests in Iran saying in part, "The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They
are hungry for food and for freedom, time for change."
He also appeared to call for an ex-Clinton staffer to be jailed tweeting, "Crooked Hillary Clinton`s top aide, Huma Abedin, has been accused of
disregarding basic security protocols. She put classified passwords into the hands of foreign agents."
The president also took credit for a banner year in commercial aviation with this, "Since taking office, I have been very strict on commercial
aviation, good news, it was reported that there were zero deaths in 2017. The best and safest year on record."
We should point out there have been zero deaths in commercial aviation on scheduled flights for the last eight years.
Jeremy Diamond joins us from the White House to help us wade through all of this. So, for anyone who thought the resolution of the president of the
United States would be to tweet less in 2018, they are probably disappointed.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes. That question certainly has been answered now. We know that the president plans to be just as avid
a user of social media as he was in the past year. As does he enter this year of 2018, there`s a lot of questions looming.
You know, he just got his biggest legislative accomplishment so far with tax reform. There are big questions about what he can get out of Congress
in this coming year. Already he is taking to Twitter, talking about one of the potential legislative battles.
That is DACA, the protections for DREAMers, illegal immigrants who came to the Unites States as children and the president, of course, ended that
program. He has signaled a willingness to come together with Democrats to find some kind of agreement.
So far there are no signs as far what that agreement might be and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders making clear today that the president
wants certain improvements in border security if he`s going to give anything as far as protections for DREAMers.
He is also shining a spotlight on the protests going on in Iran. The president and the press secretary making very clear today that they support
the popular protests in Iran. But White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders declining to say whether the U.S. would actually support any kind
of regime change in Iran.
Saying only that what they do support is changes in that government`s policies and an acknowledgement of the popular demands that are being made
right now in Iran, an anger there at the economic situation in the country and as Sarah Sanders said, the corruption there.
GORANI: Quick question on the resignation of Orrin Hatch, the longest serving Republican senator in Washington from Utah. There`s talk that Mitt
Romney would run for his seat. Mitt Romney and Donald Trump don`t have necessarily the warmest relationship. There`s a lot of upheaval going on
in the Senate. Lots of departures.
DIAMOND: Absolutely. You know, Orrin Hatch, who has been the longest serving U.S. senator in history, he is retiring. That could be a problem
for the president. He made clear he wanted Orrin Hatch to remain in his seat, even saying so publicly that he hoped Hatch would run again. Hatch
saying he is not going do that.
That opens the pathway for Mitt Romney who has been sending signals that he is likely to run for this seat. That poses a question as far as how Donald
Trump can support Romney who has been very critical of the president. We could see another Republican senator now who would be critical of this
president, not the first, but perhaps adding another to the list.
GORANI: All right. Jeremy Diamond, thanks very much reporting from the White House.
While President Trump is settling back into the White House after his break, down the road in Congress one senator is saying goodbye today. It`s
Al Franken`s last day. He is stepping down after being accused by multiple women of sexual harassment.
In a resignation letter, he said saving has been, quote, "a privilege and an honor." Franken has apologized for some of them, but said other
allegations were not true. His resignation letter, though, was very short and to the point.
[15:30:00] Still to come tonight. An outpouring of anger on the streets of Iran. But what exactly are the protestors demanding and why now. We take
a closer look at our top story.
Also ahead, known for his online pranks, this YouTube star is now apologizing for a seriously unfunny, some might say, disturbing video.
We`ll be right back.
GORANI: Back to our top story. The biggest anti-government protests in Iran in almost a decade. The rallies have turned the spotlight on
President Hassan Rouhani`s economic record despite the easing of international sanctions.
Many Iranians still haven`t seen much improvement in their daily lives. CNN`s Amir Daftari has details.
AMIR DAFTARI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Unemployment, inflation, corruption. The triggers for deadly protests across Iran. The government had acknowledged
deep economic challenges.
HASSAN ROUHANI, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (through translator): What is clear is that these threats and challenges have to be turned into opportunities.
But words haven`t been enough. In fact, the protests have spread, with frustrations over the economy growing into wider discontent about the
overall state of polity.
Many Iranians had higher expectations for their country. This was the scene just two years ago. Young men and women cheering Iran`s nuclear deal
with world`s powers, hopeful that an end to years of economic sanctions would bring a prosperous future.
There have been improvements. Growth has returned and inflation has fallen. The International Monetary Fund says the economy is set to expand
by 4.2 percent.
Iran`s crude oil is being sold overseas once again and foreign investment is starting to trickle back as well. France`s oil giant Total and China`s
CNPC agreed to invest billions of dollars to develop a joint gas field.
But many Iranians are not feeling the benefit. Daily life remains hard and there aren`t enough jobs, especially for the young. The unemployment rate
for those aged 15 to 29 is around 25 percent. At the same time, the government`s new budget is set to cut infrastructure spending and cut
subsidies, while allocating millions of dollars for religious institutions.
[15:35:01] So, while Iran`s economic indicators are positive, the government needs to find a way to translate them into higher living
standards and fast.
Amir Daftari, CNN.
Karim Sadjadpour joins me now with more perspective. He`s an Iran expert and senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
So, Karim, first of all, I really have not spoken to anyone who has not said that they were surprised by the sudden eruption of protests and how
widespread they have been. What is behind them?
KARIM SADJADPOUR, SENIOR ASSOCIATE, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT: Well, I think all of us say the same thing, which is that what was primarily fueling things
is people`s economic frustrations, rising cost of living, coupled with unemployment.
And then, you couple that with a theocratic government which people accuse of being corrupt and plundering the country, and I think that really angers
people when you have a theocratic government which represses and steals from a moral pedestal.
And what`s been significant about this protest is that they didn`t begin in northern Tehran, among middle-class urban sophisticates. They began in
cities which are deeply religious that were thought to be government strongholds, like Mashhad and Qom.
And the latest map I just looked at shows that almost the entirety of Western Iran is in a state of insurrection, and major cities along the
border with Turkey and Iranian Kurdistan.
So, this is something that the Islamic Republic really hasn`t faced since they came to power in 1979.
GORANI: Right. So, what will the reaction be? Because we`ve already seen a strong police presence, but not the kind of mass use of force or anything
like that. So, I`m guessing that the government is hoping that if they let the protesters vent a little bit - and we even heard from Hassan Rouhani
who`s trying to sound conciliatory, saying that protesters have a right to be heard, just don`t be violent.
The hope must be there that it will somehow put a lid on this, right?
SADJADPOUR: Well, the playbook of Iran`s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini, who`s really the person in charge of the security forces, not
President Rouhani, his playbook has always been that when people are rising up as agitations against you, you nip it in the bud right away, use
overwhelming force to crush it.
And his message to Iran`s allies, people like Bashar Assad is the same, that never compromise under pressure because that isn`t going to relieve
the pressure. It projects vulnerability, weakness and invites more pressure.
GORANI: Yes. But, Karim, they can`t do this in 54 cities at the same time. I mean, there are small pockets in many, many places, right?
Logistically speaking, it`s not as easy, even if you wanted to.
SADJADPOUR: That`s a very good point, Hala. When you think that simultaneously Iran has been fighting these wars abroad - over the last
five, six years, Iran`s security forces have been focused on keeping Assad in power in Syria, training Shiite militias in Iraq, aiding the Houthi
rebels in Yemen, so the last thing that was on the mind of Iran`s security forces was fighting an insurrection at home. So, you`re absolutely right
that they`re spread quite thin at the moment.
But the reality is that in the city of Tehran, they can still use overwhelming force to deter people from going out into the streets.
GORANI: What about what Donald Trump is saying, what his UN ambassador is saying, what his spokesperson, his press secretary is saying? The White
House today lending support to the protest movement, using this as evidence that ordinary Iranians don`t want establishment, don`t want the regime
because the Trump administration has come out time and time again against the Iran Nuclear Deal. What is the reaction inside the country that you`ve
been able to gauge?
SADJADPOUR: Hala, any time there are popular protests against the regime, who is official slogan is death to America, it`s natural that US
politicians are going to want to come out and support that protest movement.
The big question is what`s the most constructive way to do so. I think the White House should indeed issue very carefully crafted statements of
solidarity. But what gets dangerous is when - is the president issuing kind of freewheeling tweets and different branches of the administration
doing different things.
One thing I would say is that more important than anything the White House say is what they can do to try to aid, to try to inhibit the regime`s
ability to repress and censor en masse. It is difficult because the US has limited leverage over Iran.
[15:40:02] But one thing the US can do is to make it clear to companies and countries around the world that they will be sanctioned and censured if
they aid the Iranian government, provide them technology and the means to repress.
GORANI: Karim Sadjadpour, thanks very much for joining us. We`re going to keep our eye on these protests and these demonstrations across the country.
Just a reminder that we did speak to an "LA Times" reporter in Tehran, Ramin Mostaghim, who said that especially the protest movement is a little
bit smaller across the country, but certainly you can`t say that it`s fizzled out.
And all the Iran watchers and experts are saying, what`s important now is to see what happens in the coming days, specifically on Friday, to see if
this continues to have the life and energy that it has had over the last five, six days or so.
Let`s move on to this next story. After recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, US President Donald Trump insists he`s still working on
his peace plan.
But Israel is making the possibility of a two-state solution a lot more difficult. It just passed a law that makes it much, much harder to
negotiate any part of Jerusalem.
The Holy City is claimed as the capital of Israel and a future Palestinian state. It is the most sensitive and perhaps most important issue in the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Oren Liebermann has our report.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If there was ever hope in Shu`afat refugee camp, it was long ago replaced by
garbage. Bags have been piling up on the streets, fill empty yards, far more real than any peace process.
(on-camera): When was the last time you saw a garbage truck here?
KHALID AL-SHEIKH, COMMUNITY WORKER: There was never an Israeli municipal truck getting in here for garbage. There is no cleaning services given to
the refugee camp at all.
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Khalid Al-Sheikh takes me through the camp`s narrow alleys, home to some 70,000 Palestinians, who cram in the Shu`afat
concrete jungle and crowded streets, many of them refugees from wars in 1948 and `67.
Al-Sheikh runs a children`s center in the camp to keep kids off the streets. Crime, drugs, major problems here.
There is a national healthcare center, but few local services. Jerusalem`s holy sites seem a world away.
(on-camera): What is like living here in the Shu`afat refugee camp.
AL-SHEIKH: Living in Shu`afat means living in a big prison.
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): The greater Jerusalem plan being developed by the Israeli government would see this neighborhood removed from the city into a
new municipality, made up of other densely packed Palestinian neighborhoods.
The move would see Jerusalem`s Palestinian population cut by more than third.
MICHAEL OREN, ISRAELI GOVERNMENT MINISTER: The goal is one that is shared by the overwhelming majority of Jewish Israelis, that Jerusalem remain our
capital and a Jewish majority city.
LIEBERMANN: A wall separates Shu`afat refugee camp from the rest of the city. Nearby, Pisgat Ze`ev, where Israelis live, looks pristine in
The neighborhoods separated by so much more than a valley.
(on-camera): As we leave the Shu`afat refugee camp, we`re going from Jerusalem into Jerusalem, and yet we still have to cross through this
checkpoint within the city.
(voice-over): The camp is an island of isolation in a city hailed by its leaders as united.
Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jerusalem.
GORANI: And check out our Facebook page, Facebook.com/HalaGoraniCNN and check me out on Twitter at @HalaGorani.
Still to come tonight, a YouTube star apologizes after exposing his very young audience to a gruesome and disturbing video. We`ll have the latest
on the fallout.
[15:45:47] GORANI: Well, if you`re over the age of 18, the name Logan Paul might not register. But to millions of young people, he is a household
name and a huge star, a viral sensation.
Logan Paul has more than 15 million YouTube subscribers. That`s him. His page rakes in billions of views. That has made the 22-year-old a
It`s prankster videos like this that have made him a star.
GORANI: So, obviously, that`s all LOL stuff. You fill balls, you fill busts with balls, et cetera, ha ha, but Logan Paul`s latest video is no
joke. It has sparked a major backlash.
It shows what appears to be a body hanging from a tree in a Japanese forest known for suicide. It was viewed more than 6 million times before it was
Comments call it sickening and ask why he released such a video when he has such a young fan base. We`ve not shown you the gruesome part, but here`s
part of - we will not show you the gruesome part, but here`s part of that video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOGAN PAUL, YOUTUBER: Obviously - and now experiencing it in real life and first hand. Suicide is not a joke. Depression and mental illnesses are
not a joke. I don`t feel very good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I don`t feel very good.
PAUL: Why? You never stand next to a dead guy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Slightly joke about seeing things in here and -
PAUL: It was going to be a joke. This was all going to be a joke. Why did it become so real?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Yes. Life comes at you fast sometimes. Stuff gets real.
Logan Paul has apologized and says he never should`ve recorded that footage. Samuel Burke joins here in the studio with more on the fallout.
I actually watched because even though it was taken off of YouTube, you can find it anywhere. That`s the nature of the Internet. Watched it. And
it`s just incredible, right? Here, there`s a body hanging from a tree (INAUDIBLE) one point.
SAMUEL BURKE, "CNNMONEY" BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: And I think what`s so incredible about this is the fact that he has such a
powerful platform, even though I would venture to guess that most of the people sitting at home watching your show tonight don`t know him.
And I think that is an interesting part of this whole power of YouTube that it can speak to a generation, people who may not necessarily be turning in
to watch the evening news, but will have seen this more than 4 million times, this video was seen, before it was even taken down. Keep in mind,
by him, not by YouTube.
GORANI: Well, all you have to do is Google it. In fact, all you have to do is Google anything and you`ll find it on the Internet. It`s kind of
almost futile to want to try to whack-a-mole everything that`s offensive or crosses the line.
BURKE: Well, it`s interesting you say that, though, because YouTube is realizing that they have to play whack-a-mole a lot better.
Just last year, back in 2017, they lost a whole group of advertisers. People like Marriott, Etihad Airways, even the Labour Party here in the UK
were pulling their videos because they saw their ads playing alongside extremist content, violent content, content like we`re talking about right
So, YouTube faced this pressure. And they said, by 2018, we`re going to have a total of 10,000 human beings - imagine that, not just algorithms -
dealing with this type of content. We`re in 2018 now. And, clearly, it`s not working, whatever they`re doing.
GORANI: We`re talking about user or an Internet star, Logan Paul, who has had billions of views over the last several years, he`s made millions of
dollars off of it. But sometimes I wonder, if you are - I grew up - obviously, there`s bad stuff everywhere. And if you really, really, really
look, you`ll find bad material and you can watch it or someone will show it to you.
But here, all you have to do is Google. The most horrendous stuff, the most extreme porn, the most horrendous violence, you will find it online.
And 11 and 12-year-olds can watch that. That`s how this generation is growing up.
[15:50:05] BURKE: And that does make this feel like an episode of "Black Mirror," that series on Netflix where you think about the fact that a
person under the age of 12 might be watching this.
I want to just put up what YouTube said in response to this because the question that`s lingered for me all day long is how did YouTube leave this
And they say, "We prohibit violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner. If the video is graphic, it can only
remain on the site when supported by appropriate educational or documentary information. And in some cases, it will be age-gated."
In other words, what YouTube is saying is that this violated pretty much every single one of their parameters, yet they still stayed up. He took it
down. YouTube didn`t take it down.
A lot of companies -
GORANI: But how do you blame any one platform? This is the Internet. This is what it does. It`s open. It`s free. You can post whatever you
want. It gets taken down on one site, it will be posted on another. It`s just the way the Internet works.
BURKE: Of course. Yet, they are the ones profiting from this type of content being up, even for the limited amount of time that it`s up.
And you have a lot of folks who have faced real consequences for this. If you look at Twitter, its share price, and you look at the fact that they
can`t find a buyer, it`s because they have this type of content which makes them undesirable.
And you`ve had Facebook that`s had to deal with this.
Each company has tried to deal with in their own way, but, clearly, when you see this type of thing on YouTube with somebody that`s this popular,
that was seen this many millions of times and wasn`t taken down, you`re right, the problem is still there.
GORANI: We`ve got to leave there. But then, these platforms then become editors, they become music providers, it completely changes what they do.
GORANI: Thanks so much, Samuel. We`ll talk a lot more about this soon, I`m sure. Quick break. We`ll be right back.
GORANI: The Miss America organization has spent the last few weeks mired in scandal. Now, it has a new leader, none other than Gretchen Carlson,
who previously won the competition and was also, obviously, the former Fox News presenter who was a vocal critic of the recently ousted leadership
after media reports revealed they had traded emails disparaging former winners of the pageant about their weight and sexual activity and also, of
course, famous for having battled with Fox news management over her treatment there.
Let`s get more on all of this with Matthew Belloni. He`s the editorial director of "The Hollywood Reporter".
So, it`s quite something, Gretchen Carlson and Miss America. It just seems like this is a new chapter, but it`s also kind of interesting because it`s
a competition that`s been criticized for being sexist in itself.
MATTHEW BELLONI, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, "THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER": Absolutely. And this was the first step, they say, in what they claim is going to be a
new attitude, a new leadership, a new perspective that will bring this back.
Because keep in mind, they lost their television partner. Their television partner said they would no longer work with them after this email scandal.
So, they need to build this up.
And the first way of going by doing this is bringing someone who is respected and has credibility on this sexual harassment issue, and it`s
GORANI: And - I mean, the thing is, it`s still a competition, judging women on their looks. And you have Gretchen Carlson, who has been
incredibly vocal, who have some have considered really one of the iconic first Me-Too voices in America to take down big-name Fox executives.
So, I wonder how it can change, whether it still has any (INAUDIBLE)?
BELLONI: That`s a great question.
[15:55:07] BELLONI: Right. I mean, there are many who believe that the whole notion of beauty pageants is an outdated notion and should no longer
But if you talk to alumni of the program, a lot of them say it was very key in helping them in their careers, that they got opportunities through the
Miss America program that they may not have otherwise gotten.
So, there are elements of it that people do support and say that it`s deserving of continuing. And the pageant does look a lot different today
than it did, say, 10, 20, 30 years ago.
But that said, it is not exactly the kind of thing that you would think of when you think of the Me-Too movement and these other things that have come
up in the past six months.
GORANI: A quick last one on Hoda Kotb, who has been named - who is female and who has been named as the permanent co-anchor of "The Today show" on
"NBC" alongside Savannah Guthrie.
So, it`s an all-female cast for a morning show on network television in America.
BELLONI: That`s true. And that`s the first time this has happened on "The Today Show". Keep in mind, Hoda Kotb has been a member of "The Today" team
for many years, but it is a very significant thing that she is replacing Matt Lauer, who was considered the most powerful person in morning
And the ratings, when she`s been filling in, have been up.
GORANI: Right. That`s interesting. Why do you think?
BELLONI: Well, I think some of it is the notoriety around the Matt Lauer scandal and it got a lot of attention and people might be tuning in.
But also, Hoda is extremely popular, has a lot of fans, and there`s probably an element that the viewership that`s rooting for her and wants
her to succeed and like seeing her in that role.
GORANI: All right. Thanks so much, Matt Belloni of "The Hollywood Reporter". Thanks for joining us. We really appreciate your time
discussing these stories on CNN.
And thanks for watching tonight. I`m Hala Gorani. Do stay with us. "Quest Means Business" is up next.