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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Rouhani: U.S. Failed To Live Up To Its Commitments; Obama: Trump's Decision On Iran Deal a "Serious Mistake"; U.S. And North Korea Finalizing Meeting Plans; European Union Determined To Preserve Deal; Financial Impact Of U.S. Leaving Iran Deal. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired May 8, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: -- community, this was not the greatest kept secret. We've known about this for days, but this is
the first we are getting real confirmation of this. We know that Pompeo has taken two pool reporters with him on this trip.
So, we're starting to get the first reports of them of details, what exactly is going on here. So, he is now on route to North Korea. He
doesn't even know at this point, according to these reports, who he will be meeting with there.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: We continue our breaking news live from CNN London. I'm Hala Gorani. Let's get straight to it. Donald
Trump's dramatic break with European allies on the Iran nuclear deal. The American president just announced this country will unilaterally withdraw
from the international agreement calling it rotten to the core.
Mr. Trump spoke a short time ago rejecting warning that he could be risking international stability by exiting the agreement. Mr. Trump says he is
making the world safer by doing this, arguing that if he allowed the deal to stand as it is, there would soon be a nuclear arms race in the Mideast.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The Iran deal is defective at its core. If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen.
In just a short period of time, the world's leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world's most dangerous weapons.
Therefore, I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. In a few moments, I will sign a presidential
memorandum to begin reinstating U.S. nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime.
We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction. Any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly
sanctioned by the United States. America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, went on state television just minutes later to respond.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HASSAN ROUHANI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The United States officially announced tonight it has intension to international commitments.
We have come to this conclusion that Trump is a person who is not loyal to international commitments, and he will not remain loyal to JCPOA.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Hassan Rouhani there. In the past few minutes, Israel's prime minister, who has said in the past he despises the deal said he fully
supports Trump's decision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Israel has opposed the nuclear deal from the start because we said that rather than blocking Iran's path
to a bomb, the deal actually paves Iran's path to an entire arsenal of nuclear bombs. This within a few years' time. The removal of sanctions
under the deal has already produced disastrous results. The deal didn't push war further away. It actually brought it closer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: We are covering reaction around the world this hour. From Iran to Israel to America's European allies, our reporters are standing by in key
locations across the planet. We start with White House reporter, Stephen Collinson in Washington, and chief international correspondent, Christiane
Amanpour here in London.
Christiane, I want to start with you. First of all, Trump could have done -- he didn't need to go full nuclear. He could have done a number of
things, but he's imposed full sanctions and threatened action against European allies doing business with Iran.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he specifically said doing nuclear business. As you know, there's a lot of
dual use, but that will be the key. In fact, some of the rest of what President Rouhani said was they are going -- well, deal, talk, try to
discuss with their European signatories and China and Russia, the other main signatories to this see whether business can still happen.
Where do they stand? What can happen? Are the Europeans going to actually hold up their end of bargain? Will they be able to or will the United
States sanction them for doing business with Iran?
So, if that happens, if the worst case scenario in that regard happens, then I was told by the Iranian ambassador, Tahir (ph), that they would
consider the deal dead and they would not just withdraw but return to status quo anti, which is enriching uranium.
GORANI: Right. But there is a united front here against the United States from European allies --
AMANPOUR: Europeans, yes, but, you know, the United States --
GORANI: They are saying we will continue to respect this deal (inaudible) --
AMANPOUR: They do, but there's a question of can they, will the United States throw up the kind of obstacles and roadblocks that will make it
impossible even for willing Europeans and others around the world to do business for fear of them being sanctioned and refused the option to do
business with the United States? That's a big problem.
[15:05:01] And to be frank, the U.S. has been in violation of its end of the bargain because it has tried to, in the words of some, bully other
third parties from doing any business with Iran, trying to stop.
And I think something also has lost in translation even under the deal, U.S. unilateral sanctions on Iran for missile and terrorism and all those
other things remain. So, those were already on for the very issues that Trump says he is blowing out of deal.
GORANI: Now the IAEA, other observers have said Iran has held up its end of the bargain, Stephen Collinson, 63 percent of Americans in the latest
CNN poll do not want the United States to withdraw from this deal. What is at the core here of the president's motivation to walk away?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: I think the core here is it's something that's coming directly from the president's gut. It's his
show of how he uses his own instincts often in contradiction of fact and the reality that other people see around the world to dictate his actions.
There's been a lot of talk about how the president is going into this with no Plan B. President Trump doesn't do Plan Bs. His view of leadership is
to break the pieces, throw them in the air and see where they fall.
And this clearly is a very high-risk strategy, but it's the way that the United States is now doing business. We saw it with the Paris Climate
Accord. We saw it with the Transpacific Partnership Accord.
This is a change to the way the United States -- what we are seeing now is the United States is pulling out of an international deal endorsed by the
U.N. Security Council unilaterally. It's violating the deal itself.
That is what America first means. I would also add that I think a large part of the president's motivation is that this was a deal reached by
President Barack Obama. As soon as this deal was announced, long before Donald Trump was a presidential candidate, he came out against it
immediately without even seeing what was in it.
And that is a key to this, anything that Obama was for, Trump is against whatever the international ramifications.
GORANI: Yes. Stephen Collinson, I want to go to Tehran. Amir Daftari is there. We heard from President Rouhani. I mean, what is likely to be now
in the coming days the -- what actions will the country take now that we have heard from President Trump on -- with regard to him pulling away from
AMIR DAFTARI, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: That's right, Hala. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made his own televised address. He talked about continuing
with the nuclear deal, even though the U.S. has pulled out. He said the U.S. aren't the only participants of this deal.
That France, Germany, China, Russia, and the U.K. are still there, and if they still to it that Iran will go forward as well. They want to see how
they respond before Iran makes a final decision.
But what has happened by withdrawing from this deal, the Americans have definitely given the hardliners here and those who are opposed to the deal,
the upper hand. All along they have been saying the Americans are not to be trusted, that they will not hold up their end of the bargain. Tonight,
Hala, they have been proven right.
GORANI: All right. Amir Daftari in Tehran, thanks very much. So, Christiane, what do you think is going to happen next?
AMANPOUR: Well, I think precisely what the president said, they're go -- President Rouhani -- I think they are going to want to try to stay in. He
has some pre-speeches in which he said it's not going to change the way we do things. We're not going to be harmed. We want to see if we can
continue with this.
Obviously, he is also, you know, fighting for survival within the regime anyway and this is pitting again the hardliners. Look, the options are, as
the ambassador laid out to me, they try to stay in the deal with the other signatories.
cannot and they are -- they -- otherwise they cannot and they go back to uranium enrichment or worst case scenario, hardliners win. The arguments
say we never wanted the deal anyway, just let the hardliners in the United States led by President Trump.
We won and we are just going to pull out of the NPT totally, which is, as we've been talking exactly what North Korea did back in 2002 when President
Bush thought that he was going to get an even better deal than President Clinton did and ditched the nuclear deal with North Korea.
GORANI: And Stephen Collinson, there are obviously new members of the Trump team. We're talking, of course, about National Security Adviser John
Bolton. Mike Pompeo, the new secretary of state, who we learned this evening is on his way to north Korea.
How much influence did they have in this decision? Because everyone from Macron to Merkel to Boris Johnson, all traveled to Washington trying to get
Donald Trump to stay in the deal, and they all failed.
COLLINSON: I think they were influential to the extent that it made it easier for Donald Trump to follow his own instincts, both Bolton and Pompeo
are on record as being against this deal right from the start.
Both of them, of course, members of the sort of regime change caucus in Washington who believe that increased pressure on Iran could eventually
cause the government there to topple, which is a contention that is very dubious for many experts' point of view, many of them in Washington.
[15:10:12] That was a case that was actually built today by some of the Obama administration's former officials who negotiated this deal. They
were condemning the Trump administration because they believe that ultimately what's behind everything that's happened today is a feeling in
the administration by these hawks that increased pressure on Iran from the United States could change the political calculus there.
It just doesn't seem that having alienated America's European allies potentially Russia and China as well, the signatories of this deal, there's
going to be the possibility to bring that concerted international pressure on Iran, whatever the administration says. I think the question is whether
the Trump administration is over estimating its own influence.
GORANI: Stand by. I want to go to Paris. Phil Black is there. We heard from Emmanuel Macron very quickly after the announcement. He'd spoken
during the day to the U.S. president, Donald Trump. He is essentially saying, Phil Black, I want to work on a more comprehensive deal that
includes post 2025 and then regional activity as well. There's the tweet that he sent out.
Ballistic activity, stability in the Middle East notably Syria, Yemen, and Iraq. OK, well, that's all well and good, but Iran is not saying it's up
for that. Also, is he speaking for his European allies, Germany and U.K. in this case?
PHIL BLACK, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he has been speaking for European allies for some weeks and months now, Hala, and yes,
talking about making changes that would seek controls or deal on those sorts of issues and it's interesting to know that tweet list the same
grievances that Donald Trump just listed in justifying America pulling out of this deal.
What Emmanuel Macron and his European allies have been trying to convince Trump to do is keep the original deal in place, but then build on top of
that and try to create a situation where you can somehow negotiate and strike a deal with Iran, the deals with each of those points.
The ballistic missiles, the future nuclear program after the original deal now hits its sunset clauses as Trump was talking about there. There is no
doubt that Macron will be hugely disappointed by this, but perhaps not entirely surprised.
His predictions had been pretty gloomy even after his very touchy feely visit to Washington just a few weeks ago. He's invested so much in this,
his international reputation, his political capital at home, and tried to use to maximum affect that very warm rapport that he has with President
But even after all of that, his prediction was that he thought it was likely that President Trump would do what he has done today and pull out of
GORANI: Phil Black, thanks very much. Christiane, you wanted to add something?
AMANPOUR: Just this is clear that President Trump has now isolated himself from his closest allies. I mean, really, this is just kind of a disaster
really. The United States is standing out there in fortress America isolated -- willingly.
GORANI: But I mean, especially if European businesses and companies continue to trade with Iran.
AMANPOUR: Right, if they do. This is the big if, obviously, this is the big, and if they can do -- you are absolutely right. Almost what President
Trump has done backfires against him because if they do continue to do business, all these other things that Trump and Netanyahu and others have
been saying that all this money has gone to Iran and they are using it for nefarious purposes, et cetera, well, that's going continue only the U.S.
won't be any near the bargaining table.
GORANI: Is there a case to be made for A, what Trump wants, what Macron is promising, a more comprehensive deal?
AMANPOUR: Of course, everybody would have liked to have had the perfect deal from the beginning. But the reason they couldn't was that it just
wasn't possible. It wasn't possible inside Iran. It wasn't possible for the Europeans.
Of course, that's what they wanted for decades. Iran has been sanctioned for all those reasons. They decided to take most -- not just what they
could get. It was really tough to get there. The most dangerous element of all those Iranian activities was the threat to race to a nuclear weapon.
And the deal put that back -- put the break out back to about a year, without the deal several months.
GORANI: Christiane Amanpour, thanks very much, and Stephen Collinson as well in Washington.
We will have more coverage after the break. Israel has been one of the most vocal critics of this deal. We'll hear from a top cabinet minister in
just a few moments.
More than meets the eye, a journalist imprisoned for more than 500 days by Iranian authorities speaks to us an aspect of the Iran deal that you may
not have considered. That's coming up next.
GORANI: Joining me now is one of the people who helped craft the agreement for former U.S. President Barack Obama. Robert Malley was Mr. Obama's
chief negotiator on the Iran deal. He is currently president of the International Crisis Group. He joins me from Washington.
Your thoughts today? Because the U.S. president really went as far as he could. He is basically re-imposing all sanctions here.
ROBERT MALLEY, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO U.S. PRESIDENT OBAMA: That's right. I think you just heard it from Christiane Amanpour, this is an own
goal, a self-inflicted wound that doesn't achieve any of the goals the president himself laid out. He said he wants to stop Iran from moving
towards a nuclear bomb.
Well, the deal that he just shredded or that he wants to shred achieved that. He says he wants to negotiate a new deal. Well, the best way to
negotiate a new deal is to respect the one that's been implemented and then tell the Iranians, let's try to get something more than that.
Why would Iran come back to the table when President Trump has just stamp on and trampled the deal that was signed? So, this was done, as we just
heard for domestic political reasons, but it's going to have pretty serious international repercussions.
GORANI: What the president is saying is that the sunset provisions mean that Iran can restart its nuclear weapons program starting in 2025 that
really the inspections program doesn't allow all cheating to be detected. These are the points he's making. This is why he calls this deal a
disaster. How do you respond to that?
MALLEY: Well, I mean, we can go item by item, which you don't have the time to do. But I'd say just in term of the sunset clause. First of all,
there is an open-ended provision on Iran from ever developing or acquiring a weapon.
So, the notion that in ten years they could acquire a weapon or develop one is just false. But the more basic point is you now have restrictions in
place that will prevent Iran from moving at all for the next eight, ten years.
Why would you want to move that forward? Because today if there's no deal, Iran could move towards that industrial scad enrichment that the president
doesn't want to see, they could do that today.
So, keep -- the better option would have been to keep the deal, want to build on it, fine, but you have to do that in an atmosphere of trust. And
as for the inspections, military sites -- I was in a negotiating room, we spoke about this for hours.
Yes, the IAEA, International Atomic Energy Agency wants to inspect military sites, it can do it. If Iran refuses, it's a violation of the deal. The
sanctions come back.
GORANI: So, where do we go from here do you think?
MALLEY: I mean, it's a good question. I think part of this isolation of the U.S. means that the United States is now basically marginalized itself
when it comes to diplomacy. That move to Europe, Iran, Russia, China, they are the countries now that have to see whether this deal can be preserved.
The U.S. is basically irrelevant as to that question. Whether they achieve that -- whether they can make that or keep that deal alive without the
United States, that's the big question. President Rouhani suggested today that he is prepared to do it.
The Europeans I have spoken to say they want to do that too. Let's see if they could come up with something that preserves the benefits of the deal
despite and without the United States.
GORANI: But it would be hard to imagine that the Trump administration would be happy walking away from the deal and letting European businesses
open up economic channels with Iran. I know French companies have gone in. There's been some excitement from energy companies and things like that.
Can you imagine a scenario --
MALLEY: That excitement is long gone.
[15:20:11] GORANI: Right. What I mean is, would the U.S. walk away from the deal and allow European companies to keep ties with Iran?
MALLEY: No, I don't think so. I think you are already seeing European companies that are walking back because of the fear of sanctions even
before they were re-imposed. I think the question is, can the Europeans build protections to immunize, to cauterize their -- and protect businesses
from the impact of U.S. sanctions.
That's what the Europeans have been discussing among themselves and now with Iran for some time. The International Crisis Group, the organization
I lead, put out a report with some ideas about how to do that.
But you are right, business is going to start evaporating. It's going to start diminishing. The question for Iran is going to be, are they better
off with less business with Europe but still more than if they walk away from the deal or -- to resume their nuclear program?
GORANI: Now Macron is saying, we're going to start working on a more comprehensive agreement. Post 2025, talk about the ballistic missile
program, talk about Iran's actions across the Middle East. Is that realistic do you think?
MALLEY: I think it could have been realistic. I don't see how it's realistic when the United States has walked away from the deal. I put
myself in Iran's shoes, why would they say, OK, this deal which was fine, we didn't love it but it's OK, it's put to the side.
Now we're going to have to negotiate a deal with greater restrictions on us when you have ignored the one we already had? I just don't see it. I
think President Macron is saying it. I think he tried to sell it to President Trump by preserving the JCPOA and building on it, and now he's
still saying it.
I know more credit to him, but I don't see how it's going to fly. I don't see anyone in Iran who is going to go for it.
GORANI: I'm wondering, Robert Malley, I mean, for someone who worked on a deal for many, many years, I imagine you thought this was the best deal
that the United States and its partners in the JCPOA could get at that point in time. Now essentially for all intents and purposes, it's
destroyed. How does it feel for you from where you are sitting?
MALLEY: You know, the truth is, I have seen this coming for months. I didn't expect (inaudible) would last this long once President Trump that
was elected. I felt that this might well disappear and be a thing of the past. It obviously doesn't feel good.
But I think the main issue is what it's going to do to the region. I heard some of the speakers you had before. This is a region that's known so many
wars that we have been involved in. Do we really have the appetite to get into another one?
This at least put in a box the problem that was the most likely to drag us into a war. That's the real -- that's why I think not just me but many of
us feel the sense of just complete bafflement and mystification as to why President Trump would have gone down this road, even though, as I say it
was totally anticipated, given everything he said on the campaign trail, since being president.
GORANI: Robert Malley, thanks so much for joining us. Really appreciate having you on the program this evening.
MALLEY: Thank you.
GORANI: Well, whether it's at press conferences or in PowerPoint presentations, no nation was as keen for Donald Trump to pull out of the
Iranian nuclear deal than Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated that message in the past hour. He spoke right after
Let's get first hand reaction from one of Israel's top lawmakers, Education Minister Naftali Bennett is in Jerusalem. So, I presume you are satisfied
this evening, Mr. Bennett?
NAFTALI BENNETT, ISRAELI EDUCATION MINISTER: This is a very important day for the future of the Middle East and for the world. It means that we're
effectively preventing a nuclear race in the most dangerous region in the world. And I think President Trump showed courage and boldness that really
did a good job for the free world.
GORANI: But why walk away from a deal that was containing the Iran nuclear weapons program? It was doing it. The IAEA said they were in compliance.
In fact, we have put together a mash-up of intelligence officials, including the new secretary of state, when asked on Congress whether or not
they believed Iran was complying, here is how they answered. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it the judgement of the intelligence community that Iran has thus far adhered to the deal's major provisions?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. No material breach of the agreement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any evidence to dispute IAEA assessment that Iran is in full compliance with the JCPOA?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, with information I've been provided, I have seen no evidence that they are not in compliance today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: That's the new secretary of state. Again, why walk away from that?
BENNETT: The problem was not what's in the deal. The problem was what is not included in the deal. This deal allowed Iran to progress building
those missiles that will carry the nuclear weapon to Europe or America.
The deal allowed Iran to continue developing advanced centrifuges not to use them yet but to develop them. The deal funneled tens of billions of
dollars to Iran. The deal allowed Iran to export terror to Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Gaza, and all of these huge holes effectively guaranteed that
in a fairly short timeframe of seven to ten years, we would see a nuclear Iran not with one weapon --
GORANI: I get that, but Mr. Bennett, you are basically the supporting demolishment -- destroying a deal for something that could happen in ten
years when getting rid of the deal means it could happen in a lot less time than that. I don't see the logic.
BENNETT: Let me be very clear. This was a smokescreen that allowed some - - progress everything necessary in order to press the button in five, six or seven years and then break out rapidly. What we have now they won't be
able to develop those advance centrifuges that they were allowed to develop according to the deal just not used them --
GORANI: Why not?
BENNETT: So, they develop the during the deal. Why wouldn't they do it after the deal is done?
BENNETT: Because now Iran's economy is in tatters even before President Trump's renewed sanctions. You know, their currency has been devalued by
50 percent over the past year. Iran is at a point where they need to make a decision. Do you want a viable economy or do you want a nuclear weapon?
You can't have it both ways.
Do you want to invest in the future of you children or do you want to invest in exporting terror? Finally, President Trump has forced them to
make that tough decision. You got to stop your terror and nuclear ambitions and start building your own country. I'm convinced that Iran is
going to have to make the right decision.
GORANI: Well, Iran says it will continue to comply by the terms and Europe as well is saying that. So, it seems like perhaps on this one the United
States is the one setting itself apart. But I want to ask you about Golan Heights on alert. What is the latest from that part of the region?
BENNETT: Well, Iran indeed is attempting to harm Israelis and we are well aware of it. We're ready. Israel is stronger than Iran. Israel is more
determined than Iran and I think by showing this determination, we'll be able to prevent a whole new round of violence, but it's up to Iran.
Iran -- you know, we're not looking for any dispute with them. We live here. They are sending forces to our borders to harm Israelis. We are not
going to allow that to happen. We will defend ourselves by ourselves.
GORANI: Can you expand on that? what do you mean Iran is attempting to harm Israelis? Do have any kind of intelligence indicating any military
BENNETT: Yes. Iran is funneling and trying on an ongoing basis to funnel rockets into Syria in order to be able to threaten Israel's population
center primarily Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. We are not going to allow that to happen. That would be equivalent to America allowing the USSR in the '80s
put missiles in Cuba. You won't allow that to happen. We are not going allow that to happen either so we are --
GORANI: I get that, but just specifically with Golan because this was the news today that there were some -- the military was on high alert and there
was some alert regarding Golan. Is there anything specific here regarding Golan where you believe there is a threat against that territory?
BENNETT: Yes, there is a specific alert regarding the Golan Heights, which is in the northern Israel. But we put in all the defense mechanisms
necessary. We are ready to retaliate if necessary. I hope we don't need all of this because we just want to live our lives. I want to take my four
kids to school tomorrow and not be in war with Iran.
GORANI: Naftali Bennett, thank you for joining us on this breaking news day. We really appreciate your time this evening.
Repeating our big breaking news story, the president of the United States is withdrawing from the Iran nuclear accord and reimposing all levels of
sanction against the country.
Still to come, a journalist held for about a year and a half by Iranian authorities says other American prisoners in Iran could be at risk. We
hear from Jason Rezaian next.
[15:30:03] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A reminder of our breaking news this hour. World leaders are reacting to Donald Trump's
decision to pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal. The European Union says it is still determined to preserve the agreement as France, Germany
and the U.K. express their regrets.
Meanwhile, Israel says it fully supports the move. Mr. Trump says the agreement is quote, "defective at its core." And said he will reinstate
sanctions at the highest level on Iran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction. Any nation that helps Iran in its
quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. There you have it. Well, the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani says the United States has failed to live up to its
Amir Daftari joins us live tonight from Tehran. So the big question and nobody really knows the answer is if Iran, President Rouhani says, Iran
will continue to abide by the terms and agreement so is Europe. Is there this possibility that you have a two-speed deal where the U.S. is out but
Iran and you countries stay in it?
AMIR DAFTARI, CNN INTERNATIONAL SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, that's what the Iranians are hoping for. But there's an issue with that for Iran. And in
particular, the Iranian people. The economy is a big part of this. So being a part of that deal means opening up these foreign investment means
Now if Iran and Europe stick with the deal and the Americans have now pulled out, well, big European companies have stakes in the U.S. market.
So the fear might be that those companies won't come to Iran because they don't want to contravene any of the American laws. So it's sort of these
middle ground where we don't know what's going to happen next, Hala.
GORANI: Yes. And also, before walking away from the deal, the United States was accused of violating its side of the bargain by trying to
convince European companies not to invest in Iran.
DAFTARI: That's right. This fuel has been on for three years now. And three years ago there were wild celebrations in the streets here in Tehran.
People were so hopeful and so joyous that Iran was finally going to engage with the international community. Three years on, yes, there's been some
investments here and there from foreign companies but nothing that has really reached the average Iranian. So they have lost hope a long time ago
and with now the U.S. pulling out of the deal, well, it's back to square one for the Average Iranian.
GORANI: And just -- that's my last question, you're in Tehran. How do ordinary Iranians feel today now that essentially this nuclear deal is all
[15:35:01] DAFTARI: Well, it's midnight here, but I did speak to some Iranians earlier and their sentiment was -- listen, Iran has held up its
end of the bargain. We are not going to be bullied by the U.S. So the Iranian government and the Iranian people with regards the nuclear deal,
are in line and they agree with each other. It was all or nothing for the Iranians and they did what they had to. But the U.S. violated the
agreement and that's how they see it, Hala.
GORANI: Amir Daftari in Tehran live. Thanks very much.
My next guest says there is a site to the Iran deal that goes beyond its nuclear program. CNN global affairs analyst, Jason Rezaian was imprisoned
by Iranian authorities for 544 days back when he was the Washington Post's Tehran correspondent. He was released in 2016 and joins me now with more
on another angle. How Americans still being held in Iran could be affected by Donald Trump's decision. Jason, thanks for being with us.
JASON REZAIAN, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Good evening, Hala.
GORANI: So talk to us about that. Americans inside Iran, how this might impact them?
REZAIAN: Well, I think unfortunately the bad news here is that of all of the many affects that leaving the deal will have, the five Americans that
are currently being held in prison along with two U.S. permanent residents and Bob Levinson who has not been heard of -- heard from in 10 years. The
resolution of their imprisonments and their families' ordeals are unlikely to come to an end, because leaving the deal closes off communications
effectively between Tehran and Washington during the implementation of the nuclear deal for the past two and half years or so. There will be a
quarterly meeting where the deal were discussed and other issues as well and that was the only opportunity the sides had to talk directly. The
supreme leader forbade his diplomats from having other discussions with Americans and now I don't see the possibility for a return for those people
GORANI: And that is must be absolutely terrible news for their families. What do you think happens now inside Iran? Hassan Rouhani is basically
showing some flexibility here, all things considered. But you're saying, well, to try to continue to abide by the terms and the Europeans are saying
we'll try to stay in the deal isolating America. But is that realistic? Is it possible?
REZAIAN: Well, I think Iran will take a very circumspective approach to how they respond to this. I mean, there will be some definite bluster from
harder line elements within the regime. But I don't think that there's going to be any real action on the part of the Iranian government, because
they don't have a lot of options, unfortunately, for the world community right now.
And as a mirror pointed out from Tehran, there was a great hope among the Iranian people that the lifting of sanctions would improve people's
economic life. And I think that that prospect has diminished significantly and people are now worrying about the turn that their economy is going to
take in the coming days.
GORANI: What about regionally? Iran supports regime in Damascus. It of course is aligned with Hezbollah. It expanded its reach and its influence
across the Middle East. Does this change that, any of that?
REZAIAN: President Trump spoke directly about those issues and how he intends to reign the Iran in. I don't see how he plans to do that. He
didn't give a description of what his reasoning or how would be able to do that would be. And I don't see Iran changing its behavior in a positive
way because of the U.S. exit from the deal.
GORANI: Right. but I mean, if it's economy continues to falter, if the re-imposition of sanctions make a bad situation, a bad economic situation
even worse, what could be impact of that be?
REZAIAN: Well, I think in the past as we've seen in the previous rounds of tough sanctions on Tehran and Iran, the hardest line elements within that
regime succeed and thrived in those circumstances. I don't see anything here that would benefit the democratic aspirations of many millions of
Iranians who are protesting over the past several years back in December and January, but also in 2009. Also the prospects for the country's
economy, for growth, and for exchanges with the rest of the world. So many Iranian students in the past have come to United States and studied here.
That effectively has been cut off as well, before this exiting of the deal. So I just don't see where the positives for Iran and the Iranian people are
in all of this.
GORANI: Jason Rezaian, thanks very much for joining us. We appreciate it.
[15:40:07] Let's get the reaction from Russia. It's late there. We may not have an official reaction yet, but CNN's Matthew Chance is live for us
in Moscow with more on how Russia has been reacting in the last few days to the possibility that the U.S. would be leaving this agreement.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, that's right. There's been no reaction yet from the kremlin or from the foreign ministry, just from a
senior officials in Russia who had basically said this is a gross violation of United Nation's Security Council and cautioned that could have negative
consequences to the ability of the United States to negotiate a nuclear deal with North Korea. That's been pretty much reflective of what the
kremlin has been saying over the course of the past couple of days because this is widely predicted as we've been reporting, that the Trump
administration would pull out of this Iran nuclear deal.
The Kremlin has warned of harmful consequences and said this is basically the only way, this deal, to ensure that Iran's nuclear ambitions are
curtailed and so in that sense, Russia stands in the same course as much of the rest of the international community, the same as the Chinese, the same
as the Europeans, the British, the French or the Germans. They're all on the same side in this. And of course, the United States is isolating.
Russia has its own reasons as well, locally for being opposed to the Trump administration's withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The Iran nuclear deal, namely of course it's a big military ally of Iran and is fighting side by side on the side of the Syrian president in that
country with Iranian forces. And deeper than that, there is a concern that neither the Trump administration has pulled out of this Iran nuclear deal.
It sets itself on a collision course with the regime in Iran and is bent on. This is the concern bent on regime change. And of course Moscow is
fundamentally opposed to any kind of regime change that may seek to replace a pro-Moscow regime with a pro-western one or less pro-Moscow one, at
On all sorts of levels, Russia is opposed to this move by the Trump administration and has said in the past that it will continue to try and
work with the other signatories to the deal to try and see if they can make it happen, make it work still.
GORANI: All right. We'll see if that indeed happens.
Still to come tonight -- thanks, Matthew -- in the midst of his dramatic implement about Iran, the U.S. president drops another diplomatic
bombshell, details ahead.
GORANI: The E.U., the European Union is pledging to take all steps possible to preserve the Tehran nuclear deal. Listen to the foreign policy
chief, Federica Mogherini.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FEDERICA MOGHERINI, E.U. FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF: The nuclear deal with Iran is the culmination of 12 years diplomacy. It belongs to the entire
international community. It has been working and it is delivering on its role which is guaranteeing that Iran doesn't develop nuclear weapons. The
European Union is determined to preserve it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[15:45:19] GORANI: The American president at the time the deal was signed has expressed his disappointment. Barack Obama says, "Walking away from
the JCPOA turns our back on America's closest allies and an agreement that our country's leading diplomats, scientists and intelligence professionals
negotiated. I believe that the decision to put the JCPOA at risk without any Iranian violation of the deal is a serious mistake. Without the JCPOA,
the United States could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear armed Iran or another war in the Middle East."
For more on the global implications of this decision, let's speak to our international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson who's in Downing Street. So
Macron tweeted, the French president, he said, "Well, we're going to try to work on a more comprehensive deal." The E.U. through Federica Mogherini
said, "We'll keep our end of the bargain." How is that going to -- how will that work, exactly?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: In a word right now, it won't. These are all words. What we are hearing from European leaders
and I've heard in a joint statement from Theresa May, British Prime Minister, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor and Emmanuel Macron, the
French president, their regrets and concern that they take note that President Trump has withdrawn from the JCPOA.
I mean, let's just take stock of what they're actually saying here. When was the last time you heard the United States from supporting allies say
that there is regret and concern about a decision, a significant decision taken in foreign affairs by an American president. When was the last time
that we heard language like this? This is a huge gap that is now opened up between the United States and its European allies. There is no doubt about
that. They stress those three leaders, stress their continued commitment to the JCPOA. They remind the United States that JCPOA is actually
enshrined at a U.N. Security Council resolution, a unanimous and binding one two to three, one, that is the international legal basis for dealing
with Iran's nuclear weapons aspirations. This is very strong, very flare language. They're entirely in different places right now.
Right now, imagine this, just a few weeks ago when the world was united, expelling Russia's diplomats for the poisoning of a Russian agent in
Britain. The world united, the United States and Britain, France, Germany all side by side. Now, on this issue, you find Russia and its statement
that it will continue to honor the JCPOA closer to Britain and Germany and France from the United States is. What we're hearing from these three
leaders, they are calling on the United States to continue to honor its obligations towards the JCPOA and not to obstruct it. They're also calling
on Iran to do the same thing. They recognize the concerns. They've been in last minute behind the scenes negotiations at deputy, ministry level
with the Iranians this afternoon in Brussels to try to sort of keep them on track. Their message to the Iranians is, we're going to try to do our bit,
you try to do your bit. Let's not -- let's not throw that baby out with a bathwater, an analogy that Boris Johnson was using. I don't think we can
underestimate the significance of the diplomatic chasm that has opened up here. Obviously the Iran is one thing with these international relations
that are straining right now.
GORANI: Absolutely. Well, they did with the attempted murder of the Russian spy shifting alliances in this case, Russia closer to E.U.
countries. Thanks very much. Nic Robertson is at 10 Downing Street.
Well, besides the long expected announcement about scrapping the Iran deal, there was another diplomatic surprise from President Trump just a few
minutes ago. He announced that his new secretary of state, Mike Pompeo will soon be touching down in North Korea to continue preparations for an
upcoming summit with leader Kim Jong-un. Will Ripley is with me now from Tokyo with exclusive details. What can you tell us, Will?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that Secretary Pompeo is due to arrive just in a matter of minutes, as you said. And he
will be meeting -- he doesn't know who he's going to be meeting with. Could he be meeting with Kim Jong-un who just returned from Dalian, China
where he had a second meeting with Chinese president, Xi Jinping or will he be meeting with other North Korean officials?
Of course, Pompeo says he's going to be talking about the upcoming planned summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un. President Trump saying a
date, location has been set. We've heard the DMZ. We've heard they're leaning towards Singapore. The president still keeping the world waiting
with bated breath for an official announcement. But of course, we also expect that Secretary Pompeo will address the issue of those three
Americans, those three U.S. citizens who are being held in North Korean custody, the longest which was been held for nearly three years now.
[15:50:13] Pompeo not saying that the north Koreans have committed to their release but it was just less than a week ago that a source familiar with
the negotiations told me that the Americans -- the decision on the North Korean side to release the Americans had been made two months ago and that
their release was imminent in a matter of days. Perhaps, the source said. So, could Secretary Pompeo come home with those three? Or will the
groundwork be laid for them to be released sometime around that summit, Hala? That's the open question that we just don't have the answer to right
And speaking of -- speaking of China and South Korea and Japan, they're all going to be meeting here in Tokyo for a trilateral summit in the coming
hours as well. North Korea topping the agenda here in the Japanese capital.
GORANI: And Mike Pompeo, I mean, do we know what his agenda will look like? I mean, obviously he's meeting with Kim Jong-un presumably. I mean,
who does he -- who do you talk to in North Korea when you're trying to set up a summit with the American president, I wonder? I mean, who makes all
these decisions? Is it just -- is it just one person, the leader?
RIPLEY: Well, he has his inner circle. The members of the bureau that are leading the Worker's Party of Korea. But Kim Jong-un, of course, yes, he
does have the final say. And we know that when Pompeo travel to Pyongyang over Easter weekend, he did meet with Kim Jong-un secretly. They didn't
announced that meeting. In fact, North Korean media had never announced the meeting. The pictures were released by the White House press
secretary. We don't know if North Korea will announce Pompeo's arrival this time in the past when Americans have been released, you think of the
Otto Warmbier case. There was a very brief mention in North Korean state media that the release had occurred. So, of course, we'll be monitoring
North Korean media for any signs of what's happening and there is a pool of reporters traveling with Secretary Pompeo. So we'll be hoping for updates
coming from them. But of course, once you get inside North Korea, it's very difficult. Your phones don't work unless you have a special sim card.
You don't know how long that you're going to be staying on the ground in North Korea. Presumably the trip should be pretty quick, maybe a day or
so, in and out. And of course for the families of those three U.S. citizens. They're hoping that they will be coming home with the secretary
GORANI: Well, will see if he is able to me back with them. It'll be interesting to observe that once we get more lines out of North Korea and
that Pompeo meeting. Thanks very much. Will Ripley is in Tokyo.
More to come, including energy markets have been swinging wildly in anticipation of President Trump's decision on the Iran deal. We'll go to
Bahrain for more on what to expect now that the U.S. is officially pulling out.
GORANI: From the price of some cars to the price of the gas that goes into the cars, President Trump's decision on the Iran deal could impact billions
of dollars and financial deals that have been made since the agreement took effect. And of course, there's the immediate impact on global markets.
And you can see there -- and this happens routinely with stock markets, and any market, the anticipation is when people make a move and when the news
actually drops that has already been priced in.
We'll look at some market reaction and what's happening with oil prices since Mr. Trump' announcement in a moment. John Defterios is with me now
from Manama in Bahrain. You've been to these oil producing regions in Iran. You've looked into how this nuclear deal has allowed some companies
to invest in Iran. I wonder, will it be possible for some of these European companies to continue to do business with the country even if the
U.S. walks away?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's the multibillion dollar question, Hala, right now. As you know, the European companies like Total
in France signed a $5 billion agreement that was finalized in July of 2017. Eni of Italy has been having its sights on Iran seeing the great potential,
18 percent of the proving gas reserves around the world, nine percent of proven oil reserves. It's not clear to be absolutely candid right now.
How tough the U.S. sanctions will be? For example, Total has equities inside the United States, said CEO, Patrick Pouyanne told me he's going to
ask for an exemption from the sanctions deal and he also has that equity stakes in U.S. fields and it wants to go into Iran, it's unclear. The
other signatories like Russia, Vladimir Putin was reaching out to Iran signing energy deals over the last six months. I can imagine, they will
pull out. China has been in Iran for years even during the sanctions, particularly CNPC. I would imagine they will stay engaged.
Hala, we're hovering right near a four-year high international benchmark brand around $75 a barrel. This is a risk on environment, because of the
geopolitical tensions and the spillover. Perhaps even the reworking of the Middle East right now, the proxy where we see between Saudi Arabia and Iran
over Yemen. Iran's role in Syria, Israel's response to the U.S. president moves on sanctions here. A lot of question marks and it's hitting a tight
market. It's worth reminding our viewers that OPEC and non-OPEC players took out 1.8 million barrels a day to eat this huge surplus. The market is
almost balanced right now. A key question going forward, the only big country with spare capacity is Saudi Arabia. There's a widely held
believed, they would like to see a higher price to support their economy right now and also the IPO, their state of oil giant Aramco in 2019 and
they're not seeing eye to eye, of course, with Iran and energy prices, nor the sanctions applied here by U.S. President Trump.
GORANI: But just briefly, because we're almost done with this hour here. But in order for any of this to continue without the United States, you
need Euro lines of credit, you need essentially a way to trade financially with Iran bypasses the dollar. This is -- I mean, also not very realistic
at this stage, is it?
DEFTERIOS: It's early stages, Hala. In fact, you make a very good point here. One is not have the building blocks to start trading in the Euro.
It's done some trade on the Renminbi, can trade on Rubles. But by and large, its banking system is still very dependent on a New York Federal
Reserve and the U.S. dollar. And some big numbers here on the economy, the Ria (ph) had dropped 50 percent from its peak ever since President Trump is
banging the drums on these sanctions deals, of course. Household incomes have dropped 15 percent over the last decade. This is painful despite the
fact essential bank governor of Iran or the first vice president said, we can't survive. The Iran has been very resilient. That's very true, but
this will be painful in transition particularly if the U.S. tries to restrict European companies from going in to this emerging markets.
GORANI: Thank you very, John Defterios in Bahrain. And thanks to all of you for watching our breaking news. I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN,
"QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up next.