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CONNECT THE WORLD

Three Americans Held by North Korea Released; Trump Restoring Sanctions Against Iran; Turkey's President Erdogan Speaks to Connect the World; Outrage in Iran After Trump Promises Sanctions; U.K., France and Germany Regret U.S. Decision on Iran. Aired 11-12p ET

Aired May 9, 2018 - 11:00   ET

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


[11:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: A very good evening, I'm Becky Anderson in the Turkish capitol of Ankara a city in the center of a region

dealing with the shockwaves of the decision by the U.S. president who pulled the United States of America out of the Iran deal.

Well, coming up on what is this very special show, my world exclusive interview with the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mr. Erdogan

told me he believes the American President's course of action is wrong. Many agree with him. But others in the Middle East support Mr. Trumps

decision.

Then from withdrawing from one nuclear deal to supporting another. The American commander-in-chief is pursuing diplomacy with North Korean leader

Kim Jong-un who read the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons.

And we have breaking news this hour. Donald Trump says three Americans who were held in that country have now been released. Mr. Trump tweeted that

Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, quote, is in the air and on his way back from North Korea with the three wonderful gentlemen that everybody is

looking so forward to meeting. They seem to be in good health, he said.

Mr. Trump also arranged date and place set, apparently referring to plan talks between himself and Kim Jong-un.

Well as always CNN tracing both of these stories as only we can right across the world with the significant consequences and implications. Let's

get you then to CNN's diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson who is in London for you. Fred Pleitgen is on the Iran deal out of Tehran. And Michelle

Kosinski is in Washington on both. And Nic, let's start with you and the return of these U.S. citizens who had been prisoner in North Korea. Who

are they and what we know the details of their release?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: We know that they were released shortly before Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo's flight left

Pyongyang in the early evening. There was a very short perfunctory sort of legal process before they were able to board the plane. The three men sat

with medical professionals aboard the aircraft. They flew then to an air base in Japan. It seems they are obviously getting some medical attention.

Their well-being and current physical state isn't clear. However, what we are learning from the White House that there seen this as a positive

gesture.

Mike Pompeo's time on the ground there was very short, very brief, didn't spend the night. But did have a positive meeting with Kim Jong-un we're

told. At they discussed matters relating to President Trump's upcoming meeting. We've heard U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis who said that

there is reason to be optimistic about this upcoming meeting. Vice President Mike Pence has said that the tough diplomacy is essentially

paying off. That we need to continue with the pressure on North Korea to have fall denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

Transfer the three men, one of them was in a labor camp. He was detained in October 2015. The other two men were still being processed by the North

Korean legal system and what they appear to have been given by Kim Jong-un and is essentially a waiver on their transgressions as the North Korean see

it. And the message to the North Koreans to the United States on this is make sure that your clear with these men not to repeat the offenses that

they committed while in North Korea.

ANDERSON: Michelle, then a success for Donald Trump and his administration with more details it seems to follow about the date and place for these

talks. Correct?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean it is a success to bring these people home. There's been concern about them for

a long time and what would happen. Especially when tensions were very high. So, they've rather quickly been able to bring them home. It was

unlikely that this Summit would be able to go forward without them coming home. So, the North Koreans obviously knew that.

There was something though in what we've been hearing from officials on the plane coming back that have been filtered through the pool reporters there.

That North Korean officials told the U.S. delegation that they are doing this, and they are agreeing to even meet for talks.

[11:05:00] It's not because of sanctions but is because they perfected their nuclear capability and now they're ready to move forward and fix the

economic situation of their country. So, it sounds like in a statement like that that they're holding on the value of that nuclear capability and

what the U.S. is going to do about that. I mean, they're going for complete, total, irreversible denuclearization. That's the line that the

U.S. side always uses.

The other reason for this trip, of course, was to see how serious North Korea really is about denuclearizing. They said that was a strange

statement to hear. It's not unusual to hear that kind of rhetoric. Even within a meeting like this coming from the North Koreans. So, it all

remains to be seen the outcome of this meeting. But as the U.S. officials like to reiterate they are not trusting North Korea at this point. They've

made many promises in the past and broken them. They're optimistic but they don't want to be overly optimistic at this point.

At least though they've seen this bold move by returning these American detainees. I mean, that really did have to happen before Trump and Kim can

sit down face-to-face.

ANDERSON: Michelle, stand by and Nic in London. I want to get to Fred and Tehran. It is an open question as to what Iran's nuclear capabilities will

be going forward. It's been a busy time for the Trump administration. The U.S. President himself over the past 24 hours he's nixed the JCPOA, often

times called the Iran deal. Although, it was ultimately an action plan of course. What's the response been there?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, quite a few responses. I think there's two things that really stand out. One, was

the response from Iran supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, some of the language he spoke earlier today that he had for President Trump, that

saying that President Trump's corpse would be fodder for worms. That the Iranian nation would still stand clearly ripping into the U.S. President.

But then there was something else, Becky, and I thought was very remarkable as well. And that was one of the things that people were thinking. That

after the nuclear agreement was nixed by the United States, or at least the United States pulling out of it, people thought there would be a rift

between the moderates and the hardliners here in Iran. To a certain extent that is the case. You had Hassan Rouhani being attacked by some of the

hardliners.

But it certainly does seem as though they are moving forward at least in a joint way. President Hassan Rouhani, the moderate, he came out and he said

that he believed that possibly there could be a way to salvage the nuclear agreement by making it a smaller agreement between Iran and the original

signatories minus the United States. Now, that of course would require cooperation especially of the European companies because they have big

businesses I want to do business here. The supreme leader who is of course a hardliner, he says he skeptical of that. But he is willing to give

Rouhani a shot at trying to achieve that. So, it certainly seems as though they have the joint position rather than being dragged apart.

However, the Iranians have said, Becky, that if they come to the conclusion that this deal is dead, that it will not work, and the Europeans can't make

it work, then they will ramp up their nuclear program once again. They say they can do that very quickly. They say they don't want to build a bomb,

but certainly they say they can get all that up and running very quickly once again.

ANDERSON: Nic, he supreme leader being highly critical it seems of three specific European leaders who have been trying so hard to ensure that

Donald Trump stays within what is this multilateral agreement or action plan. Highly polarizing decision by the U.S. President. Where does this

leave the Europeans with regards to their relations with the United States and what happens going forward? It seems so unclear.

ROBERTSON: Yes, there's a lot of unanswered questions. But the United States is moving very quickly to answer some of those. On the point about

that the Iranian's are making about the E3, Germany, France, Britain, partners that were part of that deal that they're looking to them, to the

Europeans, to be able to uphold their part of this. That seems at the moment to be a very shaky proposition. What we're hearing from the State

Department in Washington is that they moved immediately, yesterday afternoon, who begin discussions with opposite numbers in those three

capitals, you know, Berlin, Paris and London. About what these -- that removing the waiver on the sanctions would mean. And there is a potential

for secondary sanctions on businesses, be it French, be it British, be it German businesses if they continue to do business in the United States.

[11:10:00] Now there is some legal way within the European Union that some of those businesses can potentially push back. But the bottom line is, is

that, you know, we don't precisely know how this is going to work. But the direction it is headed in is if you're a British business and you want to

do business with a company in Tehran none of your banking will be able to go through the United States. We heard discussion in the House of Commons

today that MPs were meeting with the deputy and Governor of the Bank of England to discuss how that sort of mechanism could work on their side. We

also heard from the foreign secretary here, Boris Johnson, speaking specifically to this issue. We'll just play what he said. Speaking

specifically to this issue and what he wants United States to do, or rather not do in this situation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: It calls to the U.S. administration to spell out their view of the way ahead. In the meantime,

I urge the U.S. to avoid taking any action that would hinder other parties from continuing to make the agreement work in the interest of our

collective national security. I urge Iran to respond to the U.S. decision with restraint and continue to observe its commitments under the JCPOA.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: The bottom line, very simply, the United States as it pulls out of the JCPOA as it has, there's no point from the United States perspective

of the JCPOA remaining operative. Because that would deny the United States to pressure it wants to apply to Tehran to bring about the changes

it wants.

ANDERSON: Well, Michelle, then. Give us a sense of whether you fundamentally believe that there's been a 360 sort of argument on this at

the State Department. You heard what the British foreign minister has said effectively to Washington. What his message is. Where does U.S. thinking

stand at this point? I mean, after all American companies it's going to cost him an awful lot of money going forward. If it's a cogent argument,

this one, and a plan.

KOSINSKI: I mean, that's been the question. We were finally able to sit down with members of the State Department yesterday and didn't get a lot of

clarity from them. I mean, they have their arguments aligning with the President on why the U.S. decided to do this. Why they knocked down that

pillar -- in the words of the French President -- which was the JCPOA. Why do you need to start from scratch? So, they have the same lines that they

repeat on that. That they think they're going be in a better place when they're able to tackle everything from the bottom up.

I mean, the Europeans don't believe that at all. There is a huge risk there. When we talk to the European counterparts who've been dealing with

the State Department for months on this and the quotes that we get from them are just unbelievable. I mean, one senior European diplomat told us

yesterday that dealing with the State Department after this yesterday was a complete shamble. That there is no alignment between what is said at the

State Department and with the U.S.'s national Security Council. That they feel that there is no strategy here.

So, we found out this morning the U.S. national security adviser, John Bolton, how this conference call with his counterparts in the U.K., France

and Germany. And what it ended up being was him answering a lot of questions about the sanctions and what you do from here. What is the plan

moving forward? And I'm told by one diplomat that there was not a lot of clarity on either point. Because for a while, you know, that the writing

was on the wall that the U.S. was going to do this. Europeans were saying, well OK, we're going to move forward with this deal as it stands with Iran

and we'll see what happens with these side issues. But now the U.S. is saying, well we're going to sanction Europeans for doing that. That

essentially breaks down the deal for everyone -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Michelle Kosinski is in Washington. Nic Robertson our diplomatic editor is in London. Fred Pleitgen is in Tehran. To all of you

I think you.

Well whatever this plan will be going forward it is no surprise. There are U.S. allies in this region mainly Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, who are

applauding the move by the U.S. president. But Donald Trump's decision to nix this Iran deal driving a wedge with one of the U.S.'s key NATO allies

in this region and that being Turkey, where I am today. I sat down with President Erdogan who discuss this news and why he thinks nixing this deal

is a huge mistake.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[11:15:00] RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT: In the drop of a hat turning this deal around and retreating from this deal, possibly is not

just going to impact the region but also the whole world. The whole world economy is at stake and that is a reason why as Turkey we will be hit. And

the United States might gain some certain positivity's out the from this or the oil prices. But many of the other countries poverty will be hit even

harder and deeper. And at the same we fear a new crisis would break out in the region. We don't need new crises in the region.

ANDERSON: Do you believe or are you concerned that a geopolitical war will break out? What is the biggest risk here, sir?

ERDOGAN: That's something we wouldn't wish to see. Of course, this is not what we would like to expect. However, in my point of view the U.S. will

be the ones to lose. Iran will never compromise on this agreement and will abide by this agreement until the end. That's what I think. But however,

the U.S. will lose in the end.

ANDERSON: What do you think specifically, sir, when you talk about new crises in the region? You for example, are in touch with the Iranian's and

you are in touch with the Israelis. What's your message to them at this point?

ERDOGAN: Beyond American withdrawal from this process, actually there was another mistake made by the Americans or Obama administration. First,

moving the embassy to Jerusalem or that attempt was a huge mistake. You are in the position of moving your embassy to Jerusalem thinking that

you're going to deal some challenges once and for all, but that's not how it works. What are you trying to do here? Are you trying to send some

political messages in your point of view to Israel? Are you trying to satisfy the Israeli administration? Is that what your intention is?

ANDERSON: There are many in Washington and in other Western capitals who are at present concerned about the increasing influence of Turkey, of

Russia and of Iran in this Middle East region. Are they right to be concerned to a certain extent? Do you see that increasing influence? And

what is your message to Washington when they say that is a concern?

ERDOGAN: The United States is losing true friends right now. Not be insistent on (INAUDIBLE) and the U.S. should not insist on making this

mistake and I think it would be very beneficial for the peace of the world. We need this. We need this. Because you should respect an agreement that

you have signed. This is not how the international mechanisms work, international covenants and international conventions cannot be annulled

upon will. If any document is very in your signature you need to respect that. You need to abide by that. Administrations might change, the

governments might change, but the signatures right there.

ANDERSON: President Erdogan, U.S. and Turkey are important NATO allies, but it presents it does feel like you are on somewhat of a collision course

with Washington. At odds with this decision on the Iran deal, on Syria, on the U.S. Embassy moved to Jerusalem, the detention of a U.S. evangelist

Pastor here on terrorism charges, that he denies, threats of retaliation. Should the U.S. block the sale of military hardware to Turkey? Let me deal

with that point if you will. Should the U.S. block the sale of military hardware, some F-35s, plus, plus. What would Turkey's quite retaliation

look like?

ERDOGAN: These are very interesting. If there is an alliance. If you're allies give you rewards you should crown it with a spirit. What you stated

so far will never comply or will never beat the spirit of the alliance. An agreement had been signed and we are paying our installments truly, in

return for F-35's.

[11:20:00] But you cannot immediately or in the drop of a hat decide not to give me the F-35's that I've been paying for these. And other than that,

if there is a move to withdraw in my country allegedly associated with terrorist organizations such as the aforementioned Pastor Brunson, it's now

within the discretion of the judiciary. So, why would you throw the judicial issue into a political process.

You don't seem to respect our demands from you for the extradition of some individuals saying that it's a part of the judiciary. For example, there

is the counter terrorist organization and the leader is still in the United States since 1999. And he's being harbored there and he's not a conflict.

He's not even being detained. And we demand his extradition and he's not being extradited to us. Although there is a pastor that is here who is

being currently prosecuted, and he is allegedly associated with a terrorist organization. And you're asking for him.

ANDERSON: He has called the charges against him shameful and disgusting. A U.S. commission calling the charges wild conspiracies, tortured logic.

Donald Trump himself, the U.S. president, leading that he, the President, is more of a spy than Andrew Brunson. And on the issue of Fethullah Gulen,

Washington continues to say that there is not enough evidence to hand him over. Sir, there will be people who say -- and there are those who say --

at this is tit-for-tat. This is hostage diplomacy. Is it?

ERDOGAN: It exists a hostage diplomacy. It's not all about that at all.

ANDERSON: We talk about this sense that the U.S. and Turkey are on somewhat of a collision course at present with reference to the

conversation that we've just had. Let's talk Syria.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We urge Turkey to exercise restraint in its military actions and rhetoric. Ensure that its operations

are limited in scope and duration. Ensure humanitarian aid continues and avoid civilian casualties.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Two questions to you. What is your endgame in Afin province? And what happens next?

ERDOGAN: Parts of Syria, it's just we are fighting terrorists. Who are these terrorists? YPG, we are fighting them. The U.S. is currently moving

alongside YPG and PYD. 5,000 (INAUDIBLE) weapons were deployed. We cannot buy weapons from the United States although we pay for them. However, on

the contrary the U.S. administration is deploying free of charge, weapons to these terrorists.

[11:25:00] And while doing so these terrorists are using these weapons against us, against our borders. Our borders are being continuously

harassed. Let us fight together in Raqqah, is what I said to President Trump personally. The U.S. preferred moving the (INAUDIBLE) and

(INAUDIBLE) set aside to (INAUDIBLE).

ANDERSON: You told me when we last spoke that you wanted to wait and see on Donald Trump. That was when we spoke in 2016. You've waited, you've

seen. So, what do you think of Donald Trump after he's been running America for what, 18 months?

ERDOGAN: For the U.S. administration or the Trump administration to be evaluated from Turkey would not be the best way to go. Because you have a

barometer in order to tell which is what.

ANDERSON: But I'm asking you. I am asking you.

ERDOGAN: No, no, no, when I called President Trump -- if I can still talk to him -- I need to keep my distance and still remain respectful. So long

as he remains respectful towards me.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: President Erdogan on Donald Trump and a widening rift it seems between Ankara and Washington. And why he says Donald Trump's nixing of

the Iran deal could likely further exacerbate an already roiling region. That being the Middle East and the wider region. I think the point is here

that there is absolutely no clarity on what comes next and that should worry us in the region and all of us around the world. So, more of that

interview with President Erdogan when I press him to explain why it is that he has called snap elections for June 24. And why it is that there are

those who say those polls will never be free or fair. That's coming up after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Hello, and welcome your watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson with a very special show for you tonight from Turkey's capital of

Ankara. As the sun begins to go down here. We'll have more of my exclusive interview with the Turkish President a little later in this hour.

First up though it has been a very, very busy day in Washington. It was a busy day yesterday. A very busy day once again today, right now, U.S.

Senators are grilling the President's controversial pick to lead the CIA. That is Gina Haspel and she has promise not to resume harsh interrogations

at the agency. Take a listen to this exchange between Haspel and the ranking Democrat on the intelligence committee.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: My question is this. On a going forward basis if this President asks you to do something that you find morally

objectionable, even if there is an OLC opinion, what will you do? Will you carry that out that order or not? I mean, we're entrusting you in a very

different position if you're confirmed. I just need to know what you --

GINA HASPEL, CIA DIRECTOR NOMINEE: Senator, my moral compass is strong. I would not allow the CIA to undertake activity that I thought was immoral

even if it was technically legal. I would absolutely not permit it.

WARNER: So, you would not follow the order if you felt it was --

HASPEL: No. I believe that CIA must undertake activities that are consistent with American values. America is looked at all over the world

as an example to everyone else in the world and we have to uphold that. And CIA is included in that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Gina Haspel's hearing there. We are in Ankara. You'll get more of what is what my world exclusive interview with the Turkish President

after this short break. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: A key announcement that could have big consequences for Turkey's political future. This was the moment, last month, that President Recep

Tayyip Erdogan called for snap elections. Moving them forward more than a year. Turkey will switch to a powerful executive presidency after the June

24 polls are moved. Narrowly approved and what was a nationwide referendum.

I'm Becky Anderson. You're with a very special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD live from Turkey's capital Ankara. Where I conducted that interview

-- the exclusive interview that I had with the Turkish President. Here's the second part of that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

And what are still 18 months to remain as the president I could've as well stayed as the president. But when the occasion asked for it we said, be

our guests and let's hold the snap elections. I don't know how the will of my people should translate, but I have a responsibility to step out into

the squares, all the rallies and I believe in the will of my people.

[11:35:00] ANDERSON: And the main opposition in the Republican -- their people's party, the CHP as it's known -- the main candidates claims

immediate embargo has been placed on opposition parties at your request. Is this true? And can you assure the opposition in the rest of the world

they will be given the same opportunities for coverage in the run-up to these elections?

ERDOGAN: They are trying to realize certain achievements, but they can't, so they blame it on us. And in all of the political parties you will find

an opportunity to launch a propaganda in the state TV.

ANDERSON: In its world reports 2018 Human Rights Watch has criticized this new presidential system which consolidates, it says, the incumbents hold on

power. Calling it a setback for human rights and the rule of law. It says it lacks sufficient checks and balances against the abuse of executive

power. Greatly diminishing the powers of Parliament and consolidating presidential control over judicial appointments. We know, it is well

documented, there are many journalists in jail. I put it to you again, is there an open playing field here for free and fair elections? When perhaps

state television will be providing opportunities for coverage, but other organizations effectively telling the government line.

ERDOGAN: Well, everything that we hear in your remarks are just wrong. Definition certifies. It's not right to claim that the mandate of the

entire Parliament will be removed, and it will be collected by the President. This is not the right way to assess the situation. Judiciary.

ANDERSON: you said in your own manifesto that you are prepared to bring forward some economic visions for this country and you want to see this

economy as number 10 or in the top 10 before 2023. That would mean doubling the GDP of this country. How are you going to do that?

ERDOGAN: And we've become number one on a global scale.

ANDERSON: I'm certainly confused by that statement.

ERDOGAN: In terms of growth Turkey is now ranking number one among the G20 -- the countries that are G20 we are number one. And we will be a success

story that other 10 global economies envy. And you will see every time you come.

ANDERSON: Well, I'll be back next year. So, you and I must talk. We'll talk after the elections.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: That was our Becky Anderson in Ankara speaking to the President there. And we are following a couple of major stories this

hour. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on his way back to Washington with three Americans just released by North Korea. We're also tracking the

full hour Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. The U.S. withdrawal has received a mixed reaction internationally. But it

has delighted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On Wednesday he attended a Russian military parade with Vladimir Putin who stands opposite

Israel on both the nuclear deal and Syria.

Well, CNN is covering every angle of this story from right around the world. Our Oren Liebermann is in the Golan Heights. Our Atika Shubert is

in Berlin. And let's start with our Fred Pleitgen in Iran. The country at the center of all of this. Fred, obviously, a lot of anger there in Iran.

And a lot of it directly targeted at the U.S. president.

PLEITGEN: Well, absolutely. I mean, if you heard some of the remarks here today and amongst others. By the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,

who came out with some of the strongest words. And certainly, I've never heard him saying that. Donald Trump's corpse would be fodder for worms.

But the Iranian Islamic Republic would still stand. Also saying that he believed that Trump lied in the remarks that he gave about Iran.

Then you had several members of Parliament here that in Tehran the hardliners set fire to an American flag inside the parliament and also to a

copy of the nuclear agreement as well. The Iranians also been voting for what they say would be reciprocal action against the United States. It's

unclear what exactly that is going to mean. So, there are some pretty harsh reactions.

But on the other side there is also some nuance reactions as well. If you look at for instance what Iranian president, the moderate, Hassam Rouhani,

said.

[11:40:00] He said that he wants to try and salvage the nuclear agreement possibly as a smaller agreement between Iran, China, Russia, and then three

major European countries, Germany, Britain and France.

Now, the big question for the Iranians is going to be whether or not the Europeans are going to be able to hold onto the deal. Because the big

problem that they are going to have is that European companies who want to do business here could run into big problems with the Americans. They

might have to fear retaliation from the Americans. So, the Iranians right now are saying we're going to wait and see whether or not the Europeans

could pull this off. Whether it's viable and then the Iranians will decide if they will stay in the deal. The Iranians have said, Lynda, that they

could ramp up their nuclear program very quickly again if they wanted to. However, they also say that they do not have the desire to build a nuclear

weapon -- Lynda.

KINKADE: All right, Fred, good to have to have you there in Tehran for us. I want to go to Oren now. Because obviously, Israel has welcome this move

and has Saudi Arabia. Why did they say President Trump withdrawing the U.S. from this deal as a good move?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made this pitch that we saw recently, especially with President Donald

Trump's remarks just yesterday, that the world, the U.S., Israel and the Middle East are better off without the U.S. in the nuclear deal.

Netanyahu's argument has been that the strongest possible sanctions, economically punishing sanctions against Iran even without inspections and

monitoring of Iran's nuclear ambitions are far better and far more effective than the sanctions benefits, the sanctions reprieve that Iran has

gotten with the inspections and the monitoring. Unfortunately, as we've seen is not a viewed shared by anyone except the United States. But

Netanyahu knew that all he had to do is pull one block out of the Iran nuclear deal. The U.S. essentially, and the rest would very likely come

tumbling down.

Now it's interesting where Netanyahu is today. He's in Russia. He's in Moscow meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It's victory day in

Moscow. And that of course is the reason for the meeting. But as Israel and Iran tensions escalate, it is Russia, it is Putin that has the ability,

the power and the influence to make sure it doesn't escalate too much or find some way to control it. And in the brief readout we got in the

meeting between Netanyahu and Putin that was the first thing Putin addressed. Saying there needs to be some way found between Israel and

Iran. There needs to be some way found over Syria to make sure this doesn't escalate into an all-out war at this point -- Lynda.

KINKADE: All right, Oren. I want to Atika, because we saw so many of those European leaders trying to plead with the U.S. president to stay in

that deal. Those pleas fell on deaf ears clearly. The European leaders feel that this deal can be preserved without the U.S.?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, absolutely. And in fact, the Foreign Minister of Germany, Heiko Maas, last night said

this deal is not dead. And that was followed up by Chancellor Merkel today. She said, yes, Germany regrets and is concerned about the U.S.

withdrawal, but, you know, the deal continues to go on. And she made it very clear that it should not be about questioning this deal, rather it

should be about expanding upon the deal that exists.

So, as far as the EU is concerned they're going to stick with this. Businesses can continue to do business with Iran. And what this really

does is that President Trump puts a lot of pressure not on Iran but on Europe. And European companies who now have to figure out are they going

to continue to do business in defiance of U.S. sanctions or are they going to abandon the agreement. So far, the EU says they keep to this deal.

They will stick to the Iran deal no matter if the U.S. walks out.

KINKADE: All right, Atika Shubert, Frederik Pleitgen, Oren Liebermann, good to have you all for this. Thank you very much.

Well, I want to go back to our Becky Anderson. That link in Ankara is back up and working. Hi Becky.

ANDERSON: Hello, there. Thank you for that. We're in Ankara, in Turkey. This is a special edition of connect the world. Thank you for your help

there. We will be back after this short break. We'll be in Beirut. We're looking at the shock waves reverberating around this region as a result of

the decision by the U.S. President Donald Trump to nix Iran nuclear deal. Back after this.

[11:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. This is a special show coming to you from Ankara in Turkey. Welcome back.

Donald Trump says that if he had allowed the Iran deal to stand there would soon be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. He says he's made the

region safer. But other countries see it. We want to get the view now from Lebanon. A tiny nation with huge strategic importance to regional

powers. Our Ben Wedeman is live in Beirut for us with some perspective. At a time, it seems which is so critical in the region. A time at which it

seems almost the order of the Middle East is at stake. Are we looking at even worse to come at this point, Ben, as a result of this U.S. pulling out

of this? Just explain where you think we stand at this point. Because it's very unclear it seems to me.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly if you look at the regional reaction it's quite mix. The main sort of U.S.

client states in the Gulf, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, couldn't be happier about this decision. Iraq on the other hand has come out with a

statement from the Foreign Ministry calling the U.S. decision to pull out of the nuclear deal as hasty and uncalculated.

If you look at the broader picture certainly listening to analysts, observers here and in the West, there's been a lot of handwringing, Becky,

about the fact that there's no plan B. There is no plan for the day after. But if you take a close look at the main facilitators, the cheerleaders of

this decision in Washington and the region. It does seem that there is in fact a plan B. And that plan B -- if you come down to it -- is regime

change.

But regime change is something of a misnomer. What we saw in Iraq for instance and it wasn't regime change it was state obliteration and

everything, all its underpinnings. We saw chaos, violence and bloodshed on a huge scale. And certainly, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the others would

like to see Iran eliminated as a regional superpower. But that will not be achieved without bloodshed, chaos and destruction. And certainly, even

their desired outcome perhaps of regime change, the outcome in no sense guaranteed. So, Trump's claim that the region is going to be safer as a

result, dubious -- Becky.

ANDERSON: It was Emmanuel Macron warning Donald Trump some weeks ago when he tried to get him to stay in this deal. When he said, do not repeat the

mistakes of the past. The Turkish President here telling me that this move by the U.S. is a huge mistake. When you talk about those client states of

the U.S., if you will, those friendly allies in the region, the Israelis, the Saudi Arabians particularly and the UAE, in their defense they will say

this is all about ensuring that Iran's expansionary moves, it's expansive moves around this region are kept in check or stopped as the case may be.

[11:50:00] And to all intents and purposes we are looking at a region at present where we are seeing the increasing influence of Iran, Russia and

Turkey for example, and the scaling back of influence of the U.S. And that to some extent worries people. There seem to be absolutely no clarity as

to what the U.S. wants to do or will do next in the region. How big a deal to you think that is?

WEDEMAN: Well, certainly the gradual withdrawal of the United States from the Middle East is opening up a huge vacuum into others, Russia, Turkey,

Iran are coming to fill in that vacuum. But at the end of the day, I mean look for instance at the main proponents of regime change in Iran where the

main proponents of regime change in Iraq. Bolton, Netanyahu and others. And certainly, the removal of Saddam Hussein was a gift to the Iranians.

And Iranians if you look at their moves in Yemen, in Syria, in Lebanon, it really is simply to shore up their allies in the region. So, it should

come as no surprise that Iran's influence has spread as United States has slowly pulled back. Now how this is going to work out if the United States

tries to actively undermine the government in Iran and what Iran might do in response. Raises a lot of questions. It is not altogether clear that

President Trump has thought about all of that -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, and that is the point isn't it. For those of us who live in the region, what does day two look like? It is very unclear at this

point. Ben, thank you for that. Live from Ankara in Turkey, I'm Becky Anderson for you. You're watching a live edition of CONNECT THE WORLD from

Ankara in Turkey. Coming up, the U.S. tears up his deal with Iran but has positive news from South Korea. Will be live to that region, up next. Do

stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Hello, I'm Becky Anderson in the Turkish capital of Ankara as the city and the region in the world digest the news that the U.S. has

withdrawn from the what is known as the JCPOA or the Iran deal, loosely termed.

There is news out of North Korea. Three Americans who've been held in North Korea are on their way home. President Trump says they are traveling

with the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. And the President says he'll be there to greet them when they arrive in the U.S.

Their release comes ahead of the highly anticipated meeting between Mr. Trump and North Korea's leader.

[11:55:00] And now it appears details of that meeting have been worked out. CNN's Will Ripley is following developments from Tokyo for you. On the

release of these U.S. citizens detained in North Korea, what do we know? What's the very latest at this point?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Becky. Well, just minutes ago we got a report from our spotters working for TV Asahi, a CNN affiliate here in

Tokyo. And they say that they saw a plane that they believe is the plane carrying the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and those three American

detainees who have just been set free, taking off and now on its way to Washington. Swear President Trump and the Vice President are expected to

meet the plane when it arrives around 2 a.m. Eastern time. It is about a 12-hour flight.

It has been quite a long whirlwind day for Secretary Pompeo. He landed here in Japan very early in the morning local time. Flew to North Korea.

Had more than 13 hours of meetings. There was a luncheon with the North Koreans. They talked about the upcoming summit with President Trump. They

apparently now have set officially the date and the location, which they plan to announce in the coming days. And they also -- he secured the

release of those three men. Kim Dong-chul who's been in custody since October 2015. Kim Hak-song and Tony Kim both detained in the spring of

last year. Quite an ordeal for those men and their families. But now in just a matter of hours they will be home. And they will be reunited with

their loved ones who've been missing them so much. Tony Kim had a grandchild born while they were in custody.

ANDERSON: Amazing for them. I'm going to stop you there for just a moment. We're hearing from Donald Trump. He's just held the cabinet

meeting and let's listen in to what he had to say.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know what I want to do. I want to get it finished. The prize I want is victory for the world, not

for even here. I want victory for the world. Because that's what we're talking about. So that's the only prize I want.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).

TRUMP: Everything can be scuttled. Everything can be scuttled. It doesn't mean -- a lot of things can happen. A lot of good things could

happen. A lot of bad things could happen. I believe that we have both sides want to a negotiated deal. I think is going to be a very successful

deal. I think we have a really good shot at making it successful. But lots of things can happen. And of course, you'll be the first to know

about it if it does. But I think we have a really good chance to make a great deal for the world. Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you going to do with Iran starts up their nuclear program?

TRUMP: Iran will find out. They're going to find out. I don't think they should do that. I would advise Iran not to start their nuclear program. I

would advise them very strongly. If they do there will be very severe consequence. OK. Thank you very much. Thank you.

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN HOST: Hello, Maggie Lake, in New York. You are just listening to Donald Trump holding a cabinet meeting and making some

comments to the press. Speaking on the two big geopolitical stories that have been dominating over the last 24 hours. One of that is the news that

three Americans have been released from North Korea who were detained there. They are with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. This ahead of the

summit with the North Korean leader and President Trump. A date and a place has evidently been set. We don't know the news of that. Also, of

course, the decision by President Trump to pull the U.S. out of the Iran deal, reimpose sanctions on Iran.

I want to go to Kaitlin Collins who standing by at the White House. Kaitlin, major, major news stories developing over the last 24 hours on the

international front. Let's start with the news just out today. What he commented on first in their briefing with the press, that short briefing.

And that is the release of the release of the North Koreans -- from North Korea of the Americans being detained.

KAITLIN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Right, those American prisoners who have been in North Korea they are on their way back to the United

States with the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Who just yesterday when the President was announcing that he was withdrawing Iran deal, told

reporters that Pompeo was actually over there going to meet with Karen officials. Potentially Kim Jung-un. We now know that, obviously, that

happen. They agree to the release of these Americans and according to the Vice President Mike Pence and the White House a statement that they put out

earlier, those Americans are in good health.

Now that is a big victory for this White House ahead of this potential Summit with Kim Jong-un. Which the President just said there bring that

cabinet meeting that he's going to announce in three days the date and location of that meeting. Now he did rule out the demilitarized zone, the

DMZ. Which had long been considered an option for that potential Summit between the two of them along of course with several others. But President

Trump announcing there that it will not be in the DMZ. We'll be waiting for him to formally announce it. And we know that part of reason why Mike

Pompeo was over there in Pyongyang was to discuss and nail down the final details of that Summit. Not just the actual general location of where

there meeting, but where they're meeting wherever the location is and who was going to be there.

END