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Gina Haspel Takes Oath as CIA Director; Pompeo Unveils New U.S. Strategy on Iran; Trump Calls for Probe into Whether FBI/DOJ Spied on Trump Campaign; Socialist President Maduro Wins Second Six-Year Term; Saudi Activist Detained Weeks Before Lifting of Driving Ban. Aired 11a-12n ET

Aired May 21, 2018 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Congratulations again. I know that you will thrive as the agency's director and help keep

our nation safe and strong and proud and free. Good luck. God bless you. And God blessed the men and women of the CIA. God bless America.

And I just want to thank everybody in this room for doing such an incredible job and for giving Gina that unbelievable support that she

needed. It took courage for her to say yes in the face of a lot of very negative politics and what was supposed to be a negative vote. But I'll

tell you when you testified before the committee, it was over. There was not much they could say. There was nobody more qualified then you, and you

are going to do a fantastic job, Gina. Thank you very much.

So, with that I'd like to ask our great Vice President to administer the oath of office. Thank you all very much, thank you.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Place your left hand, raise right hand repeat after me.

I Gina Haspel do solemnly swear --

GINA HASPEL, CIA DIRECTOR: I Gina Haspel do solemnly swear --

PENCE: That I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States.

HASPEL: That I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States --

PENCE: -- against all enemies foreign and domestic.

HASPEL: -- against all enemies foreign and domestic.

PENCE: -- and I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.

HASPEL: -- and I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.

PENCE: That I take this obligation freely --

HASPEL: That I take this obligation freely --

PENCE: -- without any mental reservation --

HASPEL: -- without any mental reservation --

PENCE: -- or purpose of evasion.

HASPEL: -- or purpose of evasion.

PENCE: And that I will well and faithfully discharge --

HASPEL: And that I will well and faithfully discharge --

PENCE: -- the duties of the office on which I'm about to enter.

HASPEL: -- the duties of the office on which I'm about to enter.

PENCE: So, help me God.

HASPEL: So, help me God.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: you've been watching the swearing in of the new CIA director in Washington and listening to a speech by the U.S. President,

Donald Trump. Welcoming Gina Haspel to the job and applauding the agency staff gathered there who are applauding the swearing in of their new


Hello, and welcome, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Let's have a listen to what Gina Haspel has to say.

HASPEL: -- and for offering those kind words. Mr. President, it means a great deal to me and to the agency that you may time to come out to Langley

for this ceremony.

You have placed enormous trust in CIA throughout your presidency. And the men and women of CIA do not take that for granted. So, thank you Mr.

President, for your confidence in me and your steadfast support of our mission and our people.

I am truly honored to have this opportunity to lead the best workforce in government. It has been nearly 50 years since an operations officer rose

up through the ranks to become the director. And after the experience of the last two months I think I know why that is.

I look out in the crowd today and I see a strong representation of the CIA's past, present and possibly even the future. I am looking at two

young ladies, special guests, who join us today. CIA has been more than a career. It has been for me, like many of you, a calling. In this building

and around the world today there are officers carrying out a vital mission. Sometimes at great personal risk. I want each of you to know that I took

on the position of director because I want to represent you as well as lead you.

My years at CIA have rewarded me in ways that I could never have imagined, and I will continue to give it and you my all.

[11:05:00] There are countless role models and mentors who paved the way for me to stand here today. As the director, I want the current CIA

leadership team to be role models and mentors for our next generation of officers who will walk the streets of far-flung capitals and work the late

nights here at headquarters and abroad.

For me being director is about doing right by all of you so that you have the tools and support needed to carry out our sacred mission.

Every CIA officer has taken the same oath that I just did to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies. And today I recommit that I

will do everything in my power to justify the faith that President Trump and the American people have placed in us. And to make sure that CIA

continues to provide the intelligence needed to keep our country safe.

I would be remiss if I did not also note the tremendous pride I take in being the first woman to serve as director. I would not be standing before

you today if not for the remarkable courage and dedication displayed by generations of OSS and agency women. In roles both large and small who

challenge stereotypes, broke down barriers, and open doors for the rest of us. I am deeply indebted to them and I am extremely proud to follow in

their footsteps and to carry on their extraordinary legacy. I stand on the shoulders of heroines who never sought public acclaim but served as

inspirations to the generations that came after them.

I also want to express a special thank you and welcome to Eliza and Zoe who have joined us today. The notes from these two young ladies ages six and

seven sent to me, sat on my desk these last two months and motivated me daily. In their own words and pictures, they expressed their excitement

about the opportunity my nomination represented. And to Eliza and Zoe I would simply say, we did it.

Lastly, and allow me just a moment to talk about the future of this agency. A little over a year ago, Secretary Pompeo, first spoke to me about

becoming the deputy director. At that time, he said, CIA is the world's preeminent intelligence service and I want to make sure we position it to

stay that way. Mike was right, we are the best in our challenge is to always be the best. We cannot rest on our laurels. We must learn from the

past, but we cannot dwell in the past.

We must constantly learn, adjust, improve and strive to be better. We demand it of ourselves and America deserves nothing less.

That includes boosting our foreign language proficiency, strengthening our partnerships overseas and here at home, and deploying more of our officers

to the foreign field. We are a foreign intelligence service and our workforce, and our priorities need to reflect that.

We also need greater focus and effort on the strategic threats our nation faces as well as the persistent threat from global terrorism. As always,

the key to our success against these challenges will be empowering the incredible talent that resides within CIA. The men and women who serve

here are a national treasure. From the operations officers who collect our intelligence, to the analysts who can textualize and evaluate it for senior

policymakers, to the support officers who enable every aspect of our mission, to the scientists, engineers, and cyber specialist who give us a

decisive edge over our adversaries.

The only way to confront these threats is to forge ahead with determination and with the same expeditionary spirit that has defined our agency since

its founding more than 70 years ago. I am profoundly honored to lead you in that fight and to work alongside each one of you as we advance our vital


So, Mr. President, thank you again for giving me the opportunity to serve, to represent the men and women of CIA, and to carry out the critical work

of helping protect our country, our people, and our way of life. Thank you very much.

[11:10:00] ANDERSON: The new CIA director there, Gina Haspel, in the national security and international strategy are in sharp focus in

Washington this hour. Just earlier, the man who Haspel is replacing delivered a tough message in his new role as Secretary of State. Speaking

almost 2 weeks after the U.S. withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal. Mike Pompeo warned that coming sanctions against Tehran would be the strongest

in history.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: After our sanctions come in force, it will be battling to keep its economy alive. Iran will be forced to make

a choice. Either fight to keep its economy off life support at home or keep squandering precious wealth on fights abroad. It will not have the

resources to do both. I spent a great deal of time with our allies in my first three weeks. I know that they may decide to try and keep their old

nuclear deal going with Tehran. That is certainly their decision to make. They know where we stand.


ANDERSON: That is Mike Pompeo just within the past hour or so. We're covering all sides of today's fast-moving events. Our senior diplomatic

correspondent, Michelle Kosinski, is in Washington. Thomas Erdbrink from the "New York Times" joins us from Tehran. In my colleague, Sam Kylie is

here and Abu Dhabi.

Let me start with you, Michelle. We've just seen the swearing in of Gina Haspel. She was, of course, a controversial pick by the U.S. president.

Replacing a man today who said, and I quote, the U.S. will aim to crush Iran with economic and military pressure unless it changes its behavior in

the Middle East. Michelle, these are fighting words. Sanctions are one thing, military pressure something else entirely. Is he talking regime in

everything but name at this point?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he absolutely is. He has talked about regime change as regards Iran in the past. And at

times during this speech he really seemed to be speaking directly to the Iranian people. Urging them to not put up with this regime anymore.

Similar to what we've seen in the past when there were protests in Iran.

The administration from a number of fronts seemed to be pushing for people to go further and further without saying regime change. That's clearly

what they mean. And when he talks about military pressure, he spelled some of that out in his speech too. So, there would be things like self-

defense, deterring any further Iranian influence, helping allies with their defense in case of Iranian aggression. Making sure that there is freedom

of navigation. You know, this there is always the threat of strikes too. But he didn't spell that out in this speech -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Standby. Thomas, I want to get to you in Tehran. The Iranian regime should know this is just the beginning, said Mike Pompeo. Using

terms like crush Iran. This is just the beginning. How will this go down where you are?

THOMAS ERDBRINK, TEHRAN BUREAU CHIEF, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I mean for ordinary Iranians this would definitely mean that they're increasingly

caught between the United States and their own leaders. There have been protests here in Iran. People are dissatisfied. But it is very unclear to

the Iranian people en masse are ready to sort of go out on the streets and bring regime change as Mr. Pompeo wants.

At the same time what these people are seeing is a very hard line U.S. administration that is threatening to cripple Iran's economy. Well, I was

speaking just to some, you know, small entrepreneurs in Tehran right after the speech and they were saying, well, this is it. My livelihood is over.

I can't sell my paper. I was talking to a paper seller. I can't do my business. This other person was saying.

At the same time Iran's leaders will say, sure, you want to come down with crushing sanctions on us, come along. We've seen this story for the past

40 years from the United States. There have been sanctions against this country from almost 1st year of the revolution.

ANDERSON: So, the JCPOA in principle, of course, is not dead. The U.S. violating the agreement by imposing sanctions is not the same as what the

others are up to -- the other members of the P5 plus one. They are still supported. But in practice the deal might as well be dead. And nothing

from Mike Pompeo on a realistic plan for a better deal. So, is it clear at this stage what Tehran will do next?

[11:15:00] ERDBRINK: I think the Iranians will try very hard to increase their ties with the EU. The EU has very clearly said that they want to

keep the nuclear agreement in place. And I also think Russia and China will start speaking out more and being more aligned with the EU and Iran to

make sure that the nuclear deal stays in place. Because -- let's look at the European Union. They have no interest in instable Iran. This could

cause a high pickup in migration. This could cause further instability in the region. These are all problems that the Americans don't have. So, in

this case the Europeans are often perceived as very weak in the United States, will definitely try to make an effort to stop this hardline

language coming out of the United States.

ANDERSON: They failed to date though, haven't they? Sam Kylie is with me here in the studio. Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate

the Middle East, says Mike Pompeo. Is it overstating things to say Iran currently has carte blanche in the region? What does this all mean for the

region? We've clearly heard regime change in all but name at this point.

SAM KYLIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we most certainly have. I think we've got to look back in time a little bit to the sort of

language being used with reference to Iraq. And indeed, one of the interesting thing about sanctions is that they actually entrench the power

of Saddam Hussein. Not undermined it. It took a military campaign to remove him when the entire nation had been beggared. If that is the agenda

of the United States now, then one can expect that actually it will entrench the hardliners within Iran. You will be able to externalize the

pointing of the finger of fault.

ANDERSON: It'll take more than military pressure. Surely, it would take - -

KYLIE: It would take an invasion. I mean, that's ultimately the only way you're going to be able to be able to change regime. You're actually going

to entrench the hardliners within the regime.

ANDERSON: That's now possibility from the States, a military invasion.

KYLIE: It's potentially crazy. It's certainly something that the Europeans, the Russians, the Chinese would be allergic to. The idea is

Pompeo outlined in that speech, enhancing the power in the centrifugal forces within Iran. Talking about the Baluchi minorities, the Arabic

speaking minorities, as 1/3 of the country, inflaming those sorts of nationalist tensions in order to pull the country apart. Even if they were

successful in achieving that, in Iran that was in pieces, next to an Iraq that's in pieces, would be catastrophic for the entire Asian and European

land mass. So, that is not something that the Americans are going to get any kind of support for whatsoever from Europe.

And I think what's really critical here is that remark when he said, they know where we stand with regard to Europe. The European and the Americans

are now diametrically opposed on how to approach Iran. But there are some sort of home truths in there. It is the case as far as Pompeo and others

have been saying, and certainly the Saudis, the Israelis, are all on the same camp on this that Iran has been a destabilizing actor in the Middle

East. The support of Hezbollah, the Assad regime, the Houthis in Yemen, but to lump all that into one kind of set of renegotiations when all of the

signals coming from the American administration are we tear up contracts. We don't make new contracts very efficiently but were very good at tearing

them up. So, long term why would anybody sign up to anything the Americans on a contract now.

ANDERSON: Sam Kylie's in the house with me here. Michelle Kosinski is in Washington and Thomas in Tehran. To all of you, thank you.

You're watching connect the world. I'm Becky Anderson. Still to come, President Trump just had words of praise for the CIA. But his he set for a

showdown with the FBI? We'll get you back to Washington for that. That's after this.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. 7:20 out of our Middle Eastern hub here in the UAE. I'm Becky Anderson. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. Welcome back.

A busy day in Washington. As if the fighting talk on Iran, and the swearing in of a highly controversial pick to head the CIA weren't enough,

this. President Trump has previously accused the Obama administration of spying on his campaign. Well now, as CNN White House correspondent,

Kaitlin Collins, tells us, he's calling on investigators to get to the bottom of it.


KAITLIN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump making good on his threats to get involved at the Justice Department.

Demanding an investigation into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump campaign for political purposes. And if any such

demands or requests were made by people within the Obama administration.

SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: I'm not seen any evidence of that kind of truth of the claim the President's made.

The first thing you learn when you get involved with the intelligence community is you have to protect the sources and methods. People's lives

depend upon it.

COLLINS: Hours later the Justice Department announcing, it's internal watchdog, to expand the ongoing inquiry into surveillance during the

campaign to address the President's concerns.

With the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, noting, if anyone did infiltrate or surveilled participants in a presidential campaign for

inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action.

President Trump's stunning move coming after the "New York Times" reported that a confidential intelligence source interacted with Trump campaign

advisers, Carter Page and George Papadopoulos during the 2016 election. The Times describing the confidential source as an American academic who

teaches in Britain. U.S. officials have told CNN that the source wasn't embedded in the Trump campaign despite statements from the President and

his allies suggesting otherwise.

RUDY GIULIANI, TRUMPS LAWYER: For a long time, we've been told that there was some kind of infiltration.

I believe if there was an embedded person, that person cleared us.

COLLINS: The President's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, telling CNN that Mr. Trump won't be interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators

until he has more details about the source.

Giuliani also is saying that during negotiations with Mueller's team over the potential interview, and investigator said their obstruction probe

could wrap up by September 1 if the president agrees to sit down and answer questions. This, as the Times reports that Mueller is looking into another

controversial meeting at Trump Tower involving the President's son three months before the election.

Prominent Trump supporter, Erik Prince, arrange the meeting with Gulf emissary, George Nader. Who told Trump Jr. that princes from Saudi Arabia

and the United Arab Emirates were eager to help his father win the election. Israeli social media specialist, Joel Zamel, also attended the

meeting. Pitching a multimillion dollar proposal to help elect Trump. His lawyer denies he offered or received anything.

A source tells the Times that the president son responded approvingly to Nader. Who became a close campaign ally. But Donald Trump Jr.'s lawyer

tell CNN that the president's son was not interested and that was the end of it.

President Trump responding to the report by sending a flurry of tweets criticizing Mueller's probe insisting, the witch hunt finds no collusion

with Russia. So, now they're looking at the rest of the world.


ANDERSON: Rounder up what was a busy weekend in Washington then, a busy Monday for you, Kaitlin Collins reporting there. There are a lot of

threats to this story.

So, let's bring in White House reporter, a regular guest on this show. Always a pleasure to have you on, Stephen Collinson, who always help sort

things out for us. And I want you to do exactly that. Pick this apart for our international viewers. What are the implications of what we have just

heard from the White House?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: I think what they do is raise real grave questions about the state of American democracy under the Trump

administration and more questions about the campaign and whether foreign powers were trying to intervene.

[11:25:00] First of all, this demand that the president made on Sunday for an investigation into reports that an FBI confidential source was meeting

people during the Trump campaign at the time the FBI was investigating whether Russia was interfering in the campaign is very interesting.

It's yet another example of the President bashing down that wall between the Justice Department and the White House. The idea that the Justice

Department and the judicial process should be separate from politics. The president today is now tweeting an editorial from the "Wall Street Journal"

last week in which asked the question of where was Barack Obama in all of this? Whether he was involved in all of this. There is no evidence that

the White House under Obama or his Justice Department did anything improper. But what the president is trying to do is turn this into a

political circus.

That raises the question of whether the President is going to use the power of his office to go after a political opponent, which is antithetical to

the ideas of a democratic republic.

And finally, I think, on this question by demanding an investigation into a criminal investigation against himself the President is making it look like

he's using his executive powers to interfere in the process by which even a president could be held accountable to the law.

ANDERSON: Meanwhile, traditional U.S. allies will have listened to the speech of the new Secretary of State that we heard just an hour or so ago

on Iran. No realistic plan B. What he said was effectively, the Iranian regime should know that this is just the beginning. The U.S. will aim to

crush Iran with economic and military pressure unless it changes its behavior in the Middle East.

That will be music to the ears of some of the U.S.'s traditional allies in this region. And I'm talking about some of the Gulf allies, and Israel for

example. But not to the ears of those European allies who have worked so hard on the U.S. president to try and save this Iran nuclear deal. What do

you think the consequences are at this point? We've been talking on this show about whether he effectively talked about looking for regime change in

all but name.

COLLINSON: Right, I mean, it seems to me that this is regime change in slow motion, if you like. Without saying it, as you say, is in all but

name. That's the only real conclusion I think you can draw this sort of reading between the lines of Pompeo speech. I think this shows that this

is a president who is very good at caring things down. Being a disruptor. Destroying the status quote. But there is no real path to how the

administration will get what it wants on Iran other than threatening America's allies in Europe. I think we need to start thinking about the

implications of this.

We saw when the U.S. pulled out of the Paris climate deal that was a blow against European relations. But the fact that the United States is now

talking about sanctioning companies of its allies that do business in Iran, were talking about a real rupture across the Atlantic now. And I don't

think there is any reason for Europeans states and America's best friends supposedly in Europe, to work with this administration if all they're

getting is being ignored and being threatened.

ANDERSON: Well, if I was talking to the U.S. president he would probably tell me that he is the arch negotiator. We have no idea what is up his

sleeve with regard to Iran. But we've certainly heard some fighting words from his new Secretary of State and the former director of the CIA. On a

day that we've seen the swearing in of a new CIA leader. Stephen, always a pleasure. Thank you, sir.

Up next, newly reelected Venezuela's president promising to fix the country is collapsing economy. We explain why that may be almost impossible using

12 eggs. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: And a very warm welcome back. It is just after 7:30 in the UAE.

A simple question for you. What would you pay for these, 12 eggs. Three bucks, four, five? Well in Venezuela they could run you to $1,500. Yes,

you heard that right, $1,500. The country's money problems are truly mind- boggling. If you think that is hurting the politicians, well think again. This, the man who's been in charge while the economy has been falling

apart, President Nicolas Maduro, you are seeing him just this Sunday right after winning another six years in power.


NICOLAS MADURO, VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We won again. We were triumphant again. We've overcome all obstacles. We are the

strength of history transformed into a popular victory. Permanent popular victory.


ANDERSON: Well, making that triumphant speech in the capital, let's take you to there right now. CNN's Paula Newton on the ground for you in

Caracas. He got 68 percent of the vote, less than half the people actually voted. Way less than last time. And opposition complaining that the

selection and in fact, the U.S. agrees, is a sham. Is the victory on shaky ground? And if so, what are the implications?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, I would say that in terms of victory is certainly underwhelming. I mean, I've covered many elections

here. Becky, it was so quiet. I have never seen it that quiet. And even though the mainstream opposition boycotted, they also didn't protest and

that is key.

The problem is, Becky, he is not at this moment facing any challenges to his leadership. So, when he makes that kind of a victory speech, whether

he or not he got 50 percent turnout doesn't matter to him. And they had been prepping everyone for this.

[11:35:00] What will be tougher this regime now, Becky, is what comes next in terms of U.S. sanctions. We hear there will be more over the next few

weeks, but will they hit that all-important oil industry? And the other is the mass exodus. I know, Becky, we don't talk about it a lot, but this is

one of those -- the Exodus now could be a refugee crisis that affects a lot of the neighbors in Latin America and will begin to actually get the

world's attention. Because right now Venezuelans do not see another way out. And given what you quoted about how much even a dozen eggs cost in

this country, whether or not you can get them, it remains dire.

ANDERSON: As you point out, we mentioned that these eggs can cost up to $1,500 a dozen. That's at the official exchange rate, of course. There is

also a large's so-called black economy, isn't there? Black-market. Describe what average life is like there, Paula?

NEWTON: Well, let's see. You wake up in the morning, you may or may not have toothpaste. Toothpaste that you could afford. You look for

breakfast. You are having not a heck of a lot of protein and not a heck of a lot of calories, to be honest. Your water, your electricity, may or may

not have on any given day. And this is in the urban centers. Then you go to the market to try and by what you want to buy.

I mean, Becky, this is a 50-bolivar note. If you threw it on the floor here in the middle of the street no one would ever pick it up. Why? It is

utterly worthless. I can't even tell that this is worth a penny or pound, because it's absolutely not. It's worth a fraction. I mean, people

actually make handicrafts with this now. It is dire and getting worse every day.

And yet though, the selection Maduro says he will heal the economy. But remember, this has some of the largest proven reserves in the world,

Venezuela. But production on oil is down to the worst really in three decades. And Becky, given what you've covered just right now in the last

few minutes in terms of even Iran's sanctions, you talk about the geopolitics. Can even the United States stomach much higher oil prices?

The president says no. So, you really have to look hard at those sanctions that are coming towards Venezuela from the United States and really if it

will do anything to put a dent in this regime. Because it hasn't. What has changed is the dire nature of everyday life here, Becky. And that just

seems to continue.

ANDERSON: You're making a really, really good point. Thank you. All right, well that's Paula Newton in Caracas.

Ordinary people then find it very hard just to get by. Have a listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It's difficult to purchase items as some stores as they don't have any payment terminal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There is a supermarket which sells a variety of goods, but the prices are quite high. I cannot afford them.


ANDERSON: Well, get this. As Paula just mentioned, those people, their country is floating on an ocean of oil on what are the biggest oil reserves

in the world. In fact, billions more barrels than even Saudi Arabia. In fact, at current prices Venezuela's black gold worth about $24 trillion.

That is trillion with a "T", dollars. CNNMoney's John Defterios, with me now. An expert in on all of this. He lives, breathes and sleeps oil,

emerging markets and global economics. You're in the house today. John, we can go look out of the window here and see what the effect of sitting on

barrels of oil has for the good of our country and its people. Venezuela has a lot more crude but looks nothing like the country of the UAE, for

example. Why?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNNMONEY EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: You make a fantastic point because the UAE sits on about 8 percent of the proven reserves around

the world. Brand-new infrastructure, shiny new buildings. Yes, a smaller population, but they have nearly 25 percent of the proven reserves in

Venezuela. And, Becky, in the industry without a war factored in, you've never seen such a collapse in oil production. A million barrels a day in

five years, 2 million barrels a day in the last 20 years. It's unprecedented. And there is a lack of investment going in. And we don't

see that turning around. In fact, there is expectations we'll see nearly another half a million barrels go by the end of the year.

I'll give you an example how much it cost the government from today's prices. Let's take a look at the CNN money pump here. It's almost $1

billion a week. $982 million a week based on oil hovering around $78 a barrel. So, this is lost opportunity if you're looking at nearly $50

billion a year and there is no turning point. Now were at the stage here that is not only defaulting on debt. It has $70 billion of bonds that it

defaulted on. But even his allies like China have $60 billion owed from Venezuela as well.

Kellogg, the big consumer products group, has pulled out of the country. Shell, which was going to help PDVSA, the state oil company, kind of

recover. Decided to pull its staff out of the country because it's so unsettled.

[11:40:00] So, it's very difficult to see winning 68 percent of the vote when the natural resource, the one number one asset that it sits on, has

been squandered. I mean, literally, I'm saying without war there's never been a case in history where any producer has lost 2 million barrels a day

of production. It's unheard of.

ANDERSON: As Paula rightly pointed out. The U.S. slapping sanctions on Venezuela. The economy is on its knees as you rightly pointing out. Now

we hear from Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, today about sanctions on Iran. We're going to link the two as it were. Pompeo laying out his

bosses so-called plan B, as it were, for dealing with Iran. This part really stuck out to me, have a listen.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We understand that are re-imposition of sanctions and the coming pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will

pose financial and economic difficulties for a number of our friends. And we want to hear their concerns. But you know, we will hold those doing

prohibited business in Iran to account.


ANDERSON: Well this is not a man, John, to mince his words. What impact do you think further U.S. sanctions -- and let's assume they will be

whingeing, what effect or impact will they have on Iran's oil industry and its wider economy?

DEFTERIOS: Well, first and foremost, Pompeo promised the strongest sanctions in history. Said they'll be unprecedented. Now this is the big

multibillion-dollar question, can the U.S. go at it alone? I thought it was fascinating that he called upon the Europeans and said I know we have

differences here, but we'd like to have you as our allies on board. He called out India. Which is a big importer of Iranian crude.

But I think most importantly, and I think this may have gotten missed by others, he called on the Iranian people three times during that speech

saying, you have youth unemployment at 25 percent. You have a banking sector that's not working. You had a currency that's plummeting, and you

have some of the best natural resources in the world, 18 percent of the natural gas, 9 percent of the world's oil, a trillion dollars of minerals.

Are you getting the better of it? And the answer is probably, not. And this is a big question mark going forward.

Let's take a look at where Iran is now in terms of the sanctions. And the most important factor is oil exports. Let's go back to the money pump

here. 2 million barrels a day of exports right now for Iran. Under the sanctions regime, Becky, that was probably just over a million, 1.1 million

barrels a day. This has been very important to run

But over the weekend, Javad Zarif, the Foreign Minister in Tehran, met with the EU energy commissioner and said, look, we would like you to price our

exports of oil going into Europe in euros for the first time.

ANDERSON: Is that realistic?

DEFTERIOS: It is realistic if the Europeans have a stiff backbone.

ANDERSON: The sanctions won't work, will they, from the U.S.? I mean, that would be a really big deal. Right?

DEFTERIOS: That's a big deal. Their pricing euros for the first time. And I think strategically you have to look at this. China's been in those

oilfields for 10 years. I was in those oilfields two years ago and saw CNPC planting their flag in a big way. Russia wants a big piece of it now.

At the end of April, they signed a multilayered agreement for oil and gas in Iran. I cannot see those two players pulling out. I spoke to the

Indian minister and some of his chief deputies, and said are you going to stop taking the 400,000 barrels a day from Iran? They told me it's very

unlikely. So, what you see right now is the squeeze on the Europeans. Right? Because the Europeans are trying to negotiate.

But I thought Zarif's comments this weekend were very interesting. We appreciate the political support that were getting from the European Union,

but the reality is the European companies aren't coming along. Total of France is breaking its agreement unless it gets a U.S. exemption. I don't

see that happening. Joe Kaeser of Siemens told us while he was in Abu Dhabi last week, that he cannot sign new business because he has 20 percent

of his revenues, some hundred billion dollars coming from the United States. This is hardball on both sides. And as you rightly said, Pompeo

is playing a very tough game. The plan B does not include the Europeans staying out of the agreement that's for sure.

ANDERSON: Fascinating times.


ANDERSON: always rather messy in this region.

DEFTERIOS: Nobody called it simple.

ANDERSON: Everybody called it simple. Thank you, John.

Live from Abu Dhabi, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up female activists arrested just weeks before Saudi Arabia lifts its ban on women

driving. The details on that up next.


ANDERSON: Saudi activists, Loujain al-Hathloul, seen here attempting to drive from UAE over land into Saudi Arabia back in late 2014. Well now

what has changed in the Kingdom since then there is a new Crown Prince in charge, Mohammad bin Salman, who has spearheaded a package of social and

economic reforms daubed, "Vision 2030." It includes lifting the ban on women driving. Which is due to come into effect within weeks. And we've

been covering the transformation of the country here on this show. We went to Jeddah just hours after the lifting of the driving band. It was

announced back in September of last year. And was celebrated by Saudi men and women alike.

But now a new development. A new different development. At least four leading female activists have been arrested in the kingdom in the last

week. Women including Loujain, and veteran activist, Aisha Almane, Iman al-Nafjan, and Aziza al-Yousef. They are accused of having quote,

suspicious contact with foreign entities to support their activities, recruiting some persons in charge of sensitive government positions and

providing financial support to hostile elements outside of the country.

Well, for more let's bring in Simon Henderson from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He joins us live from the U.S. capital. And Simon,

these arrests are sending -- it has to be said, mixed signals about the Saudi reform process. It's been a focus since the coming of power of

Mohammad bin Salman. What do you make of what we have learned in the past couple of days about the arrest of these women and a number of men

alongside them?

SIMON HENDERSON, WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY: The whole thing is extraordinary. It seems to be very badly timed and ill judged.

The reform agenda of the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman, is ambitious. It covers the economy. It's covers social aspects, not only

women driving but also cinemas and families able to go to public sporting events.

But it seems as if he's hit a roadblock. If you'll forgive the metaphor, that there's been a reaction amongst the more conservative elements in the

Kingdom, in short men. Particularly the clerical leaders. And he's having to wind back on at least the presentation of some of these changes. I

don't think we're going to see the driving ban is not going to be lifted. But people are being told very firmly, don't talk about it, don't applaud

it, just get on with it.

ANDERSON: I want to bring up an image as we speak that's gotten a lot of attention since the news of these arrests first broke. You can see Loujain

attending the On Young World summit is Ottawa in 2016. Standing alongside other feminist activists such as Mary Robertson, and you'll see the now

duchess of Sussex, also known as Meghan Markle, the newest member of the British Royal family.

You are right to point out these arrests go against what has been a very well-choreographed Saudi public relations campaign that we've seen in

recent months. And all of us are just wondering what is the internal reasoning for what we have seen just in the past couple of days.

[11:50:00] Do you, as many others, have concerns about -- and have had concerns about the scale, scope and speed of what the young Crown Prince

has taken on? Has been too much?

HENDERSON: He's certainly taken on a lie. And he's also had tremendous PR, favorable PR. The best PR that money can buy, frankly. And yet he

stumbles and makes stupid mistakes at least in the presentation. Perhaps he doesn't listen to people or perhaps his PR advisers haven't told him of

how to handle some of the difficulties or how to anticipate them. When I saw the photo of those four women, which you've just shown, when I first

saw it I laughed. I laughed out loud. He couldn't have chosen a worst weekend to make these changes in the arrest of these women.

I hesitate to really suggest what's going to happen in the kingdom where he supposedly very appreciated by all the young people, those under 30. But

his image building across the world where he's been seen as a modernist reformer has taken a tremendous indent by this. And the -- Meghan Markle

photograph with one of those Saudi activists couldn't have come at a worse moment for him.

ANDERSON: You're right to point out, Simon, that he is much loved by the youngsters in Saudi, much applauded for the speed, scope and scale of the

reforms that he has undertaken under Vision 2030. I go in and out of the country and I've met the Crown Prince myself. You can see work that's

being done behind the scenes by so many of the youngsters there and around this region. He topped out a poll recently across this region of leaders

that these under 30-year-olds in the region would admire. And it was Mohammad bin Salman.

We've spoken to activists living outside of Saudi Arabia who have been in touch with some family members of those who've been arrested. And they

describe a culture of fear and character assassination. And we have to consider why this move has come as it has just weeks before this driving

ban is lifted.

HENDERSON: Yes. I can only imagine that there has real resistance to these changes. I'm guessing but I would imagine that people are saying two

things. Either that the changes shouldn't happen or they're going way too fast. And it could be either. This is -- we're now in Ramadan. In the

evening when one breaks the fast, families gather around, and they talk about the issues of what's going on. This has surely been one of the

issues. There's going to be a huge amount of debate in Saudi Arabia on it.

ANDERSON: Simon Henderson out of Washington for us today. We thank you for your analysis.

I am out of Abu Dhabi. Connect THE WORLD continues after this very short break. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Tonight's parting shots for you. We're going to look at the first official portraits from Saturday's Royal wedding. Newlyweds Harry

and Meghan are absolutely beaming in these three photos taken shortly after the couple returned from their carriage procession around Windsor. In one

photo the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is joined by members of the royal family here and Meghan's mother Doria Ragland. And in a more relaxed pose

Harry and Meghan shown with just their wedding party including Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

That's it for me. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. From the team working with me it's a very good evening. Let's leave you with these images.