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CONNECT THE WORLD

Cricket Legend Imran Khan Declares Victory in Pakistan; U.S. President Backtracks on Two Policy Issues; White House Bans CNN Reporter from Event for Doing Her Job; Mike Pompeo Dodges Questions on Trump/Putin Talks; Hunt for Missing in Greece as Death Toll Climbs to 81; New Tensions Between Iran and U.S.; Inside one of the World's Largest Indoor Theme Parks. Aired 11a-12n ET

Aired July 26, 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 HOST: Hello and welcome. You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi for you.

Well, right now this hour it is not over yet. Officials counting votes one by one by hand in a hugely important country, Pakistan. The cricket

legend, Imran Khan, moving forward. Already declaring himself the next prime minister. Look at every part of the speech where he did that. An

image of the country's founding father looking over him. A grand desk, imposing fire, place of flags, papers, what he is wearing. All carefully

pulled together to look and sound like victory. This also looks and sounds like victory. Have a listen.

(CHEERING CROWDS)

These are scenes of the backers happy to finally see Khan's enormous charisma into back them or, so they think at least. Because almost

anything you can think that would go wrong, going wrong this vote. From horrific bombings, to allegations of blatant cheating and charges that the

army is making sure that Imran Khan gets in. To connect all of this together for you CNN's Nick Paton Walsh on the ground in the capital.

Nick, at this point, any final results?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, it's not final at this point. But we've had the declaration, so to speak, of

victory where Mr. Khan thanks God that they have a mandate and that they were successful. Slightly jumping the gun, because he's had 119 seats

declared in his favor so far. He needs 137 for an outright majority. But there are a lots of independents out there who could easily make that 18

up. If in fact, the remaining 18 percent of the vote that hasn't been counted doesn't give those to him anyway.

But there are kind of two key moments really here for Pakistan. The first, of course, is that we have this sort of international global cricket icon

turned socialite, turned conservative politician now in charge of Pakistan. And that kind of with his newly formed party, the PTI, weeps away after

traditional decades of the PML and PPP that are opposed to him. And the military kind of sharing the spoils of power between them. His new

Pakistan party marketing this as the sweep away of the old order and potentially something new.

But it's also the second time in Pakistan's history so far -- I should say we haven't finished the electoral process yet, but power is being handed

between terms peacefully and democratically. There is a long history of coups here and violence. Pakistani politics itself an extraordinary dirty

and often violent business as well. And into it now, of course, is Inman Khan who has prevailed. So, what sort of compromises has he had to make to

put himself in that position? And that's the broader question I think many people are asking.

Right now, there's a lot of hope that has been fueling his campaign. His desire for less corruption. He's at times often slightly more hard lined

conservative positions various things like the country's very backwards blasphemy law here. But also, his foreign policy is coming a little more

into light as well. He's very clearly said that he wants to see a less one directional relationship with the United States. Just to be a much more a

thing of mutual benefit.

That's key because Donald Trump has kind of staked one of the elements of his foreign policy in a detailed plan for winning neighboring Afghanistan.

He has frozen aid to Pakistan's military because he thinks they're helping the Taliban. And of course, Inman Khan has stood up right away and said,

well OK, will actually not so fussed about that.

He wants to see more investment from China and frankly the Islamabad, right on behind me, has been transformed in the last decade by new infrastructure

paid for a lot of it by Chinese money. And also, too, he would like to see Pakistan's economy, of course, put itself back up again. But a huge

domestic challenge ahead of him too. But as we stand here at the moment, it does look like despite the claims of rigging, despite the background

noise of the military essentially making it life so hard for his opponents that no one had any choice apart from seeing him win. It does look like in

the hours ahead he will be nudging even closer towards being Pakistan's new prime minister -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick, as you point out, this set to be just the second time in history that Pakistanis are making a democratic switch between civilian

governments. Whether behind the scenes or an outright coup, he military never fall away from controlling the country. Our viewers looking, Nick,

at the timeline of how that has changing the country since it became a country, quite frankly.

[11:05:00] Khan's critics then suggesting that he would be a puppet prime minister. Just how credible is that argument against him?

WALSH: You can't be prevalent in Pakistan politics without the military kind of backing you. I mean, there have been lots of bids by the PML and

PPP in the past to make alliances to essentially say we'll trying to keep the military out of this. But they control so much of the economy here.

And yes, I think there've been many critical opponents of Mr. Khan and human rights activists too, who say there's been something up.

His opponents have found it hard to get on television at times. Sometimes there'd even been allegations of threats by part of the security service

here. Telling people to change their attack in certain ways. This is a dirty game. It always has been. President Bhutto was assassinated when

she came back here aiming to run for office.

The current -- Nawaz Sharif, the brother of the key opponent here in currently in jail on corruption charges. This is very much a dog eat dog

type political world here. And the fact the Pakistani military seems to have decided to let Inman Khan win. If not quite possibly actually assist

a lot of his progress toward power. It is a sign of perhaps of how he's so transformed himself personally from those days in '92 where he let Pakistan

win the World Cup with an injured shoulder. Age 39, became a socialite and is now kind of the conservative face, frankly. That the Pakistani security

establishment is going to help get in power -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh on the ground for you in Islamabad in Pakistan. Stick with us. When we get the results, we will of course bring them to

you the official results.

Back some back tracking by Donald Trump on two big issues, two big policy issues. This hour, the President heading for the U.S. heartland after

stepping back from the trade war with Europe. He and European Commission chief, Jean-Claude Juncker agreed yesterday to work towards zero tariffs

and zero subsidies on industrial goods. As you can see, they both appeared pleased and sealing their deal with a kiss on the cheek. Mr. Donald

Trump's other policy shift went in the other direction delaying diplomacies. Now putting off a second Summit with Russian President,

Vladimir Putin, until next year.

Let's break all of this down for you and find out where we think the impact is likely to be in the consequences of all this. We have joined by White

House reporter, regular guest on the show, Stephen Collinson. Senior international correspondent, Sam Kiley, who is in Moscow for you today.

And senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter, in New York. And Stephen, let me start with you, because Trump as Trump is on the move this hour

landing in Iowa in around 20 minutes time. Let's do this trade story. Because this is a part of the country where we have a pressure point so far

as trade policy is concerned. Donald Trump likely to hear a lot of opposition and fear over trade wars and tariffs. Even, I hear, from his

own supporters. Correct?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right. Iowa, of course, is an iconic political state in the United States. And there are a

number of races going on ahead of the midterms elections in November. There is a gubernatorial race and several House seats which Democrats are

trying to pick up. Now it's emerging from the campaigning in those races that the impact of Donald Trump's trade war is having a tangible political

effect. Illinois and Iowa, where both states where Trump will be today, are huge exporters of soybeans. Those products have been targeted by

retaliatory tariffs by China as part of the trade war that's unfolding between these two great trading powers.

So, the trade wars while helped trade rhetoric helped Trump actually get to the White House in 2016 with his populous cause for the U.S. to sort of

bring its trading partners into line. It's now having a dangerous impact on his political prospects in several key states.

Now Trump arrives, as you said, in Iowa, a day after stepping back with the trade war from the European Union. How much of that deal which he

proclaimed with Jean-Claude Juncker at the White House on Wednesday is actually a genuine deal and how much of that is a smoke screen and a

backtrack? I think it is still very unclear. But clearly, the politics of trade appear to be shifting the President's approach on a key issue which

helped him win power.

ANDERSON: Stand by. And his trip away from Washington to Iowa, of course, has left quite the mess back at home. President Trump has repeatedly

called the media the enemy of the people. But his administration's hostility to the press reaching a new low, Brian. When a CNN reporter was

banned from an event for asking questions earlier in the day that the President didn't like. Before we get analysis from you, let's just have a

listen to Kaitlin Collins, our colleague at CNN just doing her job.

[11:10:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAITLIN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Did Michael Cohen betray you, Mr. President?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much.

COLLINS: Mr. President --

Did Michael Cohen betray you?

TRUMP: Thank you very much.

COLLINS: Mr. President, are you worried about what Michael Cohen is going to say to prosecutors? Are you worried about what is on the other tapes,

Mr. President?

TRUMP: Thank you very much.

COLLINS: Why has Mr. Vladimir Putin not accepted your invitation?

Mr. President --

Why has Vladimir Putin not accepted your invitation, Mr. President?

TRUMP: Thank you very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Brian, how did the White House out of interest explain their decision to oust Kaitlin from that room for asking questions?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: After those questions in the oval office she was called to Bill Shine's office. She was told she

was shouting. She was asking inappropriate questions. The reality is that she was acting just like every other reporter does on every other day. She

was doing exactly how it works in the White House. It's customary to ask a couple of questions of the President. Sometimes he answers. Sometimes he

doesn't. But he really, really, really, really did not want to be asked about Michael Cohen or about Vladimir Putin.

In fact, at one-point Sarah Sanders said to her when she was being chastised, she said, Kaitlin, why didn't you ask about trade instead. The

White House believes it has a winning issue on trade. But it doesn't want to have to talk about the scandals and controversies that are enveloping

the White House. It is clear the President feels vulnerable when it comes to Cohen and when it comes to Putin. But look, in both cases, the

President is tweeting about these topics. He's comments on them on Twitter. So, it's completely fair for journalists to try to ask him about

it. And I think that will continue today even though the President is traveling as you talked about in Iowa and Illinois. There are a lot of

swirling questions about Cohen and other issues that need to be asked of the President.

ANDERSON: Not likely to see that sort of situation in Moscow because quite frankly you wouldn't expect to hear journalists throwing questions which

are honest and need to be answered at the Russian President -- Sam.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, actually, Becky, it has been done. It is done mostly by foreign journalists. Because

Russian journalists suffer the sorts of oppression that Mr. Trump might like to impose himself. I wouldn't suggest he wants to kill journalists.

A number of journalists here have been killed in rather mysterious circumstances. But if you're a foreign journalist you do get to doorstep,

as we say in England, in those sprays shouted out questions. It has been done and no doubt it will be done in the future. Mr. Putin actually quite

relishes those sorts of engagements. Occasionally even speaking English. Which is something he pretends he can't do.

But nonetheless, I think sort of in the broader context, again from the Russian perspective, this makes Russia look good in the post-Helsinki

dispensation. And America, particularly the White House, look all over the place, looking rattled, back tracking now on the invitation that was

supposed to be extended for a visit summit in November to some undefined date in 2019. The Russians saying, well actually you know, none of the

formal planning have begun for this in any case. So, the Russians are really sitting back and rather enjoying this process. Perhaps even at

times feeling slightly embarrassed for their friend Mr. Putin -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Stephen, more pressure on this White House. We saw some heated exchanges on Capitol Hill as Senators grilled Secretary of State, Mike

Pompeo. Trying over and over again to find out what happened behind closed doors at that Helsinki summit. Just have a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BOB MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: Has the President told you what he and President Putin discussed in their two-hour closed-door meeting in

Helsinki.

MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Presidents have a prerogative to choose who is in the meetings are not. I'm confident you've had private

one-on-one meetings in your life is well. You've chosen that setting as the most efficient way --

MENENDEZ: I just asked you a simple question. Did you --

POMPEO: I just --

MENENDEZ: I can't eat up my seven minutes, Mr. Secretary. Did he tell you whether or not what happened in the two hours?

POMPEO: Yes, Senator, the predicate of the question implied some notion that there was something improper about having a one-on-one meeting. I

completely disagree with the premise of the question.

MENENDEZ: I didn't ask you a predicate, I asked you a simple question.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: So, you as lawmakers. Stephen, obviously, you feel left in the dark especially as Russian media is reporting that some deals were made.

Where are they going to get with all of this?

COLLINSON: You know, Becky, these congressional hearings always have the potential to degenerate into sort of a political partisan theater. That

was so in the case yesterday. But I think there is a serious point that a lot of the Senators were making. Republicans as well as Democrats. And

that is exactly what is U.S. foreign policy toward Russia and a lot of other issues.

[11:15:06] You have the institutional policy that's laid out by the State Department and the Pentagon and the White House bureaucracy. And then you

have these tweets and comments by the President. For example, recently he called for Russia to be brought back into the G7 surprising everybody. And

the central question that Pompeo was asked and really failed to answer was what exactly the policy is? He said, of course, that the policy is what

the President says it is and it's consistent with what the rest of them are doing. That is simply not the case. And there is a real confusion and not

just in the United States, but around the world as to what the policy is in the United States on many of these issues.

The other thing that's kind of ironic is that Pompeo really sort of switched sides there. Before he was Secretary of State and the CIA

director, he was a very partisan Republican Congressman in the House of Representatives. He was one of the chief antagonists of Hillary Clinton,

if you remember, back during the Benghazi hearings. So, in many ways he was receiving a taste of his own medicine there.

ANDERSON: Yes. Just out of interest, Sam, what do you think the Kremlin thinks U.S. policy is toward Russia at this point? Is it clear to them?

KILEY: It's clear to them that there is a schism or friction to be exploited between the White House and the broader political establishment

of Donald Trump's own administration. And that was demonstrated, Becky, with Pompeo reiterating, for example, that it remains the position of the

United States of America that the Russian annexation of Crimea was illegal. He felt he had to restate that in his opening statement to those Senators

precisely because the Russians by leaking a bit of selectively about what had gone on between the two presidents in secret at Helsinki seemed to

suggest that maybe Donald Trump himself was softening his line and some of the things he'd said in public about Crimea indicated that perhaps he was

going to rollover on that. It's there in that friction lies opportunity for Russia. And that's something that they're extremely good at

exploiting.

ANDERSON: Sam Kiley is in Moscow. Stephen Collinson is in Washington. And Brian, always a pleasure having you on out of New York for you this

evening. Thank you, gentlemen. You can get a lot more analysis from Brian on our web site. He's written in detail about the incident involving CNN's

Kaitlin Collins. Said as reporters across the political spectrum coming to her defense. That and much more at CNN.com.

Still ahead, temperatures so extreme that cars began to melt. But as more tragic and terrifying stories emerge from the Greece fires, so too, does

the anger as people ask, why things got so out of hand. That up next.

[11:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: I want to get you a quick look at the markets. 20 past the hour here in the UAE. It's 7:20, in fact. It is 11:20 in New York. This is

the state of play on the Dow Jones industrial Index. So, it's a half of one percentage point higher. Looking in a fairly healthy state isn't it,

25,500 and change. But let me tell you, Facebook took a huge dive earlier taking 19 percent at today's opening. The stock is on track for its worst

day ever. Wiping more than $100 billion. Yes, folks you heard me right. $100 billion from the company's market value. The social network warned

investors that it expects sales to decline as it focuses on putting privacy first. It hasn't affected the overall market. But what a drop.

You are watching CNN. And this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

Mistakes were made in how authorities responded to the catastrophic wildfires in Greece. That is the verdict of a local mayor. He says his

voice -- and he's adding his voice -- is important to the rising clamor over why things got out of control so quickly. At least 81 people are

dead, and that number could rise. This as more and more distressing images emerge on social media illustrating the absolute horror that people face.

As Melissa Bell know reports, it's makes the search for the missing all the more agonizing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As morning breaks over Attica, a scene of utter devastation. The survivors assess the damage from

the deadly fires and want to know why the costs were so terribly high. Mati to the east of Athens, has borne the brunt of the losses. An entire

village wiped off the face of the earth. Slowly, its survivors have been returning to what's left of their homes.

CHRISTIANA FRAGKOU, FIRE SURVIVOR: Some completely devastated. This is my mom's house. I thought at the beginning that she was dead because she

managed to go to another little beach with our dog. We saved one dog. We lost three.

BELL: Like Christiana, Dimitra only survived by heading to the sea. She spent two and a half hours treading water. But the return home, she says,

has been the hardest part.

DIMITRA STATHOPOLOU, FIRE SURVIVOR: It was a paradise. And now it's the ugliest place in the world.

BELL: This was the scene outside Dimitra's home. Cars stopped in its tracks as the fires began. People died in them or trying to flee them.

Locals are angry that no evacuation plan appears to have been in place. We took their anger to the mayor of Mati.

VAGELIS BOURNOUS, MAYOR OF RAFINA AND PIKERMI (through translator): There was no evacuation order for Mati because of the wind was coming from the

east. Also, the main body of the fire brigade was in Kineta, 40 kilometers away. The fire was underestimated. And finally, all of the above were

mistakes that resulted in the mourning so many human lives.

BELL: But for the people of Mati, those who have survived, the answers from the authorities are too little and come far too late. Melissa Bell,

CNN, Mati.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Absolutely remarkable stuff. You can always find a lot more, a voice and emotion on CNN.com on that very story. And a big reason why the

fires have burned so ferociously is that Europe is in the grip of what is a scorching heat wave at present and other parts of the world as well.

And in Sweden, forest fires have burned through tens of thousands of hectares. In the World Health Organization's warning that pollution from

these very fires and the ones in Greece are much more dangerous in high temperatures. These are just remarkable. Some of the pictures. Aren't

they.

[11:25:00] In Britain, the MET office says Friday you can see temperatures hit 37 degrees Celsius. That is virtually unheard of in the U.K. I'm old

enough to remember the heatwave in 1976. We had numbers in the 30s at that stage. But this is really unheard of. The U.K. -- that's the picture

there. Europe has been under a so-called high-pressure ridge. That basically means that tropical heat can climb all the way to the arctic and

block what would usually be cooler weather.

There's nothing more American than free speech. The first amendment written into the country's DNA, of course. Maybe not Trump's DNA. Booting

out a reporter, was certainly his staff did, for asking four reasonable questions.

We'll speak next, to an Iranian-American journalists, Jason Rezaian, locked up in his home country for two years about that. That's coming up after

this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:30:00] ANDERSON: It is 7:30 in the UAE. You're watching CNN. This is with me Becky Anderson. Broadcasting to you from our Middle Eastern hub

here.

Our top story this hour, U.S. President Donald Trump arriving in Iowa just around now. The state is the heart of America's farming industry. And the

farmers there have been hit hard by tariffs, by China and the European Union retaliatory tariffs. This is all part of the visit to the Midwestern

U.S. It will focus on manufacturing and jobs according to the White House.

I want to get you back to the story I told you about a little earlier. We discussed more backlash after the President banned CNN reporter Kaitlin

Collins from an event after objecting to questions that she had asked. Here's why this latest episode of Trump versus the media is so disturbing.

A lot of us report from and work in countries that don't have the freedom of press legacy of the United States. We know that doing journalism, our

job can get us in trouble. Make us a target of harassment and even sometimes imprisonment. We don't expect that to happen or worse be

normalized in the United States, the world's most prominent democracy.

My next guest knows all about freedom of expression of journalism or the lack thereof, Jason Rezaian was the Tehran bureau chief for the "Washington

Post" when he was arrested by Iranian authorities and charged with espionage and other crimes. He spent 544 days in prison in Iran before

being released in a deal between Washington and Tehran. This is how then U.S. President Obama addressed his situation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our free press is why once again we honor Jason Rezaian as Carol noted. Last time this year, we

spoke of Jason's courage as he endured the isolation of an Iranian prison. This year we see that courage in the flesh and it's a living testament to

the very idea of a free press. And a reminder of the rising level of danger and political intimidation and physical threats faced by reporters

overseas.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Jason is joining me now live from Washington tonight. How do you think this standoff between Trump and the media is viewed in places

like Tehran? I am not asking about the middle class North Tehrani's, but say the people who would interrogate you about your own journalism? How

will this be perceived through their prism?

JASON REZAIAN, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: First of all, thanks for having me on, Becky. That clip you just showed made me very nostalgic for a time

not too long ago when the work that you and I do and so many others was still very much valued in this country and in the highest places of power.

I think that your question is a very good one. The reality is that often times Iranian authorities, the officials publicly and privately and in

situations like interrogations would point to U.S. policies that run counter with the fundamental ideals that we portray, and the free press is

one of those, obviously. I and I think that it undermines our credibility greatly to have the U.S. President treating fellow journalists this way.

And it's as though, you know, I wonder if that he doesn't care about our rich history of press freedoms or maybe he doesn't even know about them.

But it's something that those of us who work in this industry in this country hold very dearly. And for people like you and I who worked in more

contentious, more hostile environments. You know, it's one of the great reasons and great aspects of being in the U.S. or in the U.K. or Europe.

ANDERSON: If this episode has achieved anything, it actually achieved the sort of coming together of the press journalists from across the political

divide in Washington and beyond. If there is a positive out of this, of course, there is that.

I want to talk about Iran, Jason, to you. The war of words between Iran and the U.S. is heating up. Commander of Iran elite Quds Force, Qasem

Soleimani, addressing Donald Trump today like this.

It is beneath our president to answer you, he said. I will confront you as a solder. And he will continue that -- you may begin a war, but it is us

who will end it.

In that came, Jason, on a day when Saudi Arabia halted exports via the Bab El Mandeb strait after two of its tankers came under fire from Iranian

backed Houthis in Yemen. Things are clearly heating up. We have heard about threats. Shutting down the Strait of Hormuz as well. Are we pushing

forward towards confrontation or are we only seeing at this point the flexing of muscles on both sides do you think?

[11:35:00] REZAIAN: Well, I think that it's a moving forward of, as you say, flexing of muscles and rhetorical bluster that I hope is tempered by

wisdom and cooler heads. In this particular case with Qasem Soleimani making those comments, I think you have to look at them in a couple of

different ways in different contexts. One, you know, he is a figure that is considered quite a hero within Iran and has high approval ratings.

Precisely because he's been able to stand up to other powers in the region and forces backed by the United States. And the United States has often

made their -- I don't want to say a respect and admiration -- but, you know, acknowledged him as a masterful tactician and worthy adversary. So,

there's an element of exerting his presence once again.

I also think that there's a political element to it as well within Iran where there's so many problems facing the country whether it's

environmental, economic. President Rouhani is in a very weakened state. That he's pushing himself forward as a political force as well. So, I hope

that those don't spill over into a larger military confrontation between the U.S., Iran and other regional forces in the Middle East. But, you

know, the factors are all there for a bad mistake to be made.

ANDERSON: Yes, we, of course, broadcast from the UAE. Clearly, we won't let anybody else be looking for this to ratchet this down rather than

ratchet up.

Jason, to this point, you recently attended Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's address to Iranians. I mean, it was in California. Outlining

American policy towards Iran. And I read your simple message as it were, afterwards. You summed it up in the headline of the article you penned for

the "Washington Post."

Quote, Iranian-Americans must speak up. Not let Pompeo speak for them.

Some pretty stark warnings about the consequences of the U.S. policy toward Iran in that article. Why are you so worried?

REZAIAN: Well, I'm very worried because I think the last 40 years has shown that the United States and Iran have grown apart. Obviously, there's

no diplomatic relations between the two countries. But there's a vast Iranian-American community living in the United States. We're a successful

well integrated population, highly educated. And frankly, a group that has a lot of travel back and forth and connection with their ancestral

homeland. So, we're in a position to know a lot about that country, to know its strengths, its weaknesses, its potential pressure points. But

also, ways that we can diffuse tension. And I didn't see or haven't seen from this administration a desire to lessen tension with Iran. My point

was there is most estimates say about a million Iranian-Americans living in this country. In many of us have very different points of view about what

should happen and what U.S. policy toward Iran should be. Frankly some people do support any efforts at regime change. Many people are opposed to

the clerical government in Iran. Most Iranian Americans are. But I think at the end of the day, you have to listen to the multitude of voices and

the various pieces of wisdom that we can offer in this vacuum of contact and information we had for almost 40 years.

ANDERSON: Jason, people like you have paid the ultimate price, of course, under this regime. And yet you are still not banging the drum for regime

change. Can I ask you why that is?

REZAIAN: While look, I would love nothing more to see secular democracy reining in Iran. But I think that all of these things come with a cost.

You know, the sorts of mistakes that were made in Iraq and everything we see. The destabilization factors across the Middle East, you know, and

Iran would fall apart into various pieces wouldn't be beneficial to anyone. That's my point of view. And ultimately, I think the policies of the

United States right now are such that it's Iranian people that have paid more of a price than the regime. And I think that's been the attitude and

the feedback that Iranians have given about these last rounds of sanctions going back to the Obama administration and before. You know, I think that

our policies haven't worked yet. I think that's sort of the fundamental message that needs to be understood.

ANDERSON: Pleasure having you on, sir. Jason Rezaian is in Washington for you and CNN's global affairs analyst. Insightful stuff from you, thank

you.

[11:40:04] Within the last couple minutes, Donald Trump on Twitter threatening sanctions against Turkey. He vows large sanctions against

Ankara because of the detention of Pastor Andrew Brunson who's been held since 2016 on terrorism charges. You see the tweet here. Brunson was

moved to house arrest yesterday. Trump says Turkey should fully release him immediately. More on that as we get it.

Coming up, we are off to Gotham City. You don't want to miss this one.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: In the height of the summer in Abu Dhabi, it is hot. There is no getting away from it. That is until now.

This is absolutely remarkable. You've got cartoon junction to the left over there. I'm going this way. I'm going to Gotham City. Follow me.

Monic theater. Gotham City's finest. I see Wayne tech under here. Where, though, is Batman?

Look who I found. Batman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, DRESSED AS BATMAN: Hi. How are you?

ANDERSON: Good. How are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good to meet you.

ANDERSON: Nice to meet you too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to Gotham City. Would you like to help me keep Gotham safe?

ANDERSON: I would love to help you keep Gotham safe.

This is the Riddler revolution. Do you dare me? We are going in.

Don't believe it. Hey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Having some fun?

ANDERSON: I'm loving it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's solve some riddles. Right?

ANDERSON: $40, let's do it.

Two of us. I'm good to go

It is absolutely remarkable. And it's the authenticity. You feel completely immersed in the experience. I think he was frightened anyway.

Now, he's not going to admit it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now you have a look at another ride.

[11:45:00] ANDERSON: Yes, yes, let me try another one.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: One adrenaline pumping ride was more than enough for me. But I did get a chance to chat about Warner Bros. World, Abu Dhabi with Mohamed

Al Mubarak. We flew over the project two years ago. Back then well it was just a construction site. But he promised us then that he'd have the park

ready on time. Two years and $1 billion later, Abu Dhabi has one of the world's largest indoor theme parks ready to welcome all you adventure

seekers. I sat down with Mohamed and the Warner Bros. CEO to learn more about the park and the journey to get there. For full disclosure, Warner

Bros. and CNN is both owned by AT&T Warner Media. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MOHAMED AL MUBARAK, CHAIRMAN, MIRAL ASSET MANAGEMENT: When we flew over the island, you know, we flew over an idea. Just like His Highness the

crown prince Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, flew over the island 12 years ago with an idea to create a destination with theme parks and

shopping center and golf courses, hotels. Twelve years later, that business has become a reality. And Warner Bros. World, Abu Dhabi is going

to make people's dream a reality.

ANDERSON: Kevin, this has been a project a decade in the making. Take me back to when you first came.

KEVIN TSUJIHARA, CEO, WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT: We went to the Emirates Palace and we saw the models of Ferrari World, of the Louvre. The

execution has been incredible. The folks from Warner Bros and the folks from Miral, have worked side by side, day by day and you see it in the

level of detail. While we have had a lot of conversations in a lot of different places with a lot of different people, we choose our partners

very carefully. We thought this was the right group of people that we felt like we could work with and it's really proven to be true.

ANDERSON: Many of the characters that visitors will meet here are the ones that you grew up loving?

AL MUBARAK: D.C. has been huge part of my life. And anybody's lives where D.C. has touched. It's made us better people. Kids will come, and they'll

try these fantastic rides. And in the end of the day they're going to get a message. A message of hope and message of belonging and message of

coming together. And I think if you can have fun and have a strong message, then in a day that's perfect.

ANDERSON: Does the future for the world of theme parks change given this generation?

TSUJIHARA When you go on the Green Lantern ride and you feel the wind in your hair, the experience is very immersive. The characters are out,

you're touching them, you're feeling them. Quite frankly, you just can't replicate through technology.

ANDERSON: We've talked in the past about how important the tourism strategy is for the future success of this country. Where are you with

that and how does this theme park fit in?

AL MUBARAK: Warner Bros Abu Dhabi is just another major attraction that is engulfed in the Abu Dhabi tourism aspect. So, we have museums, you have

theme parks, you have shopping malls and the list goes on. And we're adding a major attraction almost every year for the next five years.

Whether it's a theme park or a museum or a shopping or entertainment destination.

ANDERSON: Saudi Arabia sits on your door step and is very quickly taking on a life of its own under this stewardship of the Crown Prince there and

the Vision 2030. Does that worry you?

AL MUBARAK: Not at all. I mean, I truly see it to be a complementary attraction. I think the more people we get to the region and more

attractions we can have, I mean, between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, that is a one-hour flight. That's nothing. You know, most people even right now

drive from Abu Dhabi to Riyadh. So, I think it will definitely complement the overall experience here in the UAE. But at the same time what we've

accomplished here in the UAE is quite immense.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: If cartoon superheroes are your thing, check out our next "INSIDE THE MIDDLE EAST" premiering a week from Saturday on August 4 at

3:30 p.m. Abu Dhabi time. 7:30 a.m. eastern. All of that and superheroes of the Arab world.

Live from Abu Dhabi. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, if there's anything we learned from that recording of Donald Trump speaking with his

former attorney -- you know the one I'm talking about -- it is that the President still has a soft drink of choice. More on that after this.

[11:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Just before 5 to 8:00 in the UAE. You're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson for you. If you're just joining us,

you're quite late, but you are more than welcome.

In the tonight's parting shots, it's the end of the show. It is not exactly Watergate when Donald Trump gets caught on tape ordering a Coke.

CNN's Jeanne Moos reports on why the secretly recorded conversation is so popular.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Talk about grasping at straws. Have you heard the juiciest part of the Trump/Cohen

tape?

TRUMP: Give me a Coke, please.

MOOS: Incontrovertible evidence of the thirsty President.

TRUMP: Get me a coke, please.

MOOS: Living up to his reputation for daily consumption of. --

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST OF NEWSROOM: 12 diet cokes, right.

JORDAN KLEPPER, COMEDY CENTRAL, THE OPPOSITION: That's 144 ounces of President fuel.

MOOS: You'd be surprised how many commenters tweeted, my favorite part is when he yells, "get me a coke, please." Others ranked it up with "mom, the

meatloaf". From "Wedding Crashers "

WILL FERRELL, CHAZZ REINHOLD IN WEDDING CRASHERS: Hey, Ma, could we get some meatloaf?

MOOS: There were comparisons to JFK my fellow Americans --

JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask --

TRUMP: Get me a coke please.

MOOS: But there was one thing that got the most comments that even critics found pleasing.

@REALDCJ23: Wow, he said please.

@LADYAND BILLS: He said Please? Must be a fake.

@CAPITALISHCUTTY: Trump says, please to the help.

That's my President.

MOOS: He hasn't always been complementary about his favorite beverage.

Tweeting, I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke.

And --

I'll still keep drinking that garbage.

Jimmy Fallon once chronicled the President's behavior as he downed his daily dozen.

TRUMP: The American dream is dead.

Bing, bing, bong, and that.

God bless the united church.

MOOS: Now he has a red button on his oval office desk to push when he wants a Coke. But when he was a candidate, he actually had to speak.

TRUMP: Get me a coke, please.

MOOS: As one commenter noted, things including hush money go better with Coke.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[11:55:00] ANDERSON: A lot more on what we are covering on the web site. CNN.com. Let us know what you think about any of the stories that we've

covered for you this week. Facebook.com/CNNConnect is how you can touch base with us. Offline as it were or off TV and online. And before we

leave you, a reminder of our top story this hour.

U.S. President Donald Trump arriving in Iowa just moments ago on the Midwestern tour. It takes him to the heart of areas affected by Chinese

and EU retaliatory tariffs. He will be meeting with business leaders there and no doubt hearing from those hit hardest by the situation. So, he is

enjoying the crowds and looking relatively happy as he de-boards in Iowa.

I'm Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. From the team here working with me in Abu Dhabi, in Atlanta and in London, thank you for

watching. The news, of course, continues here on CNN. "QUEST EXPRESS" is next. Stay with us.

END