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Trump Slams Iran as He Chairs U.N. Security Council Meeting; Bolton Warns Iran of "Hell to Pay" if it Crosses U.S.; Kavanaugh and His Accuser to Testify on Thursday; U.N. Security Council Meets on Counterproliferation. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired September 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're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson live from CNN headquarters in
Atlanta for you this hour, with a packed show.
We begin with a gathering of nations, but no meeting of the minds, it seems, when it comes to dealing with Iran. U.S. President Donald Trump is
chairing his first U.N. Security Council meeting right now. It is focused on global nonproliferation efforts. But it's clear that Iran is a key
concern. At least for President Trump. He slammed the regime when he kicked off the session and urged other countries not to undermine renewed
But with Russia and China in the room, not to mention European countries that are part of the Iran nuclear deal that Mr. Trump abandoned, we are
expecting to see some deep divisions. Well Iran doesn't have a seat at the table. But President Hassan Rouhani will get his chance to respond a
couple of hours from now when he speaks to reporters.
As you well imagine, we are covering all angles of this story, from the United Nations and beyond. Rich Roth is live at the U.N. Sam Kylie is in
Abu Dhabi in the Gulf. And Oren Liebermann joining us from Jerusalem. Let's start off, if we can, Richard, with you. We have heard from Donald
Trump this morning, as that meeting kicked off. What did he say?
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: He denounced, again, the Rouhani and Iranian regime. He did say pressure must be kept on. He said
Iran is responsible. The nation responsible for the most terror. And he said that Iran should be stopped by the international community. Let's
listen to how he talks about keeping the pressure on by the U.S. sanctions and threaten more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All U.S. nuclear-related sanctions will be in full force by early November. They will be in full
force. After that, the United States will pursue additional sanctions, tougher than ever before, to counter the entire range of Iran's maligned
conduct. Any individual or entity who fails to comply with these sanctions will face severe consequences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROTH: And yesterday Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, said, Becky, that there will be hell to pay if Iran lies or deceives the U.S. or
ANDERSON: How would you describe relations or certainly the atmosphere amongst those permanent members of the Security Council and others who are
at this meeting? And, of course, are very present here across this week at the UNGA. I'm thinking of China specifically at this point with the U.S.
ROTH: All right. A lot there. Briefly, stunning comment by the U.S. President, saying that in the middle of this meeting about nonproliferation
and nuclear weapons, he said China is meddling -- election-meddling in the 2018 elections. They don't want me to win, President Trump said to the
discomfort of the Chinese minister sitting in his chair. Usually China doesn't ad lib its responses. We shall see if there is a returned comment
The French President, Macron, speaking right after Donald Trump, tried to heal everything and say, yes, we do have divisions on Iran and other
issues. But we can have a short-term strategy of sanctions and containment. The differences are out in the open, but France didn't want
to go firmly on the attack, looked at the big picture, talk about the danger of Iran's missile threat. But the President of the U.S. is still in
the chair, 15 countries to go. Let's see how long he stays.
ANDERSON: Yes, keep an eye on that for us, if you will. I want to get to Sam Kylie. And Sam, this, of course, a day after we heard from President
Trump at the U.N. General Assembly. Usually the whole world is laughing at you. Of course, his hyperbole. But that was literally the case yesterday
for Mr. Trump. That moment dominating today's papers. I want to get the viewers a sense of what we've got.
Here is "The Washington Post." "Trump is the laughingstock of the world," says one of its op-eds. And from Iran, this headline in one paper.
"Global mocking of Trump, laughter from international diplomats during the U.S. President's speech."
[11:05:00] Now, that moment in time being not backed by the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. suggesting that this was by no means ridicule that was heard in
But it is -- it's a fairly unique moment that a chamber full of leaders and foreign ministers and importance as it were from around the world laughing
out loud as the U.S. President is at the stump, as it were.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think that's the key word there, Becky. I think there was sort of giggles of embarrassment
and then it turned into open laughter, precisely because this is a gathering of world leaders, none of whom one assumes have a vote in any
upcoming American election. But the U.S. President was not addressing them as fellow leaders on the world stage but began his speech with this very
stump-like pitch that he was the most successful President the United States had seen possibly ever over the last couple of years.
But the -- I think -- and there was cold comfort though. I mean, moments of some satisfaction for the Iranians following this. A lot of coverage in
Iranian press, you point out there, sneering him. Another headline said, "Trump comes late, brags, world leaders laugh."
But -- and this is the but -- what Trump has said at the Security Council, Becky, and what John Bolton said yesterday and now entirely consistent.
And they are threatening further sanctions. They are threatening to go on the offensive, and certainly economically after the sanctions over the
nuclear issue have begun to bite in November. They're saying they're going to impose more across the entire range of maligned conduct, where the
American President's words, Becky. I think that's very significant.
That would be delightfully received here in the Gulf, in Saudi Arabia, in Israel. But it does set the stage for a great deal of friction, not least
with Europe and Russia and China, who think that Iran needs bringing in from the cold. But, again, he made more threats there, stressing that the
United States would go after any individual or entity that was not obeying its sanctions on Iran. Not just the nuclear ones, but those that would be
coming down the tracks after November -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Stand by. I want to get to Oren. Mr. Trump meeting with Israel's Prime Minister earlier today. Let's have a quick listen to some
of what they had to say. Hold on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We are very much in favor of what Israel is doing as far as their defense is concerned. They're aggressive and they have no choice but to be
aggressive. It's a very difficult part of the world.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: No one has backed Israel like you do, and we appreciate it. Third, this is the first time that we meet
after the American embassy has been moved to Jerusalem.
TRUMP: That's right.
NETANYAHU: You've changed history and you've touched our hearts. And fourth and last, I want to say how much I appreciate your robust defense of
Israel's right of self-defense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: If you were able to sum up in one paragraph, as it were, or 140 characters, what is it that Israel wants to get out of this week in New
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that very much was the part of the meeting we expected. These leaders share a close, personal
relationship, a good diplomatic relationship. And on many other levels. And that's what we saw there. Israel is looking to strengthen that tie.
But there was a part of this that was unstated. And that will bring us back to the Middle East.
Israel has very tough relations, very tense relations at the moment with Russia. Because Russia has blamed Israel for the downing of a Russian
military aircraft near Syria. Israel is hoping Trump can step in, that the U.S. administration can step in, and help to soothe and smooth those
tensions, because it is in many ways Russia who writes the rules when it comes to parts of the Middle East and especially when it comes to Israel.
To Syria, that is. And Israel has enjoyed freedom of action over Syria, specifically because Russia has allowed it. Those tense relations now have
made that a more difficult prospect for Israel. So that's one of the things Israel will look to get out of meeting with Trump. Even though it
went unstated by both leaders.
What was very interesting, I'll talk about this briefly, is that Trump was asked about his peace plan. Here he said he likes a two-state solution.
And he repeated it when asked by journalists. It appears to be the first time Trump has endorsed clearly in black and white and repeatedly a two-
state solution. Saying his plan could come forward in the next three or four months, and he 100 percent expects the Palestinians to come back to
the table. Becky, during this entire exchange between reporters and Trump, Netanyahu sat just a few feet away, silent.
ANDERSON: I want to bring in Nic Robertson, if I can, at this point. In less than 24 hours, then, we've heard two big speeches from Donald Trump on
this U.N. stage.
[11:10:01] Nic, you wrote an article following Trump's speech yesterday. Quite a depressing one. Let's bring up a few lines. Quote --
There will be some who listened to Trump today and heard echoes of the 1930s. Ironic, as the U.N. came into existence to overcome the global
horrors from that dark moment in history.
Just explain further, if you will.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, I think if we listen to the comments that we heard from the Iranian President,
Rouhani, when he talked about some leaders using xenophobia that reminded him of Nazism, and I think President Macron as well also made a reference
to the Second World War. Which is what we're talking about here, that period of nationalism, of patriotism, of countries believing that they have
set identities, that they need to exist separately, that they have separate interests. And it's OK for everyone to fight for those -- for their
national interests, to stand by their national interests. So, there were echoes of that in what President Trump had to say that leaders who were
sitting there listening to him or were outside of the chamber, but watched it on TV or whatever, they caught those -- that resonance, as well.
I mean, President Trump reached out in some ways. He talked about the aspirations of what good patriotism can do. He talked about the need to
respect the patriot -- the sovereignty of the United States. But if you compare and contrast his speech this year with his speech last year, you'll
see there's less reference to the possibilities, rather him putting out his very clear position. And that position was very clear. That the United
States is taking an isolationist position, that it doesn't want to work with international borders. Has pulled out of the global climate change
agreement. We've heard many other things listed. But his idea of a constellation of countries that exist, that can work well together, but
exist in their own places in the world, that does tend to paint a potentially dangerous picture.
ANDERSON: Nic, and everything you say I hear. None of which we should be surprised by, I guess, given the campaign promises. He talked about
international institutions and what he thought of those institutions and international rules back in the day -- two years ago when he was on the
stump, of course, pre the election in 2016. Last year during his speech it was all hell hath no fury as far as North Korea was concerned. This year,
Iran, of course, in the crosshairs, just after President Trump's speech his national security adviser, John Bolton, spoke at the annual United Against
Nuclear Iran summit. I want to bring up the message he had for Iran. Stand by.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOLTON, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: If you cross us, our allies, or our partners, if you harm our citizens, if you continue to lie, cheat
and deceive, yes, there will indeed be hell to pay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Extremely strong language, Nic. Where is this all headed?
ROBERTSON: Well, if you take President Trump and what he did last year with North Korea, he was very tough on North Korea, and he seemed to get to
a position that he says today that he's happy with that he's got North Korea at the negotiating table. And in some ways, what we're hearing now
is ratcheting up the pressure on Iran.
Iran, of course, it feels it's in a much different position to North Korea, perhaps not under the same type of pressure. But President Trump wants to
ratchet up the economic pressure on Iran. And that's been part of his rallying call, both in a meeting this morning and at the -- and during his
So, he does seem to be, and the administration does seem to be going through the same path, which is to ratchet up, try to ratchet up isolation
of Iran, pressure on Iran, to try get them to the negotiating table. And he believes that they're getting to the negotiating table, a face-to-face
meeting between him and President Rouhani, is the way to go. That we seem to be a long way from that right now.
But, again, last year at the U.N., when he seemed such a long way from sitting down with Kim Jong-un. Hard to imagine it happened. But it did.
But he did keep good on his promise last year at the UNGA to pull out of the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal.
[11:15:00] He did that. And now his following on from that again. So, I think the things he talks about, we should take at face value, that he
would intend to follow through. I think, look, the important thing about President Trump's message here. And I think the U.N. Secretary General,
Antonio Guterres, got to this point where he talked about history, he talked about ancient Greece. He talked about, you know, when the Athenians
and Spartans went to war. They went to war, because there was a lack of trust between the two, because they weren't communicating with each other.
There was a change and a shift in the power relationship between those two sort of city states.
And Antonio Guterres really here drawing a parallel between the change and shift in global power between China and the United States. And the
language that he sees President Trump using is the sort of language that can sow that fear, discord, concern, lack of trust between these two
powerful nations as China aspires to become more powerful.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. To all of you, thank you. And for more of Nic's analysis, you can head over to our website, CNN.com, where you can read his
article on Trump's U.N. speech. I highly recommend that.
Still to come, we are just a day away from the Supreme Court showdown on Capitol Hill. Now both Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser have documents to
bolster their case. The latest from Washington, after this.
ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back. For those of you who are just joining us, you are
more than welcome.
In less than 24 hours, high stakes hearing involving President Trump's pick for the nation's highest court will play out on Capitol Hill. Now, Brett
Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, are set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. But before Ford is even heard,
Republican leaders already setting Friday for a possible confirmation vote. CNN's Abby Phillip has the latest for you.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In advance of tomorrow's high-profile hearing, "USA Today" reports that lawyers for
Christine Blasey Ford have provided the Senate Judiciary Committee with sworn and signed declarations from four people who corroborate her claims.
That judge Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school. The new development coming after Kavanaugh adamantly denied the allegation in a Fox
News interview on Monday.
BRETT KAVANAUGH, U.S. SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: I've never sexually assaulted anyone. Not in high school, not ever.
PHILLIP: According to "USA Today" the declarations are from Ford's husband and three friends who say Ford told them about the alleged assault, both in
person and on e-mail, as far back as 2012. And as recently as June of this year. "USA Today" also obtaining these pages of Kavanaugh's calendar from
the summer of 1982, which his lawyers intend to use to help support his claim that he was not at the house party where the alleged assault
occurred. Still, Republican Chairman, Chuck Grassley, pressing forward with Kavanaugh's confirmation, scheduling a vote for Friday morning, less
than 24 hours after Ford testifies.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: The message is very clear. They are less interested in the truth and the facts and evidence than in putting
ideological extremists on the court.
PHILLIP: Grassley insisting that he's following regular order. The chairman also announcing that the all-male GOP majority has hired Arizona
sex crimes prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, to question Ford and Kavanaugh despite Ford's objection to using outside counsel.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: We want this hearing to be handled very professionally, not a political sideshow.
PHILLIP: The development coming as President Trump continues to lash out over the controversy surrounding Kavanaugh. Accusing Democrats of trying
to destroy his Supreme Court nominee, after attacking Kavanaugh's second accuser, Deborah Ramirez.
TRUMP: The second accuser has nothing. The second accuser doesn't even know -- she thinks maybe it could have been him. Maybe not. She admits
that she was drunk.
PHILLIP: Ramirez told the "New Yorker" that Kavanaugh thrust his genitals in her face at a party in college, an allegation Kavanaugh denied yesterday
to the senate panel.
TRUMP: She was full all messed up, and she doesn't know it was him, but it might have been him. Oh, gee, let's not make him a Supreme Court judge
because of that.
PHILLIP: A senior GOP aide tells CNN that the President's remarks were not helpful and made it harder for moderate Republicans to vote for Kavanaugh.
Ramirez's attorney voicing frustration about how his client's allegations are being handled. Telling CNN that Ramirez has been cooperating, but the
Republican majority isn't taking his client seriously.
JIM CLUNE, DEBORAH RAMIREZ'S ATTORNEY: Every time we try to set up a phone call, the majority party either changes the rules of the phone call or want
Feels like there is a lot of game-playing going on right now.
ANDERSON: Well, Abby Phillip reporting to you there. CNN's Kaitlin Collins live for you now in Washington. "The New York Times" reporting
that one woman, Renate Schroeder Dolphin who had initially signed a letter supporting Brett Kavanaugh later learned Kavanaugh and other students
referred to themselves as the Renate alumni in their high school yearbook, apparently boasting about their suppose conquests. She calls the
references hurtful. I mean, this is in addition to what we've just heard from Abby's reporting. In Abby's reporting, Kaitlin, one of those speaking
said that this hearing should not be a political sideshow. It should be dealt with properly and sensitively. Is any of that possible? Was it ever
possible at this point?
KAITLIN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's really been the concern. And that's what we've seen from Christine Blasey Ford's
lawyers, is that concern that these senate Republicans who a lot of them have made pretty clear how they feel about this situation. Their votes
don't seem to have been swayed, even those on the judiciary committee, who would have been the ones questioning her if they had not hired this outside
counsel. You heard from Senator Orrin Hatch last week who said he likely wouldn't even ask Kavanaugh's first accuser a question during her hearing.
So that has really led to their concerns, that this is going to be a spectacle. That it is turning into a circus. And that is also echoed by
people like Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee who have said they do believe this is coming to have that kind of aspect, especially with the second
accuser, Deborah Ramirez. Who also has said she wants to come forward and testify. So, we are seeing that growing concern reflected back at the
White House, even with President Trump.
He is in New York for this big meeting of all these -- several days of meetings with world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly, and
though aides have tried to keep him focused on this, hoping that it will keep him from lashing out at these accusers and further complicating the
confirmation process back here in Washington, it hasn't worked. President Trump's mind has been on this. That was pretty clear when he was seated
next to the Colombian President yesterday ahead of their meeting and he was talking about these allegations, saying he doubted the second woman,
because she was -- said she was intoxicated at the time and had lapses in her memory of that alleged incident.
So, what we are witnessing is the White House really changing the strategy here, and that is starting with President Trump, who is going on defense.
Not only on defense, but offense for Brett Kavanaugh, because he doesn't think Brett Kavanaugh is being strident enough in his defense.
[11:25:05] That he's not angry enough about these allegations and instead staying calm and measured. So, we are seeing quite a change back at the
White House regarding how they are feeling about this strategy, which could show they are actually worried that Brett Kavanaugh isn't going to be
ANDERSON: Right. Now, these Supreme Court hearings, Kaitlin, just for the benefit of those viewers who may not quite get it, I want to talk about why
all of this is important. The Supreme Court hearings are always partisan. We know that. But given this added layer, the echo chamber of the #metoo
era. This one is front and center in the international headlines, as well as those domestic headlines. Just remind us why these nominations are so
COLLINS: Well, they're always crucial, of course. This is a lifetime appointment to the court. But this one is especially sensitive, because it
is coming so close to the midterms, and in a year when the Republicans do fear that the Democrats are going to take back the house. They could get
more seats in the senate. That is the concern there. And, of course, we've got these Democrats who know that their base is going to be revved up
ANDERSON: I'm going stop you there. Thank you. We're going to get back to New York. Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, speaking at the
Security Council meeting now. Let's have a listen.
(U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: -- has a special responsibility to protect the significant gains we have made in the last 70 years. Because
the international community has invested huge energy into containing the horrific forces that emerged in the 20th century. The multinational
framework of treaties countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is one of the greatest achievements of the international
community, demonstrating the value of global cooperation. It has improved all of our security. It has brought a measure of predictability and
stability, and it has paved the way to arms control agreements and disarmament.
When many of us around this table were born, it was feared dozens of nuclear weapons states might emerge. Instead the treaty on the
nonproliferation of weapons has seen a remarkable near 30 states abandon their pursuit of nuclear weapons. Global stockpiles have been reduced by
close to 80 percent since their Cold War peak. That is true success on a truly global scale.
Similar, if not greater success has been achieved on chemical and biological weapons. Over 96 percent have declared stockpiles of chemical
weapons have now been destroyed under international verification. And no country professes publicly to possess biological weapons.
But the last 18 months have seen these hard-won gains challenged. We have seen chemical weapons used in Syria, Malaysia and the U.K. The conventions
governing our nuclear compact are being picked at. Predictability and stability are declining. If we do not increase our collective efforts to
preserve and build on what we have, there is a very real risk these gains will subside or fall away. The 1970 nonproliferation treaty is rightly
perceived as the flagship of the international community's determination against nuclear proliferation. Supporting it requires leadership.
Leadership of your administration and you personally, Mr. President, are demonstrating on DPRK, the world's most pressing nuclear threat.
In meeting Kim Jong-un, you have created an historic opportunity for complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearization. Consensus from this
council to impose sanctions on DPRK has played no small part. But we will not continue meaningful progress towards peace on the Korean Peninsula
without sustained pressure. Sanctions must be strictly enforced by all, including the DPRK's neighbors. We must stay vigilant.
Ensuring nonproliferation also requires collective leadership of the type that led to the agreement in 2015 at the joint comprehensive plan of
action, the Iran nuclear deal. For many years, the scale and nature of Iran's nuclear program raised serious international concerns. The JCPOA
was an important step forward in addressing these. It remains the best means of preventing Iran developing a nuclear weapon, and we are committed
to preserving the JCPOA, as long as Iran continues to abide by its obligations in full. Iran must ensure they implement their obligations
fully and to monitor Iran's compliance we strongly support the IAEA, using inspections and other monitoring provisions of the JCPOA to their full.
Other aspects of Iran's policies, in particular its destabilizing regional behavior, and sustained efforts to enhance its ballistic missile capability
continue to cause serious concerns. The international community and where appropriate, the Security Council, need to be ready to address this.
[11:30:00] And Iran's proliferation of missile and sophisticated military technology to groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon or as the U.N.'s panel of
experts concluded, the Houthis in Yemen, is also not in compliance with Security Council resolutions. It risks a dangerous escalation.
So, we need to see further decisive action in this council to tackle both the transient proliferation of these technologies and increase the costs
for those responsible. It is regrettable that Russia continues to prevent the council from upholding its responsibility to stop this destabilizing
Mr. President, nowhere are the grim consequences of the erosion of global norms on weapons of mass destruction more apparent than in Syria, where the
U.N. has concluded that Assad's regime has repeatedly used chemical weapons. A direct assault on a near century-old ban vital to our
collective peace and security. Yet Russia has repeatedly wielded its veto to prevent the Security Council from holding the Assad regime to account,
even shutting down the international body established to investigate chemical weapons use in Syria.
So, I welcome the decision of 150 countries in June, the largest gathering in its history to empower the OPCW to attribute responsibility for chemical
weapons attacks in Syria and to put in place arrangements for attribution for any country which requests it. And I would like to thank President
Trump and President Macron for their shared determination with the U.K. to deter the use of chemical weapons in Syria through U.S., U.K. and French
joint military action in April.
These actions sent a killer message to the Assad regime. Perpetrators of chemical weapons use cannot escape identification or act with impunity.
The regime's backers must use their influence to ensure chemical weapons are not used again. For there must be no doubt we will respond swiftly and
appropriately if they are.
The U.K. saw the consequences of these norms being eroded in Salisbury this year. When Russia recklessly deployed a nerve agent on our streets. The
United Kingdom has presented detailed evidence, clearly laid out in charges of attempted murder and the use and possession of a chemical weapon against
two agents of the Russian state. We have taken appropriate action with our allies, and we will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure our
collective security. Russia has only sought to obfuscate through desperate fabrication.
Permanent members of the U.N. Security Council must not attack and undermine the international nonproliferation regimes and the institutions
that underpin them. All members of the council must fulfill their responsibilities to safeguard them in support of international peace and
security. It is my sincere hope that Russia will rejoin the international consensus against the use of chemical weapons and the collective effort to
uphold it. If so, this council will again be able to work together to rid the world of chemical weapons. But if not, we should leave no one in any
doubt of the international community's determination to uphold international nonproliferation regimes.
Not all the challenges faced by the counter proliferation framework come before this council, but they are no less urgent. We need to strengthen
the rules to keep pace with new technologies and more complex global supply chains. We must help every U.N. member to develop their capabilities and
regulation and ensure they are able to make their contribution to this global effort. The quiet but essential role the United Nations plays must
be at the heart of these efforts. So as U.N. members, we should invest the expertise and diplomatic resources necessary in the conventions.
Mr. President, it was collective engagement by states across the globe that produced the counter proliferation framework. Even the most powerful
recognize that investing in collective rules-based restraint was the only effective way of addressing national security interests and avoiding
unilateral recourse to force. We cannot let the framework be undermined today by those who reject the values and disregard the rules that have kept
us safe. It will take collective engagement to reinforce it in the face of today's challenges, and in this, as has always been the case, the U.K. will
play a leading role. Thank you.
TRUMP: Thank you, very much, Prime Minister. I now give the floor to the Prime Minister of the Netherlands.
ANDERSON: All right. We're going to keep an eye on this for you. And get back to it as and when. Senior international correspondent, Sam Kiley,
though is in Abu Dhabi for you. Vali Nasr, the dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, also, with me
out of Washington.
[11:35:00] Vali, what do you make of Theresa May's speech and her narrative with regards to Iran? Before we talk about what we've heard primarily and
from the U.S. in the past 24 hours?
VALI NASR, DEAN, SCHOOL OF ADVANCED INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: Well, Theresa May laid out a line of argument that has been --
was common before the U.S. left the JPCOA, namely to placate the U.S. by underscoring Iran's role in Syria, its ballistic missile program. But then
arguing that the JPCOA should be preserved. That now sounds a little stale. The U.S. left the JCPOA. The U.S. is moving to put punitive
sanctions on Iran. The U.S. strategy is to force the Europeans out of JPCOA by punishing their companies and the like. And so, she didn't put
anything on the table that was fresh. Other than to say that the United Kingdom is committed to preserving JCPOA. But again, in order to make the
Trump administration happy, she sort of balances doubling down on staying in the JCPOA by saying, well, we lost a call on Iran on its missiles and on
its regional role.
ANDERSON: Vali, I want to take a listen to Nikki Haley, Mr. Trump's ambassador, of course, to the United Nations. She was on Fox News earlier
on. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: We do need to be worried about Iran.
Honestly, Iran is the biggest issue that we have right now. I think you can look. We are having multiple attacks from their proxies on our embassy
in Iraq. They are very involved, whether it's Lebanon or Yemen. They are constantly in the middle of trouble. And they're not on our side. And
what we have to do is make sure that the international community knows. Trying to do business with Iran is only helping terrorism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: She described Iran as the biggest issue that the U.S. has right now. And John Bolton warning, and I quote him, cross us, our allies or our
partners, there will be hell to pay.
You know, all of this, of course, coming as Iran is mourning those killed in an attack on a military parade on Saturday. I just wonder where you
think we are at, at this point. It feels we listened to the North Korea rhetoric last year, certainly Donald Trump will say that he has made
progress since then. This is one way of dealing with your perceived enemies. At the moment, it doesn't look or feel as if -- on the face of
it, he is getting anywhere with regard thawing relations with Iran. You may know more than we do about the back channeling, about what is happening
behind the scenes. Is it inconceivable at this point that actually there could be progress between Tehran and Washington?
NASR: It's conceivable but it's not happening right now. And I think the biggest problem that the Trump administration has is that the nuclear deal
has not yet collapsed. I mean, their assumption was that once they leave, Iran would retaliate by also leaving. Iran didn't leave and nor did the
other signatories to the deal. That's Europe, Russia and China. And so, a lot of the rhetoric and the pressure that we're hearing the President, John
Bolton, Nikki Haley, is as much directed at the Europeans as it's directed at Iran. Because you can't actually negotiate with Iran about a new deal
until you kill the previous deal. And as we heard from Theresa May, she is committed to preserving this deal.
So, you know, you are getting a situation of Nikki Haley, you know, citing attacks on the consulates, which is the first I've heard of, and it's not
substantiated yet, and John Bolton and the President ratcheting up the rhetoric and essentially threatening the Europeans that they're going to be
punished severely unless they really break the deal. So, we're seeing frustration in the U.S. in the fact that this deal is still there, and
Iran, the Europeans, Chinese and the Russians are talking about special financial arrangements to preserve the deal. So, I think that's where the
state of play is. You're not going to have a U.S./Iran deal until the U.S. is really able to push this deal aside.
ANDERSON: Just after President Trump's speech yesterday, his national security adviser, John Bolton, spoke at the annual United Against Nuclear
Iran summit. I alluded to this earlier, Sam. But I just want to bring up the message, the very specific message, that he had for Iran. Have a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOLTON: If you cross us, our allies, or our partners, if you harm our citizens, if you continue to lie, cheat and deceive, yes, there will indeed
be hell to pay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[11:40:02] ANDERSON: Cross us, our allies or our partners. The U.S. policy on the Middle East under a Trump administration is very specific.
It is reengaging with traditional allies. Renewing ties with the traditional allies, for example, Saudi and the UAE, who, of course, see
Iran as an extensional threat. How is what we are hearing at the U.N. being perceived, where you are, in the UAE and across the Gulf and across
the wider Middle East? Because when we talk about -- when certainly, the U.S. talks about the expansionist nature of this regime in Tehran. You
know, the testing of ballistic missiles, it is a security issue, not just for the U.S. this is a national security issue for so many countries across
the Middle East region.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think, Becky, that many of the Sunni Arab nations that suffer direct threats, frequent verbal
threats from Tehran and on top of that, of course, the Israelis get the same threat of extensional destruction, are going to be delighted.
Although somewhat scratching their heads as to why this has become the issue for the Trump administration at the U.N. General Assembly, when there
were so many other issues that might reflect much more directly in terms of the United States' own security.
But if we look at it over the -- how it's evolved over the last couple of weeks. For example, the American -- Trump administration has said that
American troops will remain in Syria so long as Iranian troops remain outside of the borders with Iran. That is quite a remarkable statement.
They went in there originally to get rid of the so-called Islamic state. Now the threat has been shifted towards Iran. That is consistent with how
Iran is perceived by the Saudis, just to the south, by Israel, by the UAE, where I'm talking to you from. By a wide number of Sunni Arab nations and
Israel in this part of the world. So, they're going to be delighted.
Meanwhile, the Iranians, of course, are prosecuting perhaps not an expansionist policy, but certainly a policy of destabilization. It is the
case that the Iranians have been sponsoring the Houthi rebels in Yemen. They, of course, are the principle backer of Hezbollah in south Lebanon and
they are a major backer of the regime in Damascus, a regime that has itself also used chemical weapons.
So, in that context, I think the region is broadly speaking, delighted if their opponents of Tehran by the Trump administration's sudden adoption of
their cause. But it is a remarkable on a rhetorical level the extent to which the Trump administration has adopted this cause, and not, for
example, focused on resolving the Palestinian-Israeli issue or indeed more localized humanitarian issues that might relate to Syria and other places.
ANDERSON: Yes. Again, and I was discussing with Nic Robertson earlier, as -- as we discuss his analysis of the speech that Donald Trump made
yesterday, which sort of, you know -- the rejection of international institutions and rules. I mean, we shouldn't be surprised by any of this.
This was all part of his campaign, and this is Donald Trump coming good on his promises, including to rip up this Iran deal, because it was the worst
deal ever. So, you know, we were well aware of where this was all going.
All of this comes as, of course, Iran is mourning those killed in an attack on a military parade on Saturday. Thousands packing the streets in
southwestern Iran Monday as some of the 29 victims were laid to rest. The attack, one of the worst attacks against Iran's military force. It also
has heightened tensions with the U.S., and with Iran's regional foes. Can you just put this into context for us? From your perspective, Vali?
NASR: Well, it's important, because it's the first time that this kind of an attack has happened within Iranian territory. And I'm sure it worries
the Iranian security forces. It also suggests to them that perhaps the United States is not really interested in renegotiating the nuclear deal.
It really wants regime change. But on the other hand, I think the Iranian regime sees opportunity in this, by pointing the finger to Saudi Arabia,
UAE, and the United States. It essentially tells its population that the countries under direct attack.
[11:45:00] And not just by the United States, by regional rivals, that Iranian civilians are being killed in these attacks, and that these
countries are backing separatists who want to break up the country. And you could see that this will -- this will play to the nationalists'
feelings of the population who would rally to the flag and whether they like the Islamic Republic or they don't like the Islamic Republic, Iranians
are a nationalistic people. If they feel the country is under threat and that outsiders, particularly their Arab rivals, want to undermine the
country itself and break it up, they're going to rally together.
And this actually gives, I think, more political room to the Iranian government to resist the economic sanctions. So, when the United States is
hoping that economic pressure would create a fissure between the regime and its population, the attack in southern Iran has the opposite effect. It
actually will bring them together. It's kind of like a post 9/11 moment in the United States. That you put everything aside, and you come together in
facing outside pressure.
ANDERSON: Yes, this is fascinating. Ramped up rhetoric, rising tensions. We know these are all part of the Trump playbook. And you've argued this
in an article you've written for Axios recently, quote --
Trump ratcheted up tensions with North Korea to get Kim to the Singapore summit, and is following the same script with Iran, scuttling the nuclear
deal, increasing economic pressure but then proposing talks. But North Korea has been dragging its feet on the denuclearization since the Summit,
and Iran has for now rejected Trump's offer.
We alluded to this, we've discussed this a little earlier. But what chance at this point that, you know, a month down the road we could be in a
completely different place? These sanctions -- Tehran is, until the beginning of November, before these sanctions will start really biting.
That gives it time to work out with China, with Russia, with others, with Turkey. What it is it might do with the financial framework to ensure that
these sanctions don't bite as much as they might do. But these are U.S. sanctions coming down the pipe. How much chance is there that a month down
the road we could be looking at quite a different situation, just as we were by the beginning of this year, post UNGA and North Korea last?
NASR: First of all, Iran is looking at the example of North Korea, and therefore -- whereas North Korea was the first one to sort of respond to
this Trump strategy. I think two things have to happen for potentially talks to go forward. One is that I think the U.S. actually has to show
some carrots and not just sticks to Iran. That it has to be willing to show that other than threats and threat of war and threat of economic ruin,
that it actually shows a path forward to Iran. That if it came to the table, these are concretely things that it can get.
And secondly, I think the Iranians are also reading "The New York Times" as anonymous op-ed. They also have read the Bob Woodward book. There is
concern that the President may go into a room and say whatever, but when he comes outside, his own administration may undermine him. And there is no
point in actually talking to a President and getting into a deal-making, the end result of which is not certain. So, I think Trump also has to show
Iran that he's in charge. That his administration is not going to undermine the process. That if he makes an agreement, that he's going to
do certain things that he's able to deliver. And I don't think that sense exists.
And that's one reason why also North Korea is dragging its feet. It doesn't want to enter into an agreement with Trump only for the next
President or his administration to undermine the deal. Because for North Korea and Iran, they give up a lot in any deal that they can't take back.
Whereas for the United States, there's a lot less in concrete terms that they put on the table.
ANDERSON: All right. Vali, I'm going to have to interrupt you. But your analysis is excellent. Sam, thank you. I'm going to get back to the UNSC.
The Security Council meeting with China is now addressing those in the seats.
(U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING)
WANG YI, CHINA'S FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER (through translator):-- of all Security Council members. Given the complex challenges to international
peace and security, how should the Security Council fulfill this mission and play its role? This is a question that deserves serious consideration.
China believes the following. The Security Council should perform its function in a fair and just manner, as mandated by the charter, the
Security Council must uphold the purposes and principles of the U.N. charter and the universally recognized international law and norms
governing international relations.
[11:50:00] It should safeguard the authoritarian role of the U.N. in international affairs and sovereignty and dependence and legitimate rights
and interests of all countries. The Security Council should stick to political settlement as the basic direction. The Security Council should
be the strongest advocate for resolving differences and disputes through dialogue and consultation. It should effectively use all tools, including
good offices, mediation, peacekeeping and peace-building, step up preventive diplomacy to serve the larger goal of political settlement.
The Security Council should enhance unity to promote consensus. All members must bear firmly in mind their responsibility for world peace and
security, enhance unity and coordination, set aside geopolitical considerations, and ensure effective functioning of the council and uphold
the common interests of all U.N. members.
The Security Council should strengthen overall planning and coordination to forge synergy. It should coordinate and cooperate with the General
Assembly, UNGA, the secretary general and the U.N. development system so that the political pillar and development pillar can support each other and
efforts for lasting peace, and for sustainable development can be mutually reinforcing.
Mr. President, the proliferation of WMD and the means of delivering poses a real threat to global peace and security and is a challenge that we all
face. China proposes that we step up efforts in the following three aspects. First, we need to champion the rule of law to consolidate and
improve the international nonproliferation regime. The MPT, the biological weapons convention, the chemical weapons convention. The U.N.SCR 1514 and
other Security Council resolutions constitute the legal foundation of the international nonproliferation regime. All of us should earnestly
safeguard the universality, effectiveness and authority of the nonproliferation regime. And in particular, prevent terrorists and other
nonstate actors from getting hold of WMD materials and technologies. Second, we need --
ANDERSON: Right, you are listening to the Chinese foreign minister addressing those in the room gathered at the U.N. Security Council, which
is meeting as we speak on counter proliferation, watching that with me. This meeting, of course, being chaired by Donald Trump. Senior
international correspondent, Sam Kiley, out of my normal base, which is, of course, Abu Dhabi in the UAE. So, let's just discuss what we just heard
from China. What was a meeting once slated to be discussing Iran, specifically? But which has been given a wider narrative on global
nonproliferation to effectively ensure that -- well, I guess Iran doesn't get a seat at the table.
KILEY: Well, also, I think, Becky, so the United States could try to give the impression that it wasn't so at odds with so many of its key allies.
Now, in her very British way, Theresa May gave with one hand, but took away with the other in terms of her response to Donald Trump's opening comments,
which were condemnatory of the JCPOA, the deal that led to ultimately Iran giving up on -- at least temporarily, its nuclear weapons program in return
for a lightning of sanctions. She repeated, and the Chinese foreign minister is doing it again now, Emmanuel Macron, the French President did
it. All of them insisting that that was the forum for multilateralism. That unilateral actions such as the sort taken by the United States, were
damaging in the long-term to world peace.
She used an interesting phrase, Becky. She talked about the collective rules-based restraint. Rather sort of teacherly if you like, in addressing
Donald Trump's approach. Because, of course, his approach has been to take all the rules and tear them up. Tear up -- his threatening to renegotiate
NAFTA. He wants to tear up the -- he has torn up the American role in a deal with Iran. And he is threatening even his closest allies in the
world, the European Union, with as yet unspecified sanctions, if they continue to do business with Iran. And all of that, of course, is the
antithesis, really of what this forum at least likes to think of itself as representing.
But at the same time, of course, we often see in this forum very unilateral partisan activity. For example, the Americans routinely vetoing anything
that's critical of Israel. And lately we have seen criticism today of Russia repeatedly vetoing criticism and condemnation of the use of chemical
weapons by the Damascus regime.
[11:55:01] ANDERSON: Our senior international correspondent, my colleague based in the UAE, Sam Kiley in the house for you. I'm Becky Anderson. And
that was CONNECT THE WORLD. We've been over the past couple of hours listening to speeches from New York, from the U.N. We continue to keep an
eye on what is going on at the U.N. Security Council, where China at present is addressing those gathered in the room on the issue of
nonproliferation. Why the global nonproliferation in a meeting which was originally slugged to be chaired by Donald Trump and specifically talking
about Iran. We've had a lot from the U.S. President on Iran, and from his colleagues. We continue to watch what is a very important and very busy
week in New York for you. I'm here in the states. Thank you for watching. Back this time tomorrow.