Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
Trump: Willing To Talk To Iran With No Pre-Conditions; Polls Close In Istanbul's Mayoral Election Redo; U.S. Proposing $50 Billion Palestinian Prosperity Plan; Trump: More Sanctions Coming Against Iran; Trump: On Foreign Policy, "Only One That Matters Is Me"; Prague, Demonstrators Demand P.M.'s Resignation. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired June 23, 2019 - 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 INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson for you live from
Abu Dhabi. We begin this hour with the increasingly dangerous standoff between the U.S. and Iran. In a new warning, America's National Security
Adviser said military action is not off the table even though President Trump called off an attack on Thursday.
John Bolton was speaking in Jerusalem where he met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Well, in response Iran's Foreign Minister accused the "B-team
of pushing Donald Trump towards war. B-team a phrase Mohammed Zarif is used before to describe both Bolton and Mr. Netanyahu. Iran's president
adds that Washington is fueling tensions.
Meanwhile, President Trump, well, he says there will be more sanctions on Iran from Monday and explaining why he puts a surprising spin on his
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Iran wants to become a wealthy nation again, become a prosperous nation. We'll call it let's make
Iran great again. Does that make sense? Make Iran great again. It's OK with me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Donald Trump. Well, we are covering all sides of what is this incredibly important story. Frederick Pleitgen has the reaction from
Tehran for you. White House Reporter Sarah Westwood is in Washington, Sam Kiley here with me in Abu Dhabi. We'll also hear the perspective from
Jerusalem with Oren Liebermann.
Let's start with you, Fred. Just days ago, it seemed as though we were well, on the brink of war. Now, President Trump floating the idea of
talks. Let's have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I'm not looking for war, and if there is it'll be obliteration like you've never seen before. But I'm not looking to do that, but you can't
have a nuclear weapon. You want to talk, good. Otherwise, you can have a bad economy for the next three years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No preconditions?
TRUMP: Not as far as I'm concerned, no preconditions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: You've got your ear to the ground there in Tehran. Do you see talks between the U.S. and Iran happening anytime soon?
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not anytime soon, Becky. But I do think that the tweet that came from Mohammed Zarif -- from
Javad Zarif, the Foreign Minister today was absolutely remarkable because it sort of seemed to lay out from the Iranian perspective what they would
like to see President Trump do if there are in the future going to be talked, if there's going to be the possibility at least of talks.
It was quite interesting for him to once again say that he believes the B- team as he puts it. And as you've explained, John Bolton the National Security Adviser, the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu among
others trying to as the Iranians see it box President Trump in a situation where they get into a war.
He was then essentially praising President Trump saying prudence prevented it, to praising Presidents Trump decision not to do it. But then I think
the next couple of words were absolutely key in what Javad Zarif Said there. He said, economic terrorism leads to tensions and that of course as
we know, Becky, from talking about this for a while refers to America's policy of sanctions against Iran.
The United States leaving the nuclear agreement, the United States putting those heavy sanctions on Iran, and then essentially telling other nations
to also sanction the Iranians and not do business with Iran. That's something that is preventing talks as the Iranians have put it.
Of course, we know that Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan was here a little over a week ago delivering a message from President Trump, offering
up new talks. And the reason why the Iranians keep rebuffing that, they say they are not going to negotiate under pressure.
And the president of the country our Hassan Rouhani, he said on various occasions, if the United States wants to talk, they need to get back to the
nuclear agreement. Of course, that doesn't seem to be in the cards right now, but it does seem as though Javad Zarif tweeting what he did today was
at least outlining what the Iranians would like to see the president do in the future.
ANDERSON: It's unclear the scope of any new economic sanctions against Tehran at this point. Just how impactful -- explain just how impactful the
current sanctions have been on your average Iranian.
PLEITGEN: You know what, that's -- that is such an important question and it explains so much about why the Iranians are doing what they're doing
right now. These sanctions so far by the Trump administration have a devastating effect on the economy here and specifically on your average
A lot of companies here, international companies have stopped doing business here in Iran, have pulled out of Iran because of the sanctions.
And of course, others have not invested in Iran because of the sanctions. And then companies that are Iranian companies can't do international
So a lot of people here have lost their income. A lot of people here have lost their jobs. A lot of products have gotten extremely expensive. The
living conditions for a lot of people have gotten a lot worse. And of course, on top of that, the country cannot export either.
Despite that, Becky, despite the fact that many people here are obviously suffering under this, the Iranians are still saying you are not going to
bully us into coming to the negotiating table. The Iranians have said there are not going to be any negotiations under these circumstances. And
I think that's something that is key because there seems to be a fundamental disconnect right now between what the Trump administration is
saying and what the Iranian side is saying.
The Trump administration seems to be saying that sanctions are going to bring Iran to the table where the Iranians are saying it is exactly the
fact that there's more and more sanctions that is preventing talks from happening, Becky.
[11:05:53] ANDERSON: Thank you, Fred. Sarah, Saturday the U.S. President spoke about differences of opinion with his National Security Adviser John
Bolton. Let's have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I disagreed very much with John Bolton. His attitude in the Middle East in Iraq was going into Iraq. I think that was a big mistake. I think
I've been proven right but I've been against that forever. John Bolton is doing a very good job but he takes it generally a tough posture. But I
have other people that don't take that posture. But the only one that matters is me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Is this, Sarah, a stronger President Trump, a president more in control of what's going on?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, certainly President Trump broke with a significant portion of his team when he decided to call off
that military strike. He had his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who was a proponent of striking back militarily. He had his national security
advisor John Bolton as we just heard, even vice resident Mike Pence was said to have been supportive of the military strike.
So president Trump clearly not afraid to flout the advice of his advisers, of his aides when he decided to take an economic approach rather than a
military approach. But President Trump has been listening to Bolton on his more hawkish tendencies for months now. He's had these hawks in his ears
pushing him in a more aggressive direction. And we have seen that kind of rhetoric out of the Trump administration as a result.
But nonetheless President Trump clinging to this idea that he would like to impose sanctions rather than conduct a military strike on Iran. We haven't
heard a lot of specifics about what those sanctions will look like but they are supposed to come as soon as tomorrow. President Trump is saying some
will come on rapidly, some more slowly.
He falsely tweeted on Thursday evening that he had already imposed sanctions on Iran. There were none new at that time, but now the
administration shifting away from a military direction, Becky.
ANDERSON: Working out where we are at -- Sarah, thank you -- Israel's prime minister then calling on the international community to throw its
weight behind the U.S. on this matter, slamming once again what he calls Iranian aggression. I spoke to Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem just a short
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, the meeting between National Security Adviser John Bolton and Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu began exactly where you would expect it to begin. Both men started by talking about the strong relations between the U.S. and
Israel and thanked President Donald Trump for furthering those relations.
Then both men launched into an attack on Iran. These are both hardliners when it comes to Iran and it showed once again. Netanyahu railed against
the Iran nuclear deal and then ticked off a list of what he sees as Iran's aggression in the region including attacks on Israel and others.
One thing that Yahoo didn't mention that all was Trump's decision to call off a retaliatory strike against Iran after the downing of a U.S. drone.
Instead, he praised more sanctions coming against Iran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER, ISRAEL: We in Israel saw Iran's aggression in there increased efforts to establish Iranian military bases
in Syria, and their increased efforts to provide sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah, and their increased financial support for terror proxies like
Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
This increased right after the deal, right after the deal, with the removal of sanctions, we in Israel could see an explosion of terror and aggression.
I was pleased to hear President Trump make clear yesterday that pressure will continue and that pressure will increase.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMANN: Netanyahu has tried to press other nations to sanction Iran as well in recent days. Next up for Bolton here is a meeting with his Israeli
and Russian counterparts. That meeting was always going to be about Iran but mostly about Iran in Syria now could have far wider implications given
the events of the last few days.
One interesting point to watch here is that Russia is much more on Iran's side than Israel or the U.S. in those meetings. Becky?
[11:10:00] ANDERSON: That's Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem. You've heard the perspective from Tehran and Washington. Sam Kiley is with me now. And
some are arguing, Sam, that Donald Trump has made a smart call pulling back on these strikes, not going forward with these strikes. CNN's National
Security Analyst Peter Bergen argues it was the right decision for a number of reasons. He says, one of them being the risk to U.S. assets in what is
this region that you and I are in.
Bergen writes, the more hardline elements in Iran could easily unleash their forces or proxies against American troops in both Iraq and Syria or
against American commercial targets around this part of the Middle East. Sam, you've been watching these tensions escalate now for some time. John
Bolton is saying do not mistake prudence and discretion for weakness. Did Donald Trump make the right call?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think he did from perspective say, of a country the that were sitting in right now, the
United Arab Emirates, has a lot to lose. It's sitting right across the Arabian Gulf as they would call it from Iran. Tactically, strategically, a
southern escalation over the downing of a flying robot -- this was -- and the president has been repeatedly used these term reminding people it was a
drone that was down.
Was he going to kill human beings in return for smashing a fridge? It just doesn't make sense morally. Strategically, I think you could argue
certainly from the Gulf nations perspective who are absolutely clear in terms of their unease with the what they would say the perpetual
destabilizing efforts been made by Iran, that it's not just American assets as Peter was writing in his piece that would be vulnerable, it is the
stability of these countries.
Yes, there are lots of American military bases. Yes, there are lots of Shia militia and other militia groups backed by Iran that are close to
them. Lots of those groups are embedded in the country of already vulnerable nations that do not need a sudden escalation. But they are also
quite comfortable in this region particular with the continuing pressure being put on.
And it's very interesting that the foreign minister here, Mr. Gargash, tweeted once again and he's repeated mantra is a call for a political
solution, not a military solution, calling for sort of wise men, for wisdom in this environment.
ANDERSON: And regional voice involved in the narrative. And I thought that was very important that he pointed that out. It is important he says,
to have regional voice involved in what happens next.
KILEY: And I think by that, he means an Emirati voice because the Saudis are in lockstep with the Americans. The Emiratis are closed part of that
circuit, part of what the America Rania's called the B-team, but they are actually much more cautious in their approach with their very near
ANDERSON: No-strike then as of yet. Donald Trump says he pulled back with ten minutes to go. John Bolton today says stay tuned. Thank you Sam. Sam
Kiley with me in Abu Dhabi, Fred in Tehran, Sarah in Washington, and Oren for his reporting out of Jerusalem, thank you.
Well, deja vu for voters in Istanbul as the city holds a redo of march of mayoral election. Polls now closed in the Turkish city for the first
results -- with the first results expected in the coming hours. Now, officials ordered the revote due to the allegations of electoral
irregularities after the president Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party suffered a devastating loss by a razor thin margin the first time around.
But the opposition describes the redo as lane dictatorship. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh has this report for us from a polling station in Istanbul.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, we're at one of the thousands of polling centers here in Istanbul. And since around 8:00
this morning, since year opened, it's been this constant steady stream of voters young and old who have turned up to cast their votes.
We've seen some elderly women being brought in on wheelchairs to vote. One woman we spoke to said that while her house may have prevented her from
coming out today, she says she was determined because her conscience would not allow her to stay at home.
And this is really what we're hearing from so many people who have turned up today. They say it is a duty, it's an obligation and a responsibility
to cast their vote. They really still believe that no matter what is going on in Turkey and their concerns about this country taking a dangerous turn
towards autocratic rule, they still truly believe in the power of their vote, in Turkish democracy at the ballot box.
And this is what both sides are really counting on today. They're hoping for a high turnout and indeed we've seen so many people who have either cut
short their vacations to return to Istanbul, some returning from abroad to cast their vote. This is happening in the middle of summer holidays but
that hasn't stopped them.
One young man we spoke to a short time ago said that he returned to Istanbul to cast his vote because every vote counts, Becky.
[11:15:23] ANDERSON: Jomana Karadsheh reporting for you. Let's bring in CNN's Arwa Damon then who is live in Istanbul. Your thoughts, Arwa.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, you know, Turks take their right to vote very seriously and this country has one of
the highest voter turnouts. The last time these mayoral elections were held, there was an 84 percent turnout and that was considered to be low by
And as you heard in Jomana's reporting there, people have been flying in from abroad, from outside of the city to make sure that they are at the
very least able to have their say at the ballot box. Because in so many ways, this isn't necessarily about a mayoral election. Turkey's very
democracy, many will tell you, is what's at stake. Here's what both candidates had to say after they cast their votes this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EKREM IMAMOGLU, OPPOSITION CANDIDATE, ISTANBUL (through translator): This is not a mayoral election for Istanbul. At the same time, this is the day
to repair the period of democracy in the illegal process that has been inflicted on our nation. This is the ballot box to repair it.
BINALI YILDIRIM, RULING PARTY CANDIDATE ISTANBUL (through translator): I think today is the day to leave resentments behind and focus on the future.
If I have made a mistake or if I have been unfair of any of rivals and my Istanbul residents intentionally or unintentionally, I am now asking for
their blessing. I hope the election will be good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAMON: And Becky, the polls closed just over an hour ago. We are waiting for those initial results to be coming out. Exactly one is unclear, but
everyone is watching these results very, very closely. And across the board no matter who people are voting for, there is one desire that they
are all sharing and that is that no matter who wins that it be a very clear-cut victory so that this whole process that the country has been
going to -- going through because of what's happening in this Istanbul mayoral election actually does come to an end.
People want to move on but they also want to ensure that Turkey's democracy is protected, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. Arwa, thank you for that. Arwa Damon in Istanbul, Jomana of course at the polling station earlier on, thank you.
All right, still to come this hour. They think they have a plan for the Palestinians. The small hitch the Palestinians themselves completely
disagree. We speak to their chief negotiator up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:20:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 15 years ago, lifelong foes shook hands on the White House lawn. It seemed with the signing of the Oslo Peace Accords
that a long and bloody struggle was coming to an end, but that would not be. Bitter disagreements and decades of mistrust could not be overcome.
In September 2000, the conflict reverted to more familiar patterns.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Familiar indeed. Peace talks that come to well, not very much indeed. Fast forward to 2019 then, it's not politicians but apparently
money doing the talking. We are getting a first-hand look at the first part of one of most ambitious diplomatic efforts ever dreamt up, a grand
design from the White House hoping to finally solve the saga of fighting between Israel and the Palestinians outlining a huge amount of cash flowing
to the Palestinians.
Here's how the plan's chief architect, the son-in-law of the American president lays it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT: The plan would invest about $50 billion in the region that it would create a million jobs in the
West Bank in Gaza, would take their unemployment rate from about 30 percent to single digits. It would reduce their poverty rate by half if it's
It's a ten-year plan, it would double their GDP. We've had a peer-reviewed now by about a dozen economists in a dozen countries and we're very excited
to put it forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, that will be on Tuesday, Wednesday this week in Bahrain when that proposal is put forward. To get the Palestinian response toward
this, just a short time ago I supposed to Saeb Erekat. He's the chief Palestinian negotiator for the PLO. And I asked -- well, it began at least
by asking him what's not to like about what Jared Krishna just laid out.
SAEB EREKAT, CHIEF PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATOR: I believe that my potential as a Palestinian lies in my control of my natural resources on my shores on
the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean, in my water, in my land, in my freedom to take my decisions and to plan my future, and none of this is in my hand.
So what Kushner, and Greenblatt, and Friedman, and Sheldon Adelson, and others are trying to insinuate that they care so much for me, that they
know what's better for me. If I were to be able to be in control of 60 percent of my land in the West Bank, my shores on the Dead Sea, my shores
of the Mediterranean, my natural resources, and the people with 99 percent literacy rate, I don't need a single penny from the outside.
So how can they come -- they've been in office now for 28 months. Have you heard them say a word about settlements being illegal, confiscation of my
land, Israel stealing my natural resources, controlling my shores, refusing to allow me my freedom of movement?
And they come to implement the settlements council program that they say they want to do projects that will integrate settlements with Palestinian
towns and what we are doing is they are sustaining and maintaining the Israeli occupation with other names.
ANDERSON: OK, look, Jason Greenblatt who you have just mentioned is an advisor in the White House, in an op-ed on CNN writing, and let me quote
exactly here, "It is disheartening to see the supposedly leaders of the Palestinians attack Palestinian entrepreneurs and Palestinian supporters in
general for supporting a better future for their people." Alluding to those who are interested in getting involved in principle at least in the
substance of this proposal.
Do you think, sir, it would be fair to at least support those from around the Arab world going to this meeting? You won't be there, but what about
other Arab leaders, they offer the cash to get this proposal kick-started.
EREKAT: Becky, it's not about cash, it's not about Arabs, it's not about Europeans, it's not about Chinese, it's about Palestinians. You know I
heard about the Manama workshop with my president from CNN. And the president took at me and said, Saeb, what's this? I said, Mr. President, I
don't know about it.
[11:25:18] So if Mr. Jason Greenblatt has taken it upon himself that he knows my interests better than I do and he wants to decide for me and plan
for me because he wants his siblings in the settlements of Gush Etzion in Bethlehem to prosper, that's another story. This is a group of settlers
carrying out the settlers program.
And Arabs and Americans have very good relations. By the way in 2017, we had the closest relations with the United States, Becky. You know that.
Everybody knows that. They're the ones who began taking the decisions Jerusalem, Israel's capital, settlements legal. They closed an American
consulate serving Palestinians since 1844, 175 years. I have 700,000 American-Palestinians.
They closed the office in Washington and we asked for an interest section in any embassy, they refused so our people in the States, American-
Palestinians must go to Canada and Mexico to get their certificates or deaths or birth or whatever.
And now he's telling me that he and -- the Arabs are going because of their interests. Maybe they can say no to Kushner, and to Jason Greenblatt, and
to Trump, but I did not mandate anyone to speak on my behalf. And Mr. Kushner --
ANDERSON: OK, listen, this is --
EREKAT: -- and Mr. Greenblat, and Mr. Friedman should know that enemy mediator must be balanced, a little balanced. These people have no balance
ANDERSON: OK, let me just --
EREKAT: They are carrying out the settlement council program.
ANDERSON: OK, Mr. Erikat, let me just put this to you because what we're talking about here is a business plan that has been proposed. This is the
first part of what is a two-part plan. At first now the economy then the politics of it all. I want to go back to hearing from Jared Kushner. Have
a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KUSHNER: People are tired of the way that this has been stuck in the mud for so long and what we're hoping we can do is get people to look at this a
little bit differently, come together, share ideas and then hopefully we can create a framework on which to move forward economically.
But I will say that you can push the economic plan forward without resolving the political issues as well, and we're fully aware of that and
we intend to address that at a later time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: What Jared Kushner is asking for is for engagement at this point. Are you telling me there will be no engagement -- no engagement on
the economic plan, no engagement on the yet to be announced political plan?
EREKAT: Becky, we had 37 meetings with President Trump and his team, four meetings at the summit level between my president and President Trump, and
33 meetings at my level with Jason -- Mr. Greenblatt, Mr. Kushner, and Mr. Friedman. 37 meetings in 2017 so it's not about meetings or engaging.
Now, these people have decided all of a sudden to start implementing and dictating on me, Jerusalem is Israel's capital, closed the consulate,
closed the barrier pillar representative, settlements are legal, overriding securities in the hands of Israel, the Golan Heights under Israel
sovereignty. We're not a people, the self-determination is for the Jews only. That's the national law and they cut $844 million from my aid
including the refugee camps.
And this this is the same Kushner who's saying that he cares about my prosperity and my wellbeing. From 1967 United States international aid
agency have done wonderful projects for Palestinians in hospitals, in roads, in water, and sewage. They shut it down in February 2018. They
left hundred and twelve projects incomplete. They cut the aid from hospitals, schools, and then the Israelis will held our funds to put us in
So these people are not -- is it about vengeance, is it -- is it about a man telling me I'm the son-in-law of the president of the United States,
and if you don't listen to me, you're no good, you're corrupt, you're not good to govern for Palestinians. That's what they're doing. This is not
mediation. What they -- what they're doing is they are dictating, they trying to dictate on me. And I'm telling them this will not work. This
will not fly.
If you can find somebody from China, Thailand, Nigeria, Arab world to do the concessions required from Palestinians, find them. But I did not
mandate as the Palestinian Liberation Organization, as head of Palestine under occupation anyone to negotiate in my behalf.
[11:29:41] ANDERSON: Saeb Erekat in his words. Well, Middle-East plan may be pegged as the "deal of the century" by its supporters at least, but it's
the Iran deal that is still on everybody's lips. We're going to take a look at how the Trump administration is handling diplomacy in the region.
And it could turn out to be the biggest protest since the velvet revolution happening right now. These are live pictures. Coming up, why Czech
demonstrators want their prime minister to resign.
ANDERSON: Hello, it's 33 minutes past 7:00 in the UAE. You're watching CNN, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson, out of our Middle
East programming hub in Abu Dhabi. Welcome back. Into those of you who just joining us you are, more than welcome. Let's return to what is our
top story this hour.
He canceled an air strike. The U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening to hit Iran in another way. He says he's poised to impose new sanctions on
the country as soon as Monday. Mr. Trump said further sanctions will get Iran to the bargaining table and he defended his decision to call off the
planned air strike.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Everybody was saying I'm a warmonger. And now they say I'm a dove. And I think I'm neither, you want to know the truth? I'm a man with common
sense and that's what we need in this country is common sense.
But I didn't like the idea of them knowingly shooting down an unmanned drone, and then, we kill 150 people. I didn't like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: That's Donald Trump on Sunday. Mr. Trump told NBC that he is willing to talk to Iran with no preconditions. Meanwhile, Iran says it
will counter any threats or aggression. Well, let's stay on this.
My next guest says that Mr. Trump canceling the strike on Iran was both a warning and an offer to negotiate. Vali Nasr is a former senior adviser to
the U.S. State Department and the Dean for the School of Advanced International Studies at the John Hopkins University. Explain exactly why
you said what you said, and what'd you mean by that.
[11:35:27] VALI NASR, DEAN SCHOOL OF ADVANCED INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, JOHN HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: Well, by -- once it became known that the United
States was planning to attack Iran and it was president Trump, personally that start the attack. In a way, he indicated to Iran that an attack is
imminent, that all is that standing between an attack is him. Personally, his team wants to go ahead. And that having not attacked Iran, he's left
the door open for the Iranians to talk to him.
And therefore, he sort of underscored the gravity of the situation, but at the same time suggested that what he wants is some kind of a negotiated
ANDERSON: Is he going to get that?
NASR: Not if he imposes more sanctions on Iran. I think, ultimately, the Iranians are frustrated and angry at these sanctions. They want to push
back against the U.S. They're telling Trump very clearly that the path of maximum pressure is going to end up in war. And if he doesn't want to end
up in war, he has to relieve some of the pressure, and then, they can talk. But Trump is not following that game plan.
ANDERSON: Well, on Saturday, the U.S. president spoke about differences of opinion with his national security adviser. Let's just have a listen to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I disagreed very much with John Bolton. His attitude on the Middle East, in Iraq --was going into Iraq. I think that was a big mistake, I
think I've been proven right, but I've been against that forever.
John Bolton is doing a very good job but he takes it generally a tough posture. But I have other people that don't take that posture. But the
only one that matters is me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Whether or not, pulling back from the brink as it were gets Tehran to the negotiating table and we can -- you know, we will continue to
have that discussion, Vali. Has this latest incident made President Trump look stronger, more credible, more in control, do you think?
NASR: Well, it suggests that he is the final decision-maker. But it also showing that there's now a gap between him and his foreign policy team. I
mean, one of the problems with Trump is that he has chosen a national security team that is not supportive of his vision of deal-making with
countries like North Korea and Iran. And both North Korea and Iran are highlighting that.
The fact that they -- that if Trump really wants to talk to them, he needs to have a national security team who also wants the same thing. Any day,
the president of the United States has to go on television and justify why he's not listening to his own national security adviser and call his
national security adviser as too hawkish, you're signaling to the world that there is disarray in Washington, and that undermines his credibility.
Because, you know, you don't want to negotiate with a country where the president may say one thing and his team may say something else.
ANDERSON: He might say this is good-cop, bad-cop, of course. CNN's national security analyst Peter Bergen certainly argues that this was the
right decision to pull back from this military strike. And he says it's for -- this for a number of reasons. He writes, "The more hardline
elements in Iran could easily unleash their forces or proxies against American troops in both Iraq and Syria or against American commercial
interests -- commercial targets around the Middle East."
More of Peter's analysis at cnn.com. I wonder, Vali, I know, I'm pretty sure I'm right in saying that you would be in favor of trying to get some
sort of talks initiated at this point. On the flip side, and the Iranian - - you know, do the Iranians see an opportunity to sort of sit this out for the next 14 months and open pray there's a new president at the White House
in 2020? As we have seen suggestions of, from, for example, the Chinese or the Venezuelans?
NASR: I don't think so. I think that might have been the game plan earlier on. When they didn't expect that the sanctions against them would
be as successful as they have been. The Iranians were counting on the Europeans to stand in Trump's way, try to continue to fulfill, at least,
part of the international community's obligation -- economic obligations under the nuclear deal.
But the Iranians have seen the rest of the world basically stand by while Trump is putting sanction after sanction on them, and he's pushing to take
their oil exports down to zero. Iranian's can't tolerate that for 14 months. And as much as they don't like Trump, and they don't trust them,
they understand that ultimately there have to be some kind of an agreement with Trump where Iran may stay in the deal and Iran may do a few things
Trump wants, and Trump will, at least, release some of the pressure on them.
That would make the situation more sustainable. And then they can pick it up after the presidential election. But I think the Iranians are also
outside of their comfort zone. And that's making the situation much more dangerous.
[11:40:40] ANDERSON: Fascinating and always extremely useful insight from Vali Nasr. Dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns
Hopkins University. Always a pleasure. Sir, thank you.
NASR: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Let's get you up to speed in some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And four people are dead following a failed coup
in Ethiopia's northern in Amhara region.
Prime minister, says the army chief of staff was killed while trying to stop the attempted coup. He is now calling on all citizens to stand with
the government and defend the unity of the country.
Well, water shortage is deepening in the Indian city of Chennai. The city has had some rain but not enough. People there are waiting hours in line
for water. And hospitals, schools, and businesses struggling to stay open. Four reservoirs have nearly run dry due to drought there.
Protesters are in the streets of Prague at this hour, demanding the resignation of the Czech Republic's prime minister. He faces corruption
charges, accused of fraud and collaborating with the secret police during the Communist era.
Nathan Hodge standing by for us live. Nathan?
NATHAN HODGE, CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: Becky, organizers saying that this is the largest protest scene in Prague since 1989. The Velvet Revolution
that brought down communism. And these are -- and it's an extraordinary turnout on the streets here.
Organizers a few weeks backfilled Wenceslas Square, also a scene of some of those historic demonstrations in 1989. And now 30 years later, they're
filling a letting a plane, and even larger venue just across the river from Prague's Old Town.
And so, it's been a remarkable turnout and why are people coming out in force? Well, organizers are calling for the ouster of the Prime Minister
Andrej Babis. Saying that they'd like to see him go. That he's a threat to Czech democracy.
As you had mentioned, some of the allegations surrounding him of concern, E.U. subsidies, as well as, allegations of collaboration with the secret
police -- the Communists there, a secret police.
And, of course, demonstrators are also expressing concern about his hold over the media. Among his holdings, he's a -- he's a prominent business
tycoon before he came to power -- are key media outlets including some top newspapers?
So, there's a lot of concern here on the streets in Prague and the demonstrators have come out in surprising numbers. And these protests have
actually been building force over a series of weeks. And we're looking at the possibility that there could be a no-confidence vote in the coming
ANDERSON: Nathan Hodge out of Moscow. Few reporting on what you see there on your screens. These huge demonstrations in the Czech Republic. Thank
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson for you, and we are out of Abu Dhabi. Coming up, with growing tensions in the oil-rich Gulf,
Asia takes a look at alternatives. We are live in Kuala Lumpur, up next.
[11:46:12] ANDERSON: Right, today we begin a week-long series, we call powerful tomorrow. Even though, the United States backed away from plans
for a military strike against Iran last week as we've been reporting this hour.
U.S. officials say all options remain on the table. President Donald Trump blames Iran for its attacks on oil tankers operating the Strait of Hormuz
and vows that shipping lanes will be maintained.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We are the number one oil producer -- oil and gas in the world by far. We're way ahead of Russia, we're way ahead of Saudi Arabia. We don't
really need the Straits anymore. We take some but we don't need it.
The biggest beneficiary of the Straits is China. 91 percent of their energy comes out of the Straits. Japan, Indonesia, many other countries
need it. So, we're doing them a very big service by keeping the Straits open.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, it's to Asia, where we find my colleague, John Defterios. John?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Thanks very much, Becky. We're in Kuala Lumpur for the Asian Oil and Gas Conference, which
officially kicks off on Monday. The conversation should be about Asian demand for oil. Commanding about a fifth of the overall market of about
100 million barrels a day.
Many of these Asian countries were big customers of Iran, by the way. Let's take a look at the demand for the exports from Iran over the last
year. April 2018, the exports were at 2.8 million barrels a day. Then, the Trump administration's policy shift with expectations in May of just
360,000 barrels of exports. This nearly wiped them out. It's been very costly.
Let's jump into this subject and a lot more and bringing in Simon Flowers, he is the chairman of the energy practice that Wood Mackenzie, a leading
consultancy. Great to see you.
SIMON FLOWERS, CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF ANALYST, WOOD MACKENZIE: Hi, John.
DEFTERIOS: That's a costly push on the sanctions. I did the math. It's about $40 to $50 billion a year for Iran in lost revenues. Does it bring
them back to the bargaining table or hardened the military arm of Iran? This seems to be calling the shots right now.
FLOWERS: Yes, it's not just $50 billion, it's virtually all of their export income. So, there is a lot of pain being taking at Iran through
this. But I do think, Iran will be in any hurry to succumb or cave into the U.S. sanctions, I think this will run for some time.
I also don't think Iran wants war and nor does the U.S. There's no easy solution to this, but it needs someone or something to step in and defuse
DEFTERIOS: Well, let's take a look at some of the damage that we saw here around. Fujairah in the UAE, and those waters. And also the pumping
station that connected to the pipeline going to the Red Sea for Saudi Arabia.
Was there a message by somebody here saying that's nothing's out of bounds here even outside the Strait of Hormuz? What was this all about in your
views you've watched the market?
FLOWERS: Well it's difficult to tell because nobody is clean through this particular instance. But --
DEFTERIOS: The strategic move.
FLOWERS: Very well, it could be. Absolutely could be. And there's no time that's part of the U.S. efforts on Iran is to recognize the proxies
that Iran has all around the region. It's a close-knit community or in the Persian Gulf.
Iran is very close to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. So, if it were something to do with that, then it is a clear shot that -- or a
warning that things quickly take off. But I don't think any of the countries in the region want that to happen.
DEFTERIOS: Do you think Iran actually tries to shut the Strait of Hormuz? And why isn't the market reacting to $100 a barrel? You've covered the
market for 20 years like me. We would have panicked the market. Is the U.S. that much of a shock absorber?
FLOWERS: The -- so, the Straits of Hormuz transports about 20 million barrels per day. But a fifth of the world crude market, and it's a bigger
share still of the global gas trade. And I think it's something of a last resort. Because as you say, this would sell -- sent alarm bells around
traders. And the price is really with shock you top.
Now, they haven't reacted much, which I think is really interesting giving the attack that you talk about. And I think that's because it's actually
quite a lot of oil on the market.
But believe it or not, there are 5 million barrels per day. That's five percent of world market of trade at the moment because of Iran, because of
Venezuela and other places. Yet, still, the market didn't react.
And the thing that what tells that tells you that there is enough crude getting to the demand centers right now. But it wouldn't take much more to
push the price up further.
[11:50:39] DEFTERIOS: I want to bring up a chart here and looking at Asian demand, which I said is over 20 million barrels a day. The overall markets
is 100 million markets, every day of crude. When does that top out, because of the energy transition going from hydrocarbons, over to electric
power, for example -- electric vehicles, what do you say is the end game here?
FLOWERS: Yes. At some point over the next 10 or 20 years, it's like we able going to see oil demand peak. Our own view with Mackenzie, is around
2035, 2036. We still think this growth from here on in. But its slowing growth is growing about a million barrels per day, but it gradually slows
down to virtually nothing by the end of the 2030s.
And it happens in sequence, we're already seeing some of the -- we see the countries by the E.U. and time America will happen with very little demand
go almost all of the demand grows this concentrates. And the emerging economies like the one as you mentioned, China, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia,
where we are today.
Eventually, that too will give in as electric vehicles become competitive. So, as just team market share from internal combustion.
DEFTERIOS: We have about 20 seconds left. Is China going to be the game changer when it comes to electric vehicles? Because they're going after
being the major manufacturer?
FLOWERS: Well, it's done that in solar, which have both take cells. And I think it's got a very good chance. You know, but during its one has got a
huge domestic market. Secondly, has got the manufacturing capability. And thirdly, it has access to some of the key battery raw materials like
lithium that we need for electric vehicles.
DEFTERIOS: OK, we'll going to have a very interesting conference ahead with all of this (INAUDIBLE) Iran. Great to have you on the program. Once
again, Simon Flowers is the chairman of the energy group for Wood Mackenzie here in Kuala Lumpur.
And Becky, as we toss it back, we're expecting to speak to the prime minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, to discuss not only energy
market but also the trade dispute in China and the dispute we see between the U.S. and Iran. Back to you.
ANDERSON: Excellent. Thank you for that, John. John Defterios with our powerful tomorrow segments. And as John said, we will be hearing more from
him at the Asia Oil and Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur all this week, important times.
Coming up, friend's bones and minds blown. Some scientists think we might be growing tiny horns on our heads. Well, on our skulls. Yes, you heard
me right. They explain the theory, up next.
[11:55:08] ANDERSON: Well, your "PARTING SHOTS" this evening, early adulthood can be hectic, right? Many young millennial's or generation gens
age can be found locking horns, grabbing the bull by the horns. Or even tooting their own, one thing they don't usually do though is grow horns.
But a report from Australia suggests otherwise, it says bad posture from craning forward to smartphones could just be causing some of us to grow
tiny horn light spikes on our skulls. These growths are normally found in elderly people. But the study says, younger people are now affected,
Critics say more evidence is needed and some of the research contradicts itself. We will let them bone up before we make up our minds. She says as
she sits up and says that's it.
That was CONNECT THE WORLD tonight. I'm Becky Anderson. Thank you for watching for the team working with me here and those working with us around
the world. It is a very good evening.