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CONNECT THE WORLD
Trump: New Iran Sanctions to be Announced Monday; Turkey's Opposition Wins Istanbul Mayoral Revote; Johnson Faces Calls to Explain Alleged Dispute; U.S. vs Spain, Sweden vs Canada in R16 Action Today. Aired 11-12p ET
Aired June 24, 2019 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me Becky Anderson live from Abu Dhabi where it is 7:00 in the
Tonight there is one big question, on the brink, the answer so far, no, not really, but there are two big parts to Iran versus America. Let me explain.
First, anytime now we are expecting the White House to hammer blow Iran's already teaching economy with even more sanctions. Stepping up what is
really all-out economic warfare, but remember there's no real war, war. U.S. President Donald Trump in last minute move calling off a plan to bomb
Iran after it shot down an American drone. The end goal of all of this it seems a bit of good old fashioned diplomacy, apparently.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not looking for war and if there is there will be obliteration like you've never seen before. And
I'm not looking to do that. But you can't have a nuclear weapon. You want to talk, good. Otherwise, you're going to have a bad economy for the next
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: No preconditions?
TRUMP: Not as far as I'm concerned. No preconditions.
TODD: And you'll talk anywhere?
TRUMP: Here it is, look, you can't have nuclear weapons and if you want to talk about it, good. Otherwise you can live in a shattered economy for a
long time to come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well no one but no one can connect the pieces on this story like we can. Out in Washington, D.C., CNN's John Kirby with rare access inside
Tehran, Fred Pleitgen, Oren Liebermann working his sources in Jerusalem and CNN Sam Kiley in the house here in Abu Dhabi.
John, let me start with you. You've worked at the State Department, at the cold face of big diplomacy. Can Trump's playbook work here?
JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: I don't think it can, and I've seen no plausible strategy put forth by the Trump administration to
actually create incentives to get Iran to the table. They will not knuckle under these sanctions. They've made that very clear, and the Trump
administration has given them no decision space with which and no incentive to come down, to come to talks. They have also proven, the Trump
administration, that they're an unreliable regional power.
So, again, there's no incentive for the Iranians to want to trust Trump in any way whatsoever. And, look, there's a fundamental, you know,
misunderstanding or mismatch here. The Trump administration says, hey, we're not going to leave sanctions until you come to the table, and the
Iranians are saying we're not coming to the table as long as you're going to continue to threaten us with sanctions and military power.
ANDERSON: Yes, and they perceive this is economic but for them to see that they say this is economic terrorism, provocation, Fred. Iran, warning it
would shoot down another U.S. drone just like this if it had to, and promising that it won't be pressured into negotiations. So it seems the
harder you squeeze Tehran the tougher it gets, right?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you're absolutely right, Becky. And I think that's one of the things that has
probably surprised a lot of people in the Trump administration because President Trump has been saying that he believed that the Iranians would
come back to the table, but the Iranians are saying despite the fact that the current sanctions are having a devastating effect on the economy. And
Becky, first and foremost on ordinary people, there's a lot of people who have lost their jobs, a lot of people who have lost their income, a lot of
things have become more expensive, and the currency has been in free fall. Yet the Iranians are showing absolutely no signs of under these
circumstances going back to the table. I think it exactly comes back down to what John Kirby just said. The Iranians are saying if the sanctions
regime stays in place, if it gets worse, they are simply not going to come to the table. They are not going to negotiate under pressure.
There's two officials who came out today. I want to read you two quotes from them. One of them is a senior adviser Hassan Rouhani to the country's
president, and he said, "America's claim to negotiate without preconditions is unacceptable while threats and sanctions continue." That same official
also said that the Iranians consider war and sanctions to be two sides of the same coin, which is one of the things and you said at the beginning.
The Iranians consider this to be what they call economic warfare.
And then there's a senior Iranian lawmaker who said, "Mr. Trump until the sanctions are suspended from Tehran, only the military forces will talk to
you." And that goes back to the Iranians saying, look, the shooting down of this drone was a big blow to the U.S. So, one general said that they ended
something that could be repeated in the future.
And just a couple of minutes ago, the country's foreign minister Javad Zarif came out and he said for the Iranians or for the government at least
that it's a source of pride, he put it, that this drone was shot down by a surface to air missile system that was actually made in Iran, Becky.
[11:05:02] ANDERSON: Fascinating language there, source of pride. One wonders how that will go down with the two American hawks on Iran in this
neighborhood right now. The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo right here, in fact, in Abu Dhabi this hour after stopping off in Saudi Arabia while the
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton had been in Jerusalem meeting with the Israeli prime minister. Listen, Tehran would say that these
characters are far from home stirring up trouble. What if both Mike Pompeo and John Bolton had to say?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's no doubt where John Bolton stands on this. He is the hawk of the Trump administration. He
has advocated, even threatened military action in the past, and he already had a slightly different role. Because here he was suddenly after President
Donald Trump's decision to call off a military strike, and he took it as his job to explain that, but he didn't explain it away. He said it only
didn't happen at this time, and he stressed those words implying or perhaps openly threatening that a military strike remains on the table depending on
how this goes.
Also important to note who he was standing next to, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, both not a member of the Trump administration is
effectively as close as many to Trump. And he too is a hawk when it comes to Iran. He didn't mention at all Trump's decision to call off that strike,
simply saying more sanctions are a good idea. We've seen him in the past try to sort of leverage and pressure other countries, try to convince other
countries to impose sanctions against Iran to little or no effect there with very little success, but these are the two hawks that are close to
Trump when it comes to Iran, and both of them will try to keep up pressure on Iran to try to leverage some sort of change here. We'll see what effect
that has as Trump it appears has taken a different course perhaps moving a bit more in the direction of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, this after
Trump himself said, yes, Bolton is a hawk but he has hawks and doves and listens to both.
ANDERSON: John, one of the recent arguments we've heard during the rounds certainly from the powers that be in Abu Dhabi and those around the region
are an effort to build a coalition that will at least ensure maritime security, the navigation of the Strait of Hormuz, for example. You
certainly hear that from Abu Dhabi as they continue to suggest that Iran must change its behavior. Donald Trump, is he really kicking the strait as
it were, into the long grass at this point? -- This is slightly confusing narrative here.
KIRBY: Yes and I agree, Becky. You look at his tweet this morning, and he said hey, we don't really need you know and international security for the
straits. This is all about the nukes. I think he was trying to message Tehran that, hey, you know, let's keep this on the issue which is the
nuclear weapons program that we know you want to restart, or we claim you want to restart.
But what he's doing is he's making it much harder for any allies and partners there in the region and certainly across Europe to come, to assist
in the free flow of oil in and out of the straits. He's saying in the United States we don't need it because we're not relying on it, but of
course other economies are. But he's also forgetting a fundamental principle of international law, and that's freedom of navigation in
international waters and the Strait of Hormuz is international waters.
When I was a young officer in 1988 I participated in operation earnest will, we escorted Kuwaiti tankers in and out of the Strait of Hormuz for 14
months. And it was very successful and not only keeping the oil flowing but keeping insurance rates down and ensuring some sort of stability.
This is one of the weird - I mean I think he's got -- unfortunately he seems to be disregarding it but he's got a great opportunity here to try to
get European allies who have been skeptical about his approach on Iran to come to America's side here and sort of participate in some sort of
convoying or some sort of escorting mission that will have international benefits.
ANDERSON: And not just the Europeans, the Asians as well. Of course 60 percent of the oil that moves through that Strait of Hormuz is actually on
its way to Asian nations.
ANDERSON: John, thank you. Sam, none of what we have heard over the last 72 hours on the movements of these key players moving around this region is
happening in isolation. Of course, we are showing our view as we speak a spate of attacks over the last couple of weeks. We are a good month or so
now into this -- this burgeoning sort of concern. Tell us more about the wider power struggles by proxy here.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I mean, it's difficult to know where to start. If you look at that map, that showed just a few of
the recent attacks.
[11:10:02] And essentially what is going on if the Americans and their allies are to be believed and the Brits agree with this interpretation, is
that the Iranians are using proxy forces or their own special forces in the case of potentially of mining those six tankers in the Gulf of Oman and
close to the Strait of Hormuz. But concurrent with that, just in the last 24 hours, we've seen the third attack on upper airport, which is an airport
-- Saudi airport in the south of Saudi Arabia. This time by a missile that shown unusual levels of accuracy, actually killed one individual. Previous
attacks have not resulted in any casualties. That is worrying regional powers because it could indicate a higher level of sophistication in terms
of the weaponry being given to the Houthis by the Iranians.
And then of course from the Israeli perspective you've got Hezbollah right on their doorstep with literally Israeli intelligence talked hundreds of
thousands of rockets, and over the last few years we've seen frequent Israeli attacks inside Syria to prevent more sophisticated Iranian built
rockets from getting into south Lebanon, particularly those that are capable of hitting out to sea, they've seen those used effectively in the
And then you've got a huge number of Iranian backed Syrian militias backing the Assad regime and even more, there's 12 1/2 thousand regular troops from
Iran inside Syria. And then you got even more militias in Iraq, all of whom are capable of destabilizing the region. I think it's for that reason we've
been hearing from Emiratis especially constant voices of caution. (INAUDIBLE) she gained today, saying we really need to involve local
partners, regional players in these discussions and concurrent with that.
One diplomat we've forgotten to mention so far is Brian Hook, another American on his tour. He's now in Amman where I spoke to him early on today
kind of briefing, pointing out that 60 percent figure. They're now looking to get the Asians involved. They're going to talk about this I think at the
G20 essentially saying why should we secure your oil. You need to get involved here, so clearly there are differences of opinion also emerging in
the Trump administration, conscious that the Iranians have some muscle to flex.
ANDERSON: Which is why we started this segment talking to John about Trump's playbook and while I think we all agree, you know, there is an
argument to say there isn't one, you could also counter that by saying there absolutely is one, and once again, it's about transactional policy
here, transactional strategy, and is he actually able to bring everybody on board with the U.S. position on Iran at the moment because certainly
without building a coalition, the U.S. have nowhere to go so far as a military strike is concerned, do they?
KILEY: Yes, I mean, Pompeo to go to and speak to the Europeans at the end of this week. We spoke to hook about that, clearly quite a lot of water,
excuse the regional pun between them, on that issue because the Europeans are still committed to trying to keep the Iranians on that non-nuclear
track. Interesting too, as John was saying earlier on, Trump is only talking about the nuclear program. He's not mentioning the destabilization,
and that's what this region is really worried about in the short-term.
ANDERSON: The expansion, the ballistic missiles. Thank you, sir, and thank you John, Fred and Oren. Washington, Tehran, Jerusalem, and here in Abu
Dhabi, your analysis, you're not going to get better than that. Thank you.
To one of the biggest blows for Turkey's president, and his long political career, his ruling party has officially lost the mayoral race in Istanbul
setting off massive celebrations.
You might say this is just a mayoral election. President Erdogan wasn't on the ballot. Of course he wasn't, but there's no doubt this rerun vote was a
referendum on his rule. Istanbul's new mayor elect to represent a secularist opposition party also won the first election back in March, but
those results were annulled after claims of fraud.
Let's get you the details now from CNN's Arwa Damon who is live for you in Istanbul. What's the response there? What's the perspective in Turkey's
biggest city today?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, if we just look at the results, I think the answer to that becomes very undeniably
obvious. And people flew in to cast their votes on Sunday from all over the world. People who were abroad came to Istanbul. People canceled their
vacations because they realized just how crucial their vote was.
DAMON (voice-over): Sunday's vote was never really about the position of mayor. It was much bigger than that.
[11:15:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
It's really so important today for all the people in Istanbul because this is not just a local election day. So it's a struggle for democracy there as
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAMON: Many within the opposition felt that the decision to rerun the elections was eroding the country's democratic nature, that the ballot box
may not survive the tenure of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The vote ended up doing much more than that handing the opposition party candidate, Ekrem Imamoglu, a landslide victory, taking the margin between
him and the ruling party's candidate, from 13,000 votes back in March, to more than 750,000 this time around, an indisputable win.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EKREM IMAMOGLU, MAYOR-ELECT, ISTANBUL (through translator): This is a new era for everyone in Istanbul. This is a new beginning. In this new phase,
we're opening justice, equality, love, and tolerance. Waste, arrogance, and discrimination will end. Today, 60 million people in Istanbul showed their
belief in democracy, trusted in justice and made us believe it again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAMON: They also invigorated a fatigued opposition, who now hopes that in Imamoglu, they have found a charisma and political savvy to rival
Erdogan's. The hopeful messages of the Imamoglu campaign, his own calm and measured demeanor, his promises, which he will now face the challenge of
having to keep, especially as a secondary governing body, the city council, is still controlled by the ruling AKP.
DAMON: And Becky, there were street celebrations across Istanbul last night. People were going out not necessarily celebrating just because it
was their candidate who they voted for who ended up winning the elections, but really celebrating for the entire democratic process here in Turkey. We
heard the winning candidate talking about it. We even actually heard President Erdogan hailing this as being a great moment for Turkey's
democracy, and saying that it was the will of the people that ended up winning at the end of the day, Becky.
ANDERSON: Arwa Damon in Istanbul for you folks. Still to come, thank you, all.
Pressure mounting on the front runner to become Britain's next prime minister. Boris Johnson is facing growing calls to explain exactly what
happened at his girlfriend's home early on Friday. We'll speak to a former top adviser to Johnson when he was London mayor. That is just ahead. Stay
[11:20:22] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IAIN DALE, CNN TALK CONTRIBUTOR AND RADIO HOST, LBC: Does a person's private life -
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER CANDIDATE: They boo the great man.
DALE: When he answers this question, I will move on. Does a person's private life have any bearing on their ability to discharge the office of
JOHNSON: Look, I've tried to give my answer pretty exhaustively. I think what people want to know is whether I have the determination and the
courage to deliver on the commitments that I'm making.
DALE: Just to be clear, you're not going to make any comments at all on what happened last night.
JOHNSON: I think that's pretty obvious from the foregoing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Boris Johnson, the front runner to become the U.K.'s next prime minister. That was him repeatedly ducking questions by CNN talk contributor
Iain Dale specifically when asked to address an alleged dispute that the London home he shares with his girlfriend over the weekend. A neighbor
alerted police and recorded part of the incident early Friday, in fact, on his phone. Now pressure mounting for him to fully explain what happened.
Let's venture into the often unknown and get into the mind-set of Boris Johnson a little bit. Guto Harri was the former director in external
affairs for Boris Johnson in his first term as mayor of London. He joins me now from our London studio. A live debate scheduled for tomorrow would have
been the perfect place for Boris to do some explaining, but the event has been canceled because he has refused to take part. Let's get inside his
head. You know the man better than most. He says he has the determination and the courage to deliver for the U.K. Who is Boris Johnson?
GUTO HARRI, FORMER DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS FOR BORIS JOHNSON AS MAYOR OF LONDON: Well, Boris Johnson defies the normal laws of politics, if you
like. He's proved over about three decades in public life that he's virtually bullet proof, and usually he'd be able to sort of brush off this
kind of story, even with the involvement of the police with just one sort of catchy sort of memorable and quite funny phrase, and I'm slightly
disappointed that he has been more stiff on this occasion. He's come up with a very dead pan no comment, and it's not working because people are
curious, and unfortunately for him it seems to have festered and now it seems to be a bigger thing than it needed to have been. Because two people
have a row after a long day in the office, shock, it's not such a big deal. It shouldn't have been turned into a big deal.
ANDERSON: Boris Johnson's rival Jeremy Hunt argued, and I quote, "A new prime minister needs legitimacy of having made his arguments publicly and
having them subjected to scrutiny. Only then can you walk through the front door of number 10 with your head held high instead of slinking through the
back door. So don't be a coward, Boris," he said, "man up and show the nation you can cope with the intense scrutiny, the most difficult job in
the country will involve."
I know that you said in the past certainly when you were working with him during his mayoral stint, you thought he would make a great prime minister.
Since then you have rowed back on that. Why?
HARRI: Well, I had my issues with certain things he said over the last year or so and indeed over his choice to sort of advocate Brexit, but going back
to the time when he was mayor, he was scrutinized exhaustively by all kinds of tough interviews. He never ducked a tough interview, and he would tell
you presumably that there's going to be plenty of debate between now and the day voting, so to dip out of one particular TV debate is neither here
nor there. He - I think we'll brush this off at the end but you know you've got to give it to Jeremy Hunt. He made a good job of getting noticed in a
contest where he started very much as the underdog and is now at least enjoying 24, maybe 48 hours of being ahead of the game.
ANDERSON: What do you make of these suggestions that he's a little too close to the former White House chief of staff or communications director
Steve Bannon, chief of staff, wasn't he, Steve Bannon and indeed the Russian president?
HARRI: Yes, I don't -- I'd be astonished if Boris had done anything other than you know the briefest of text exchanges with Steve Bannon, and I've
checked out with a couple of people who seem to know both of them.
[11:25:02] The parallels are being drawn by others, I think. They're not there.
There are also parallels being drawn with the president of the United States, which in the past may have been a handicap. In a world post-Brexit
where the U.K. has to stand on its own two feet and has to find new trade deals, then what is starting to kick in now is the idea that Boris Johnson
may be the best person available to us to do a deal with a man who's now seeking a second term in the White House. So it may not have been the ideal
choice for many people in the past, but if that's the reality on the ground now, then that might be the way ahead.
ANDERSON: This is the cover of the latest edition of the London evening standard, folks. It came out just a short time ago. The headline reads
"Boris's Show of Unity" and the article goes on to write that the couple were holding hands and gazing into each other's eyes just days after that
alleged incident we started this part of the show with. Cynics would argue this is just damage control. But his girlfriend has a big reputation in the
world of PR and comms. Is there a strategy here, Guto?
HARRI: I think, you know, those pictures look pretty genuine to me. It sounds like they did have a row at the end of a tough day, but have patched
things up. We started off saying how Boris breaks the rule. He clearly is breaking the rules. You know, most conservatives have been very traditional
characters, family men, family women in the case of two of them in the past, but the person that Boris has often tried to attract here I say so to
comparison with is Winston Churchill, a man who in an age of MeToo would have been castigated around the world for the kind of things he used to say
to woman, another man, who was a great prime minister in the last century, David Lloyd George, between them they won two world wars, David Lloyd
George, again, appalling personal behavior but great statesman.
And I think that's the thing that conservative members at the moment contemplating who to pick are still thinking Boris Johnson has never
preached public morality, he's not a hypocrite. He's never criticized the personal behavior of others. People will judge him on whether he can
deliver Brexit and there are enough big questions without veering off that one and then what his vision for the country will be, and that's what I
think he needs to answer, not just, you know, the exact nature of a late night row after a stressful day.
ANDERSON: Sure. Well, we -- you know, we continue to await an opportunity to hear him answer some of those questions and you know the man as I said
better than most, would he make a good prime minister at this point in brief history?
HARRI: Yes, from what I saw as mayor of London, yes, he makes people laugh. He makes people smile, but he took the job back then extremely seriously.
He managed to cut taxes. He managed to cut violent crime. He managed to have a record investment in the transport infrastructure of this huge city
of ours. They were tough economic times. He delivered a fantastic Olympics. The record was a good one, and the ultimate proof which I think is foremost
in the minds of most conservatives at the moment, is that he got reelected for a second term mid-recession when there was a conservative government
that was considerably less popular than him in power in Westminster and with a lot of local difficulties during that election. So it's that proven
electoral success that I think the conservative grassroots are looking for, and they're looking for a man who can restore their fortunes and break this
deadlock. Britain has been in a rut for couple of years. They think that Boris with his irrepressible sort of optimism, self-belief and belief in
the U.K. as a great nation will help get them through.
ANDERSON: If he asked you to work for him again should he become prime minister, would you? Just very briefly.
HARRI: I don't think he will because as you pointed out, you know, I did not think Brexit was a good idea and some of the things he wrote last year
were not that wise. I enjoyed working for him 10 years ago, and you know, he did a good job.
ANDERSON: Thank you, sir. Guto Harri, he's the former director of external affairs for former mayor of London, Boris Johnson. Thank you, sir.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson live from Abu Dhabi for you.
Coming up, the U.S. due to announce new sanctions against Iran anytime now, days after almost hitting the country with a military strike. What we know
and perhaps more importantly what we don't after this.
[11:33:09] ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
Whims and last minute reversals, the last few days of U.S./Iran tensions have been a dizzying combination of push and pull, threats and 11th hour U-
turns. Well, today, the U.S. is expected to announce that it will hit Iran and its already limping economy with new sanctions. Just days after
President Trump called off a U.S. military strike on the country. This is all going down on the same day U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in
the Middle East. He's already stopped in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia before heading here to Abu Dhabi.
My next guest knows the cost of a U.S.-led war in the region better than most. Lawrence Wilkerson is a retired U.S. Army colonel and acted as chief
of staff at the Department of State under Colin Powell during the invasion of Iraq. He joins me now from Washington. We'll bomb them, we won't, we'll
talk without preconditions, except we're going to slap a whole load of new sanctions on Iran. Does Trump have a playbook here, and if so, will it
LAWRENCE WILKERSON, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: That's a huge concern, I'm sure, of a lot more people than you and I. There are two
ways you can look at it. You can look at it as a highly sophisticated, very complex, very well-orchestrated good cop, bad cop routine. I don't want to
look at it that way, though. As an academic who studied every president since World War II and as a man who exponentially has been up and close to
four different presidents and their decision-making processes. I vote for incompetent, lack of coordination, and incredibly complex process that is
just falling apart with the departure of so many people from the administration. So I'm very concerned as I'm sure a lot of other people are
in the region, in the world, and in this country, that we are headed for disaster.
[11:35:06] ANDERSON: Well, you wrote an article for the "New York Times" a little over a year ago where you said the war in Iraq, and I quote you
here, "resulted in catastrophic losses for the region and the United States-led coalition, and destabilized the entire Middle East." You said,
"This should not be forgotten, since the Trump administration is using much the same playbook to create a false impression that war is the only way to
address the threats posed by Iran."
I wonder whether you stand by this a year, and in his defense the U.S. president has said he doesn't want a war, and he continues to say he wants
to get out of the Middle East, that military activity here is costly, and we know, you know, he -- we're not sure but we probably could guess that
he's not convinced that a war would be good on his watch as he campaigns into 2020.
WILKERSON: I stand by everything I wrote, and my concern is even more profound today. I say that simply because I don't think President Trump
wants this war, as you've just indicated. I think he has said during his campaign he doesn't like stupid wars, and I clap for that. I applaud that,
but I think the people around him -- and I'm not just talking about John Bolton and Mike Pompeo and Tom Cotton and Lindsey Graham and a host of
other notorious characters -- I'm talking about Bibi Netanyahu, Mohammed bin Salman and Mohammad bin Zayed. I'm talking about all these people who
want bombs to drop on Iran, they're very powerful. They're very powerful in alliance, and they're very powerful individually, particularly John Bolton
as National Security adviser. So for Donald Trump to stand up to these people and to keep going back and forth on this yoyo of tension is going to
be extremely difficult, even though he might think it will ruin his chances for re-election, even with his base if he gets us involved in another
catastrophic Middle East war, it may be impossible for him to withstand the forces around him.
ANDERSON: With respect, I mean, I have to make a note that the minister of foreign affairs here in the UAE has specifically said not just today but
yesterday as well -- and I interviewed him less than a month ago -- has said, you know, diplomacy is the way forward on this. We do need a
political solution, but the story in this region from Iran's foes is that they must change this expansionist behavior, this destructive behavior
around the region, and indeed rein in their ballistic missile policy.
Look, we know that sanctions have already massively impacted Iran's oil exports, the government's main source of revenue. Just have a look at this,
as I read through this for you, sir. In October 2016 Iran exported 3 million barrels per day. In March 2019, that was down to just over a
million a day. The U.S. has also targeted Iran's banks and energy and metals industries to name just a few. What's left to sanction is the
question a lot of people are asking at this point?
WILKERSON: Look at what we did to Saddam Hussein. Look at what we've done to Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il, and Kim Il-sung. Look at what we've done to
all these different countries we've sanctioned over time. We've caused them to do things that were even more injurious to our national interests. Go
back to what I wrote in the "New York Times" that you quoted at the beginning of the show.
We created the situation that Iran is now capitalizing on in the Gulf. There was a balance of power between Saddam Hussein in Baghdad and the
Ayatollah in Tehran. There's no longer a balance of power. That allowed Syria. That allowed ISIS. We caused the strategic situation in the Gulf
that Iran is now capitalizing on, and now we're criticizing them for capitalizing on it. It's nonsense.
ANDERSON: Lawrence, it's been a pleasure having you on, sir. We'll have you back, retired U.S. Army colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, thank you.
And the tweet that I was alluding to earlier on from the ministry of foreign affairs, "Tensions in the Gulf can only be addressed politically.
Crisis long in the making requires collective action primarily to deescalate and to find political solutions through dialogue and
Sam and I alluded to this earlier on. He said, "Regional voices important to achieve sustainable solutions."
That's your fill on U.S./Iran tensions just for the time being, but you know this show will do it better than anybody else, and we'll be back on
this tomorrow, of course.
The round of 16 in the women's world cup continues in a half hour as the favorites from the U.S.A. are back on the pitch to take on Spain.
[11:40:03] Now, Sweden plays Canada a little later today, but it feels like the big story of the World Cup continues to be controversy about VAR, the
video replay reviews. On Sunday Cameroon saw a goal taken away by VAR offside court. It left players bitterly angry, almost inconsolable in the
middle of the match with England. The VAR also granted a goal to England when it overturned a different offside call.
CNN World Sports Alex Thomas has been watching all the action. He joins us now live with the latest. Video speaks for itself, doesn't it, Alex?
ALEX THOMAS, CNN WORLD SPORT: It does. Have you seen scenes of that on a pitch before, Becky? We've certainly seen men's teams surround the referee
when they've had a decision they didn't like. For the Cameroon players, almost to stop what they were doing and not carry on restarting the game
after a goal to stay on the pitch at halftime instead of go into the locker room to face a talk from their coach is almost unprecedented. I can't
remember seeing scenes like that before.
We know that the African Confederation are so concerned that the head of their women's committee has told us she's looking into, you know, what they
can say, and they certainly can't sanction Cameroon. This is a FIFA event, either Cameroon should do something or the World governing body should. I
think they'll say they will get back to us to some comments so far.
So, I think although we've seen a little bit of video assistant referee controversy, this is more about how Cameroon's players reacted to it having
done their nation and their continent so proud to get this far to the knockout stages, to then rather embarrass themselves. We saw some very
strong reactions across the world after that.
ANDERSON: Let's leave the controversy aside. Highlights so far to date?
THOMAS: Yes, well, listen, I think what we're really excited about is seeing the U.S.A. back in action around 20 minutes time when they kick off
THOMAS: They'll be red hot favorites to get through. And if they do, then they're going to face the host France in the quarter finals who have been
playing really good football and accounted for Brazil on Sunday. Brazil and the legendary Mazo who's won player of the year awards time after time
after time again gave an impassioned speech at the end of the game giving advice to the next generation of Brazilian women football, almost in tears
she was. This is pretty much the last time we'll see her at a World Cup it seems.
U.S.A. against France will be absolutely amazing. Spain of course will have something to say about that, and just brewing in the background, Becky, is
this continuing row with the U.S. women's soccer players trying to get pay parity with the men. They're far more successful than the men, to get paid
a fraction of the money that the men do. Of course, did agree over the weekend to mediation about it after the World Cup. Their case will be a lot
stronger if they go deep into this tournament or regain the trophy they won four years ago.
ANDERSON: Yes, sure. All right. Alex, thank you for that.
One more sports note, we are just minutes away from finding out which city will host the 2026 Winter Olympics, about 100 members of the International
Olympic Committee will cast their votes and choose a winner in the next half hour. They are deciding between Milan, Italy or Stockholm, Sweden.
We're live from Abu Dhabi. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD, MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER: Now we have nuclear weapons, so I'm frightened. I'm frightened of what is happening there.
ANDERSON: Malaysia's prime minister says he is frightened by rising tensions in the Gulf, plus his choice words about the U.S. president, that
interview up next.
[11:45:45] ANDERSON: You're watching CNN, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson for you. Welcome back. If you're just joining us, you are
more than welcome, getting you to top story again this hour.
The U.S. president says major sanctions against Iran are coming. We don't know what they are or when they will come into effect, but we are already
seeing these boiling tensions between Washington and Tehran ripple around the world. Oil prices just having a look at them slightly down at the
moment, softening a bit after last week's big surge. Brent Crude gaining 5 percent and crude up 10 percent. It's the biggest weekly jump in two and a
half years. How worried are business and world leaders?
Let's get over to CNN's John Defterios, he's working his contacts at an oil and gas gathering in Kuala Lumpur. John, you spoke to Malaysia's prime
minister earlier on. He's quite worried about what is going on in the Gulf as I understand. What did he tell you?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, in short, Becky, he's alarmed, and he's not shy about it. He gave a keynote speech to the Asian
oil and gas conference. When we sat down for a one on one interview he was even more blunt about the situation. He made reference to recent history,
the Iran/Iraq war which carried on, wore on for eight years with a million casualties for Iran suggesting they will fight to the finish and nobody
wins in this sort of game, but it's a double barrel of trouble. Iran on one side, and then he says the U.S./China trade war is another major concern
calling the U.S. president's decisions right now very erratic. I'm talking about Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad. Let's start with Iran and his views with
what's circulating right now in the Gulf.
MOHAMAD: This may go to another war and any wars now will involve the whole world because we cannot escape from being dragged into conflicts and it is
not going to be good. It can be worse than the last war because now we have nuclear weapons, so I'm frightened.
DEFTERIOS (on camera): The Iranians seem to be digging in their heels, particularly the hard liners suggesting that they had a nuclear agreement
and they don't think they should be that flexible with the Trump administration, so the art of diplomacy seems to be gone.
MOHAMAD: The Iranians will fight for their country. This is not a young nation. It is a civilization that preceded western civilization, and they
have survived all this time, and I think they don't want to be wiped out. They will fight.
DEFTERIOS: It won't lead to regime change in Iran, this strategy by the Trump administration?
MOHAMAD: I don't think so. They are very -- not just a few people, but vast majority.
DEFTERIOS: The other major economic issue today is the trade war between the U.S. and China. If I'd read it correctly, President Xi seems determined
to go to the very end and he's not up for re-election. How do you find a settlement between the number one and number two economies at this stage?
MOHAMAD: This is getting us nowhere, but you cannot expect China to just tow to the pressures by the U.S. They have their pride and they believe in
their own strength and if the pressure is very great, they will retaliate. They will fight back. I don't think China is going to sell in just because
of a trade war.
DEFTERIOS: Do you think you could see a breakthrough this weekend in Osaka? What are your expectations?
MOHAMAD: I'm not so hopeful. Unfortunately, America has a president who is determined but erratic.
DEFTERIOS: Determined but erratic, did you say?
DEFTERIOS: Is Huawei really the security threat that the U.S. administration is suggesting today?
MOHAMAD: Maybe America is worried that Huawei might be spying into their new technologies, but for other countries they don't have any new
technology beyond Huawei, so they're not frightened. I think if we react in this way by taking action against companies, I think this can be very bad
for other companies as well.
[11:50:05] DEFTERIOS: Becky, it's almost like this scale here right now, the oil market's correcting because of the biggest concern is the
U.S./China trade war hitting demand. One chairman I spoke to in the last two hours was suggesting that we could see demand drop by 20 or 30 percent
if the trade war carries on and grinds on until 2020.
ANDERSON: John Defterios in house for you with our powerful tomorrow segment, and we will be hearing from John at this gathering in Kuala Lumpur
all week. So, thank you for that.
Some news just coming in on our top story, of course, the United States has announced a maritime safety proposal for the Persian Gulf or the Arabian
Gulf as it's known from this part of the world. It would involve, I'm just reading this out for you, U.S. Allies in the region working with the United
States keeping close watch over Iranian vessels in order, they say, to promote stability in the movement of cargo through the strategic waterways
in the Middle East in the wake of Iran's downing of a U.S. surveillance drone and of course these attacks on shipping vessels that Washington has
blamed on Iran.
Let me just read out the position from the U.S. They say the position is that we have to build a coalition to prevent what the Iranians are doing in
the Gulf, which is to inhibit or undermine the freedom of commerce and trade and freedom of navigation. What the Iranians are doing by shooting
down American drones, shooting other drones in the region not even necessarily over the Gulf, anywhere is to prevent us, the U.S. says, from
having eyes on them.
These are the words of a senior State Department official who told reporters exactly this traveling with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during
stops today, Monday, in Saudi Arabia and here in the United Arab Emirates. We were well aware that Mike Pompeo was in this region looking once again
to build a coalition for whatever this playbook is versus Iran. We've heard certainly from the UAE talking of positioning for a political solution, but
a lot of talk and talk of diplomacy are from this side with the caveat that maritime security is absolutely a red line for this, at least the UAE.
So we will continue to watch as you would expect us to do, the story developing out of the Mike Pompeo trip to this region, the John Bolton trip
to Israel, Brian Hook the U.S. envoy on Iran, he's in Bahrain tomorrow. All of this building as the U.S. president says he'll talk to Iran with no
preconditions, but he's going to slap some further swinging sanctions on the country as early as tonight if they are not prepared to come to the
table. Live from Abu Dhabi you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
Coming up, a rooster in France has landed his owner a controversial legal battle by doing the only thing he knows how to do, crow. We'll explain up
[11:55:41] ANDERSON: It's good morning for some and who's making that racket for others. Here is the culprit, Morris or Maurice the rooster. That
might be the root-ster to his neighbors, his crack of dawn rise and shines make him the most debated chicken in France. For his owner it could be a
lawsuit coming home to roost. She's being sued for - watch those living with -- his incessant crowing, but she says Maurice, who is like a baby
isn't going to be put out to pasture.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Maurice was born from a small, small egg. Maurice grew up and one day grew so big she went cob a doodle
do. We said we can't call him that. It was a surprise, and we couldn't kill him, so we kept him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Maurice's fate will be decided, yes, this is no joke, it will be decided by French court on July the 4th, perhaps his Independence Day. I'm
Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. It's been an extremely busy show, busy region. Thank you for watching. The news continues after this.