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Iran to Raise Uranium Enrichment Level; Cables from U.K. Ambassador Slam Trump as Inept, Insecure; Southern California Rocked by 5,000-Plus Tremors; Britain's Newest Royal Christened in Private Service; Women's World Cup Final. Aired 3-3:30a ET

Aired July 7, 2019 - 03:00   ET




CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): We're following a developing story on Iran, Tehran again announcing it will break some of its commitments under the nuclear agreements.

Who needs enemies when you have friends like this?

Leaked diplomatic cables reveal what the British ambassador to Washington thinks of Donald Trump and is not flattering.

And the U.S. Women's team will be overwhelming favorites when they step onto the pitch in a few hours for that World Cup finals against Netherlands.

Live from the CNN Center here in Atlanta, I'm Cyril Vanier, it's great to have you with us.


VANIER: We begin this hour in Iran where officials have announced the country will again cut back on commitments made under the Iran nuclear deal. Officials say its uranium enrichment will now exceed 3.67 percent the limit it had agreed to in the 2015 deal. But it says the path to diplomacy is open, CNN's Sam Kiley has been following all developments, he joins me from Moscow -- Sam.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Cyril, you said the path to diplomacy is open and that's very much the message coming from Tehran, portraying themselves as reluctantly backing away from the detail of their commitment under the JCPOA, the nuclear deal that the Americans abandoned under the Trump administration in May of last year.

But this is the critical issue, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China have stuck to and they are saying in a letter sent to the European Commissioner for foreign affairs, they are committing themselves to breaking the agreement but not by much.

And further to that, they're giving the Europeans another 60 days to respond and what they are looking for from the Europeans, and they've been very explicit about this, is concrete results when it comes to Iran's ability to trade in oil. That's what it all boils down to.

And the reason for that, Cyril, is the United States has imposed bilateral sanctions on Iran but multilateral sanctions, potentially, against anybody trading with Iran, particularly using dollars in the international banking system with ties to the U.S. structures.

What the Europeans have been working very hard on and the Iranians have just said they want harder work and more tangible results, is a complicated thing called Instex. Essentially it means by which without money changing hands, they can continue to trade, particularly the Iranians are saying they want lines of credit or direct sales of oil and petroleum products going into their economy.

This is consistent really with their whole argument that this is the intention of the nuclear deal in the first place, to lift the preexisting sanctions on Iran intended to strangle its ability to develop a nuclear weapons program.

They're saying they're not going anywhere close to a nuclear weapons program, they also said that the controversial reactor at Arak is outside of their decision to increase enriching uranium.

They are warning by tomorrow morning, the International Atomic Energy Agency would be able to see that they would be able to go over that 3.67 percent threshold, rather complex, the nuclear science but in terms of diplomacy this is another effort by the Iranians to put pressure politically on the Europeans but also on China and Russia to make sure that somehow they start seeing the economic benefits of not developing a nuclear weapons program.

VANIER: Sam Kiley, reporting live from Moscow, thank you very much for the update and for the insights, thanks.

President Trump likes to dish out attacks on Twitter but so far he isn't hitting back after searing comments by a British diplomat. Leaked cables show that the U.K.'s ambassador to the U.S., Sir Kim Darroch, slammed the president as inept, insecure and incompetent and that was just the beginning.

"The Daily Mail" newspaper first reported the memos but they have been confirmed to CNN by a British government source, CNN's Anna Stewart is live from London.

Anna, this is embarrassing, "inept, incompetent, dysfunctional," and it's just the beginning, give us the full picture.

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a really damning portrayal of the president and the administration, these leaked memos span quite a large range --


STEWART: -- from 2017 up to the present day and with a huge range of topics to delve into, just to give some of the highlights. He talked about the president's policies in the Middle East, the ambassador questions the president's recent claim that he aborted a missile strike on Iran, saying that the account, quote, "doesn't add up."

He talks about the president's alleged ties with Russia, saying that could see the presidency crashing and burning. But then he goes on to say that actually the president has a great ability to shrug off controversy and scandal so maybe the president -- and I'm going to quote here -- "could emerge from the flames battered but intact, like Schwarzenegger in the final scenes of "The Terminator."

So very colorful bridge, very revealing, very embarrassing. This is the man whose job is to protect and strengthen the U.K.'s relationship with the United States.

VANIER: He is Britain's top diplomat in the U.S., so how is London, how is Britain reacting to this?

STEWART: Well, obviously it would be incredibly embarrassing. But the official response from the British foreign office -- and they don't deny the accuracy of these leaked memos -- they've called them "mischievous" and they went on to say "The British public would expect our ambassadors to provide ministers with an honest, unvarnished assessment of the politics in their country. Their views are not necessarily the views of ministers or indeed of the government. But we pay them to be candid, just as the U.S. ambassador here will send back his reading of Westminster politics and personalities."

So a degree of support there and we have plenty of politics and personalities here in the throes of Brexit, in the midst of a leadership battle for the next prime minister. And that is really the problem as well with this leaked memo, is the fact of the timing.

This is a time when the U.K. is really working very hard to strengthen its relationship with the United States, a strong ally, a future trading partner We've just come off the back of a state visit from President Trump, that had all the pomp and ceremony of a 41-gun salute, of state banquet with the queen that went without a hitch.

And then you get these memos that even detail that state visit, so terribly embarrassing, but some folks here, we're waiting to see what the fallout is from the White House, we haven't seen a response yet, all eyes on the president's Twitter page.

He doesn't take criticism well, but you can imagine that, overnight, diplomatic efforts have been underway in earnest to try and soften the impact here.

VANIER: I just wonder how you paper over that one because there's just no denying what was written in those leaks and, in fact, Britain isn't denying it. But anyway, Anna Stewart, thank you so much for the roundup on that.

Voting is underway in Greece's snap election and the country's prime minister is fighting for his political life, because voters may be ready to oust Alexis Tsipras in favor of his conservative opponents.

Many voters accuse the prime minister and his leftist Syriza party of breaking promises to avoid harsh austerity measures during the country's financial crisis.

The tremors just keep on coming, so far, more than 5,000 earthquakes have been detected in Southern California since Thursday, that includes two major ones, measuring 7.1 and 6.4. Both were centered in the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles near the town of Ridgecrest.

That town was once known as the earthquake capital of the world but residents there were still caught off guard by the severity of the shaking. It opened large cracks in the ground, knocked out electricity, ruptured gas and water lines and even caused some house fires. The good news, no deaths or serious injuries have been reported.

But it will still take a while for life to return to normal. CNN's Stephanie Elam has the latest from Ridgecrest.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in Ridgecrest, it's almost shocking that there's not more damage to this town after being nearly the epicenter of the 7.1 earthquake. But if you look behind me you can see one home that caught on fire shortly after the earthquake hit.

That is part of the concern, is what happens to the infrastructure, the pipes, whether that they rupture in an earthquake like this and that could spark a fire or other disasters for people here.

So they're asking people to be very concerned. In fact, some people were so disrupted by it they chose to sleep outside of their homes because they are afraid of things falling or maybe even their own buildings collapsing while they were in there.

The other concern is making sure that the power is restored, most of the power has been restored here. Also very important, considering it's about 100 degrees today, hot out here during the summer so they need to make sure they're keeping people cool.

The hospital, power has been restored but they are not operating on a full level because of these earthquakes, they actually moved people out of that hospital and into other hospitals throughout the region to get them away from here, to make sure they were getting the care they needed, as these aftershocks continue to hit the region.


ELAM: After a 7.1, we could see some aftershocks that may even have a magnitude of 6 or so and that is enough to add more damage in the region. So people here, while they're cleaning up, most of the businesses we've seen, the restaurants, are not open today, the businesses cleaning up their shelves, cleaning up their aisles, hoping to open back up.

While they're busy doing that today, there is still a concern, still a concern that one of these aftershocks could do more damage.

(END VIDEOTAPE) VANIER: Yes, that's a very big concern; that was Stephanie Elam reporting from the epicenter of the earthquake0.



VANIER: A tornado touched down long enough Saturday to flip a car that was parked in its path, it happened in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, outside Philadelphia. Stunning pictures there, the tornado also skipped across a warehouse, causing minor damage, police say no injuries were reported.

The women's football World Cup final is just hours away.

Will the U.S. claim another title or will the Netherlands pull off a stunning upset?

We will have the preview.

Plus, this is all the world has seen of England's newest royal baby, Archie, until now. That's also coming up next stay, with us.




VANIER: The world is getting a good look now at Britain's newest royal, Archie, son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who was christened Saturday. It was a private affair with only two photos released from it. CNN's Kate Williams has the details.


KATE WILLIAMS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what a fantastic day it's been here at Windsor. The royal fans, the well-wishes, they've all been out here in force, champagne corks popping, cakes and all for one tiny baby.

Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor, christened today in a private ceremony in Windsor Castle. We don't have any pictures of them arriving or leaving, it was made very clear to us this is going to be a private ceremony and we won't get any details of godparents.

And there has been some controversy about this, some comments in the newspaper saying, look, we fund them, we fund the $3 million renovation to their property, we should see the baby.

But then, at about 4:15 our time, 11:15 Eastern, we got two pictures live on the Sussex Royal Instagram and they are really lovely photos, one quite formal photograph of the whole family in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle.

Meghan, Harry and Archie in the center, also Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Meghan's mother and William and Kate were also there and a very lovely touch, Diana, her two sisters. Diana, of course, cannot be there but her sisters were there representing her.

And the other photo with its black and white shot of the new family, Harry, Meghan and Archie together, a really sweet photo. And of course, this is our first chance to get a look at what Archie really looks like, very cute and a baby that's going to be one of the most famous children in the world, christened today, here at Windsor -- Kate Williams, CNN, Windsor.



VANIER: One of the last times will you be seeing that animation because the women's football World Cup final is now almost upon us. In the coming hours a champion will be crowned. Team USA, the reigning champs, of course, will face the Netherlands in the winner- take-all match. CNN's Amanda Davies is in France with this preview.


AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lyon is the city that dubs itself the home of women's football and on Sunday it provides the stage for the game's biggest match, the World Cup final.

The defending champions, the USA, going head-to-head with the reigning European champions, the Netherlands, two sides with vastly different World Cup experience. The U.S. in a record fifth final while the Dutch have made it to the decider for just the first time in only their second World Cup.

With a squad that includes superstars like Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan, they've lost just one match in the last two years. The U.S. are undoubtedly being talked about as the favorites.

But Morgan, score of six goals in the competition so far, has played down suggestions that there's any danger of complacency, as they search for a record-extending fourth World Cup crown.


ALEX MORGAN, TEAM USA: Our route to the final has been the most difficult that this program has ever seen and, so in terms of that, it seems the game is pretty close in the scorelines. I don't know how we can possibly be overly confident. I think we are proud of what we put out on the field.

We feel confident as a team and individually in our roles and I think that's all you can -- I think it's all a coach could possibly ask for.

MEREL VAN DONGEN, NETHERLANDS DEFENDER: I'm looking forward to playing a team that has a really large history in women's football, and to be outsiders and maybe as a young new team to make it very difficult for them and obviously I'm looking forward to playing a World Cup final. I mean, who would've thought? ANOUK DEKKER, NETHERLANDS DEFENDER: Yes, we're the underdog in this final but I think it suits us and we will give everything. And then we will see at the end what the result is.


DAVIES: Both teams are ensconced in their training camps with the big one getting ever closer. Fans have been arriving here the last couple of days for the sellout crowd expected at Sunday's game. It's a match that promises to be a fitting climax to a tournament that has already been dubbed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino as the best Women's World Cup ever.

We are just 90 minutes of football away to finding out who is crowned the world's best team -- Amanda Davies, CNN, Lyon, France.


VANIER: Joining me now, CNN sports analyst and columnist for "USA Today" Christine Brennan.

Christine, I'm so happy you're on the show. You know, I had the privilege of actually seeing the USA team play in France just a few days ago, when they beat France in the quarterfinals. I was thinking of you. They've had such a remarkable run in this World Cup, in their previous World Cups.

I mean the number, this is the fifth World Cup final, third in a row, they're unbeaten in the last 16 World Cup matches, you must have been enjoying this.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Well, as a journalist, I enjoyed the story for sure and they are infinitely fascinating, this team has been since I started covering it back in '99, hard to believe that's 20 years ago, that the Rose Bowl, the very famous moment when Amy Chastain took off her shirt whipped it over her head.

In those 20 years this team has taken us to terrific conversations, national and international conversations and I think it's very good that we're having, in the U.S. and around the world, in terms of the -- where women stand in sports and in our culture, equality, equal pay, even Donald Trump.

And once again this team has not disappointed, so on the field of fight they've been terrific and I think off the field they've been pretty terrific as well.

VANIER: We'll get to the equal pay thing in a minute.

What makes them so dominant then, just from a football perspective?

They are the behemoths in this sport, why?

BRENNAN: They have been, sure, and I think we can give full credit to Title IX, the law signed by Richard Nixon in June of 1972, that basically evened the playing field in the United States. The idea was that if you are going to give boys and men an opportunity to play sports, you had to give an equivalent opportunity to girls and women in our high schools and in our colleges. And that changed everything, the floodgates opened.

Title IX is the reason you see the United States dominating the Olympic Games and U.S. women dominating the Olympic Games. All the gold medals won by the U.S. Women at every Olympics and, again, the World Cup, you see it in the U.S. women's basketball team, which is going on three decades of being undefeated in world play.

You see it in other U.S. sports as well. And I think that's the leg up the United States women have had because of this law back in 1972 that really changed everything.

VANIER: My daughter went to school in Europe and here in the U.S. and you really see a difference culturally, societally about how women's sport is treated, they get much more opportunity here in the U.S., the girls do, to do sport at a high level, at a competitive level.

You were talking about equal pay and all those issues that were raised by some of --


VANIER: -- the most recognizable faces, Megan Rapinoe first among them on the USA team, she also said that FIFA, the international world football body, doesn't respect the women's sport, tell me about that.

BRENNAN: She's right, she's absolutely right, I mean look at the scheduling, you got Women's World Cup. This is by far the biggest event certainly for women in soccer; the Olympic tournament gold medal game is there a big deal too. But this is the biggest, it's the World Cup. And they're competing with the two major tournaments, men's tournaments that are also scheduled for Sunday, one in North America and the other in South America, huge events, for the men's game.

Why in the world did FIFA allow that to happen?

They couldn't even give the women one day on their own?

This schedule was made months in advance, I remember Megan Rapinoe talking about it at the time, she just talked about it the other day in France, she's been very, very vocal, as she should be, it's ridiculous.

If FIFA wants to have women and girls playing this sport and continue to show them that they care about girls' and women's sports, you have to have things like a separate day for the women's final.

And this is just a another example of how FIFA seems to just kind of, in an offhand way, just dismiss the women's game, they give lip service to it. But then when you look at the facts, you look at the calendar and you see all of these events on the same day, it is -- it's like they wanted to pack it full, jam more events in with a shoehorn. And I think it really makes the women's game seem less important. Of

course, on Sunday, it certainly minimizes it worldwide, considering that so many countries focus so much on the men. The woman had this day to themselves, it would be a very different situation.

VANIER: And not in a million years and that's just a fact, would that happen with the men's World Cup. Christine Brennan, thanks for joining us.

BRENNAN: Cyril, my pleasure, thank you.

VANIER: Turning me now to tennis action at Wimbledon, so far it has been a remarkable run for teen star Cory Coco Gauff in singles play. But that success could not carry over to the mixed doubles. On Saturday she and her partner suffered a crushing defeat (INAUDIBLE) tried to bounce back on Monday, when she returns to singles action with tennis legend Serena Williams, who won her mixed doubles opener (INAUDIBLE).


SERENA WILLIAMS, TENNIS PRO: Gosh, I just couldn't feel more proud, I would be wrong to step in right now and give her advice. I think she's doing great.


VANIER: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Cyril Vanier. I will be back with the headlines. Stay with CNN.