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Iran Says It Has Exceeded Uranium Enrichment Threshold; USA Stars Push For Equal Pay After World Cup Win; Saudi Airline Turns To Airbus, Dumps 737 Max Jet Deal; California Rocked By Back-to-Back Earthquakes; man Set To Be The First Black African In Space Dies. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired July 8, 2019 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:20] HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR, HALA GORANI TONIGHT: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, happy Monday. I'm Hala Gorani.

Tonight, we are live off the waters of Gibraltar as Iran threatens to enrich more uranium and demands the return of its oil tanker.

And who leaked those sensitive diplomatic cables? The U.K. government wants to know how the British ambassador's scathing memos on Donald Trump

got out.

Plus, new charges against hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein. He may have gotten off easy in Florida, but New York is building a sex trafficking case

against him that could send him to jail for up to 45 years. We are live outside the courthouse.

Iran calls it piracy, pure and simple, warning that it will not tolerate Britain's seizure of an Iranian oil tanker last week. It is demanding the

release of the ship detained off the coast of Gibraltar. But there is no sign of that happening any time soon.

In fact, the standoff is escalating today as authorities in Gibraltar now say the supertanker was loaded to capacity with crude oil. They suspect it

was headed to Syria to deliver oil in violation of E.U. sanctions, an accusation that Iran denies.

We'll get to that in a moment. But Tehran is now threatening to retaliate with a move that could dramatically inflame the situation. We begin our

coverage with CNN's Nic Robertson, who got an up-close look at the Iranian tanker itself today.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, this is the vessel, the Grace 1, that the Iranians demanding that the British and

Gibraltar authorities release immediately. They say it was detained as an act of piracy. A former member of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps has

threatened that a British vessel in the Strait of Hormuz should be captured, if you will, to sort of hold while the British and Gibraltar

authorities keep the Grace 1 here.

But a contention here, Iran says they don't believe the Gibraltar authorities, and Gibraltar authorities say they had reason to believe that

this vessel was headed to a Syrian oil refinery, breaching E.U. sanctions. And that's why they detained it.

Now, the Iranians are saying that they think that Britain was requested by the United States to stop this vessel because they say it's got their oil

on board, and that it wasn't ever going to the refinery.

So this currently is a big diplomatic standoff. The threat that this must be released or a British vessel will be taken captive, is essentially what

the Iranians are saying. Meanwhile, British and Gibraltar authorities, saying that they continue to investigate this vessel, where it was going

and what it was doing. And it seems as if it's going to be here for quite some time more, a big international diplomatic standoff.


GORANI: Well, Nic is now back on dry land. He joins me from Gibraltar with the very latest. And we're also joined by Fred Pleitgen, who reports

often from inside Iran and is currently in Moscow.

So Iran is now essentially threatening several things that could really escalate the situation further. Threatening to restart some deactivated

centrifuges, threatening to increase Iranian enrichment beyond what it's already done. Where do things stand now between Iran and the Western

countries that it signed that nuclear agreement with?




ROBERTSON: -- that right now --

PLEITGEN: -- where it stands right now --

GORANI: Yes, go ahead, Nic. And I'll get to Fred in a minute -- Nic.

ROBERTSON: Sure. You know, I think where it stands right now is, Iran is in a situation of escalating tensions with the international community, of

losing favor and potentially, you know, what it might have called its friends, although it didn't ever have that level of trust in them, in its

European partners.

And even China today, another signatory for that international agreement, the JCPOA, the international nuclear deal, has said that they would rather

that Iran didn't break any terms of that deal.

So what Iran is trying to do is clearly telegraph and signal each step, make the steps incremental but at the same time, follow through while

trying to create a dialogue and change the sanctions on them, which they see the impounding of this vessel here as part of that U.S. constriction of

their economy, try to change that equation.

And in an essence, the steps they're taking are making it much harder for them. They seem to be swimming against the current that they're creating,

but they don't seen an alternative to these incremental steps, abrogating the terms of the nuclear deal.

[14:05:00] This, at the moment, is something that only stands to get more tense -- Hala.

GORANI: Yes. So, Fred, what does Iran want now? What would de-escalate the situation here?

PLEITGEN: Well, I think there's two things that could de-escalate the situation, Hala. On the one hand, it would be if the Iranians get some

sort of sanctions relief or some sort of help from their -- for their economy, from the European countries or, of course, if there were finally

talks between the U.S. and Iran. Now, of course, both things don't seem to be in the cards very soon.

But it's quite interesting to see the messaging that's coming out of Tehran because every time the Iranians take one of these additional steps -- I

mean, today, they went to 4.5 percent enrichment of uranium, which we always have to put into perspective. I mean, that's still miles away from

being able to make a nuclear weapon, which the Iranians say they don't want to make anyway. They would need (ph) about 90 percent enriched uranium.

But every time the Iranians do something like that -- first of all, they say they want to take it a step further, they would take it a step further

if they don't finally get some sort of sanctions relief. But they also say all of this can be reversed any time. And then they say, if the other

parties that have signed the nuclear agreement, live up to their terms of the nuclear agreement.

Of course, first and foremost, they're talking about the European countries. And the Europeans, of course --

GORANI: Right.

PLEITGEN: -- are saying that they're trying to put together that mechanism to try and do business with Iran. But so far, it isn't really up and

running. Apparently, there are some transactions that are in the works. And the Iranians are saying they've heard enough of the talk. They want to

see action on it.

On the other hand -- and this is the other really interesting --


PLEITGEN: -- thing that I saw today, is that the Iranians are saying right now, under the current circumstances with the sanctions in place, with the

tensions in place, there are not going to be any talks with the United States. But Javad Zarif, the foreign minister, today came out in a tweet

and said that there could be another way, but only, essentially -- and I'm paraphrasing here -- if President Trump stops listening to the Iran hawks.

Essentially, what Zarif is saying is that if the U.S. either goes back to the nuclear agreement or throws the Iranians some sort of other carrot,

maybe talks would be in the cards, which is of course exactly what President Trump wants. He keep saying --


PLEITGEN: -- that he would talk without preconditions. But the Iranians are saying the sanctions that are in place right now are a precondition --


GORANI: Well, it seems like going back to the Iran nuclear deal for the U.S. is off the table for now, but perhaps that's a very small opening when

it comes to Iran.

Nic, a question to you about European countries. They're trying to do business with Iran with INSTEX, that's that system that allows them to

conduct business with Iran outside of the U.S. dollar banking system.

So they're trying, but they're not able because there are European companies that just won't run the risk of having U.S. sanctions, you know,

slapped on them if they do business with Iran. So what are the options left here for Europe -- Nic?

ROBERTSON: Well, the options are very slim because, as you say, major businesses don't want to do business with Iran because they are afraid that

somehow they will run afoul of U.S. potentially secondary sanctions, and they'll see a situation like this, with this vessel being impounded, as an

indication of the reach -- they would interpret it potentially as an indication of the reach of the United States.

But there's another part of this INSTEX arrangement that, while the Europeans -- British, French and Germans -- have established the mechanism

on their side, part of the nature of that mechanism and part of what would allow these European nations to use that fully, would be transparency on

the Iranian side.

And this is what the U.S. chief Iran specialist, the State Department Iran specialist, has been saying. Is that from the United States' perspective,

they don't believe that Iran is providing these European businesses with transparency to know where the money that is going into these companies

actually ends up.

Would it end up with proscribed individuals, of which the United States has been proscribing more lately, or proscribed organizations such as the IRGC,

which the United States has been increasing the number of organizations and entities it's proscribing.

So in -- so there are two ways that this isn't working. One, the fear --


ROBERTSON: -- factor from the big companies. But the mechanism itself isn't really fully transparent and available.

GORANI: Nic Robertson in Gibraltar, Fret Pleitgen in Moscow, thanks very much.

A series of scathing cables is causing big headaches in the U.K. Britain says it's investigating some leaked memos written by its ambassador in

Washington, which uses rather undiplomatic language to describe Donald Trump.

Kim Darroch called the U.S. president inept, insecure and incompetent, among other things. He also makes other negative remarks about him and his


The cables were first published in "The Daily Mail." President Trump had this reaction to them, today.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're not big fans of that man. And he has not served the U.K. well. So I can understand it. And I

can say things about him, but I won't bother.


GORANI: While a spokesman for Britain's prime minister says Theresa May has full faith in the ambassador, whether or not he'll be able to keep his

post is another matter -- we'll discuss that in a moment -- but she does add that she does not share his assessment of Mr. Trump.

[14:10:08] The incident comes at a vulnerable time for Britain as it selects a new prime minister to succeed May, and is hoping for a good trade

deal with the United States after Brexit. Erin McLaughlin has more on the fallout.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Who leaked these top-secret cables and why? That is at the center of an ongoing investigation launched by the

U.K.'s foreign office. There's lots of speculation here in London surrounding a possible political motive, especially when you consider who

Ambassador Kim Darroch is, seen by Brexiteers as a Remainer and a Europhile.

After all, he used to be the U.K.'s perm rep to the European Union, some speculating that this leak might have been meant to sort of move him out of

the way so that that job, the job of the U.K.'s ambassador to the United States, could be claimed by someone more pro-Brexit, likely to be part of

this ongoing investigation.

Keep in mind that this is the second high-profile leak, here in the U.K., in the past three months. There was the Huawei leak that saw the sacking

of the defense secretary. So authorities are taking this extremely seriously, especially considering this really is seen to compromise the

diplomatic services, the ability of top diplomats to give candid assessments to their ministers back in London, a point made by the British

foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, earlier today. Take a listen.


JEREMY HUNT, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: I made it clear that I don't share the ambassador's assessment of either the U.S. administration or relations

with the U.S. administration. But I do defend his right to make that frank assessment. And it's very important that our diplomats all over the world

continue to be able to do so.

What we will not allow to happen is any interruption in the superb relationship that we have with the United States, which is our closest ally

around the world.


MCLAUGHLIN: Well, as you heard Hunt say there, another focus is on damage control, mitigating any damage that could have been done as a result of

these leaks, to the special relationship between the U.K. and the U.S., seen as essential in a post-Brexit reality, Brexiteers looking to that

potential trade deal between the U.S. and the U.K. as making Brexit a possible success. And so Liam Fox, the trade secretary, says he plans to

meet with Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump's daughter, to apologize.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.


GORANI: Let's get more on this and the escalating U.S. tension with Iran. We turn to CNN political and security analyst David Sanger. He's also the

national security correspondent for "The New York Times."

David, thanks for being with us. You know the U.K. ambassador to Washington well. What's your reaction to this story?

DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Mm-hmm. Well, Kim Darroch is a very experienced British diplomat. He's come up through

the ranks of the foreign service in Britain. He knows his way around. He knows all the players.

The job of an ambassador is to provide the most unvarnished account of what's happening in the country where he or she is stationed. And

certainly, these memorandums don't vary in any way from things that you have read in books about the Trump administration, in news stories in "The

New York Times," "The Washington Post."

So the oddity here would be if he was writing memos saying, "No, they really are quite well-organized, have a complete Atlantic strategy

together," and so forth. I'm not entirely sure what --


SANGER: -- people expected they would see.

GORANI: Right. But the big question here in the U.K., as you know, is who leaked these. Is there a political --

SANGER: That's right.

GORANI: -- motive behind the leak. How many people typically have access to these types of cables in any given country?

SANGER: Well, we've asked that question in this specific case. So one of the cables, which was written in mid-2017 -- so maybe six months or so

after President Trump came in -- was a very restricted cable. And it was sent largely to Mark Sedwill, who at the time was the national security

advisor. I'm sure it was shared with a narrow group of top British leadership.

More recent ones, including the assessment of what happened after President Trump reversed himself and decided not to retaliate for the downing of that

drone, that went to a much broader group.

So you get to political motive -- and you'll know British politics better than I will, I'm sitting here in Washington -- but I think the leading

theory right now is that those who would support a hard departure from the European Union, the real Brexiteers, would like to see Sir Darroch's

successor be another Brexiteer. And --

[14:15:07] GORANI: Yes. Like maybe even Nigel Farage.

SANGER: -- that -- so this may well be about his successor. Yes.


SANGER: I'm sorry.

GORANI: Maybe even Nigel Farage -- I was going to say Nigel Farage, the head of the Brexit Party and the man, essentially, who campaigned as hard

as anyone else, to get the U.K. out of the E.U. during the Brexit campaign.

But the president of the United States, I thought, given how he's reacted in the past to lesser insults directed at him, was pretty restrained, I


SANGER: Yes. I think he was. Look, just if you look at the amount of time that Kim Darroch has served here in the United States, he would be up

for rotation out probably in six or eight months in any case. So that's another reason I don't think these were leaked about him. They were

actually about the fight for his -- for his successor.

And if his successor came from the foreign office in the normal run of things, even somebody like Mark Sedwill, to whom one of those cables was

addressed, who's been named as a possible candidate for this, I think that would be out of the usual tradition. And the Brexiteers would like

somebody who's pro-Brexit and pro-Trump.

GORANI: Let's pivot to Iran. You told my colleagues on "NEW DAY" this morning, "We are in a calibrated escalation cycle." What does that mean?

SANGER: Well, what's interesting about what the Iranians are doing is, they're not doing a breakout from the agreement. They're doing an inch-out

of the agreement, right? So --

GORANI: Right.

SANGER: -- so the news today was that they went up above 3.67 percent enrichment levels, which are specified in the agreement. But they only

went to 4.5. So that's still in the range of what you use for making reactor fuel. It's not as if they are at this point racing for bomb fuel.

Similar things about the size of the stockpile.

So they're crying out for an intervention here by the Europeans, either to make up for the American sanctions or to get a new negotiation going. And

so far, the Trump administration's view is, "No, the answer is double down, make life harder for the Iranians," and that they will eventually buckle.

I'm not sure that's the right calculation here.

GORANI: This is what Mike Pence, the vice president, had to say about this escalation and the announcement of more uranium being enriched by the

Iranians. Listen.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Last month, Iran attacked tankers passing near the Strait of Hormuz. And they downed an unmanned

American drone. And last week, Iran exceeded the amount of low enriched uranium it can have. Today -- today, it actually proclaimed it was going

to start enriching uranium beyond the levels permitted by the agreement.

Now, let me be clear. Iran should not confuse American restraint with a lack of American resolve.



GORANI: So, David, what does that mean? What is the administration saying here?

SANGER: So, all of the facts he laid out are absolutely right. Those are the series of events that Iran went through. If you ask the Europeans,

they'll say, yes, but they did it because the administration first left the agreement themselves. And then put this new economic pressure on Iran,

that would have been prohibited under the agreement.

So the question here is, who do you blame for taking the first step? The Americans obviously blame Iran. Iran obviously blames the U.S. and says if

it wants to negotiate, it needs to get back in compliance with the agreement and that they will get back in compliance.

So the problem is that in the interim, we have a high likelihood that somebody could make a mistake, a strategic error here --


SANGER: -- that as Nic was reporting earlier, if they seized a British ship, I think, you know, we'd be off to the races for something pretty

severe. If they took that uranium enrichment to 20 percent, which was the height before they did the 2015 agreement, I think we'd be in a much worse


And I think the big question is, can people sort of wake up and come to some way to defuse this, get off the escalation cycle before you hit that


GORANI: David Sanger, thanks very much. Pleasure talking to you, as always.

[14:19:34] Still to come tonight, prosecutors say this well-connected and powerful multimillionaire ran a sex trafficking ring that abused dozens of

underage girls. New documents from court shine a light on the alleged crimes of Jeffrey Epstein. We'll be right back.


GORANI: A powerful and well-connected hedge fund manager is pleading not guilty to accusations he ran a sex trafficking ring that preyed on very

young underage girls.

It's a name you might be familiar with, Jeffrey Epstein. He appeared before a judge in New York in the last hour or so. Prosecutors say that

between 2002 and 2005, Epstein paid and sexually abused girls as young as 14.

Investigators, in fact, found, in his home, troves of nude photos locked in his Manhattan apartment, of potentially -- they said -- underage girls.

Prosecutors say the charges against Epstein are important for the dozens of his victims.


GEOFFREY BERMAN, U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Many of the underage girls that Epstein allegedly victimized were particularly

vulnerable to exploitation. The alleged behavior shocks the conscience.

And while the charged conduct is from a number of years ago, it is still profoundly important to the many alleged victims, now young women. They

deserve their day in court. We are proud to be standing up for them by bringing this indictment.


GORANI: Prosecutors are asking the court to detain Epstein while he awaits trial. They say because of his wealth and extensive connections, he is an

extraordinary flight risk. Shimon Prokupecz is outside the courthouse in New York.

Why did the Southern District of New York act now, Shimon?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, I think they made it very clear in the press conference, that it was because of journalism,

investigative journalism by the Miami Herald, which has been following this story, uncovering all sorts of new information.

And what sparked that was that the U.S. attorney in Florida back in 2008, who was overseeing this investigation initially, now works for the

administration. And so that sparked this renewed focus on this case, on what happened here.

It was a secret deal between that prosecutor, between Florida authorities at the time and Epstein, that essentially allowed him to escape

prosecution. And -- but then not only that -- the way they structured this agreement, that he would plead guilty, it would be in state court, not in

federal court -- they would not tell the victims that this was happening.

And so the victims never had an opportunity to object to this plea deal, to have their voices heard, essentially, about their feelings about the case.

And I think it's because of this new work by these Miami -- by the "Miami Herald," that sparked this investigation. I think prosecutors made that

clear. They took a look at this and they said, "You know what, we weren't bound by this non-prosecution agreement" that Epstein and the Florida U.S.

attorney at the time, took in. They were not bound by that. And so they were allowed to then go ahead and take a look at this investigation again.

Some of the crimes that are alleged in the indictment happened in Manhattan, at his Upper East Side mansion, which is valued at about $77

million. So that allowed prosecutors here to go ahead and open their own investigation, interview some of these victims and just a few days ago,

indict him on these horrific charges.

GORANI: All right. Shimon Prokupecz, thanks very much.

CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson joins me from New York.

What did you learn from the indictment? Because he got a pretty good deal in Florida, this non-prosecution agreement. Will this one be different in

New York?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Hey, you know what, that's the open question. So here's what it is. I think we could all agree that, if true,

this is horrific misbehavior and certainly criminal: sex trafficking, conspiracy to engage --


JACKSON: -- in sex trafficking, that is, having underage girls who were exploited commercially for sexual activity, certainly a crime. I think the

issue is going to be whether or not the Southern District of New York can otherwise go and undo and redo litigation that was done in Florida.

I think the matter, certainly, is going to be handled in the Southern District very carefully. Tried cases over there before, very

professionally. They know what they're doing.

But I also think that the lawyers are going to say, "Wait a second, it may not be fair, what happened." They had a non-prosecution agreement, which,

you know, Hala, we should point out, it's almost unheard-of. Now, I'm not saying non-prosecution agreement's unheard-of. And for those, just to be

clear, what that is, it's an agreement prosecutors make with conditions. "Provided you abide by certain conditions, we'll drop the charges, dismiss

the charges, we will not prosecute."

And here, as we know, just to remember, what happened was, is prosecutors federally in Florida said, "We're going to allow him to plea to state

charges. He'll do 13 months in jail. He'll be on work release. He'll be able to work, and that will be over."

Now what essentially the Southern District in Manhattan is doing, is they're resuming those charges and saying, "You may have done it like that

in Florida, but we're New York. We have jurisdiction. Some of the crimes occurred here, we will prosecute here."

So to be clear, a fertile issue in this case and legal ground to be explored, is whether it is appropriate, it is fair, it is proper to really

exhume old charges and prosecute something in New York which was, they're going to argue -- his defense attorneys -- definitively determined in

Florida and not to move forward on. And so that's --

GORANI: Yes, but wasn't there --

JACKSON: -- going to be the case.

TEXT: Epstein Non-Prosecution Deal, 2008: Pleaded guilty to two state prostitution charges; Served 13 months in County Jail; Avoided any federal

charges; Registered as a sex offender

GORANI: -- correct me if I'm wrong. Wasn't there an issue in Florida with that non-prosecution deal, that there might have been, in fact, a situation

in which the law was broken? Because the prosecution --


GORANI: -- did not inform the victims in this case so that they could have their say. And by the way, just to remind our viewers, Alex Acosta, who is

currently Donald Trump's labor secretary, was one of the prosecutors in this case.

So he was given this amazing deal, where he only had to serve 13 months for sex trafficking charges, where he pled, I think, guilty only to a

prostitution charge or two. And his victims were left in the dark about it.

So if there was a law broken there, how can anyone argue that New York doesn't have any legal grounds to go ahead and prosecute this case again?

JACKSON: So here's the point. Two things. The first thing is, is that you are absolutely right. And I think in that regard, there are two

spheres of justice: one for the rich, the famous, the connected and celebrities, and another for people who don't have the means, the

resources, et cetera. Because the normal person would have never gotten an agreement like that. So that's issue number one.

However, let's go to issue number two. That will be that as a result of resolving the charges and having the feds not move forward, the defense

will say that numerous settlements were made to victims in the case, right? Not suggesting that that argument will carry the day, but I guarantee you,

Hala, when we talk about this again, moving forward --


JACKSON: -- the defense is going to file all types of motions, saying, "You know what, yes, there was a law violated" -- a federal judge earlier

this year, in February, said, because victims were not notified as to this plea deal, we have to undo it -- but they're going to say, "That just

happened in 2019. My client relied, to his detriment, upon resolving these cases. Now you're bringing it up?"

So the issue of fairness, the issue of his constitutional rights, that will come up. At the end of the day, however, certainly --


JACKSON: -- the victims deserve redress, as the prosecutor said. And as a result of that, the matter's likely to go forward. But there will be

litigation after litigation on the merits of --


JACKSON: -- whether New York can now reopen these charges.

GORANI: And here's what President Trump had to say in a 2002 profile of Jeffrey Epstein. "I've known Jeff for 15 years, terrific guy. He's a lot

of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it,

Jeffrey enjoys his social life."

Beyond Donald Trump, we know Jeffrey Epstein spent a lot of time with very famous, very rich people. Is there the possibility down the line, that

codefendants could be named in this case?

JACKSON: You know, it's a great question. And I think that is certainly a possibility. And to be clear, because he was rich and famous and

connected, that's why he got the non-prosecution agreement years ago, right? A normal person would not have gotten that agreement.

[14:30:05] And that's why Public Corruption is investigating. And they're saying that the current labor secretary, who was then U.S. attorney, who

oversaw this deal, was there something that happened under the table? Was there something untoward inappropriate that occurred? Let's look into it

to further suggest that it was really not an arm's length transaction and New York is way OK with doing it again.

But, yes, I do think that there is a concern that people who he's connected with maybe involved. And remember, there are co-conspirators here, right?

Their allegations that it's a conspiracy. That means that him and others participated in getting him these under aged girls so that he could use

them in commercial ways.

So I think there could be other shoes to drop involving other people moving forward.

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Joey Jackson, thanks very much. Always a pleasure.

Still to come tonight, they are the best team in the world, but they sure aren't paid like champs. We'll look at the equal pay debate when we come

back for the U.S. women's soccer team. Stay with us.


GORANI: Iran is probably broadcasting that it has surpassed the uranium enrichment level allowed under the 2015 nuclear deal. But Tehran's breach

of the pact is not happening in a vacuum, of course, it's just the latest salvo in a long going conflict with the U.S. and other western nations.

Michael Holmes looks at just how we got here.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was one of Donald Trump's long time campaign promises, in May of last year, he

delivers with full force.

The U.S. unilaterally withdraws from an Obama-era deal meant to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions. European allies remain committed, at the time,

so does Iran.

Come November, crippling American sanctions that had been lifted are re- imposed.

STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: This is part of a maximum unprecedented economic pressure campaign the United States is waging

against the world's largest state sponsor of terror.

HOLMES: Less than a year later, an unprecedented move, the U.S. names Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an arm of its military, a foreign

terrorist organization. Then the campaign of so-called maximum pressure intensifies.

MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Any nation or entity interacting with Iran should do its diligence and err on the side of caution. The

risks are simply not going to be worth the benefits.

HOLMES: The Trump administration targets Iran's lifeblood, threatening sanctions on any nation that continues buying their oil.

[14:35:03] In May, the U.S. sends an aircraft carrier strike group, bombers, and patriot missiles to the Middle East, citing escalatory

indications by Iran. Fifteen hundred troops follow with more to come. The next month, temperatures rise further.

POMPEO: These unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security.

HOLMES: The U.S. quickly blames Iran for two oil tankers attacked near the Strait of Hormuz. Iran vehemently denies involvement, but the U.S.

releases video they say shows an Iranian Navy boat recovering evidence of its participation.

A week later, Iran shoots down a U.S. Navy drone they say was intruding in its airspace. But the U.S. claims it was in international airspace. It

sparks a major escalation.

MAJ. GEN. HOSSEIN SALAMI, IRANIAN ISLAMIC REVOLUTIONARY GUARD CORPS (through translator): We have no intention to fight with any countries.

But we are completely ready for war.

HOLMES: The next day, the U.S. nearly retaliates, Trump tweeting a military strike was, quote, "cocked and loaded" before he called it off.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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.

HOLMES: Then earlier this month, British Royal Marines in Gibraltar storm an Iranian supertanker believed to be carrying oil to Syria, a possible

violation of European Union sanctions on Syria.

A senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official says the ship was seized, quote, "at the behest of the U.S.," but Gibraltar denies that, saying it acted on

its own.

More than a year since the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal, a cash- strapped Iran levies pressure of its own. The country's foreign minister says Iran is exceeding the pact's limit set on stockpiles of enriched

uranium. Iran won't stop, officials say, until protected from American sanctions, unlikely to ease anytime soon.

Michael Holmes, CNN, Atlanta.


GORANI: We'll have more on Iran a bit later in the coming hours on CNN.

But I want to talk about the big World Cup final, the FIFA women's World Cup ended on Sunday, and the U.S. beat the Netherlands, 2-0, and it was

their second consecutive World Cup titles. They're a great team, no doubt about it. Megan Rapinoe is becoming even a bigger star. Of course, there

was the feud with Donald Trump adding to her notoriety.

But some fans in the stance made it clear that the victory wasn't just about taking home a trophy. It was about much more. Listen.


CROWD: Equal pay, equal pay, equal pay, equal pay, equal pay.


GORANI: So equal pay refers, obviously, to the fact that the U.S. women's national team makes less than half as much per game as the U.S. men's team

earns, even though the women have been vastly more successful on the pitch.

Let's get more on this with CNN sports analyst, Christine Brennan. She joins me on Skype.

So, what is the minimum -- because we have a graphic for this? The minimum women's yearly pay versus the men's minimum yearly pay. The difference is

staggering, women are at $16,000, men at $56,000. To be clear, this is the minimum pay, but you see the ratio here.

Is this is going to be rectified now that the women have once again proven that they're the dominant team worldwide?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Absolutely, Hala. I think it will. I think the U.S. women are going to win at the negotiating table and

mediation in a few weeks when they're finished with the parades and the celebrating. And I think they will have equal pay with the men.

And in fact, some people said, equal, one of them more than the men. I don't think that's going to come yet. But those numbers are stark.

And here's another example. The U.S. women, each player on this team that just won the World Cup, as you mentioned, fourth World Cup for the U.S.,

second in a row, obviously going through a tough, tough part of the schedule with them, and the drop playing France, England, Netherlands,

tough games. Target on their back.

They will make about a quarter of a million dollars each, about 260,000. The U.S. men have done that. Of course, they did not, they didn't even

make the World Cup last year. They would have made $1.1 million. So Basically four to one.

And I'm sure many people are saying what about revenue? What about the --

GORANI: Right. I was going to say, Christine, that is usually what you always hear all about women, they sell fewer jerseys, they don't get as

many endorsement deals, they don't get as many eye balls, not as many viewers. But this really broke every record, right? For the U.S. women's

team, this year.

BRENNAN: Yes, Hala. The world has been turned upside down, in terms of the U.S. soccer. The Wall Street Journal reported that in terms of game

revenue, the women now make more than the men over the last three years since the previous World Cup, 2015.

[14:40:04] In terms of the jerseys, the bestselling jersey in Nike history is now the U.S.'S women's national jersey from this year, from this World

Cup. On and on it goes, the T.V. ratings through the roof.

And also, I think it's important to keep in mind that U.S. soccer is a not for-profit. In other words, their idea is to grow the game. It's to

encourage boys and girls to play. Of course, they want to make money. But they're not for-profit. It's about the greater good.

And there are other national governing bodies, similar to U.S. soccer in the United States, for example, figure skating or gymnastics where women

are the stars and yet they pay the men equally because they want to use that as a karat for boys to get into figure skating or gymnastics.

So the soccer leaders are completely out of step with the thinking in this country that you want to encourage the underrepresented group to play more.

If that alone should be the reason for equal pay.

GORANI: Right. And then the men go on to get clubbed salaries as well. I don't know endorsement-wise, whether or not, there's a big difference.

Though I do think these -- some of these female players for the U.S. national team have become worldwide celebrities now. So perhaps, this will

also level the playing field in terms of endorsement.

BRENNAN: Right. For example, Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan. Oh, my goodness. Wherever they want to go in our culture, they can go. I think

the sky is the limit for people like them, and there's other as well. And, yes, I think this is a new day.

And when we see this set against the backdrop of equal rights for women, Me Too, there's no one saying Me Too here. But general sense, in the last

couple of years, about women speaking out and girls speaking out and men who support women speaking out as never before.

Let's set this story against that backdrop, because I do believe it's an important part of the culture to link the two. I do not think it's a reach

to see this conversation as part of a bigger story in the United States at this moment.

GORANI: And you know what I thought was interesting, too? Is internationally, I'm hearing the U.K., four years ago, I didn't hear a

single person talk about the Women's World Cup.

I mean, honestly, maybe one or two or the entire duration of the tournament. This time, I mean, my husband is watching every game, everyone

is tweeting about it. I mean, I really felt like there was a lot of enthusiasm. And tell me if you agree with me on this.

But I think part of the reason is that the playing level has gone up tremendously. It's a faster game, it's a stronger game from as far as the

women are concern. It's unbelievable high quality football.

BRENNAN: Without a doubt. Today is the greatest day in women's sports until tomorrow, in terms of coaching, training, nutrition, people caring

about it. The money that's available. Every part of it, it gets better every day.

For example, with England, I remember 1999, I covered that World Cup, Brandi Chastain in the Rose Bowl, almost 20 years ago to the day now. And

I flew then to London to go cover the British Open. And I talked to a cab driver in London, he was driving me around. And he was talking about

Brandi Chastain. The woman who took off her shirt. And I said, "Where is England?" And he said, "Oh, women don't play football in England. Well,

how things have changed.

GORANI: They have been.

BRENNAN: And I think a lot of these leaders to finally realize that it was, you know, before too much more of the 21st century goes by, let's try

to get into the 20th century. And I think -- but that sexism was still inherent for so long. It did set the game back, I think, in many ways.

GORANI: Christine Brennan, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

BRENNAN: Thank you, Hala.

GORANI: Another blow for the embattled plane maker, Boeing, that its competitor, Airbus, is going to benefit from. The Saudi Arabian airline,

Flyadeal, says it'll fly an all-Airbus fleet now, and it's cancelling a deal with Boeing to buy its 737 Max jets. It's another sign that Boeing

has been struggling to regain trust after two of those jets were involved in fatal crashes.

Clare Sebastian is in New York and she joins me now. What are we talking about here in terms of the size of the order?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, so the original commitment, it wasn't a final order yet, Hala, form Flyadeal, which is this

low-cost Saudi airline owned by Saudia, which is the national carrier, was for up to 50 Boeing 737 Max that was agreed in December.

Now, they're saying that they're going to buy up to 50 Airbus A320 Neo planes which was the direct competitor to the Boeing 737 Max.

(INAUDIBLE) in a statement is that this order will result in Flyadeal operating in all Airbus A320 fleet in the future. They are definitively

moving away from Boeing.

So while this is a relatively small order, Boeing has a backlog of about four and a half thousand unfilled orders so far for the 737 Max. It's

relatively small in a commercial bases.

Reputational, this is a problematic because this is the first public deflection that we've seen from Boeing to Airbus.

All right. Thanks very much, Clare Sebastian.

I want to bring in our viewers that I'm reading this for the first time. So if you could put it up on the air. This is Donald Trump, the U.S.

president, tweeting about that U.K. ambassador and those leaked cables in which he called "Donald Trump inept."

[14:45:05] "I've been very critical about the way the U.K. and Prime Minister Theresa May handled Brexit. What a mess she and her

representatives have created. I told her how it should be done, but she decided to go in other way. I do not know the ambassador, but he is not

liked or -- and I need the second page, well thought of within the U.S., who will no longer deal with him. The good news for the wonderful united

kingdom is that they will soon have a new prime minister, well, I thoroughly enjoy the magnificent state visit last month, it was the queen

who I was most impressed with."

So he's taking a shot, not just at the ambassador, but at Theresa May, the U.K. prime minister who has made many efforts over the last several months

to make the U.S. president feeling welcome because, of course, post-Brexit, the country would like to sign an advantageous trade deal with America.

We'll keep our eye on that. Fresh Donald Trump tweet there for you.

Now, the UAE says it is reducing its troops in Yemen, calling it a tactical and strategic redeployment. It says it remains in the Saudi-led coalition

that's fighting Houthi rebels. It says it's shifting from a military first strategy to a peace first plan.

The UAE says the troop drawdown has been in the works for more than a year.

Still to come tonight. On edge, after two big earthquakes in just two days. People in Southern California are now fearing what might come next.


GORANI: The people in Southern California are wondering what is going to come next after two powerful earthquakes rocked the region in just two

days, scary, scary being in an earthquake.

The first was already the strongest to hit in 20 years and then an even bigger one hit the next day. Here's Sara Sidner.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Surveillance video capturing the moment of 7.1 magnitude earthquake rattled Ridgecrest, California.

Intense shaking inside sent anything that wasn't tied down flying. Outside, it tossed around parked cars, sloshed water out of pools, broke apart

Highway 178, created a huge crack along the desert floor, and terrified residents wherever they were, who thought the worst was over after

experiencing a 6.4 quake the day before.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get under the table, get under the table, oh, my God --





SIDNER: In Trona, California, 25 miles away from Ridgecrest, the Byrd family opted to sleep outside in the desert heat instead of under their own

roof for a few nights.

KAY BYRD, TRONA, CALIFORNIA RESIDENT: That's what we did. We thought it was safer that way because they said another one was coming. And if it was

worse than that one, you definitely didn't want to be in our house.

BROOKE THOMPSON, TRONA, CALIFORNIA RESIDENT: It shook so bad that I had to escape by the window. So, we decided we were going to stay here and spend

the night because we were too worried that another one would come in, actually, damage us.

[14:50:06] SIDNER (on camera): So, you got out by the window, what was it like inside?

THOMPSON: It looked like a tornado just came into our house and just had a party.

SIDNER (voice-over): Now, the destructive party is over and clean-up has begun. Everything that was tucked away in cupboards or on shelves ended up

on the floor in their home.

SIDNER (on camera): For most homes near the epicenter of this major earthquake, you can't really tell there's damage until you go inside the

homes. But for this particular house, it is very clear on the outside, you see that crack? We're told it goes all the way through the entire home.

SIDNER (voice-over): Back in Ridgecrest, the largest town near the epicenter, it was fires that caused the most visible damage.

BOB BLOUDEK, RIDGECREST, CALIFORNIA RESIDENT: I looked up and the flames were already shooting out of the windows.

SIDNER: Bob Bloudek watched as his neighbor's home burned down. He says the difference between the 6.4 and 7.1 quakes was night and day. The

second quake made him consider moving after more than 30 years in this town.

BLOUDEK: To be honest with you, I didn't know if we were going to get out or not.

SIDNER (on camera): What do you mean by you didn't know if you're going to get out?

BLOUDEK: I didn't know if we were going to make it. I hope to never go through something like that again.

SIDNER (voice-over): But seismologists say after a major quake like this, residents could feel aftershocks for years to come.


GORANI: Sara Sidner.

And we're not talking about minor aftershocks, seismologists say stronger and more frequent earthquakes in the region could be the new normal.


LUCY JONES, SEISMOLOGIST: We've actually gone 20 years without one. So we have had the quietest 20 years in the history of Southern California.

That's unlikely to continue on the long run. Geology keeps on moving, the plates are still going on. And we should be expecting a higher rate. And

when it happens, near people, it is going to be a lot worse.


GORANI: More to come, including he was set to be the first ever black African in space, but a tragic accident means he will never realize that

dream. His story, next.


GORANI: The man said to be the first-ever black African in space has died on a motorbike in Africa. Manda Maseko beat one million people to win a

place at space camp in an out of this world adventure beyond planet earth.

But this so sad. He passed away before turning what he described as his dream into reality. Farai Sevenzo has more now from Nairobi.

So, obviously, this is a heartbreaker for him, for his family. Because this was going to be a really important first as well as for Africa.

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. I mean, Hala, what is there to say about this young man only 30 years old, is that he

became -- in the years, since he won the competition, as you mentioned, a public speaker, he's joined the South African Defense Force, he became a

pilot in just five years.

I remember back in 2013, Nelson Mandela has just died, and it's interesting as well how he even got into the competition. He tells a story in one of

his speeches that he jumped off a wall and got a French take a picture of him and he sent that picture as if he was floating in in space and he

wanted to defy gravity.

And, of course, his story became an inspiration to thousands of South African, not only South African but African kids who are interested in

exploring space.

[14:55:06] I mean, we are, after all, in the 50th anniversary year of the moon landings. And a man like Mandla Maseko was absolutely for that dream.

And he believed having come from a poor township like

Like Maseko was for that dream, and he believed having come from a poor township like Soshanguve near Pretoria. His mom what was a cleaner, his

dad was a toolmaker. This was the way forward for African, because there was no dream too small.

He said that -- before as a kid, he would dream about being a police and a lawyer, but not an astronaut. But then when he went to the Kennedy Space

Center up in Florida, and went through after he had won, doing all manner of things including flying out of chutes and skydiving, and having things

like a Vomit Comet, all of that inspired and to come back and become what he has become today.

But, of course, such people, Hala, a driven people and he also loved his Yamaha motorcycle, which tragically took his life on Saturday night.

But, of course, remember as well, that the whole idea of Africa being in space, he says he would have been the first black African. But he wouldn't

have been a first South African, Mark Shuttleworth, paid $12 million to go out into space a few years ago.

But, of course, we have a massive telescope out in South Africa that's catching the galaxy in all imaginative ways, that people talking about

Africa to the moon. So it's really captured, especially young people's imaginations and Mandla Maseko's life though tragically short, would have

inspired thousands of kids in that region and throughout this continent, Hala.

GORANI: And so, what are the -- what are the funeral plans for him?

SEVENZO: Well, at the moment, we know that his family has released a statement basically saying that they will announce a memorial service for

him a little bit later on. But we also know that the grief is still very, very probably, especially amongst his friends and family.

You see his Instagram posts with his beloved Yamaha bike and his car and posting things like everything is possible, African child. It is just one

of those stories that defies any kind of understanding, because of the suddenness of his death.

And, of course, remember, that prize that he won after beating a million people or so, with 23 others, was then to go up in the length marks to

shuttle and to go to what astronauts call outer orbit, 62 miles up into the air and to explore that part of the world where many black Africans haven't

really been, and it remains to be seen if anyone who would follow in his fantastic footsteps, really, Hala.

GORANI: All right. Farai Sevenzo, thanks very much.

Thanks for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. I'll see you next time. But do stay with CNN. There is a lot more ahead, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is

coming your way.