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Iran's New Message for Biden; Iran Elects Its Most Hardline President in Decades; Voting Amid Famine and Fighting; International Yoga Day. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired June 21, 2021 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI ANCHOR: Tonight CNN asks Iran's new hardline president about his message for Joe Biden. We are live in Tehran for his
Right now Ethiopians are voting amid conflict in the north and a catastrophic crisis for millions living there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here this disparity can be the difference between life and death, between a family that gets to celebrate and one that's
forced to mourn.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: COVID killing children in Brazil at incredible rates. We will show you how and why.
Six p.m. in Abu Dhabi. Hello, I'm Becky Anderson and you are watching "Connect the World."
Right now the geostrategic implications of Iran's election playing across the region and far beyond. By now you've probably heard that this man,
ultraconservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi will be Iran's new president. His election on Friday already causing geopolitical ripples along with big
questions on the status of the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Raisi laying out Iran's objectives in a news conference today and throwing the onus for restoring the deal to its original parameters on the United
States, saying the U.S. must return to the deal it withdrew from in an expedited manner.
Well Raisi speaking out on the deal after the latest round of talks to restore it rapped up in Vienna. Negotiators returning to their home
countries for instructions and officials from both sides are now speaking out.
The top E.U. official chairing the talk saying, "We are closer to a deal, but we are still not there." Iran's top nuclear negotiator voicing similar
sentiment saying, "We are now closer to a deal than at any time in the past, but it doesn't mean that we are there."
Well, America's national security adviser commenting on Raisi's election on CNN. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The person who makes the decision about whether Iran will go back into the Iran Nuclear Deal will
assume its Nuclear obligations under international law is not the president of Iran. It is the supreme leader of Iran. And that person did not change
from before the election until after the election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well Israel's new prime minister with a blunt warning to world leaders about Iran's government. Naftali Bennett saying it's, quote, "The
last chance for the world powers to wake up." "These guys," he says, "are murders, mass murders. We've got reporters all over the map for you
covering the story tonight from Tehran, Jerusalem and in Washington.
Fred Pleitgen first up is in Tehran where he questioned the Iranian president-elect at a news conference today. Connecting us now from the
capital, you had the opportunity to put a question to Ebrahim Raisi, the president-elect. What did you ask and what did he tell you?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there Becky. Well, this news conference was for Ebrahim Raisi to explain some of his
policy, thinks that he wants to do to both the domestic and of course the international press as well. And that was quite interesting, because the
sense that we got is that foreign policy is going to play a big role in this administration.
WE have to keep in mind that Ebrahim Raisi essentially was elected into government mostly because the economy here is obviously not doing very
well. Also because there is a big need, as many people see it, to fight corruption. Those are certainly things where he said there was going to be
some of the emphasis.
But he certainly also said that Iran is going to have a very, very forceful and very active foreign policy as well. And it certainly looks like, from
what we heard today and from what I he heard from Ebrahim Raisi that the U.S. is going to be in for a pretty tough ride.
He was asked by one reporter whether or not he would every sit down with U.S. President Biden and he flat-out said no. No explanation, nothing, he
just said no.
I asked him whether or not he would actually talk to the Biden administration possibly at point or if this administration would or if he
would be willing to accept at least negotiations for something like and expanded nuclear agreement. Let's listen in to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: First of all sir thank you much for taking our question. You've already told us how you feel about a direct meeting with President Biden.
But, would you be willing to talk to and negotiate with the Biden administration? Would your administration be willing to do that? What do
you expect of the Biden administration? And how do you feel about the U.S. proposal for a possible expanded nuclear agreement that would also cover
Iran's ballistic missiles and also regional issues as well?
EBRAHIM RAISI, PRESIDENT OF IRAN: My serious proposal to the United States government is that is for them to return in an expedient manner to their
commitments and do away with sanctions. In doing so by -- they would prove their sincerity. Regional and missile issues are not up for negotiations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: There you have it, Ehrahim Raisi saying that the Iran's ballistic missile program is not up for negotiation. The Iranians are also
saying that any sort of regional issues as far as Iran's actions here in the region are concerned also not up for negotiation with the United States
or with anyone else.
Except for the Iranians did say and Ebrahim Raisi did say that they plan to be very active not just in this region but around the entire world. But of
course in this region specifically one of the other things, Becky, that we took from this press conference as well was, which was very interesting, is
that Ebrahim Raisi is also in favor of continuing negotiations.
For instance, with Saudi Arabia to try and get those relations somewhat back on track. Of course, those have already been started under the current
administration as you some somewhat of a detent between these two regional rivals.
He also said that nothing is going to change as far as Israel is concerned for Iran and all under this new administration. Becky?
ANDERSON: Yes. Fascinating to hear him talk about seeking some sort of reprushment (ph) with Saudi Arabia and the possibility of reopening --
ANDERSON: -- embassies. I mean hear behind the scenes around this region of course I speak to you from Abu Dhabi here in the Gulf, we are hearing
about this process that has now been going on for some time in these countries seeking better relations, as it were, with Iran. If that's not
the headline all the time then that's certainly going on behind the scenes.
Fred, you also spoke to someone considered up and coming as it were in the Iranian sort of infrastructure.
ANDERSON: You asked him about foreign policy. How was it? And what did he tell you?
PLEITGEN: Yes, you're absolutely right. This is -- Amir -- Hussein Amir Abdullah-Heon (ph), who was the deputy foreign minister of Iran a couple of
years ago. In the early stages of the Rouhani administration, but especially in the Ahmadinejad administration.
This is someone who is very well entrenched in the foreign policy elite here. Very close to Ebrahim Raisi and Ebrahim Raisi's people and very much
in the know about what the foreign policy of the Ebrahim Raisi administration is going to look like. And in many ways probably also
shaping that policy as well.
And the main takeaway that we have from them is he said that there is going to be an active and a very dynamic foreign policy, especially in this
region but also indeed and around the world. And there clearly seems to be a foreign policy plan for Iran which very much focuses on Iran's national
Let's listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOSSEIN AMIR-ABDOLLAHIAN, FORMER DEPUTY MINISTER FOR ARAB AND AFRICAN AFFAIRS IN IRAN'S MINISTRY OF ROREIGN AFFAIRS (through translator): I
believe the foreign policy under Mr. Raisi will be active and dynamic. A foreign policy that is balanced with an eye towards all countries with a
logical and at the same time strong discourse. A discourse that will be able to secure Iranian rights on all fronts.
PLEITGEN: And how do you think the relations with the United States will evolve under Ebrahim Raisi? Because he's been very critical of the United
States in the past.
ABDOLLAHIAN (through translator): It's the United States that has constantly lost opportunities. This will be much dependent on U.S. behavior
and for them to determine how they will be able to address the relationship with Iran.
PLEITGEN: Is there a different feeling though towards this administration, the Biden administration, than there was to the Trump administration?
ABDOLLAHIAN (through translator): I believe that Biden is seeking to return to the nuclear agreement. He should not be bringing new things up
like the region and missiles and interfering in Iran's affairs. And the U.S. should focus on their return to the JCPOA and the commitments that
they have under the agreement.
PLEITGEN: Did you have faith that the Iran Nuclear Agreement will come back on track?
ABDOLLAHIAN (through translator): I assume that the moment that anti-talks comes to a point where the interest of our people will be secured, the
implementation of the JCPOA can be started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: That of course feeds into those negotiations that you were talking about, Becky, way at the top of the show that are ongoing currently
in Vienna. This incoming administration, the Raisi administration says it's possible to bring the nuclear agreement back.
Obviously the current Iranian administration, really all negotiators who are there in Vienna or have been there in Vienna over the past couple of
weeks, they hope to get that deal done before Ebrahim Raisi takes office simply because with a new administration here in Iran you would have a lot
of different negotiators who would be coming to Vienna.
A lot of things would have to be picked up again. So, they're trying to get that deal done before the new president takes office, but then the big
question of course is can that deal last. Becky?
ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen is in Tehran for you. Fred, thank you.
Let's get a reaction then to this election. To Iran's new president-elect and indeed discuss this nuclear deal going on behind the scenes from two
countries very much involved in Iranian affairs, COVID or otherwise.
Very different takes so far from the states and from Israel. So CNN's Hadas Gold monitoring and the Israeli reaction from Jerusalem for you.
First though let's get to U.S. Security Correspondent Kylie Atwood. She joins us live from Washington this hour. And Kylie, the U.S. right now
engaging all be it indirectly the Iranians in trying to get them back into compliance with the nuclear deal. Those talks go on.
How does the election of a hardline conservative cleric with very questionable past, with regard to human rights, how does his election
change, if at all, the calculus for Washington in these talks?
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, when you look across the board, right, in terms of U.S.-Iranian relations, Raisi is by all terms not
the person that the United States wants to be dealing with in Iran.
He is a hardliner. He is under U.S. sanctions right now. So, clearly someone that the U.S. government across the board hasn't chosen as someone
that they want to deal with.
But when you separate that out from the negotiations, the indirect talks that the U.S. is having with Iran right now over trying to salvage the Iran
Nuclear Deal, Raisi's comments thus far haven't necessarily taken the train off the tracks, if you will. Because in his comments over the weekend he
called on the U.S. to return to the deal in an expedited manner.
And as I was talking to folks over the weekend, you know, this is not someone that the United States wants to deal with. But, in saying such he
is essentially giving the green light to the negotiators to continue on with those talks in the coming months before he is elected in August. So,
we're going t watch for me officially from the State Department. But this doesn't necessarily harm these efforts that the U.S. been working on.
ANDERSON: Hadas, Israel. Thank you Kylie. Israel's new prime minister keeping up a very strong line against the new president in Iran. And what
did he have to say?
HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in just over a week in office, actually spent of his first ever
cabinet meeting yesterday warning world leaders against Raisi.
He said in part, I want to read this to you, "Of all the people that the supreme leader Ali Khamenei could have chose, he chose who we call the
hangman of Tehran. The man infamous among Iranians and across the world for leading the death committees, which executed thousand of innocent Iranian
citizens throughout the years.
Bennett went on to say to world leaders saying this is the last chance for the world powers to wake up before retuning to the nuclear agreement to
understand who they are doing business with. Bennett went on to call them - - to call Raisi a murders along with the other administration in Iran, mass murders.
So although there is a new government in Israel, just over seven days old, most mainstream politicians here, Naftali Bennett, Yair Lapid, are all in
agreement when it comes to Iran and oppose any return to the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal. However, the main difference would be the approach, the sort
It's going to be much quieter, much more behind the scenes. You're not going to see sort of public spats, public disagreements that you saw under
former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In fact, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid had a call with the U.S. Secretary of State Blinken, where they agreed to have no surprises when it comes to the
relationship between Israel and Iran. Saying that it was immediately blasted by the now former Primer Minister Netanyahu. Becky?
ANDERSON: Hadas Gold is Jerusalem.
Right. And we will be speaking later in the show to Iranian-American Historian Abbas Milani about why this election was like no other and what
we might expect from a new Iranian government.
Up next, it was framed as a chance to turn the page on years of autocratic rule. And there some skepticism about Ethiopia's big democratic movement. A
live update on the country's general election is up next.
Plus, a remarkable feat in China. More than a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been put into people's arms. We'll tell you how the drive has
been so successful.
And enter the dragon. Why a loss for Wales is feeling a lot like a win at the Euros.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERHANU NEGA, LEADER EZEMA PARTY OF ETHIOPIA: This does mean, as I said earlier, this does not mean there will not be problems. But the problems
would not be significant enough to overturn the, or to reflect the -- what the public actually voted. That's what we're hoping. And up to now it looks
like it could be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Ethiopia's opposition leader there hoping for what he calls a completely new trajectory for the country and that's because millions of
Ethiopians have been voting today against the backdrop of what is a raging humanitarian crisis in the north.
Let me just take you through this. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is facing voters for the first time since coming to power in 2018. You'll remember he
won a Noble Peace Prize and championed a Democratic revival for the country, a big break from its authoritarian past.
Well the prime minister set the tone for today's vote, tweeting last week that it would be the, quote, "First attempt free and fair elections in
Ethiopia." And some rights activists say the gains that have been made in the country are being reversed and the dyer hunger threatening 350,000
people in the country's war ravished Tigray Province along with the failure to stage elections on schedule in about a fifth of constituencies mean the
P.M.s free and fair promise could be in doubt.
The European Union's Special Envoy to Ethiopia has said, and I quote the Finish Foreign Affair's Minister Pekka Haavisto here, "Hoping the election
can lead to dialogue on Tigray." This coming nearly a week after he reported that when he visited Ethiopia in February senior leaders there
told he they were going to, quote, "wipe out the Tigrayans for 100 years."
Well the Ethiopian foreign ministry responded in a statement last Friday saying, they rejected what they call Haavisto's ludicrous remarks. Adding
they showed a, quote, "Clear lack of context and understanding about Ethiopia."
Well CNN has done and continues to do extensive reporting on Ethiopia, especially the tragic situation in Tigray. I want to now give you a sense
of what is like there. CNN's Nima Elbagir and here team worked hard to get into the region last month especially after finding out that Eritrean
soldiers were blocking aide to starving civilians.
Here is some of her report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello sir. We're -- can I -- can I show you our papers? We're CNN. Journalists. We have
permission to travel.
These are Eritrean troops captured here for the first time on camera. A rag-tag army in their distinctive light colored fatigues. Some are also
wearing a previously retired Ethiopian Army uniform, a clear bid to sew confusion as to whether they're Ethiopian or Eritrean.
The Eritrean soldiers are telling us that we don't have permission to travel even though the Ethiopian soldiers waved us through. The other thing
is Eritrean soldiers are supposed to have begun withdrawing, but here they are manning a checkpoint and blocking us from going forward.
Hello sir. (Foreign language). How are you? Journalists.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
ELBAGIR: We -- we -- we have permission.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
ELBAGIR: You're asking us to turn back?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
ELBAGIR: OK, we've been sent back.
Both Eritrean and Ethiopia promise these troops would withdrawal weeks ago. Yet, this foreign force is still here and occupying, obstructing a key
supply route with impunity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: That's Nima Elbagir reporting. Nima and her team did manage to get in and amid all of this, remember, Ethiopia criticalists one of the
world's leading frontier markets hits the second most populous nation in Africa.
No wonder then the Horn of Africa nation is strategically important as well. Well, I'm connecting you to Ethiopia's capital that is Addis Ababa
and CNN's Larry Madowo.
Eritrean troops on the ground, inner north. In a region where aide agencies fear famine unless things change and change quickly. Larry, you know,
people in some parts of the country are voting today in an election. The prime minister hopes will suggest that, you know, things can be free and
fair in his country. But clearly on the ground things are very chaotic.
How did things go so wrong in a country that was held up as a beacon of hope only a couple of years ago?
LARRY MADOWO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And not only was this seen as a beacon of hope, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took over in 2018 there
was such a euphoria in this country that reforms the institute including ending a long-running war with Eritrean earned him the Nobel Peace Prize.
But there is some disappointment now that all of that coming together message (ph) that he's been making does not appear to be going down to
everybody. In some ways some people feel that the country is almost coming apart.
And that is why he needs this election so badly because he needs the legitimacy of actually getting (ph) a vote for him. He has not faced the
voters until right now and many observers expect that his prosperity party will easily win this election because there are opposition candidates who
are either in jail or opposition parties boycotting the vote.
So essentially this election is for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to lose.
ANDERSON: The election, of course, postponed due to fighting in Tigray. How does this all wrap together? I mean, you know, what's the future at
MADOWO: The future (ph) is going to have to be some level of dialogue, some consensus building to make sure that the opposition parties, even the
Tigray People's Liberation Front, that the governments, the House of Representatives has designated as a terrorist organization, people would
say whoever wins this election will have to find a way to bring everybody to the table to try and deal with that.
Ethiopia has deep-rooted political problems, many of it is ethnic in nature and all the regions in the country have regional heads who are ethnically
supported. And so, whoever wins this election has that to deal with.
Second is to do a constitutional reform that the country badly needs. But Tigray is at the center of that. There's a civil war since last November,
the government, the other parties have been accused of atrocities there.
However, I've been speaking to one whose considered an independent voice in this country, the Chair of Ethiopia's Human Rights Commission and he still
thinks this election was necessary in terms of bringing democracy here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL BEKELE, HEAD OF ETHIOPIA'S HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION: This is an election which is happening in a context of a very complex political
crisis. So, it would be quite a very good step forward to (inaudible) better elections in the future and this would be a reasonably credible
election in my view. But Ethiopia still has a long way to go towards a fully fair and free elections.
MADOWO: This timing of this election is controversial because there are opposition parties boycotting it. There's violence in part of the country.
Should this have been the right time to hold an election?
BEKELE: It would have been equally problematic and difficult if Ethiopia did not have elections because it means there will be an elected government
and elected government for an extended period of time. So, despite the challenge and the problems I think it did the right thing that Ethiopia has
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADOWO: Becky, we've been speaking to voters here at this political (ph) station now. They, some of whom have spent hours; five, six hours, just to
get there even though the election's board is telling us it takes only 30 seconds to vote. And they say they're going to be here for as long as it
takes because this is an important step in ushering in a democracy in Ethiopia.
So, they also see the significance of this attempt, (inaudible) to try and have semblance of a democracy in Africa's second most populous nation.
ANDERSON: Look, and the people behind you were once, you know, and this country to be successful they will be voting and for stability as much as
anything else. This is the second most populous country in Africa.
It is strategically important for the Americans, for aide groups, I mean, it is an extremely important part of the world. What sort of briefly, what
sort of leverage does the U.S., Washington for example, have at this point?
MADOWO: Ethiopia's one of those very important countries on the continent and the U.S. has said before that it is gravely concerned about the
environment under which these elections are taking place. The European Union is not even observing the election because they could not be assured
of the independence of their monitors.
And (inaudible) that Ethiopia is a seat at the African Union, the prime minister here has a lot of leeway across the continent. And so, the U.S.
cannot afford to ignore this country despite its misgivings, about the conflict in Tigray and the other insecurity issues around the continent.
So, in some way they still have to find a way to work with where -- whichever government takes over after this election.
ANDERSON: Larry always a pleasure. Thank you sir. Larry's on the ground in Addis Ababa. Thank you.
And stay with us. Later on I'm going to talk with the former U.N. Humanitarian Chief Jan Egeland about Ethiopia and other issues. That's
coming up in the next hour on "Connect the World." Do stay with us for that.
Well things are changing in Iran as the country ushers in its most hardline president in decades. We'll have more on the transition of power when we
And Toyko Olympic organizers decide to allow some fans into the events as health officials warn against it. Details on that are coming up.
ANDERSON: This is the 1979 Revolution that founded the Iran that we know today, a movement that brought thousands to the streets to overthrow the
countries last Shah and to establish an Islamic Republic. But since this transformative event we've seen or just seen an election unlike any other.
Iran getting ready for the most hardline president it has seen in decades. Ebrahim Raisi is seen as a close ally of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali
Khamenei. Most of the opposition candidates were barred from running. This election voter turnout was below 50 percent for the first time in the
history of the Islamic Republic.
Well this change in leadership comes at a crucial time for Iran as officials work to revive the international nuclear deal. Tehran's top
negotiators says the talks are in a critical phase.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABBAS ARAQCHI, IRAN'S TOP NUCLEAR NEGOTIATOR: We are closer to a deal than any time in the past, but it doesn't mean that we are there. The remaining
drop is significant and needs lots of, you know, efforts and, you know, further talks. So we decided to cut negotiations here, go back home not
only for consultations but this time for decision making.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Iran has just announced that it is shutting down its only nuclear plant. Officials say they are disconnecting the Bushehr power
plant from the national electricity grid because of, quote, "technical difficulties." The country's nuclear agency says it's going to be offline
for several days. The agency says there were not reports of any acts of sabotage or that it's safety had been compromised.
Well Abbas Milani joins me now. He's the Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University and a Hoover Institution Fellow. It's very good to
have you with us. I say - we say this election comes at a critical time given the sensitive state of these nuclear talks in Vienna.
I want to get to that, but more critical perhaps in the short-term to, you know, the average man and woman in Iran is the state of the economy, the
state of the healthcare system, the fact that the middle class is effectively being decimated, and COVID-19, which has ravaged this country
and been so badly managed many believe by the administration. What do you make of the election of Ebrahim Raisi, and what do you see is his impact
ABBAS MILANI, DIRECTOR OF IRANIAN STUDIES, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: Well I think in any understanding of the word election this was not an election.
This was an appointment. As you indicated, a motley crew of other candidates were lined up Mr. Kohmeini's (ph) right-hand man just issued a
statement. Today's vote has become very controversial, and where he said we actually lined up these other people to make Raisi look like it's a
legitimate election, so this was an appointment.
It's an appointment of someone who is credibly accused of crimes against humanity, might well be put on trial if he goes outside Iran, and as you
say they have hand picked him at the most crucial moment just for (ph) Iranian economy, for Iranian social life, and for the international
community, and it's the time to have some kind of an agreement nuclear.
ANDERSON: Abbas Milani, what is the message then? I mean, we talked before this election about it being a selection rather than an election.
If - and you rightly point out the background of and the background of this president-elect who is now and going forward the - will be the President of
Iran for at least the next four years. What is the message from the Supreme Leader here?
MILANI: I think the message to me is very clear. The message is that instead of trying to open up the system, instead of trying to create a
national consensus that can actually help maybe solve these problems, the problems you mentioned are serious, strategic, structural challenges. Even
the best of governments won't be able to solve this overnight.
So a wise leader not interested in his own power or in trying to transfer his power to his son would have tried to create a national consensus.
Instead they have gone towards creating a government of embarrassing brutality at its head and a complete ignorance of the severity of this
This was, as you indicated, the most anemic election in the history of this regime. And Mr. Raisi did call it (ph) and epic election and a great
support - sign of support for the regime.
ANDERSON: What do you make of Washington's response then to the election of Ebrahim Raisi? Effectively Jake Sullivan has said, who is the National
Security Adviser, he has said that effectively nothing changes as far as Washington is concerned. No change in the calculus. We - it seems they
will continue to pursue the compliance by Iran back into these talks by lifting sanctions that Iran is demanding. Are you surprised by
Washington's position that effectively nothing changes?
MILANI: I am a bit surprised, although they did say rightly I think that the decider in all of this is not Raisi, the president. The decider has
always been in foreign policy and nuclear issues, Mr. Kohmeini (ph). He does try to play this game to say that the government negotiates, but he
has managed every step of arriving in the nuclear deal then to distance himself.
In that sense they're right, but to pretend that this is a normal regime, that this is a normal president I think is foolish.
ANDERSON: Before the election, you said you thought the impact of Raisi's election in terms of foreign policy would be minimum, and as you have just
pointed out, you said it's not the president that determines foreign policy but the Supreme Leader. I just want our viewers to have a listen to the
Iranian President-elect who has been speaking today on a number of issues, not least, for example, relations with Saudi Arabia. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EBRAHIM RAISI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT-ELECT: As far as relationship with the Saudis we announced, and I say it once again, we wish to have relations
with all nations throughout the world, particularly our neighbors, vis-a- vis Saudi Arabia. Reopening of embassies in both capitols is not something that is directly public that sees (ph) and impediment, too (ph).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Again, you listen to the narrative from that press conference, and this is a man who doesn't have the foreign policy file. Well at least
he's been - he's been given a - some talking points. What do you make of what you just heard?
MILANI: I think it's empty rhetoric because he, as you indicated, has been clearly given some talking points. He was also given the talking points
about when they asked him about human rights abuses and his record. His answer was remarkable. And the fact that the translator actually relayed
the question by not translating the gist of the spirit of the question I think these are talking points.
What's going to decide is whether Mr. Khomeini (ph) and the IRGC, who are calling the shots, have decided to essentially scale down their rhetoric,
scale down their help for their proxies that do attack Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia attacks Iranian proxies in Yemen. Iran returns the favor. Whether
they will, in fact, scale down or whether this is rhetoric for the first press conference knowing how embarrassing the election has been, I think
it's more P.R., but I do believe that Mr. Khomeini (ph) is desperate to make a deal because the economy he knows is in a desperate situation.
ANDERSON: Abbas Miliani, it's a pleasure having you on. Thank you so much for joining us, and we will - we will speak to you again. This is the -
this is the beginning of one of - it does certainly feel like a new era in Iranian politics, and it'll be useful to have you to analyze and provide
your insight. Thank you, sir. Taking a very short break. Back after this.
ANDERSON: From war ships to warrior poses, the world celebrating International Yoga Day. Tens of thousands took part in a mass yoga session
in India, which included people everywhere Hilan (ph) Malayan military outposts to the deck of an aircraft carrier. Britain's national health
service says yoga may benefit people with high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, and stress and reminds us it is never too late to
Well after much speculation, venues at the Tokyo Olympics can be half full holding up to 10,000 people. Organizers say this policy could be reversed
or revised if coronavirus infections spike or if a state of emergency is implemented again in the weeks leading up to the games.
Well there are now only 31 days to go before the start of the rescheduled Olympics in what has been a lengthy delay due to the pandemic. One Tokyo
hopeful already a winner and is proving and inspiration, though, to people far beyond her sport.
Six-time Olympic champion, Allyson Felix, says she wants here legacy to be someone who fought for women. The sprinter could pass Carl Lewis as the
most decorated USA track athlete and will be coming to the Olympics for the first time as a mom. Amanda, Allyson and daughter it seems. What a lovely
story that is.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS PRESENTER: It's a fantastic story, becky. It may have been Father's Day in the United States and across the world, but
at the U.S. Olympic trials yesterday the mothers were absolutely doing it for their kids. Some really special scenes. Not just Allyson Felix with
her daughter, Camryn, as you can see, but Pinera King (ph), who won the race with her son as well, both will be going to represent the USA in the
400 meters in tokyo.
And Felix has spoken since the birth of Camryn in 2018 about how she really wants to use her platform she's been given out of motivation. She is a
true superstar and such an inspiration to so many around the world. It will be fantastic to see her at another games in Tokyo.
ANDERSON: And we're - and isn't it nice that we're actually talking about athletes who will now be competing at the next Olympic Games, which are
only a month away? It's actually - it's wonderful and we wish her the best. Thank you, Amanda. You're back after the break with World Sport.
I'm back after that.