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Kyiv Death Toll Climbs to 5 after "Kamikaze" Drone Attack; U.S. Envoy: Sanctions are Amid at Protesting Iranians; Kurdish Rights Group: Scarce Information about Crackdown; French Company to Pay $770M Plus in Terrorism Financing Case; Exiled Iranian Actress says new Generation will not Accept Current Regime Any Longer; Ordinary Workers Express Frustration as Economy Falters. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired October 18, 2022 - 11:00   ET




ZAIN ASHER, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Hello and welcome back to "Connect the World". I'm Zain Asher filling in for Becky Anderson. We begin with

Ukraine's power grid in Putin's crosshairs. With winter fast approaching, it appears Russia is trying to freeze Ukrainians into giving up.

Moscow launching renewed attacks on Ukraine's energy and other critical infrastructure. Residents of Kyiv are being urged to conserve electricity

and water. After two more facilities there were hit on Tuesday. Three people were killed President Zelenskyy says that nearly a third of the

country's power stations have been destroyed in just over a week.

More than 1100 towns across Ukraine are reportedly as I speak in the dark, no electricity. Meantime Kyiv's Mayor says the body of a fifth victim has

been found under the rubble of a residential building hit Monday, in a so called Kamikaze drone strike both Russia and Iran denying claims that Iran

has been supplying those weapons. And on the ground in Russia, at least 14 people are dead, including three children after a Russian fighter jet

crashed into a residential building in the Port City of Yeysk, on Monday. Russian state media and authority said the jet was doing a training flight

when one of the engines caught on fire during takeoff. Let's bring in Nic Robertson, who's joining us live now. He's following all these developments

from Kyiv. So Nic, let's just talk about energy. You've got Russia here carrying out the sustained sort of coordinated attacks re designed to

ensure that Ukrainians have as difficult of a winter as possible walk us through that.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: What Russia seems to be doing is getting into a war of attrition on Ukraine's energy production

capability. They're losing the war in the battlefield. And they're switching it now to the cities to what Russia thinks is a pressure point on

the Ukrainian population.

That is, you know, if they deny them, they denied them electricity, deny them water, they'll somehow give into Russia's demands and claims. So in

the City of Kyiv right now, two power plants were struck this morning by missiles and over there behind me what's known as the Left Bank inside of

the city here, that area now has limited supplies of electricity and some parts of it and limited supplies of water or low pressure water, and that's

being replicated elsewhere in the country.

In the East, in the West, and further South, there were more strikes on power plants. So this attrition seems to be designed to increasingly

deplete Ukraine's energy producing electricity producing capability.

However, what the Ukrainians are saying is that within about 48 hours, they're getting those areas that have been hit those power plants have been

hit back up online, but clearly over time, it's going to put pressure on them to do it, because the spare parts that will be required to, to repair

what's been damaged, those will be depleted, as well.

And the timing of these attacks just before winter, very, very clearly creates the impression that Putin is using the change in seasons and the

cold weather coming to inflict this severity on the Ukrainian population.

ASHER: So Russia, as you point out, they're trying to make up for the losses on the battlefield by targeting cities and targeting power

infrastructure. What can the Ukrainians do to really protect their energy infrastructure going forward do you think Nic?

ROBERTSON: It's a challenge. They're trying to get in these improved air defenses, but for example, Kyiv yesterday 28 drones fired at it. 24 of them

shot down by Ukrainian defenses, but a couple got through - a couple of those drones got through and one of them had an energy company's

headquarters building in the city here.

Today, the energy production the electricity generating plant was hit by missiles not drones. Russia changes up the tactics to try to find the weak

spots to get its munitions through. So it really what Ukraine requires is a comprehensive defensive system.

The drones fly at a much lower altitude and are relatively easily detectable and are relatively slow compared to the missiles and can plan

and therefore can perhaps be taken down by less sophisticated defensive systems but it requires having a lot of soldiers out there looking for the

drones flying.


ROBERTSON: And a lot of soldiers out there with missile systems, you know, shoulder launch missile systems perhaps, or heavy anti-aircraft guns to

take down the drones. But the missiles are going to require those sophisticated systems that the United States is in the process of

expediting the supply to Ukraine.

But what the United States is supplying won't cover the whole of the country might not even cover the whole of Kyiv. So Ukraine really needs

more of these air defense systems, multiple types to combat the threat which Russia in military tactics is changing up as much as it can to get

through to its targets.

ASHER: Right, Nic Robertson live for us there. Thank you so much. All right, Russia's war has triggered an energy crisis not just in Ukraine, but

across Europe in general and with winters freezing weather on the horizon, European Union leaders are scrambling to lay out their plans to keep prices

down and supply up. Among their proposals, joint gas buying among member nations.


URSULA VON DER LEYEN, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT: We know that we are strong when we act together. Therefore, the first emphasis is that we make

joint purchasing in this proposal today operational. We know that Europe's energy demand is very large.

So it is logical that instead of outbidding each other the member states and the energy companies should leverage their joint purchasing power. And

for that we propose today legal pool - legal tools for pooling energy demand at European level.


ASHER: Ursula Von Der Leyen speaking there. CNN's Clare Sebastian has been following this story. So Clare, just give us a bit more detail on this. As

winter approaches how does Ursula Von Der Leyen propose that European nations work together to prepare for this looming energy crisis?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that was really the key to what she was saying today Zain. The EU leaders want more solidarity essentially

steps towards an Energy Union. Of course, now they have to get member states to agree to it, which will be much more complicated.

But she wants this joint purchasing platform to prevent states from out bidding each other that will be complicated, because of course, up until

now, companies bought in gas, not countries. So they need to sort of coordinate with the competition authorities in the EU to try to make this


She wants solidarity, essentially, gas sharing to become mandatory between countries in case of an emergency, even when they don't already have

bilateral agreements in place to share energy with each other, and what also emerge from this is that clearly the current energy market was

designed for an era when both supply and prices were stable, that is no longer the case.

So they're also trying to redesign the energy market, they want to come up with a new benchmark to replace the current Dutch benchmark in the EU. And

until that happens, they also want to come up with some way of limiting prices and volatility on the market.

Gas prices have come down a lot, but they're still historically very high, not much more in the way of detail about how they're going to do that. But

meanwhile, European storage facilities for gas are actually filled more than 92 percent, which is ahead of schedule. But even with that the EU

Energy Commissioner was warning today that there could still be difficulties this winter, take a listen.


KADRI SIMSON, EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR ENERGY: As we make every effort to keep prices predictable and gas flowing to Europe, we cannot exclude a real

supply crisis with a shortage of gas and for this solidarity and demand reduction is a key.


SEBASTIAN: Demand reduction another key factor of this of course, the EU agreed over the summer to 15 percent voluntary reduction in energy demand.

There are signs in some EU countries that that may be difficult to achieve when the weather gets cold. So there was also a renewed emphasis on this

today Zain as well as further investment in renewable energy.

ASHER: OK, let's talk about Nord Stream. Because obviously, we've covered it a bunch with the explosions that essentially blew holes in the

pipelines. Where are we in the investigation on that? Western leaders have said yes, this is a result of sabotage but Russia continues to say do not

point the finger at us.

SEBASTIAN: Yes Zain, it's just under two weeks ago, we got the Swedish preliminary results of their investigation. We've now today had the results

from the Danish authority again preliminary but they have come up with very similar findings.

They say that it was caused by powerful explosions and that the damage was extensive are also as you can see getting some of the first underwater

pictures this actually comes from the Swedish exclusive economic zone filmed by a Swedish news outlet.

But you can really see the damage the hole ripped open is in the pipeline itself the Danish authorities are saying that they've committed - they've

formed a Joint Investigative Committee to continue to investigate this.


SEBASTIAN: They're not pointing the finger at anyone yet the Swedish authorities didn't either but they are continuing to investigate this. And

meanwhile Russia continues to express outrage and how this is being conducted.

They are saying that this investigation, it should not be trusted because they were not invited to take part even though of course, Gazprom, Russia's

state energy monopoly is the majority owner of the pipeline's there Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov saying today that this was absurd Zain.

ASHER: All right, Clare Sebastian live for us there thank you so much! Women and Kurdish people have been targeted in Iran's latest crackdown.

That's why a group of Kurdish women are taking up arms their story after the break.

Plus a Kurdish human rights group says the videos of Iranian protests were seeing on social media show only a tiny bit of what's really happening

there. We'll talk to the group spokesperson about the lack of information next.


SEBASTIAN: More than 40 human rights groups have come together to urge action by the United Nations on Iran. The groups want the UN Human Rights

Council to hold a special session on the recent crackdown on dissent. Specifically, they want a mechanism to address any violations of human

rights or international law.

Protests over Iran's hijab rules broke out last month when 22 year old Mahsa Amini died in police custody after being detained for wearing the

hijab improperly. Since then, the demonstrations have grown and so has the protesters lists of demands.

The European Union is taking action over Iran's crackdown; the EU has frozen the assets of 11 people and four entities including Iran's morality

police and information minister. And they're being targeted for their roles in Amini's death and the protests crackdown that followed. Iran's Foreign

Minister says the sanctions are based on disinformation; the EU's Foreign Policy Chief had these demands.


JOSEP BORRELL, EU FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF: I want to use this opportunity to call on the Iranian government immediately end the violence to release

those detained and to allow normal internet services and flow of information.


ASHER: Just yesterday, Becky Anderson spoke to the U.S. Special Envoy for Iran about the mounting pressure on the regime.


ROBERT MALLEY, U.S. SEPCIAL ENVOY FOR IRAN: What we've done from day one from when the protests started is three things. Number one, we've made

clear that when there's a struggle between peaceful protesters who are protesting for basic rights in this instance, the right of women and girls

to wear what they want the right to peacefully assemble and to speak against a government that is using brutal repression against peaceful



MALLEY: There's no doubt on which side we are. We're on the side of those fundamental rights, and of those fundamental rights being respected. And so

you've heard the President, you've heard the Secretary of State, you've heard all U.S. officials, speaking to this matter to put the spotlight on

what's happening to make sure that Iranians are being seen those who are protesting, and those who are trying to kill them.

We want the people who are repressing them to be watched. And that's why we are imposing sanctions on them. And we continue to impose sanctions on the

morality police and on those involved in the repression.

And third, we're going to make sure that the Iranian people can be heard, and we'll try to do everything we can to make sure that they have access to

the internet at a time when their government is trying to prevent them from doing so.


ASHER: The Kurdish community has been among the hardest hit in Iran's most recent crackdown. Many are fleeing to Iraq, where some are joining armed

opposition groups to support protesters inside Iran. CNN's Nima Elbagir reports from Northern Iraq. I want to warn you though some of the video in

this report is disturbing to watch.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In a remote area in Northern Iraq's Kurdish region, an all-female fighting unit belonging to the armed

Kurdish Iranian opposition party pack continues to train. These women have been pulled back from the front line.

For the last three weeks the area they patrolled in the Northeast of Iraq has been hit by shells sent from across the border by Iran. This unit is

part of a larger fighting force for every single one of these women this war is personal.

Rayzan (ph) not her real name crossed the border from Iran with the help of smugglers just over a week ago. The city of - which she calls home, is in

Iran's Kurdish majority western region. And in recent weeks has been likened to a war zone according to its residents as protests have erupted

here and across Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian. Rayzan just a teenager joined these protests.

We were treating casualties but we were also like most people participating in the revolution in the uprising. Everyone who suffered from the

oppression of the Iranian regime came down to the streets and market and defied the government. I was also participating and I had no fear of death.

Rayzan says that while she was dragged by her uncovered hair, she passed prone lifeless bodies. And even after she left she says she's continued to

receive information about people she knows who have died.

Like this man Yahya Rahimi (ph), a newly married 27 year old, murdered by Iranian regime forces for sounding his horn in solidarity with protesters.

ELBAGIR (on camera): What is happening with your family?

ELBAGIR (voice over): My family told them that no matter how many members of my family they arrest, and for as long as they oppress my people, I will

not surrender to the invading Iranian government. We are ready to die.

When Kurdish Iranian Mahsa Amini died in police custody, her name became a symbol of the oppression of women across Iran. But Mahsa is not her true

name. Her Kurdish name is Zhina name Iranian authorities barred her family like many other ethnic minority groups from using.

The regime only legally registered Persian names. Yet in her last recorded moments, Zhina resorted to begging her captors in her Kurdish mother tongue

and treaties which were ignored re-enforcing the fears of Iran's Kurdish minority.

Hundreds of Iranian Kurdish families have crossed the border to Iraq seeking refuge from the most recent regime crackdown. But even here,

they're not safe. This family fears the long arm of the Iranian regime after what they saw inside Iran.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I left after I saw one of my friends killed during the demonstration in - near of the mosque, right in front of the mosque. They

say they're Islamic. But how can they claim to be an Islamic Republic when I saw them murdering my friend outside the mosque.

ELBAGIR (voice over): He and his family have every reason to be afraid. Iran's reach to oppress the protest within its borders is stretching far

beyond. Over the last few weeks, Iranian missiles have fallen into the Kurdish region of Iraq almost every day. The onslaught is relentless.


ELBAGIR (voice over): This map shows where Iranian strikes have hit, killing at least 18 and injuring at least 63 to date. This video filmed by

a local television channel shows the moment just after an Iranian drone and several missiles struck one of the Kurdish Iranian opposition policy bases,

killing eight soldiers and injuring more.

On a day on which 70 missiles Kurdish authorities say rained down in the space of just four hours. This base only two years ago was on the front

line in the fight against ISIS after pack received U.S. training. It isn't far from U.S. Central Command CENTCOM forces.

Just one day after the attack on the pack base, CENTCOM shut down another Iranian drone, which appeared they say as a threat to CENTCOM forces

stationed in the area. And as the U.S. anti-ISIS presence in Iraq is set to continue so is the threat Iran poses.

These female fighters have vowed to fight until there is a regime change in Iran. They say they share Zhina's pain called by a name forced on her by a

repressive regime. All of them have a Kurdish name just like her not spoken outside their homes. All of them say it's hard to imagine going back to how

life was before Nima Elbagir, CNN, Iraqi Kurdistan.


ASHER: Hengaw a Kurdish human rights group believes that the violence against protesters being reported from the region is just a drop in the

ocean with only partial information emerging about the crackdown. My next guest is a Spokesperson for the group. Ramyar Hassani joins us live now

from Oslo. Ramyar, thank you so much for being with us! So what aren't we seeing here?

RAMYAR HASSANI, SPOKESPERSON, HENGAW ORGANIZATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: All right, thank you Zain. Well, there is a severe restriction on the internet.

And getting out information is not easy. But yet we have managed to get some information out although the process is quite slow. And we know that

for example, during the last night's protests in one of the cities in Ilam called - about 15 people were injured overshot.

ASHER: And in terms of the Kurdish community, overall, I mean, obviously the death of Mahsa Amini was the spark here. We know that. But the sort of

resentment and the anger that the Kurdish community I imagine has against the regime after years and years and years of discrimination runs deep.

Just talk to us about that.

HASSANI: Yes, the revolution that was hijacked in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini. Since then, the Kurdish people in Iran have tried over and over

to achieve their very basic rights, like being recognized as equal as the others. And there have never been at each time that there has been a

demonstration, strike or even armed confrontation doesn't matter in what form the Iranian response, the Iranian regime's response has been


ASHER: So it's far from being proportionate. But in addition to not being seen as equals, I mean, there's discrimination in terms of very basic level

of rights, even the right to name your child, what you want to name your child the right to speak your own language. Talk to us about that kind of

discrimination in terms of what the Kurds have experienced in Iran.

HASSANI: Exactly. You cannot like any other normal parents around the globe, just to go to the registration office and say that I'm very happy I

have gotten. We have this newborn baby and we want to name her or him that's, it should be approved by the Iranian regime.

And usually the names that are Kurdish they are not allowed, and even one - what you mentioned about speaking your mother tongue. I remember when I sat

down on my first day of school, elementary school the first grade I suddenly found myself in a situation that at a teacher was talking to me in

a language that I didn't understand.


HASSANI: My mother tongue was Kurdish, and she was talking to me in Farsi.

ASHER: See, you essentially had to change your identity or you felt like you had to change her identity as you started school by being forced to

speak Farsi as opposed to Kurdish. The protests we're seeing in Iran are widespread.

They're happening throughout all corners of Iran. But the Kurds are being blamed quite a bit for instigating some of the violence. How much backlash

are we seeing from security forces, targeting Kurds specifically throughout these protests?

HASSANI: That's basically the Iranian regime's misinformation campaign that they want to just spread disinformation. It's not true. I mean Mahsa or

Zhina Amini was beaten by the so called morality police not in - and this immoral police, basically killed her. And it wasn't by instigated by any

Kurdish party or group. It was just something that Iranian regime's security forces that started and very fed up people of Iran did not go


ASHER: All right. Ramyar Hassani, thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate your perspective. All right, the top European Union diplomats'

vision of the world is coming in for criticism. The UAE summon the Head of the EU mission to explain Joseph Burrell's comments last week, dividing the

world between a jungle and the garden. The UAE calls his remarks racist, and says they contribute to a worsening climate of intolerance. I want you

to listen to some of what Borrell said.


BORRELL: Europe is a garden. We have built a garden that the rest of the world and you know very well for - is not exactly a garden. The rest of the

world must have the rest of the world it's a jungle and the jungle could invade the garden. And the gardener's should take care of it.


ASHER: Well, obviously, needless to say, many people interpreted those remarks as racist. The Spanish diplomat says that his remarks to aspiring

European diplomats have been misinterpreted though saying I do not understand the interpretation that has been given to what I said. I

certainly do not share the allegation that it is somehow imperialist white supremacist or a retrograde message far from it. It was meant as a message

of solidarity, speaking to young Europeans telling them that they have this good fortune.

All right just ahead, taking to the streets across France rioters say they're walking off the job over the cost of living prices. What this could

mean for President Emmanuel Macron next?



ASHER: Brussels is taking more action over the energy crisis gripping Europe as even reporting it's proposing rules to launch a joint gasp buying

Among EU countries. A short time ago European Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen took the wraps off the plan to cap volatile gas prices.

Tensions are rising in the Eurozone's second biggest economy as strikes expand across France more workers are walking off the job demanding higher

pay. They include teachers, transport workers, of course, in that country and in other parts of Europe, inflation is soaring.

There is a massive cost of living crisis; the sweeping job action has become a major task for President Emmanuel Macron since his reelection just

this past May. France is already reeling from week's long oil workers, strikes causing shortages at the gas pumps as well.

And that's pushed President Emmanuel Macron to hold a crisis meeting Monday with his top ministers. I want to bring in CNN's Melissa Bell joining us

live now from Paris. Obviously, this is a major test for President Emmanuel Macron, who was just reelected in May. I'm looking behind you. I'm seeing a

protests happening right behind you, Melissa, just walk us through what is happening on the ground there in Paris.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The context of this Zain as you say, are those queues at the petrol pumps, those refineries that have been on strike

now for several weeks, with the French government, forcing some of those workers to get back to the refineries that has led to a slight


But it is still a large number of French petrol stations that are short of gas, I just like to show you this though Zain. This is a protest that was

cooled by several unions to protest against the cost of living, rising inflation in France, they said make it impossible for them to earn the

living that they need to live.

As you can see, the police have come out in fairly strong numbers to make sure that it remains calm. But it is the impressive number of people on the

streets that we've seen today. I think that is the most interesting.

There was a strike called as well, by transport union, mostly but essentially transports kept going much more than they would have liked. It

is this though the large number of people on the street for the first time Zain in a couple of years, not only because the yellow vest protests had

run out of steam in 2019 ahead of COVID, then there was COVID, then the war that has added this pressure to energy prices.

And now of course, there's a great deal of anger. And as you say Zain, it comes to the awkward moments, Emmanuel Macron, even as he embarks on his

second term, which is meant to be all about reform. Not only because this kind of protest and the strikes we've seen it refineries and the queues and

the petrol stations have emboldened the opposition and meant that he's going to have to pass his 2023 budget, through a mechanism essentially that

allows him to avoid a parliamentary vote, adding to the sense of anger and political crisis.

It's also that one of his major reforms have been pensions reform, one of the most divisive you've ever suggested. Given the anger there is already

given the fragile parliamentary majority sits on that is what's now looking --.

So this is essential economic and social crisis that means the --here in France, but for Emmanuel Macron, a difficult political time as well as he

tries to tack on to this --.

ASHER: Right, Melissa Bell live for us there. Melissa Bell there in the middle of protests happening in Paris with a lot of people are upset and

angry about soaring costs. Inflation cost of living crisis happening on the ground there, Melissa Bell.

Right, still to come here CNN speaks with one of Iran's best known actors.

She's rebelled against the regime before and is doing so again this time through her words and her 14 million Instagram followers, up next.



ASHER: A French cement company will pay nearly $778 million in fines, this after pleading guilty in a U.S. federal court to conspiring to provide

material support to ISIS and another terror group as well. Let's bring in CNN Senior U.S. Justice Correspondent Evan Perez in Washington. Evan, what

more do we know at this point?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR U.S. JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is a very unusual case, the first ever plea by a corporate entity. This is a Lafarge

which operated a cement plant in Syria at a time that territory was controlled by the terrorist group ISIS. They're accused and they're

accepting responsibility for paying making payments about $6 million, both to ISIS and another terrorist group Al Nusra Front.

At a time that the executives of this company in Syria knew that these companies these groups were prohibited organizations. According to the

Justice Department, they made about $70 million in revenue as part of a sharing, revenue sharing agreement with ISIS as they operated this plant in

northeastern Syria.

Now, the Justice Department says that as part of this investigation, which is still ongoing, you know, it's quite possible that there might be

additional information against some of the people who were involved.

But at this point Lafarge says that this is something that happened when the company this is before it was taken over by its new corporate owner,

which is called Lafarge Wholesome.

And they say that they conducted an internal investigation, which found it which found a lot of these allegations that the Justice Department is now

charging. The prosecutors here say that this was kind of a revenue sharing agreement, where Lafarge was actually providing money to these terrorist

groups in order to continue to make money there, back to you.

ASHER: All right, Evan Perez live for us there, thank you so much.

PEREZ: Thanks.

ASHER: All right, more now on the protest in Iran, concern is mounting over the fate of an Iranian rock climber who may have angered her government at

an international competition. Elnaz Rekabi competed an event in South Korea on Sunday without a headscarf.

Rekabi says it was a problem with the covering and that it was not protests. This is demonstrations continue over the death of Mahsa Amini,

the 22 year old who died in police custody after being detained for not wearing her hijab properly. Yesterday my colleague Becky Anderson spoke to

someone who is filled with admiration for those protesters.

Iran actress Golshifteh Farahani is one of her country's best known film stars exiled a decade ago for using her fame to rebel against the Iranian

regime. She first angered her nation's rulers by starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in the American thriller body of lies doing so without

first asking permission.

In 2012 she famously shattered taboos by posing for a French magazine while baring her breasts as well. In fact, throughout her life, she has pushed

societal boundaries, protesting against headscarves age 16, she shaved her head and rove through the streets of Toronto dressed like a boy.

This time around she has been using her wide following 14 million on Instagram alone, by the way, to raise awareness of what is happening right

now in her homeland. She wrote yesterday "This is not only about Iran; this is about the world, not only the women of the world but humanity in the

world. This is a worldly revolution for humanity".


ASHER: I want you to listen to her discussion with my colleague, Becky Anderson.


GOLSHIFTEH FARAHANI, IRANIAN ACTOR: These protests, they have been done by Generation Z. They're about done by teenagers, very young people. They are

very different than us. We have been seeing so many demonstrations movements since the beginning of the revolution. But this one is done by

the fearless generation that hasn't seen war hasn't seen the revolution.

They haven't been living with parents like us with so many ideologies and thoughts and philosophies, they are somehow free. They're fearless they

are, they are not like us, they are some other as if like we have come from another planet.

My memories of childhood is understanding deaths way before knowing what life and living war, and we were the generation underground, we were pushed

into underground. And as if like, we were grains planted in that underground and this generation is coming out of that underground.

I had to shave my head to be free and do bicycle on the street where this generation doesn't want that. Of course, it's not only about the veil; it's

about the freedom, freedom of choice, freedom of so many things. As I said, a girl born in Iran is half has half the value as a boy is half the right

as a boy.

So when you're born as a girl, you know that or the parents, they know that. And also, this is not something coming from only these years; it's

coming from so many years ago.

BECKY ANDERSON, ANCHOR AND MANAGING EDITOR, CNN ABU DHABI: you've generally tried to stay out of politics in your career. What was it about this series

of demonstrations that ignited or reignited your recent much more visceral messages?

FARAHANI: I think in these moments, key moments of my life, my brain was completely shut down, so it was my body suddenly that held this telephone

and started posting reposting translating and I suddenly realized, what am I doing? It was something beyond my mind.

My mind couldn't stop me from doing it. And I realized there is a bridge needed there. Because I realized so many I mean, the silence in the first

two weeks of what was happening especially from France, especially from Europe was unbearable. And I couldn't understand I couldn't understand that

they are afraid of Islamophobia.

They're afraid because in France being free is to give the chance to women put on there well, so it was so many cultural differences. And I realized I

need to translate not just only the words, but the core cultural subtleties, and somehow tell the story about what's really happening.

So I realized I have to be there as a bridge just at the bridge the voices inside Iran, I need to be the Echo, I need to hold this voice so that it

doesn't just go away somehow.

ANDERSON: So the regime has said it's not going to be faced by these protests, given what you've just said and where you are at, where does this

end? What is the end goal at this point?

FARAHANI: You know, Iranians, they have this engraved fear of breakup of Iranian nation and Iran because it has been invaded many times in history.

And, you know, so that Iranians no matter their political conviction, they all agree on the unity of Iranian nation state. This is very, very


And this is what the ayatollahs pretend that with their departure, nobody's capable. Nobody's capable to govern the country and the foreign forces; the

enemy is going to just facilitate this breakup, which is absolutely not true.

Because, first of all, there's so many capable people in Iran, in prisons inside Iran, this revolution that can - that is very much capable of

creating a democratic, Iran. And Iranians would never allow anybody to break up their beloved country.

And who is worse than this Ayatollah, as these are much worse than any foreign forces anywhere they have touch has been destroyed, the environment

is destroyed. The architecture is destroyed, human report news sources, our generation is completely burned. How can we recover that?

ANDERSON: You say that there's no leadership. And yet this is a sort of, you know, this is a collective revolution as it were. But isn't that

leadership that that leadership vacuum an issue at this point.

Because when we talk about where this goes next, you've basically painted a picture of an entire generation completely disappointed by promises of

reform and the lack there off. But how does that this generation then move to the next stage that revolution?


FARAHANI: I think one of the qualities of this revolution is that it doesn't have one leader, because that leader would have been dead in the

very beginning and everything would fall and they're not going to give him to any reform.

Of course, at one point, they are going to bring something as a reformer; they're going to give up some of this stuff. But I don't think it would be

accepted by this generation. This leadership needs to be from inside Iran, this is very, this is a very complex thing because us outside Iran, we are,

we can only echo what is happening inside Iran, we cannot call them to do anything because we are not there.

And we are also seen as people that are not there. They are victorious, because now they have given the Islamic Republic a handicap, and Islamic

Republic will not walk again properly, it's done. It's like they took a leg of the Islamic Republic, it cannot run it cannot kill. It cannot be the

Islamic Republic it used to be, so every day they are victorious. And this is the beginning of the end.

ANDERSON: The international community is it doing enough or is more support needed?

FARAHANI: If the West would put more sanctions China and Russia they're going to buy everything is like, what is the solution really? For me, what

I think is that our duty is to connect to the people in the West or wherever and those people; they're going to push their politicians to make

the right choice.

So more and more I am helping this movement, I am being the bridge, I realized, oh my goodness, the politic. The politic is something we cannot

really get into. We are people and we have to be in contact with people. And those people are going to push their politicians to make the right


ANDERSON: Is there one piece of content that you think resonates more than any other coming out of Iran at present?

FARAHANI: I think it's the beauty and how these young people, they look alike the young people in America, I think it's how much we look alive

despite these Ayatollahs. And I spend my life explaining when you come to Iran; the only thing you don't see is the women in --. Of course, you also

see that but very little. So for me is to make this show this to the world that we are so, we listen to the same music, we dance the same, we are the



ASHER: Well still to come on "Connect the World", UK climate activists getting their message out while the British Home Secretary is working to

put a stop to it, next.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In the City of Utrecht just outside Amsterdam, Mayor Sharon Dijksma plays her part in the battle

against climate change.

SHARON DIJKSMA, MAYOR OF UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS: I always arrived in my bike to my work and many people do here.

KARADSHEH (voice over): Some estimates more than 90 percent of residents here use bicycles for transportation.


KARADSHEH (voice over): The city is home to the largest bicycle garage in the world.

DIJKSMA: In our streets the cars are guests. And I think that the pedestrians and the people who are traveling on bikes, they rule the road


KARADSHEH (voice over): It's not just about adopting greener transportation options, from a vertical forest community building to solar panels on most

of the city's roofs. Utrecht has been recognized as a model of sustainability.

DIJKSMA: I think a sustainable city needs a holistic approach. So you do not only work on sustainable mobility, but you also need to really fulfill

the energy transition. So we try to bring off the houses out of gas and to use solar energy or wind energy.

KARADSHEH (voice over): Dijksma's commitment to climate change has been going on for years. In 2016, she signed the Paris Climate Agreement on

behalf of the European Union. And this year, she plans to showcase her city as an example of sustainability for other urban areas at COP 27, which will

take place in the Egyptian beach resort of Sharm el Sheikh.

DIJKSMA: I'm a mayor. And we think that the voice of cities has to be heard at the COP because cities are the places where the pollution takes place.

But we are also part of the solution of the problems.

KARADSHEH (voice over): According to the UN cities across the world account for roughly 75 percent of the co2 emissions, and with more than 65 percent

of the world's population expected to live in urban areas by 2050. The topic of sustainable cities is high on the agenda, the conference in Egypt.

MOHAMED NASR, HEAD OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS, MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, EGYPT: The discussion on sustainable cities and sustainable transport

solutions will be focusing on how can we take the success stories and implement them. The focus of the COP is more on the implementation side.

KARADSHEH (voice over): And cities like Utrecht and its Mayor are paving the way for a much greener future. Jomana Karadsheh CNN.


ASHER: China is delaying the release of highly anticipated economic data including its third quarter GDP. The delay comes as China's Communist Party

Congress is underway in Beijing this week. Inside the party congress China's leaders may be touting the country's economic progress over the

past decade.

But outside the gathering on the streets of Beijing, ordinary people say they feel frustrated and hopeless as China's economy falters. CNN's Selina

Wang reports.


SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Migrant workers like Mr. Zhao (ph) who move from Chinese villages to Beijing in search for better job

prospects. On the lucky day, he can make the equivalent of a few dozen U.S. dollars from construction work, anything leftover he sends home to his kids

in the village.

He says the pandemic has made it harder to find work and China's economy is in bad shape because of all the COVID restrictions. The world's growth

engine is sputtering. After decades of unstoppable growth, China's economy is cracking, constant COVID lockdowns, wrecking businesses and lives.

He shows us his rental home in Beijing, just four square meters. It's really small, he says. Since Chinese leader Xi Jinping took power in 2012,

he's pledged to reduce income inequality. But workers like Zhao aren't seeing the benefits. He says I don't think it's a good idea for him to

continue to serve.

SUSAN SHIRK, CHAIR, 21ST CENTURY CHINA CENTER: I think there are a lot of people in China who have lost confidence and the pragmatic judgment of

their leader; it could become a big challenge to Xi Jinping.

WANG (voice over): Unemployment is skyrocketing, not just because of the pandemic. China's once vibrant private sector, suffocating under Xi

Jinping's crack-down to bring companies under tighter communist party control. Beijing insists the moves to protect consumers and reduce economic


But instead, mass layoffs are sending youth unemployment to a record high of nearly 20 percent. Protests also erupted this summer in central China.

Thousands of depositors lost access to their savings at several banks in the region.

As police violently quashed the protesters, Beijing arrested hundreds of suspects allegedly involved in the scandal and promised that depositors

would start to get their money back. But many still have not.


WANG (voice over): This is my family's hard earned money over the last 20 years, he says, our lives depend on it.

WANG (on camera): How has this whole experience changed your perception of your country of China's leaders?

WANG (voice over): I'm like an ant that they can trample on. I have no hope, he says, another crisis is unfolding in China's all important

property sector. Giant developers have defaulted. Home sales are dropping; homebuyers across the country are boycotting mortgage payments on

unfinished homes, fearful that their properties will never get built. These protesters chant evil developer give back my property.

KERRY BROWN, LAU CHINA INSTITUTE DIRECTOR, KING'S COLLEGE LONDON: So the Chinese property market is probably the world's greatest economic assets

single economic asset. If it does collapse, then we have a full blown recession, maybe even depression.

WANG (voice over): Xi Jinping is preparing to be ruler for life, claiming that his brand of authoritarianism will realize the China dream of strength

and prosperity. But for people like Zhao all he wants is to make ends meet. And even that is a dream out of reach. Selina Wang, CNN, Hong Kong.


ASHER: And thank you so much for joining us here on "Connect the World". "One World" with me is up next, you're watching CNN.