Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Religious Zionism/Jewish Power set to more than Double Representation; Far Right Groups Part of Netanyahu Coalition; U.S.: North Korea Trying to Hide Shipments of Ammunition to Russia; Pro-Bolsonaro Protesters Wreak Havoc on Brazil Highways; Sources: U.S. & Saudi Arabia fear Iran could Target Energy; Noor Riyadh Festival of Light Launches Tomorrow. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired November 02, 2022 - 11:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN, Abu Dhabi. This is "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: This hour a potentially remarkable turnaround for Benjamin Netanyahu the longest serving Israeli

Prime Minister, looking to be re-crowned as King Bibi. I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome back to the show!

After nearly 17 months after he was ousted from office, and currently on trial for corruption, Benjamin Netanyahu is on the verge of an emphatic

return to power. With the vast majority of votes now counted in Israel's elections.

The Former Prime Minister's Likud Party and its allies are projected to win a majority of seats in Israel's Parliament, the Knesset. Well, the current

Prime Minister Yair Lapid says he wants to wait for the final results before any concession. Those results could be announced later Wednesday or

into Thursday. Hadas Gold back with his this hour from Jerusalem. And Benjamin Netanyahu is likely returned to power fueled by far right surge,


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, just a few, even a year ago, few years ago, these people were considered the extreme fringe of Israeli

politics, but their popularity has grown recently. People say it's partly because some of these right wing voters have sort of lost their home think

about Naftali Bennett once was the Prime Minister of Israel led a right wing settler party, his party completely fell apart.

They are no longer going to be part of this Parliament. So those voters may have gone there. And then also you have Benjamin Netanyahu, his previous

coalition, governments saw him teaming up with people like the current Defense Minister, Benny Gantz and others across the more sort of the

centrist parties, less needing to rely on these right wing parties.

But as the years have gone on, he's alienated a lot of these politicians and parties that share his ideology, but because of Benjamin Netanyahu

himself, either the personality either because of burn bridges either because of the corruption trail, they just outright refuse to sit with him.

And then just you know, what we've seen over the past year is just the really explosion of popularity, especially among young right wing voters in

these people with the leaders who are like Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has been convicted for inciting racism. Bezalel Smotrich, he's one of the other

leaders of his party, who wants from the Israeli Parliament shouted at Arab Israeli Members of Parliament saying them that they don't belong there that

they don't belong in Israel.

These are members of parliament; they have just grown in popularity. Now they will be the third largest party in the Israeli Parliament, according

to the numbers we are seeing the official numbers still have not all been counted, but that's likely what's going to happen.

And this will represent a far lurch to the right in the Israeli government. And then the question will be where will they be in this government? What

sort of ministerial positions will these politicians have, because that could really factor that could really affect Israeli policy.

ANDERSON: And its reputation around the region and the rest of the world. Thank you Hadas! As we were just discussing there, Benjamin Netanyahu is on

course to lead Israel's most right wing government ever and some of those making up his coalition are raising eyebrows.

Namely, Itamar Ben-Gvir via a Leader of the Jewish Power Party and he has been convicted of inciting racism against Arabs and Palestinians and

supporting a terrorist organization.

You can see him here in this clip pulling out a gun in the middle of clashes between Palestinians and Israelis in the highly contentious

neighborhood of Jerusalem. Israeli TV footage showed him at one point saying if they throw stones, shoot them. I want to talk more about this

with Ofer Cassif he is part of the Jewish App Hadash Party in Israel's Knesset. Let's start with these projections at this point. Sir what do you

make of them?

OFER CASSIF, MEMBER OF ISRAELI KNESSET: I think that we are facing now a very dangerous era, because this so called Religious Zionism a party that

was elected in the moment has about 14 maybe 15 seats in the Knesset out of 120 is a clearly neo Nazi faction. People must understand that it's not a

slogan - to the deeds and ideology.


CASSIF: And the words of the leaders of this faction, it's very, very clear that they are more or less like a what you gave me here in the states, for

many people like - you know, change blacks to African Americans to Palestinians. So it's a very, very dangerous situation.

ANDERSON: To what do you put down these surges in support for the far right, at present? And indeed, we've seen some of the highest turnout since

1999 as I understand it, one has to assume that turnout has been for the far right, correct?

CASSIF: Yes. Basically, I say, first of all, why one has to understand that if we count the votes, with no reference for a second to the system, how

exactly those votes are translated into seeds? You can see that the far right, extreme right the fascist right is not much stronger than those who

are against it.

It's almost 50/50. But because of the specific way of voting the system in Israel, which is a coalition and a parliamentary system, as you know, so

the system translates, so to speak, the votes into seats in a specific way that gives priority at the moment to those fascist state fractions.

So this is something that must be understood, because not all Israelis and not all Jews in Israel and fascists, unfortunately, and many of them are

out and they are powerful now, because of different reasons.

Now, as to your question I think that there are two main motivations or incentives to the turnout of those who support the fascist factions. First,

is a global one, we can see that in many places around the globe in the last few years, fascist racist factions succeed in elections.

We saw it recently, in Italy, we then - we saw it in the United States a few years ago. And of course, in Hungary and other places, I think it's a

byproduct of the global economic crisis, and especially finding a scapegoat in the image of minorities, either Muslims or refugees or asylum seekers,

or others.


CASSIF: As to the specific and unique situation or circumstances in Israel there is a long standing incitement by the far right, led by Netanyahu

against the Palestinian people as they all and against the Palestinian national minority within Israel, and the Democratic Jews in Israel, in



CASSOF: So I think those are the main incentives for the turnout and the result.

ANDERSON: OK. Can I talk about the Palestinian citizens of Israel here? I want to talk about what the consequences will be for Arab Israelis under

the most right wing government Israel has ever seen. Before I do that, I do want to just bring up some, some polling figures and these are historic


Let's just bring them up on the screen. Because these look at - these show the patterns of Arab citizens' participation in the Knesset elections over

the last two decades. And you notice that the turnout is significantly lower in the past and also considerably lower than the national turnout.

That speaks to the apathy from the voter who simply doesn't believe that the government represents them. So as we look at these figures, let's just

talk through about the impact for those citizens of this swing to the far right. What are the consequences at this point for them?

CASSIF: Sure, of course, as I said before, there was a greater danger of the moment for the Palestinians in particular, but also for myself and my

friends, among the democratic Jews. We are under continuous death threats either via the social networks, or otherwise even you know, physically in

the streets.

I cannot go in my own town alone in my street for more than two years now. And they are not the only example. So I'm afraid that the continuous

pogroms for instance that settlers executing with the support and encouragement of the occupying forces in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.


CASSIF: I'm afraid that those are going to penetrate into the state of Israel itself. So I'm afraid that in a very soon, we will see blood in the

streets, literally. And this is because and by the way, just after the results were published yesterday, already, some settlers went out

throughout occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and began to again, lynch and pogrom Palestinians because they feel that the wind is behind


Or as I say, for many years, fear and hatred are the wind beneath the right wing. And then now it's going to be worse I'm afraid. But at the same time,

we - we are not going to give up. We are going to give them a fight, a fight like in the United States in the past, for instance, Martin Luther

King, and some others gave the KKK. We are in a very similar situation add to that the consequences of occupation. We are not going to give up we are

going to give them fight--

ANDERSON: Let me just put this to you. Yes, in 2019, Arab parties form the third largest party in parliament, that was historic. This year, your party

will only secure about five seats. What happened?

CASSIF: Two things, first of all, I am afraid that we dissolved unfortunately. We were four different parties, a very different

ideologically speaking. And then we succeeded joining forces and then we succeeded in getting 15 seats, 13 seats.


CASSIF: This is one thing but afterwards, unfortunately, one of the factions of the parties decided to depart from us. And recently another one

departed. And I think those are the main reasons why the turnout of Palestinian citizen was low.


CASSIF: Although it was--

ANDERSON: Let's be quite clear here for our viewers.

CASSIF: Sorry.

ANDERSON: Your party was opposed to joining any coalition led by either of the two contenders Benjamin Netanyahu or Yair Lapid. So if you want to join

a current coalition, and at the moment, you're losing members anyway but if you want join a coalition, what impacts can you realistically have?

CASSIF: Look, one has to understand what is the meaning of the coalition system? There is so called coalition discipline. That means that if you are

as a part of the coalition, you must vote with the government, even if you don't like the specific vote that comes to the plan.

In that sense, for instance, one of the parties that departed from us, the Islamic Movement that joined the coalition in the last Knesset voted time

and time again, with a rightist government with Bennett and Lieberman and others. So they did have any impact or influence.

On the other hand, we, as being in the opposition, we didn't have to vote with anyone. We didn't like to because there's no opposition. And in that

sense, we actually had much more impact than the party that joins the coalition. So this is if we talking, you know, practically, because it

doesn't matter, as well.

ANDERSON: Yes. Let me just finally ask you this. Palestinians in the West Bank haven't had an opportunity to vote for years. Palestinian Israelis at

least get that chance whether or not they've turned out this time; it still remains to be seen in high numbers?

Palestinians in the West Bank haven't had an opportunity to vote. You know, we've seen a really serious uptick in violence. How concerned are you about

what we may face in the future? What is that? And how concerned are you that we are looking at a really frightening scenario going forward?

CASSIF: First of all, the Palestinians in the occupied territories under Israeli occupation cannot vote because Israel doesn't allow them to vote.

Let's begin with that. This is an apartheid system literally. They may of course, there's no way a good nation, a nation or a class or whatever, that

leaves or - operation like the Palestinians and doesn't you know, rebellion one when others at stage. And they so the rebellion by the Palestinians

against the occupation is a matter of time I'm pretty sure something like that like Intifada is going to you know a breast or in I'm very afraid of

that - no one that is--

ANDERSON: Well, that is very worrying.


ANDERSON: Yes, that is very worried. Finally, your message - but your message to the outside world to the region, to the Arab States around the

region and to the wider world if indeed we are witnessing what we believe to be the outcome of these elections, which is, you know, the most far

right government in history.

CASSIF: Thank you so much for this question. And I surely hope today, many people watch my words and listen to my words, including Mr. Biden, and

Senators. We need your help. We actually urgently need your help, unfortunately.

And I say that, you know, with in pain, Israel is on the brink of what Germany - as Germany was 90 years ago. And this is not a joke. This is not

a slogan. We are approaching very, very rapidly towards not just a fascist regime, but a kind of a neo Nazi regime.

If the international community doesn't get involved, this area is going to drown in blood in rivers of blood. And I urge you, especially the President

of the United States, and the international community as a whole, do something to prevent such a catastrophe.

It's not going to end only in bloodshed in the Middle East, it's going to spread. And it's that's going to be too late. If the international

community doesn't get involved on the spot, immediately today, no mobile, we're all going to pay the price, especially the Palestinians, we're going

to face genocide and it's going to spread towards other areas. And who knows where ever it's going to stop, please, do something--

ANDERSON: Well, that is a perspective from you, your analysis important as we consider the results of these elections, your perspective there from our

guests. We await to get the final results. Thank you.

Well, you can now read a lot more news and analysis on these elections in our "Meanwhile in the Middle East" Newsletter. It drops three times a week.

There's a story up now on how Benjamin Netanyahu's eyed far right extremist support to stage a political comeback when Israeli experts saying after

years of political deadlock, a new right wing government may actually stick that is, please do sign up. That's an important


Well, missiles fly and tensions soaring on the Korean Peninsula, why South Korea is accusing Kim Jong-Un of crossing the line for the very first time?

And is North Korea secretly helping Russia and its war against Ukraine? We'll show you what the U.S. is saying up next.



ANDERSON: South Korea says the North truly cross a line this time finding the most short range missiles - the most short range missiles in a single

day. Nearly two dozen scores of artillery shots launched in the waters of the Eastern West Coast's. Officials in Seoul say one missile landed near

the south territorial waters for the first time.

Seoul responding with three missiles that landed just north of that Maritime Border. CNN's Selina Wang following the story from Beijing and it

is important for you, just to explain, if you will, the significance of what we have seen here? This is - it clearly an uptick at this point.

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Becky, as you say this is an uptick and not just an uptick. It's a major escalation. This is unprecedented.

We're talking in a single day North Korea firing as many as 23 different types of missiles, including one that flew near South Korean waters that

triggered a rare air raid warning on South Korea's Island.

In retaliation, South Korea has launched three air-to-surface missiles from fighter jets; we are seeing this escalate into a sort of tit for tat. Now

critical here, Becky is the timing. This escalation comes just two days after scheduled U.S. and South Korean joint military exercises that involve

hundreds of aircraft it involves thousands of military personnel from both countries.

In response to that North Korea had called it a rehearsal for an invasion and had threatened even more powerful follow up measures. What experts are

saying is that what we saw today is another response to those joint military exercises and escalating tensions as a pretext for potentially a

future even larger provocation.

Just last week, the United Nations nuclear watchdog had warned that North Korea could be preparing for a nuclear test. The last one they did was in

2017. And the satellite imagery does show activity at North Korea's underground nuclear test site.

Another key context - point of context here as well is that North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un has repeatedly vowed to expand the nuclear power to

expand the missile forces because he sees that as critical to not just regime stability but also in increasing his leverage in any future

discussions with United States.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is set to meet with his South Korean counterpart at the Pentagon on Thursday, Becky, we know that there's going

to be plenty for them to discuss.

ANDERSON: Selina, thank you! Well, North Korea maybe helping Moscow in its war against Ukraine. This is first on CNN. And the Biden Administration is

confirming our reporting. The U.S. is accusing Pyongyang of trying to hide shipments of ammunition to Russia making artillery shells look as if

they're being sent to the Middle East or North Africa.

Now this comes as the U.S. applauds Russia's big about face so Moscow says it is now rejoining the Black Sea Grain Deal ensuring safe passage for the

ships carrying vital food exports from Ukraine. Well, we're live in Kramatorsk in Ukraine where Nic Robertson is standing by. First I want to

bring in Kylie Atwood who joins us from the U.S. States Department. What are your sources telling you at this point, Kylie?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well listen, what this U.S. officials are saying this morning is that newly declassified intelligence

indicates that North Korea has essentially been trying to hide the fact that they are secretly shipping ammunition to Russia. And they're doing

that by shipping it to countries in North Africa and the Middle East.

Now, the NSE's John Kirby wouldn't confirm today, whether or not those pieces of ammunition that those shells have actually gotten to Russia. They

say that the Biden Administration is closely monitoring whether or not they have been received.

But essentially what the Biden Administration is saying here is that North Korea is moving ahead with these plans that they initially revealed were

underway back in September. And what this tells us is that Russia is not only turning to Iran, for those drones that we have reported that Iran has

already sent into Russia.

And for the missiles that we expect Iran to send in a short amount of time to Russia but is also turning to North Korea for ammunition. And when you

talk to U.S. officials, they say that these shipments are not going to impact the tide of the war.

But experts do say that the fact that this additional ammunition could be actually getting from North Korea to Russia could be a boost for Russia on

the battlefield because of how much ammunition they've already gone through.


ATWOOD: However, we should point out that in the past North Korea's artillery shells haven't proven to be all that effective. There have been

problems with them when they've used them in the past. So just how impactful they would be on the battlefield is something that's yet to be

determined Becky.

ANDERSON: I want to just bring in Nic. Kylie thank you! Nic, you've heard that reporting from Kylie, we've been talking this show about the concerns

the growing concerns. I mean, all this significant concerns about the delivery of further weaponry from both potentially North Korea at this

stage and also Iran? You're in Kramatorsk. What's the story there?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: The story is that Russia is and has reached out within its own community for further

resources, manpower, that conscription, the autumn conscription just got underway after the extra special conscription just completed.

The Russians say that they put an extra 41,000 troops into the line. We certainly know the Iranian drones that have been landing already and a

concerted effort against the electricity supplies. But I think when you view all of this in the round, what does seem to be happening is Russia is

re-equipping with both men and munitions.

This war has gone a much longer than they expected. So what we're seeing here, around the Kramatorsk area the Donetsk front, if you will, is

significant in this. There has been an increase in Russian bombardment and pressure along many points on the front line here in a new area in the

front line here, opened up by Russia for a further push.

So sort of three key towns or areas under heavy Russian push at the moment along the front line, a little bit to the north, Ukrainians seem to be

taking some territory but over a long stretch. Now, Russia is giving the indication that it's got the armaments and the men now to push back and

push along the front line to try to take more of the territory of the Donetsk which they say they intend to take President Putin's initial plan

for Ukraine.

So I think what we're seeing is Russia come back, not in territory terms from losses that they've had, not being able to hold the frontline better,

but actually come back with more men and material to try again. And I think that's where we're at a heavier bombardment and effort along the front line

here is indicative of that.

ANDERSON: Nic, while I've got you I just want to get your perspective on this, seeming about turn by Russia in suggesting once again that they will

play ball in the UN brokered grain shipment deal to ensure the grain and other foodstuffs coming out of Ukraine do get to parts of the world that

need the most. Is it clear what happened with regard the Kremlin perspective on this?

ROBERTSON: Hard to say. Quite simply, we know Russia's line on it, which is they've reengaged because they say they've got a written commitment now

from Ukraine that Ukraine won't use its territorial waters or won't use the - won't use that black sea green corridor in the Black Sea to launch

military operations against Russia.

It's hard to see that Ukraine would have done that and Ukraine certainly has not said that that's what it's done. Not admitted to the attack in

Sebastopol not admitted to signing some piece of paper that Russia says.

I think let's look at what the UN has done here, which has decided to press ahead without Russia. The grain shipments since Russia said it was

suspending have totaled somewhere in the region of about 700,000 tons of grain this week, some of it World Food Program, grain wheat, in particular

going to Ethiopia.

So what the UN has done in a way is called Russia's bluff. They put a bit of a pause on today, but the past couple of days they've sent ships out use

that corridor. Perhaps significantly, President Putin had a conversation with President Erdogan of Turkey yesterday and their defense chiefs. The

Ministers of Defense have spoken the day prior.

So perhaps some groundwork laid there. But in essence, the weekend Putin said it was all off that this was suspended indefinitely. But now Russia is

complying again. It does seem that they have decided this is not the best option and the best way to get what they want which is stand outside of a

deal which the UN decided to press ahead with.


ROBERTSON: They of course want to get some of their grain to international markets and the UN has given those sanctions relief to allow that to


ANDERSON: Of course, Nic, thank you, Nic is in Kramatorsk in Ukraine. Still to come, supporters of Brazil's outgoing president bring commerce in some

areas to a screeching halt, what's being done to get things moving again and Joe Biden is delivering his closing message to voters ahead of the U.S.

midterms. He says the future of American democracy is on the ballot.


ANDERSON: Some of Brazil's highways are overrun with President Jair Bolsonaro protesters who are creating roadblocks and setting fires. Now,

Mr. Bolsonaro's supporters are protesting the presidential election results. Brazil's industry groups say that these roadblocks are delaying

supermarket supplies, hospital supplies and fuel shortages.

They are calling for an immediate stop to the protests, while President Bolsonaro himself broke his silence on Tuesday. He didn't concede defeat.

But he said he will follow the constitution and will start the transition of power. CNN Correspondent Paula Newton joins us now from Sao Paulo.

We are seeing these protests they continue despite calls for them to cease and we have now heard from Bolsonaro. Firstly, your sense of what we heard

and why it is that these protests continue.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: His statement was vague, vague enough, Becky that what his protesters took from that was no, we will continue to

stay on the streets here. And that's the issue. What's unfolding now not just here in Sao Paulo, but in other locations throughout the country are

more protesters out in force at times blocking roads.

Now, the issue here, Becky, is that even Bolsonaro's allies have called for and in other cases back the use of force to actually clear the streets. I

mean, you just explain the chaos that is going on throughout many parts of the country. That includes here in Sao Paulo, where at times even the

entrance to the International Airport has been blocked.

But obviously when you start talking about critical supply routes, it's you know, incumbent upon police forces to keep those routes open. This is a

national holiday Becky and it was really an open question as to whether or not they could get more protesters on the street just because it was a


It seems like they have managed to do that. As you can see though those police forces on the streets whether its riot police or state military

police on there and I should say federal highway police as well trying to clear those protesters.


NEWTON: What we saw on the ground though, Becky, the problem is that they are not arresting people, they are saying you must go to the side of the

road. So when we were out yesterday and the night before we would see encampments by the side of the road, they were staying in place, Becky.

They had supplies, they had food, they had water, they had tents, even if they were moved out from the lane, the actual lanes by police, they

promised and said to us that they would be back on those roads and would try and paralyze them. I want you to listen now, though, to a protester

that we spoke to yesterday, after Bolsonaro spoke, take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a statement where he didn't see anything conclusive. It gives us the impression that there was something wrong with

the elections. That is a plus for us to continue our stand and keep protesting.


NEWTON: They say they continue to wait for more news from Bolsonaro on the actual results, even though Bolsonaro himself we have to say is not saying

that he's contesting the results, still a very chaotic situation here on the ground, Becky.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. Thank you for being there. Sao Paulo, Brazil is where Paula Newton is for you, folks. Thank you. Well, the U.S. President Joe

Biden may not be on the ballot in next week's midterm elections in the U.S., but he knows voters will be thinking about him when they pick the

next U.S. congress.

And as part of his closing message, the White House just announced that Mr. Biden will be delivering a major address tonight, the topic, the future of

American democracy and how it is threatened by election denying Republicans.

Excuse me; Dianne Gallagher is in Georgia where one of the key battles for control of the senate is unfolding. I'll let you explain.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And what happened in Georgia with the delay of results being counted as something

that we do expect President Joe Biden to talk to the American people about tonight in this speech, telling them that sometimes results can take time

to tally. And that does not mean that there was anything going on that is perhaps nefarious in any way.

Now, according to White House aides, President Joe Biden is going to deliver these remarks tonight on "Preserving and protecting democracy".

This is just six days before the midterm elections take place here in the United States. But of course, people have been voting in the United States.

For weeks now more than 25 million ballots have already been cast. We're told by White House aides that Biden will be delivering this speech near

the U.S. Capitol, in part to harken back to January 6, 2021, reminding people of what happened when there was the attack on the Capitol that

insurrection, trying to stop the certification of Biden's own win in the 2020 election.

We do know that Biden plans to directly address election deniers as well, in light of several Republican candidates here who have openly said that

they may not accept the results of the election unless they themselves win their race.

Now, the timing of this speech obviously comes as midterms are approaching here. We're really in the thick of voting at this moment, Becky. But also,

we're told that the president is looking at wanting to address the people in the wake of violence here in the United States that could potentially be

coming around this.

And that the attack on the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul Pelosi, which authorities say was politically motivated is part of why

they're doing it today.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. And thank you for taking over, while I had a frog in my throat as we describe it in Britain. Thank you, always a pleasure. Thank

you very much indeed. Coming up, the Iran factor in global tensions, why many believe Tehran is planning to target energy infrastructure in the

Middle East.

That story is coming up also ahead remembering the victims of the South Korea tragedy. One student says his friend was the kindest person there

ever was. As he looks back in sorrow, an exclusive report is up next.


ANDERSON: As Iran continues its fierce crackdown on protesters. There are fresh concerns on another front. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia fear that Tehran

is planning an attack on energy infrastructure in the Middle East, particularly in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

That report from a source who says officials in Washington and Riyadh have been sharing intelligence that indicates an attack may be imminent. Well,

my next guest says he saw this coming. Karim Sadjadpour tweet and I quote here, "I warned about this last week. Iran's internal vulnerabilities

coupled with perceptions of a U.S. Saudi rift have increased the possibility that Tehran may attempt another attack on Saudi Arabia".

Well, Karim Sadjadpour joins me now, he's an Iran expert and a senior associate at the International Affairs Think Tank, Carnegie Endowment, a

good friend of this show. This is important stuff. Tell us explain what do we know at this point.

KARIM SADJADPOUR, SR. ASSOCIATE, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT: So there's a couple of a thing happening, Becky, internally Iran is more vulnerable than it's ever

been since the 1979 revolution. And one of Iran sources of vulnerability is news coming from the outside. And this is something that was unexpected.

Probably the number one news channel right now inside Iran is called Iran International, which is a Saudi supported London based satellite news

network. And the Iranian Revolutionary Guards essentially issued an ultimatum two weeks ago.

They said to Saudi Arabia, either shut down Iran International or there will be consequences, the smoke will get in your eyes. At the same time,

this is coming at a time of a rift between the United States and Saudi Arabia or rift over oil production and perception that the United States

perhaps doesn't have Saudi Arabia's back in the same way that it had before.

And so the combination of these two factors, I think, has made it dangerous possibility of Iran trying another attack on Saudi Aramco. They did it in

2019 and they essentially got away with it.

ANDERSON: Yes, they got away with it. Because, you know, they will believe they got away with it, because President Trump as he was then great fan and

friend of Saudi Arabia didn't respond in kind. They could be forgiven in Tehran for believing that this rift between the U.S. and Saudi has hit such

an idea - that as you point out, you know, they were correct in thinking that the Americans wouldn't have the Saudis back. That is not clear at this

point, is it?

SADJADPOUR: Well, we've seen statements from even prominent, moderate centrist Democrats, allies of President Biden calling for cessation of U.S.

Saudi defense cooperation. And so the Iranians obviously see these things as well.

But a rift between the United States and Saudi Arabia is really a lose-lose for both countries because when Saudi Arabia when it appears that, you

know, their chief strategic backer, the United States no longer has their back that leaves them vulnerable to Iranian attack.

And likewise, if Iran attempts another attack on Saudi Arabia, which disrupts global oil production, you know, that hurts the global economy,

that hurts the United States and it hurts the Democrats chances of reelection.

ANDERSON: Well, as we understand it at CNN, there has been intelligence shared between the U.S. and Saudi which suggests the threat of an imminent

attack at this point as you rightly pointed out, the last that we saw of that was only in 2019 and that clearly a concern.


ANDERSON: What's the U.S. position today with regard to Iran? It was only, you know, it feels like weeks, it was a couple of months ago that you and I

were still talking about the possibility of the JCPOA talks being concluded, and the U.S. and the Iranians back in a nuclear deal together.

SADJADPOUR: I think these nuclear talks are perhaps not quite dead, but they're certainly in a coma for a couple of reasons. One, obviously, is

Iran's internal uprising, as long as there are tens of thousands of Iranians taking to the streets throughout the country, and Iran is killing

its citizens, the United States is going to have a very difficult time providing Iran, billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

But I think a more recent development, which has been similarly impactful is Iran sending drones to Vladimir Putin to use against Ukrainian

civilians, that has concentrated not mines not only in the United States but also in Europe. The Europeans are now having hesitations about the idea

of giving Iran sanctions relief. ANDERSON: I wonder what the impact of these concerns about threats on energy infrastructure around this region?

And you know, let's be quite clear, there is a lot of energy infrastructure around this region. It isn't just in Saudi Arabia, this energy

infrastructure, of course, here in the UAE and elsewhere.

We have seen the mending of ties between a number of Gulf allies, not least the UAE and Gulf countries, not least the UAE and Tehran of late. And the

UAE, only, again a couple of months ago suggesting they would return an ambassador to Tehran.

What is the impact of these threats on those relations, those regional relations because it looked as if things were changing here and that we

were seeing the de-conflicting this region as it were?

SADJADPOUR: Well, certainly the United Arab Emirates doesn't want conflict or escalation with Iran. They're 20 times smaller than Iran. The one

country I would say within the Middle East has benefited from instability has been Iran, I would say outside the Middle East the one country that

benefits from instability in Russia.

And so I think, for the United States, Saudi Arabia, UAE, their goal is to try to de- escalate this. But you know, at a time when Iran feels

incredibly vulnerable internally, it's perhaps capable of doing things outside the ordinary.

ANDERSON: Karim, it's always good to have you. Thank you very much indeed for joining us.

SADJADPOUR: Thank you.

ANDERSON: I look forward to speaking to you again, it's difficult times and worrying time. So it's always a complicated region, but this is a

particularly worrying time. Thank you. Well, South Korea mourns and seeks answers after a deadly tragedy; the police chief in the Seoul district has

been suspended.

That's where the crowd surge happened killing at least 156 people when a Halloween celebration went terribly wrong on Saturday. Police have launched

a special investigation and officials also raided police stations across Seoul, seizing internal reports and documents.

Records show police were warned hours before the tragedy about a potentially dangerous situation. Well, most of the victims were youngsters

in their 20s, among them 26 foreign nationals many spending their first semester abroad. CNN's Ivan Watson spoke with survivors and friends of some

of those killed, here's his exclusive report.


IAN CHANG: Everybody was very fond of Steven. Steven was the kindest person that ever was. He'll be there for you. He was like a good friend for

everybody, a kind sole.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Ian Chang, a 21 year old from Florida is talking about his friend Steven Blessi

(Ph) the two American university students met here in South Korea during their semester abroad in Seoul.

CHANG: There was like one of his big adventures to come here by himself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Show me some cooking skills.

WATSON (voice over): Young Americans mixed class work with exploring Korea.

CHANG: He'll definitely like the food here, for sure.

WATSON (on camera): The barbecue and--

CHANG: Yes, Korean barbecue.

WATSON (voice over): And that included late nights out in Seoul's bars and nightclubs. That is until Saturday night when everything went horribly


CHANG: I think that was real. You know the whole thing because I saw him that day, right. I just learned the news that he passed away, just know, it

doesn't seem to be true.

WATSON (voice over): The two Americans planned to meet here in Seoul's Itaewon district to celebrate Halloween. But that night Korean authorities

estimate more than one 100,000 other people were also coming to party here.


ANNE-LOU CHEVALIER, SURVIVOR OF CROWD CRUSH: At the beginning we thought it was funny.

WATSON (voice over): Stuck in the crowd Anne-Lou Chevalier, 22 year old French exchange student filmed herself with friends at first laughing, but

then she suddenly looks distressed.

WATSON (on camera): You were hurt what happened to you?

CHEVALIER: At some point I had no air and we were so crushed to other people that I couldn't breathe at all. So I just passed out.

WATSON (on camera): Unconscious.

CHEVALIER: Yes, unconscious.

WATSON (voice over): Bystanders pulled Chevalier limp out of the crowd. She was one of the lucky ones.

WATSON (on camera): This narrow alley was ground zero on Saturday night; hundreds of party goers collapsed into a deadly pile up here and began

suffocating under the weight of the crowd.

WATSON (voice over): At least 156 people died. South Korea is still processing this staggering loss. Days later lost belongings on display for

grieving relatives to identify.

CHANG: So I miss Steven too, tell them like hey, don't come to our place anyway.

WATSON (voice over): On Saturday night Ian Chang got to the crowded neighborhood first and warned his friends not to come. But the Atlanta

native who loved hip hop and international travel never answered. The next day authorities identified Blessi and Anne Gieski (Ph) another American

student from the same exchange program as two of the many victims. Just weeks ago, this group of friends went on a weekend hiking trip together.

CHANG: He was such a great person, my great friend.

WATSON (voice over): Steven and Ian shared plans for the future, hopes and dreams that will now never be fulfilled.

CHANG: I wish I could have made more memories with him. You know I'm just going to miss him

WATSON (voice over): Ivan Watson CNN, Seoul.


ANDERSON: We're going to take a very short break, back after this.


ANDERSON: Winter in the Gulf region where I am is the season of outdoor exhibits and festivals. And one festival is due to start tomorrow is the

Noor Riyadh festival of light, so for our parting shots today we are closing the show on a lighter note. Check this out.


NOUF AL MONEEF, NOOR RIYADH PROJECT MANAGER: Noor Riyadh is a ground- breaking annual festival of light and art. The festival takes place across the largest city footprint of any like art festival worldwide. The theme of

this year's festival is, we dream of new horizons centered around a sense of hopefulness for the future with penetration that are positive,

optimistic and reflective of a confidence and renewal and transformation.

The exhibition traces the role light plays in shaping our relationship to a world in which light itself has become a signal of change, exploring themes

such as the technologies of light, architectonics of light and consciousness of light.

This exhibition explores a landscape of life inflicted by the rapid cultural transformation shaping the Middle East. Noor Riyadh is presented

by Riyadh art program and plays a central part in the plans to creatively transform Saudi Arabia's capital into a vibrant cosmopolitan global city

through arts and culture.


MONEEF: Also towards the first of Riyadh art programs to launch, an algorithm what is becoming the project's legacy of transforming Riyadh to a

gallery without walls.


ANDERSON: Well, that is really rather fab isn't it? Thanks for watching, wherever you are in the world, "Inside Politics" with John King is up next

live from Washington DC for you. From the team here, it's a very good evening.