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Interviews with Goodluck Jonathan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Kofi Annan

Aired April 16, 2010 - 15:03:00   ET



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN ANCHOR: This week, exclusive interviews with the leaders of Nigeria and Turkey, whose policies are vital to the West.

Hello. I'm Christiane Amanpour, and welcome to our program. And we have some fascinating revelations in two exclusive interviews with important world leaders.

During President Obama's nuclear security summit that brought dozens of leaders to Washington, I sat down with Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to ask him about sanctions on Iran and concerns that he's becoming less committed to the United States and more interested in Muslim neighbors.

I also talked to Nigeria's acting president, Jonathan Goodluck, who gave us his first interview since taking office. We asked him about the Christmas Day bombing plot and whether nuclear terrorism is his top priority.

And we'll also be speaking to former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan in this hour about good governance in Africa and whether the U.S. should be involved with the indicted president of Sudan.

But first, Turkey, and a look at Prime Minister Erdogan's record. CNN's Ivan Watson has that.


IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Recep Tayyip Erdogan first swept to power in 2002. His campaign promised then get Turkey into the European Union. He introduced democratic reforms and succeeded in launching E.U. membership negotiations in 2005, but Erdogan's government has also repeatedly clashed with the powerful Turkish military and this overwhelmingly Muslim country's traditional secular establishment.


ONUR OYMEN, MEMBER OF TURKISH PARLIAMENT: He will be (inaudible) as a person who wanted to turn a secular democratic republic into a sort of Islamic society.

WATSON: Erdogan insists he gave up political Islam in 1999. Cheering crowds escorted him then when, as mayor of Istanbul, he was sentenced to six months in prison for reading an Islamic poem in public.

But last February, it was the once untouchable retired military top brass who were under arrest, accused of plotting to overthrow Erdogan's government, a sign of just how much power has shifted in Turkey.

Erdogan's hot temper has led some to question his democratic credentials. And during a heated debate last year, he accused the president of Israel of killing Palestinian children in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Turkey has gone out of its way to improve ties with its eastern Muslim neighbors, Iraq, Syria, and Iran.

(on-screen): After decades of relative isolation, Erdogan's government is reaching out to the Middle East. This dramatic foreign policy shift has generated some concern among Turkey's traditional Western allies, but some would argue these Middle Eastern overtures are only natural for a country that straddles both Europe and Asia.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Istanbul.


AMANPOUR: I talked about that with the prime minister, as well as his controversial stance on Iran and Israel.


AMANPOUR: Mr. Prime Minister, thank you very much for joining us.

ERDOGAN (through translator): Thank you.

AMANPOUR: What do you hope to achieve here at the Nuclear Security Summit?

ERDOGAN (through translator): I have responded to this invitation with great hope. Our wish and desire is to make sure that this step that is taking -- that is being taken for the prevention of the proliferation of nuclear arms will provide a positive response to the expectations of the people.

AMANPOUR: As you know, there are many, many heads of state, heads of government here. Iran has not been invited, and the world is very concerned about Iran's nuclear program. President Obama and allies are talking about imposing sanctions on Iran, to bring it back within the NPT. Will you support, as a member of the Security Council and as a NATO ally, sanctions on Iran?

ERDOGAN (through translator): We do not want to see any nuclear weapons in our region. And in all of our discussions with our Iranian counterparts, we have always expressed this opinion. And what the Iranians have always clearly stated to us has been that they have no investment on nuclear arms, that they are involved in activities for peaceful means, and if Turkey is asked to be -- to act as an intermediary, we, I believe, can help and try to find the solution, because the process should be resolved not through sanctions, but through diplomacy, in my view.

AMANPOUR: Will Turkey vote for sanctions, if that comes up?

ERDOGAN (through translator): With Iran, we have an agreement which dates back to 1639, the Kasri Sirin agreement, and we have not had any issues with Iran since then, all these years. And we have a land border of 380 kilometers. We have a lot of investment going in both directions, and our bilateral trade exceeds $10 billion. And after Russia, Iran is the second-largest supplier of natural gas to Turkey.

Of course, all of these relations lead to some sort of a strategic alliance between our two countries. And for us to step away from such a relationship would be something that would be difficult.

This special relationship could, in fact, be great opportunity to achieve a peaceful solution to these discussions. And that is why I refer to diplomacy as a way to resolve the issue, and I believe we can do it.

AMANPOUR: Well, so far, it hasn't seemed to have worked. You've outlined several diplomatic initiatives to Iran, and it has not worked. What do you think they're using their nuclear program for? What do you think their intentions are?


ERDOGAN (through translator): The IAEA has not definitively come out to say that the facility is for nuclear arms. What is being said is that Iran is not acting transparently and that there is a probability, a possibility that such work could be ongoing. But there is no definitive determination there.

So under those circumstances, if Iran is saying that they are establishing their facilities for civilian use, and they showed their facilities to the officials from the IAEA, that being the case, for us to say, "No, they are doing this for a nuclear arms facility," is, in my opinion, not proper.

AMANPOUR: How then do you propose to make them come into full compliance with the NPT and with the IAEA so there are no more questions about their intentions?

ERDOGAN (through translator): Iran is party to NPT and is also a member of the IAEA, but there's another country in the region which does not recognize NPT, but is a member of the IAEA. So why do we not say the same thing to the country that does not recognize the NPT? Because that also is a cause for concern for me. But we don't do that. And we are putting pressure on a country that says that it does not have this.

AMANPOUR: You're talking about Israel?


AMANPOUR: It was said that you are going to come here and insist that Israel sign up to the NPT. And for certain reasons such as that, the prime minister of Israel canceled his visit to this nuclear security summit. Is that your position here?

ERDOGAN (through translator): Well, that is not the only thing. We have to think of this issue in a broader sense. That is not the only issue that we can consider within the overall discussion of nuclear issues.

AMANPOUR: Before you arrived here, you were quoted in the Turkish press at home as saying, "The world is turning a blind eye to Israel's nuclear program." What is Turkey going to ask, demand, lobby for here regarding Israel and its undeclared nuclear program?

ERDOGAN (through translator): I have brought this issue to the agenda a number of times, and I can talk about it today and tomorrow, because if this is, indeed, the case, and if we are going to exercises politics on justice and in order to achieve piece, we must speak these issues. And all countries must approach the issue fairly.

Iran cannot be the only agenda item with regard to these issues. Israel cannot be the only agenda item, either.


AMANPOUR: So is Turkey trying to save Iran or sink Iran, as one magazine editorial asked? And that's the question posed on our Facebook page, so please weigh in at

And next, we'll ask Prime Minister Erdogan about a dispute that has cast a long shadow over Turkey and its relations with the United States for nearly a century, just how to characterize what happened to nearly 1 million Armenians in World War I.



AMANPOUR: And more now with the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the ongoing controversy over whether the Turkish controlled Ottoman Empire committed genocide against the Armenian people during World War I. It's a charge that Ankara strongly denies. Also, we discussed Turkey's role straddling both East and West.


AMANPOUR: I want to ask you about relations with the United States. There is concern, even amongst your supporters in the world -- here in the U.S., as well -- that Turkey seems to, as one prominent U.S. congressman has said, contemplating a fundamental realignment of its alliances, shifting from the pro-U.S., pro-Western, to a much more pro-Eastern, with all your neighbors, as you mentioned, Iran, Syria, et cetera. Is that correct?

ERDOGAN (through translator): It is not possible for me to agree with this assessment. When we came to government, Turkey unfortunately did not have good relations with neighboring countries. And during our tenure in government, our goal has always been to achieve zero problems with our neighbors. And by this, I mean our neighbors to the east, west, north and south.

And at the same time, we have, with E.U. member states, important areas of cooperation, which is perhaps unprecedented in the past. We are not just a candidate country for membership for the European Union; we are a negotiating country. We are negotiating for membership.

We're facing to the West. We are continuing and pursuing our foreign policy in the way of normalizing our relations in all directions. And this does not mean that we would leave the West and move in another direction.

AMANPOUR: Well, there's been a bit of a crisis between Turkey and the United States over the last several weeks, after a congressional panel voted to describe the Armenian genocide as genocide in 1915, and you withdrew ambassadors. Then you put your ambassador back.

What do you expect President Obama to do about this issue, about calling what happened in Armenia a genocide, especially when he talks to the Armenian-American community in about two weeks from now?

ERDOGAN (through translator): I think that we have to make an observation here first. We have a strategic alliance with the United States, so our two countries are very much intertwined in all the work that they do -- that they have been doing together. We have been in NATO together for a long time.

Characterizing the events of 1915 as genocide is not something that we can accept. It's a legal term, and we cannot -- we cannot make that decision. It's the historians. It's the scientists who have to look into this matter.

With respect to this so-called genocide, our expectation is that our sensitivities are taken into consideration in the use of these terms, because there was, at the time of those events, a lot of problems. And this was a time of war. There were many revolts going on in the country. And those events were as a result of that.

AMANPOUR: Have you been assured that President Obama will not use the word "genocide" in his speech, in his address to the American-Armenian community?


ERDOGAN (through translator): I will be seeing him. We will be talking. That would be my expectation, because to this day, no American leader has uttered that word, and I believe that President Obama will not.


AMANPOUR: And when we return, we ask why Turkey went from ally to tense relations with Israel ever since the Gaza war and after Prime Minister Erdogan stormed out of a public event with the Israeli president, Shimon Peres.



AMANPOUR: As we continued our conversation, I asked the Turkish prime minister whether relations between Turkey and Israel can ever be salvaged.


AMANPOUR: Turkey and Israel had shared security issues and had a very productive bilateral relations for a long time. Analysts, both Turkish and Israeli, have recently said they do not believe that that relationship can be saved, can be -- can be put back on track. Do you agree?

ERDOGAN (through translator): Well, I don't know who made this assessment and how, but all countries in the world need each other, but the degree to which they need each other may be different. We are not enemies with anyone in the region.

AMANPOUR: Except you just called Israel the biggest threat to peace in the Middle East, the principal threat to peace in the Middle East, you just said about Israel.

ERDOGAN (through translator): This was not the way I said it. I think we should make sure that we understand what we say.

What I'm looking for is contribution to peace. And I want Israel to contribute to peace. If we speak of this as threat, it's one thing. If we speak of it as contribution, it's another.

I would like to see Israel contribute to peace. This is what I mean. And the current coalition government in Israel is, unfortunately, not providing that contribution, that support, because this coalition -- this three-way coalition has different voices. When they speak, it's not a symphony, it's a cacophony. We have to try to make sure that it's a symphony. If it doesn't become a symphony harmony, then we cannot hear the voices of peace. This is what we would like to see, the voices of peace.

On the one hand, there are some negative statements about Turkey and - - for example, about Jerusalem, when the minister of interior says that it will be their -- it's their capital, then, of course, this has an impact on Turkey, where 99 percent of the population is Muslim. It has an impact on the 1.6 billion Islamic world, because Jerusalem has been a very important place for Muslims throughout history.

We don't have a problem with the Israeli people. It's the government or it's the administration. There are Jewish people in my country, and I have no problem with them, either. They're happy with me; I'm happy with them.

AMANPOUR: Regarding Iran again, because the West does not seem satisfied...

ERDOGAN (through translator): So Iran is always on our agenda, it seems.

AMANPOUR: It seems to be on the agenda of this summit, which is why everybody's here, and which is why we're talking.


Does it concern you that Iran could end up like Iraq, the victim of an invasion, a war, because it won't comply fully with the NPT and with what the IAEA needs, in terms of inspections?

ERDOGAN (through translator): I would not even want to think about such a situation, let alone talk about it. It would be a nightmare scenario. This is not something that one can think of, because in Iraq, we see the situation. It was a civilization that collapsed.

As someone who has been to Iraq -- I've been to Iraq -- there are hundreds of thousands of widowed women. It's a human tragedy.

AMANPOUR: Do you have a diplomatic offer that you can make that would resolve this situation?

ERDOGAN (through translator): I am here. I am here for a diplomatic solution. And countries that are members of the IAEA and the countries that sign up to the NPT, we must all work together on this. And as Turkey, we could act as a very important intermediary, and I believe that we can find a way out.

AMANPOUR: On that note, Prime Minister Erdogan, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

ERDOGAN: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: And next, we turn to another key U.S. ally, which is also a major oil supplier, and that is Nigeria. In his first ever interview, Acting President Goodluck Jonathan tells us how he'll stop the recent violence there. And we'll talk to former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan about his efforts to prevent violence in Africa and elsewhere.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back. We turn now to Nigeria, Africa's most populous country and biggest oil exporter. This week, Nigeria's acting president, Goodluck Jonathan, gave us his first interview since taking over from the ailing president, Umaru Yar'Adua, in February.

Jonathan talked to us about the recent explosion of violence and the continuing insurgency in the oil-rich delta region. And when Goodluck Jonathan met the U.S. president, Barack Obama, at the White House -- it was during that nuclear security summit -- he was urged to tackle election reform and corruption.

I sat down with the acting president after that meeting, and it's the first time he'd given an interview to anyone since assuming office two months ago.


AMANPOUR: Can I ask you first, what an extraordinary name. How did "Goodluck" come to be your name?

GOODLUCK JONATHAN, ACTING PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA: I don't know. I have to ask my father.


AMANPOUR: You don't know?


AMANPOUR: Have you had good luck? And do you think you'll need more than good luck to face down the incredible array of challenges that's on your plate?

JONATHAN: Well, the issue of good luck, I don't really believe that the good luck is an issue. But as the president, I've been facing myriad of (ph) challenges. What some people will attribute to good luck could have been disastrous under some circumstances.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you this. You are now acting president, because the president, Mr. Yar'Adua, is unwell.


AMANPOUR: Have you seen him since he has come back from his medical absence in Saudi Arabia?

JONATHAN: No, I have not seen him.

AMANPOUR: What is his actual state of health? This also is a mystery.

JONATHAN: I can't say exactly. It's only the medical doctors that can.

AMANPOUR: Have they told you?

JONATHAN: No, they haven't.

AMANPOUR: Do you think he will ever come back to government?

JONATHAN: I can't say that. It's difficult for any of us as mortals to say so.

AMANPOUR: So you are now acting president, and you have essentially a year, because elections will be held this time 2011.


AMANPOUR: What is your most pressing issue?

JONATHAN: The most pressing issue for Nigeria now, in terms of basic infrastructure, is power. What outside power...

AMANPOUR: You mean electricity?

JONATHAN: Electricity. What outside that -- what is central to the minds of Nigerians now is an election that their votes will count, free and fair elections, because we've been accused of a country that our elections somehow questioned.


And I promise Nigerians that they will surely get that, and I've done some experiments (ph).

The next thing that Nigerians that (ph) worries about issues of corruption. I know we've been accused of (inaudible) government (inaudible) at the expense of society. So they expect us to take these two issues seriously.

AMANPOUR: Mr. Acting President, one of your big challenges, as well, is to try to re-energize the peace process, the amnesty process in, in fact, your homeland, isn't it, the Niger Delta area?

JONATHAN: (inaudible)

AMANPOUR: Exactly. So there was a whole system set in place, but it seems to be fraying, and there's a lot of concern, particularly given how vital it is as an oil-producing part of the world. What are you going to do about that?

JONATHAN: Well, the amnesty process (inaudible) what's happened is that people don't really understand total concept of the amnesty. The amnesty is divided into three phases, the disarmament phase. That is the phase where militants surrender their weapons. Then rehabilitation phase and reintegration phase. Some of these militants have been in that armed struggle for a very long time.

After the disarmament, the next is rehabilitation. You have to rehabilitate them. Then you have to properly integrate them into the society. So during the process of rehabilitation, you must reorientate their thinking and make them to learn some skills that will enable them and a decent living through the proper reintegration process.

AMANPOUR: What about Jos, which we just saw an explosion of violence there between Muslim and Christian? What can you do about that?

JONATHAN: No, no, no, it's not a problem between Muslim and Christians. That is quite wrong, actually. The problem of Jos is -- Jos occupies a plateau, quite a high land area in Nigeria. And that's an area where a number of people settle outside the indigenous population (ph).

So most of these settlers now play big in the economy, local economy. So the indigenous population feel that they have been excluded from the economy, and that has been bringing conflict from the early '60s.

AMANPOUR: But what can you do about it?

JONATHAN: Of course, we have (inaudible) in terms of what we are doing, we are discussing with the traditional rulers (ph), we are discussing with religious leaders, we are discussing with opinion leaders. That is to appeal to them (ph), and they are responding.

AMANPOUR: You've just had meetings with President Obama. What was the most important issue that you discussed? I know President Obama discussed many things, including the issue of a joint fight against terrorism.

JONATHAN: Yes, of course...

AMANPOUR: It was the Nigerian youth who tried to set himself and set a plane on fire over the United States.

JONATHAN: Of course, that is an unfortunate incident. But I know you know more than me. When that issue came up, it was a global issue, and everybody traced the history of a young man. This man -- this young man left Nigeria long ago, and he got indoctrinated in the West.

AMANPOUR: But do you nonetheless think it's an issue that has to be combated, terrorism?

JONATHAN: Of course. Nigeria -- you know that the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Nigeria is one of the countries that signed it. We believe that the whole globe must be peaceful. We cannot (inaudible) cannot encourage that. Nigerians are not terrorists.

We know the problem as African leaders. We are suffering from the use of small arms and light weapons. In fact, in Africa, the use of small arms and light weapons is more devastating to us than even the issue of nuclear terrorism, because Africans have died from small arms and light weapons, more than the nuclear terrorism, because most of these weapons used in the former Soviet Union are no longer relevant, and they've all been shipped into Africa.

Most of the small arms and light weapons manufactured in America and other -- in European countries are shipped down to Africa, and this is a cost of most of this crisis we're having, this insecurity we're having.

AMANPOUR: On that note, Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, thank you very much for joining us.

JONATHAN: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: And please join us on Twitter, where we have a hash tag debate about whether Goodluck Jonathan is a reformer or simply a product of the old Nigerian political machine. Tell us what you think using the hash tag "Amangeria" at

And coming up, another perspective on Africa and its deep divisions, this time from former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.




KOFI ANNAN, FORMER U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: Let the spirit of healing begin today. Let it begin now. Compromise what's necessary for the survival of this country. Support this agreement, for it is the key to the unity of Kenya.


AMANPOUR: That was the former United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, talking about his landmark agreement in Kenya two years ago, which ended the election violence that had killed more than 1,000 people.

Kofi Annan joins me now to talk about Kenya and other important global issues.

Welcome to this program.

ANNAN: Thank you very much.

AMANPOUR: So you brought the two sides who were really riven over that election together, but it's still not smooth sailing. Is this coalition going to hold?

ANNAN: I think the -- the coalition will hold. You're right, there are tensions, there are differences. But the coalition will hold. And I think this year, with a bit of luck, they will have a new constitution, a new electoral law, a new voter register, and on top of that, make good progress for serious land reform.

AMANPOUR: You don't think there's a -- a risk of violence? I mean, one of the newspapers sort of quoted their relationship as alternating between superficial harmony and blazing hostility.

ANNAN: There are tensions. There are differences. There are moments of cooperation and moments of tension. But slowly they are moving forward. And I think they are also move forward because the Kenyan people want change. And they are very much involved in this. And the leadership cannot fail them. The pressure must be on.

AMANPOUR: You're obviously very diplomatic about it. People are worried. The ICC has recently intervened and -- and talked about prosecuting. Do you think that the International Criminal Court's intervention will help promote long-term stability, you know, make sure these crimes don't happen in the future there?

ANNAN: I think it will make a contribution. It's extremely important that we get the message around in Kenya that impunity will not be allowed to stand.

The people are very supportive of the ICC process. For the first time in many, many years, we have seen an attempt to bring to account those who commit these crimes.


And I think that is very important for society, and the victims deserve justice.

AMANPOUR: Well, let's move on in terms of accountability to Sudan, very, very big and prominent in the news. It's just had elections. And there we have a president who has actually been indicted by the ICC. You know, what is your reaction to the fact that he's not been arrested or brought in so far?

ANNAN: I think he has not been able to move around as freely as he would have liked. He hasn't traveled as much as he does. And that, in itself, is a reaction to the indictment. And I think the African countries, some criticize the indictment, saying it will complicate the peace process, but you always have this tension, the tension between peace and justice. And in my mind, you need both, but it's a question of sequencing and making sure that you take steps to stop the killing, but also do justice...

AMANPOUR: So you -- you agree with the indictment -- its timing and the fact that it came down?

ANNAN: I think the -- the legal process must take its course. And having transferred the issue to the court by -- the Security Council transferred the issue to the court. And the court had to act. And now this is where we are. And I support the process.

AMANPOUR: So what do you make, for instance, of the United States having relations with the government of Khartoum, despite the fact that the president has been indicted and is wanted on -- on war crimes charges?

ANNAN: This is where realism sometimes sets in, in the sense that whether you like it or not, he is the one in charge. He is the man running Sudan. And one will have to talk to him to -- to consolidate the agreements they have made and to bring about peace.

But that does not exclude that eventually he will be held to account. We saw this with President Pinochet. You know, he...

AMANPOUR: Of Chile, the former.

ANNAN: Of Chile, the former president of Chile. It took about 20 or 25 years when he was picked up in London. But he was, in a way, held to account, and he could not get away.

And those who have committed the kinds of crimes we are talking about are not going to have any immunity. There are no statutes of limitation. If not today or tomorrow, eventually they will be held to account.

AMANPOUR: Let's broaden it a little bit to the issue of good governance.


AMANPOUR: We interviewed -- you just heard Acting President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria. And one of the things that he's being urged to do is to bring electoral reform and this endemic corruption. How does one bring good governance, when you look at Kenya, you look at Sudan, you look at Nigeria, Zimbabwe, where there's meant to be a power sharing agreement. And you're part of the elders group who's really tasked with this.

ANNAN: No, I think one has to really encourage -- the population has to get involved. In the Kenyan situation, civil society, religious groups, businesses are very much involved. I worked with all of them. This is their society. It is their country. And the agreement is their agreement.

In all these countries, we need to impart civil society to get engaged and maintain the pressure on the politicians to keep them on their toes. And we need to ensure that elections are free and fair and the votes of people count.

In fact, this is why Kenya has put in through quite a lot of reforms, to ensure that hopefully what happened last time does not happen at the next election, in 2012. And other governments need to look at their own systems and the reforms required.

AMANPOUR: Now, you have said and you said a while ago, actually, in 2006, that, as President Truman said, "The responsibility of the great states is to serve and not to dominate the peoples of the world. He showed what can be achieved when the U.S. assumes that responsibility. And still today, none of our global institutions can accomplish much when the U.S. remains aloof. But when it's fully engaged, the sky is the limit."

So President Obama seems fully engaged.


AMANPOUR: Is the sky the limit or is it the same old basket of problems?

ANNAN: I think the -- the shift in Washington is extremely important. We see a willingness to work with other governments, to cooperate with them, and to tell the governments we have problems we need to solve together.

I think the world appreciates the shift. The problems are there. They can't be solved overnight. But working together with the administration and other governments, we stand a much better chance of resolving them rather than working at cross purposes.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you, then, about the Copenhagen environmental summit. That was something that you had put a lot of personal stock in, a lot of investment for the future, and it did not deliver its promise.


And that was the world either working together or working against each other. Where does this go?

ANNAN: Copenhagen was very disappointing. I think most -- most people were expecting a firm, binding agreement. They thought it was a chance for us to come together and protect our planet. The agreement, if I can call it an agreement, was really negotiated by a handful of countries.

Europe, for example, that had been in the lead on this whole environment issue, was pushed aside. They were not part of the agreement, or understanding is a better word.

And, of course now we are looking at Copenhagen -- I mean, we are looking at Mexico. And I hope that we are going to do all that work that is required between now and December to go to Mexico determined to make real progress, because climate change is an all encompassing threat -- a threat to our livelihood, a threat to security -- and we really need to be able to bring it under wraps.

I know we've had a terrible winter and some skeptics are wondering if, indeed, the world is warming. And it is warming. The science and the evidence is clear, and most scientists agree, and we need to really take steps.

But we should not leave it to the politicians alone. The people have to get involved. Corporations have to get involved. And people have power. They have power by the choices they make, the politicians they support, what they buy, and they can really make a difference. And I hope they would exercise their power, too.

AMANPOUR: On that note, it is always good to hear from you. Thank you so much, indeed, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.


AMANPOUR: And next, our "Post-Script." We turn to a film about a train journey in Iran that shows an unlikely act of defiance.



AMANPOUR: And now our "Post-Script," a short film from Iran on the power of dissent. It's about a soldier, a young woman, a colonel, and an older woman on a train. The film is called "The Slap," and only one of the four passengers can explain what happens when the train goes into a tunnel. Let's watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You got a good slap. Kissing a young girl deserves a slap. If you had kissed me, you wouldn't have been slapped.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dumb asses. I am sitting here, and you kiss an old lady! You guys must be blind. You deserved to be slapped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See, for God's sake! Filthy stink. This trash does the kissing, and I get slapped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What a feeling. Kissing the palm of your hand, slapping colonel across the face.


AMANPOUR: So, in life as in politics, nothing is as simple as it seems. The film was directed and written by Ehsan Amani, and to see the full version of it, visit

That's our report. And you can see our program whenever you like at For all of us here, goodbye from New York.