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CONNECT THE WORLD
Egypt's Unfinished Revolution; E.U. Bans Iranian Oil; Interview with Giulio Terzi; Syria Reacts to Arab League Proposal for National Unity Government; Manchester Striker Charged with Violent Conduct
Aired January 23, 2012 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Tonight, as the EU ramps up the pressure on Iran, banning its oil, I ask Italy's foreign minister whether yet more sanctions are the answer to avert a nuclear war.
Live from London, I'm Becky Anderson.
Also tonight, 12 months on from the protests that toppled the dictator, five Egyptians explain why their revolution is far from finished.
And how one of the Premier League's biggest stars has gone from hero to villain in just 24 hours.
First up tonight, the European Union is taking its toughest steps ever against Iran, trying to choke off the lifeblood of its economy. Today, the EU agreed on unprecedented sanctions meant to dry up resources and sources of funding for Iran's program.
It's banning the import of Iranian crude and petroleum products, giving EU nations until July the 1st to sever existing contracts.
Now, Britain, Germany and France issued a joint statement soon after, calling on Iran to immediately suspected its nuclear activities and return to the negotiating table.
Well, the UN's nuclear watchdog, meantime, says it will visit Iran at the end of this month, to, quote, "resolve all outstandik -- substantive issues.
Well, Iran's foreign ministry calls the new sanctions unfair and says that they are doomed to fail. A senior Iranian lawmaker is also repeating threats that have alarmed much of the world, saying Iran will definitely close the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping route, if sanctions disrupt Iranian oil exports.
Well, the reaction to that threat from Italy's foreign minister coming up shortly.
CNN's Matthew Chance, though, first, with more on how the growing battle of wills between the West and the Islamic Republic.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Long-simmering tensions over Iran's nuclear program finally pushing Europe to act. The sanctions are a direct attack on Iran's major source of revenue meant to force the regime to negotiate.
CATHERINE ASHTON, EU FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF: The purpose of sanctions is to put pressure on Iran to come back to the negotiating table, a message that I've sent consistently through as many channels as I possibly can.
CHANCE: Iran's oil exports account for the vast majority of its income, but European countries by just 20 percent. Most is sold in Asia, China, India, South Korea and Japan. Analysts say Europe's oil sanctions may damage Iran's economy, but they won't destroy it.
MARK FITZPATRICK, ANALYST: I don't think anyone is expecting that China in particular or India or some of the other major Asian markets are going to cut off purchases of Iranian oil. Their economies are too dependent on it. But if Europe and Japan and a couple of other countries cut off, that will be a major blow to Iran.
CHANCE: But will it be enough to give Iran pause and restart nuclear talks?
(on camera): The answer, say experts, is maybe. There's no way these EU sanctions are going to get Iran to reverse its nuclear policy, they say, or to end its uranium enrichment activities. But it may just get Tehran back to the table. And for European countries nervous about Iran's nuclear ambitions, that's progress.
(voice-over): Tensions between Iran and the West have been spiraling in recent months. Iran's navy conducting missile tests in the Persian Gulf, saying it will close the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most important oil routes, if its oil exports are disrupted. This and the absence of nuclear talks is adding to concerns Iran and the West are on course for military confrontation.
(on camera): Is there any alternative, do you believe, to military action or is that inevitable?
FITZPATRICK: No, military action is certainly not inevitable, nor is it inevitable that Iran will produce a nuclear weapon. Both of those worst- case outcomes can be avoided by continuing to offer engagement, by continuing to put pressure on Iran through this dual-track strategy.
CHANCE (voice-over): But it's a process that's unlikely to produce quick results, as Iran and the West lock in a potentially dangerous embrace.
Matthew Chance, CNN, London.
ANDERSON: Well, Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, is offering to make up for any shortage caused by this embargo on Iran.
CNN's John Defterios had an interview -- an exclusive interview with the Saudi prince who is the wealthiest businessman in the Middle East.
He says Saudi Arabia is sending Iran a message.
PRINCE ALWALEED BIN TALAL, CHAIRMAN, KINGDOM HOLDING COMPANY: This is a very political and strategic freeze from our oil minister, who reflects, really, the views of King Abdullah. For Saudi Arabia to come public and say we will -- we will -- we will flush as much oil as needed to compensate for any potential loss of the Iranian oil, that's a big message to Iran, that, you know, don't -- don't keep threatening the world economies with the close of Hormuz, because we will, if push comes to shove and we have to raise our oil producer, we will compensate for all that you have. That's a big message for the markets, also, that we will maintain the $100 that clearly seems to be good for the consumers and good for the producers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, that's the view, then, from Saudi.
The European Union, of course, is Iran's second biggest oil customer after China. We need to just give a sense of the numbers here.
The EU imports nearly 20 percent of Iranian oil in -- in the EU, Italy tops the list with 7 percent of Iran's oil, Spain coming second in imports, the second most, with 6 percent; substantially less, France bringing in about 2 percent; and then Germany, the Netherlands and the U.K. slightly smaller numbers.
Now, all together, the European Union's oil embargo is expected to cost Iran as much as $50 million each day.
Now, Italy's foreign minister says sanctions are the best way to bring about what he hopes will be a peaceful solution to the stand-off over Iran's nuclear ambitions.
I spoke earlier with Giulio Terzi, asking first, what effect this oil embargo is going to have on Italy's already struggling economy?
GIULIO TERZI, ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Italy imports a little more than 10 percent of -- of its oil from Iran. It is differentiating the sources of supply, also, with other countries, for instance, from Libya, we are increasing the production there and the importation from Libya, around 280,000 barrels per day now are provided through the -- through the pipeline or the green stream.
So we are not overly concerned.
ANDERSON: A decade of oil embargoes on Iraq resulted in a black market for oil, poverty for the people who live in Iraq and an administration that just kept on going.
So when you look at what happened in Iraq, how do you see zany success with this oil embargo, in the future, on Iran?
TERZI: There have been initiatives to make aware the major parliaments outside the European Union that this is something that must be a shared responsibility and that we have to work together because the -- the threat of nuclear weapons is -- is a -- is something that we cannot bear, we cannot support.
Why Iraq went wrong?
Iraq went -- went wrong because there were conditions completely different in -- in the region and also the apparatus.
I think that the United Nations have learned a lot from the Iraqi experience. And --
ANDERSON: All right --
TERZI: -- and they don't buy the fact that all the mistakes are made twice.
ANDERSON: Since 2007, the EU has put pressure on Tehran by implementing economic sanctions. And I want to remind our viewers just what some of these were or are. A trade ban on goods and technology that could be used for nuclear enrichment or nuclear weapons systems, a ban on Iranian nationals investing in uranium mining and production of nuclear material, a ban on investment and an export ban on key equipment used for the oil and gas industries and EU governments banned from extending grants and concessional loans to the Iranian government. Finally, cargo flights operated by Iranian careers or coming from Iran may not have access to EU airports.
Four years of pressure exerted on Iran by the EU and very little to see for it.
TERZI: I believe that there is a big effort of sanctions and not the -- and not the other way around. And it shows that the Iranian leadership is trying every way to bypass the kind of sanctions, the kind of measures who have been undertaken by the international community, by the United States and the European Union. They have been active diplomatically on different front. And they are trying to convince countries not to fulfill, not to implement these measures, not -- not to join this coalition of the willing, of putting the -- the sanctions together.
So this is already an indication that the sanctions are making a clear effect.
ANDERSON: Was there any discussion amongst your EU colleagues, peers, today about the possibility of a confrontation, a military confrontation?
TERZI: There is always the card of a military -- of use of force. This card is on the table. And it has been mentioned many times by the Israelis, by -- by other sources.
But we believe that this would be very disruptive for the overall region. It is something that exactly the -- the way of proceeding toward the further sanctions, in our opinion, in the European opinion, is the way of diffusing that possibility.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: The Italian foreign minister speaking to me for you earlier today.
Well, the new embargo, like previous sanctions before it, is meant to punish Iran's government. But many ordinary citizens say they are the ones who are suffering. That story is on the front page of CNN's Web site. And I'm pointing you to take a look at that, an in-depth look at how sanctions are taking a toll on the Iranian people. You'll find their stories and more on the impact of today's new sanctions at CNN.com.
Well, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
Still to come, in Syria and on the ground we're there. Arwa Damon heads to one of the most violent cities in that country to see how its people are coping with the crackdown. Her live report is just ahead.
And the power of protest -- something Egyptians aren't about to relinquish. Coming up, a CNN special, "Egypt: Unfinished Revolution".
That's in about 15 minutes time.
You're with CNN.
This is CONNECT THE WORLD.
It's twelve minutes past nine.
Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Welcome back.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.
I'm Becky Anderson for you.
Fourteen minutes past nine in London.
Well, the head of the Arab League monitoring group in Syria blasted its critics today, rejecting an argument that its team had not done enough to stop the killings of protesters. The Sudanese general in charge of the group said its mission was never to bring about an immediate end to the violence, in which thousands of people have died.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. MOHAMMED AHMED AL-DABI, HEAD OF ARAB LEAGUE OBSERVER MISSION (through translator): Often in the media, the mission is portrayed as having failed in its attempts to implement
The mission is to investigate and observe, not to stop the killing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, the Arab League has called for a national unity government, a plan which the president has rejected.
CNN's Arwa Damon is in Syria right now.
She joins us on the phone.
A government official, in fact, describing the plan as a flagrant interference in Syrian affairs, rebuffed as a conspiracy, then, Arwa, by the Assad regime.
What's the reaction to the plan by people you've spoken to?
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we're hearing from the Assad regime is no surprise at all. And the people that we're speaking to, interestingly, those on both sides of this divide, this seems to be the one point that they actually agree on.
People who support the government view the Arab League as being part of this overarching global conspiracy to somehow bring down the Assad regime. And the opposition views the Arab League mission and its potential extension -- and it most certainly seems as if it is going to be extended - - as simply being a new (INAUDIBLE) by the Assad regime, more time to carry out its ongoing brutal crackdown.
We were earlier in the flashpoint city of Homs. And this is a city that has emerged as the epicenter of these ongoing clashes between government forces and those of the opposition, the Free Syrian Army that is mostly made up of activists.
When you drive through the city, you really get a sense of what might potentially transpire throughout the entire country. This was once a thriving metropolis, but now, around 80 percent of the shops are shut. Those that are open are operating without electricity. There are sandbags, fortified military positions on every single street corner. And the neighborhood we were in, it was deemed by our government escorts -- because we were on a government trip -- as being one of the relatively safe ones. And yet while we were there on the ground, for around 20 minutes, we heard ongoing sounds of automatic machine gun fire, what sounded like intense clashes, or at least intense firing echoing through the narrow alleyways there.
Residents were talking to us about their fears. A lot of people, interestingly, do not necessarily want to talk on camera, whether they're either pro- or anti-government, because they were concerned about repercussions from either side.
And so what we're seeing is an increasingly polarized nation. And there is, at this point, at least, it seems, no viable solution to end the bloodshed -- Becky.
Arwa Damon just back from Homs in Damascus for you on the line this evening.
Arwa, thank you for that.
Well, tonight on "BACK STORY," Nic Robertson provides a rare glimpse inside Syria, with the back story of his recent trip to the country and the challenges he faced in reporting from there. That is in the next hour here on CNN.
We're going to look some of the other stories connecting our world for you tonight.
And Egypt's parliament has convened for the first time since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year. Islamists dominated the elections held over the past three months, winning 70 percent of the lower house seats. One of the main priorities now is drafting a new constitution. The military has promised to hand over power after the presidential election in June.
Well, the first session of parliament comes just before the anniversary of the startup of the uprising that toppled Mubarak. And coming up in just over 10 minutes time here on CNN, our veteran correspondent in Cairo, Ben Wedeman, talks to five people who participated in those protests. It's a CNN special, "Egypt: Unfinished Revolution." And that is coming up just after the headlines at the bottom of this hour.
And, also, don't miss my interview this week with the two Egyptian filmmakers who planned to document the revolution but ended up making a film about their own fight for survival.
Well, the International Criminal Court has confirmed charges against four Kenyans, including the current deputy prime minister. Uhuru Kenyatta and three other officials will stand trial on human rights violations. Now these charges are connected to the post-election violence in 2007 that left more than 1,000 people dead.
The French Senate is set to vote on the so-called Armenian Genocide Bill. Earlier, lawmakers turned down a motion to drop it. The measure makes it illegal to deny that there was genocide against Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915.
Turkey has threatened permanent sanctions against France if lawmakers approve this.
Well, two more bodies have been found in the wreckage of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which crashed into rocks off the coast of Italy 10 days ago. The total number of confirmed victims is now 15, with about 17 still missing.
Meanwhile, an Italian consumer group said a class action lawsuit will be filed in the U.S. against Costa and its parent company, Carnival Corporation.
China is celebrating the arrival of the lunar new year and honoring the most powerful sign of the Chinese zodiac, the dragon. Well, some are ushering in the new year praying for good health and prosperity. Famed U.S. billionaire investor, Warren Buffet, is also entering into the spirit of things. He recorded a performance on his ukulele for China's annual new year gala.
Have a listen to this.
ANDERSON: Yes, nothing says Chinese new year like tycoons playing the American folk song, "I've Been Working on the Railroad."
Well, up next on CONNECT THE WORLD, we're going to take a look at the world of sport for you, as ever at this point. I'm going to show you why a Manchester City striker is in the dock for his on pitch behavior.
ANDERSON: A warm welcome back.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.
I'm Becky Anderson in London for you now.
Toping the world sports headlines today, the English Football Association has charged Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli with violent conduct following an incident in Sunday's Premier League match against Tottenham.
Now, Balotelli appeared to stamp on the head of the Spurs midfielder Scott Parker. Referee Howard Webb took no action. To make matters worse the Spurs, the Italians scored the stoppage time penalty, which sealed City's 3-2 win.
Video evidence, well, are the FA right to be charging Balotelli?
Let's find out from Alex Thomas.
I watched the game. I couldn't believe that the ref hadn't seen it. But then I'm a Spurs fan.
So, we've seen the footage again and the FA say they're going to charge him. Well, they've charged him at this point.
Are they right?
ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and it's all because the referee didn't include it in his match report, what -- Howard Webb, who let's not forget, is a -- a World Cup referee, did say is that he hadn't seen that specific incident.
So because he hadn't looked at it and judged it on the field, the FA then have the right to go in afterwards, retrospectively, and say, yes, Balotelli should answer a charge of violent misconduct, which, in this case, they have.
So Balotelli will have 14 days to appeal, I think it is. But otherwise, he's facing a four match ban, possibly, for violent contact -- conduct for stamping on Scott Parker's head.
ANDERSON: No, it didn't look good at all. But it looked as if Howard Webb had sort of turned round and seen what was going on. But if it wasn't in his next report, then you've got to move on at this point, don't you?
THOMAS: And interesting, as well, that at the same time, Spain's Football Federation haven't charged Pepe, the ram rout defender, over that stamp on Lionel Messi's hands.
So who says English football is not violent (INAUDIBLE)?
ANDERSON: It makes me think he shouldn't have been on the field, he was and he scored a penalty in the fifth minute of extra time. And, of course, beaten Tottenham (INAUDIBLE), rubbing salt into the Spurs' fans wounds, as it were.
Let's get the Aussie Open done.
And what's going on?
THOMAS: Yes, they're late in the tennis. It's an interesting start to the second week at Melbourne Park. Two huge upsets. The first being Serena Williams. Not one of the top seeds now, because she plays so rarely and missed this tournament last year after getting over that mysterious illness, of course.
But she was back looking really slim and fit, posing for those photos, remember, before the tournament, but got knocked out by Ekaterina Makarova of Russia, who is the world number 56. Serena hadn't lost any of 33 previous matches at the Australian Open to anyone outside the top 20. She's great for this event. She's won it five times before. She didn't just lose in three sets, she was thrashed in straight sets. So it's Makarova who will go on to face her fellow Russian, Maria Sharapova, denying us what would have been a great quarterfinal there.
But all four of the top women seeds through and the same in the men's draw. Not so, surprisingly, although Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France has lost out to Kei Nishikori of Japan, the first Japanese men to get through to the quarter finals of the Australian Open.
ANDERSON: Good. Excellent. Nice stuff.
Thank you very much, indeed.
"WORLD SPORT" with Alex, of course, back at the bottom of the next hour. That is about half past 10 London time.
THOMAS: And (INAUDIBLE) with Boris Becker, as well.
ANDERSON: Boris Becker with him tonight. Fantastic. (INAUDIBLE).
Still to come on this show, this is CONNECT THE WORLD, of course --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We sacrificed so much -- we sacrificed so much to reach to what -- where we are now, that there is no way of going back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Raw determination --- just ahead, a CNN special, "Egypt: Unfinished Revolution," talks to five young people. Their stories as they continue to fight for change.
That is coming up.
ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.
I'm Becky Anderson.
Let's get you a check of the world news headlines at this point.
And the European Union is slapping unprecedented sanctions on Iran aimed at drying up its funding for its nuclear program. The sanctions include an oil embargo that takes effect in July. The EU wants to pressurize Iran to return to negotiations.
The head of the Arab League mission in Syria rejected criticism today that his group has not done enough to stop the violence. The Sudanese government told the -- general, sorry -- says that the aim of the mission was just to observe what was happening on the ground.
The International Criminal Court has confirmed that four Kenyan officials will stand trial on charges of human rights violation. Kenya's current deputy prime minister is among them. The charges are connected to more than a thousand deaths in post-election violence.
Egypt's parliament opened today for the first time since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak, and the government says the military is handing legislative powers to the newly sworn-in lower house. The lower house is dominated by Islamists who won about 70 percent of the seats.
And this break news just into CNN. We are hearing that the French Senate has approved the so-called Armenian Genocide bill. Earlier, lawmakers turned down a motion to drop it. The measure makes it illegal to deny there was a genocide against Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915. Turkey has threatened permanent sanctions against France if lawmakers were to approve that.
And those are the headlines this hour. Now a CNN special, "Egypt's Unfinished Revolution."
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One year ago, Egyptians poured into the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, and other cities. They had one resounding demand: Mubarak must go.
After nearly 30 years in power, it took less than three weeks to oust the man dubbed "the pharaoh."
Eighteen days of courage, determination, sometimes fear and, ultimately, elation.
Amid the euphoria of the Arab uprising, the old leader was toppled, but what would come next? Military rule, endless uncertainty, an Islamist takeover or, for the first time, real democracy? Questions still being asked of Egypt's Unfinished Revolution.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom! Are you going to take our freedom? We're going to take it!
WEDEMAN: January 25, 2011. Thousands of demonstrators fill Cairo's Tahrir Square, demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, in power for nearly 30 years. The once monolithic regime suddenly shaken.
WEDEMAN: It was an upheaval many Egyptians expected someday, but none could have foreseen it beginning on that cool winter morning a year ago.
WEDEMAN: For years, a small group of dedicated activists had braved the clubs of the security forces to protest against corruption, nepotism, police brutality, sham elections, rising poverty, a future without hope.
But they needed a spark to bring out the masses.
GIG IBRAHIM, ACTIVIST: Then, Tunisia happened.
IBRAHIM: That was definitely a reason, I think, that made people visually see how revolution can happen and succeed, like in -- I mean, succeed in taking out a dictator, just like Mubarak.
WEDEMAN: Gigi Ibrahim took part in the planning of the January 25th protest.
IBRAHIM: One person actually said so, "What if we get to Tahrir Square, then what?" We didn't even believe that we would get to Tahrir Square, let alone this would be a revolution. And the answer was, "We'll figure it out when we get there." Nobody imagined that this many people would turn out, that this many people would show up.
WEDEMAN: But show up, they did, and occupied the heart of Cairo.
For activist Nour Nour, 20 years old at the time, it was a dream come true.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOUR NOUR, ACTIVIST: This is the start of the rest of my life, the new happy life. All of this. As cheesy as this sounds, that's exactly how I feel right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOUR: Back on January 25th, I did say that this was the best day of my life, simply because that was the first day where we broke down, where we as a population, or a segment of the population, broke down that barrier of fear for the first time, where you hit the street, you reclaimed the street for the first time in your life.
WEDEMAN: Like the Tunisians, Egyptians had lost their fear, and there was no going back. The Mubarak regime's attempts to crack down only added more fuel to the protest.
Cairo University professor Ehsan Yahia suddenly saw people enraged and empowered.
EHSAN YAHIA, PROFESSOR, CAIRO UNIVERSITY: And then, when the violence started to get more and more, and people said we will never be as we were. "We will never go to before the 25th."
And we kept hearing this statement. You kept hearing this statement from everybody. "We will never go back to before the 25th."
WEDEMAN: One year on, Egyptians are still grappling with the consequences of their courage. They've swept away the old, but hardly begun to build the new. Their country faces an economic crisis, a difficult transition from military to civilian rule, and politics that can get physical. But there's not turning back.
HISHAM QASIM, ACTIVIST: I was vice president of al-Ghad party in 2005 when we challenged Mubarak for the presidency, and nothing worked. Nothing worked to even help us share power.
WEDEMAN: After 20 years of peaceful activism, publisher and human rights advocate Hisham Qasim had had enough.
QASIM: We did not want to take power, but we wanted to be involved in making policy for the country. So I thought, OK, I've done all that, nothing worked. If a demonstration and throwing rocks at the paramilitary will do it, I will do that.
On 28 January, I went out for the first time in my life in a demonstration. I have never demonstrated, I don't like demonstrations, that's not a way for me to express myself. But that day, I went out and joined the young kids.
WEDEMAN: Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei had rushed back to Cairo to take part.
MOHAMED ELBARADEI, ACTIVIST: I went on the 28th, and that day, that Day of Anger as they call it, when the 40,000 turned into, I don't know, half a million or a million, and when we started getting the water canon and gas and all sorts of things.
I realized that day that we started the process and there is no end to it.
WEDEMAN: The Egyptian army doesn't like getting involved in keeping order, but on that fateful day, it was sent in to relieve the police, outnumbered and overwhelmed.
The soldiers were greeted as saviors.
The regime supporters played one last desperate hand. On February 2nd, they tried to storm Tahrir Square, joined by men on horseback and camel.
NOUR: If I had said before that January 25th was the best day of my life, the back of the camels, the 2nd of February was the worst day of my life, because that was the first day where we actually felt that the Egyptian population was prone to turning against one another.
At the time, we thought it could even turn into something similar to a civil war.
WEDEMAN: The battle of the camels was a turning point, the day the regime showed it was politically bankrupt. Nine days later, Mubarak was gone.
IBRAHIM: All of a sudden you hear cries and screams.
IBRAHIM: So, we -- I immediately knew then that he had stepped down, so I just threw everything and I started rushing out of the shop and walking down Talaat Harb towards Tahrir, and I just start hugging everybody. Everybody's crying, everybody's cheering.
ELBARADEI: My tears were just going. I never -- I was never quite so happy, I was never quite so elated, I was never quite so liberated.
QASIM: I went down to the square, and it was jubilant and we were celebrating. I kept bumping into old activists I'd work with against Mubarak for the last 20 years, and it was almost tears of joy.
WEDEMAN: But even then, Ehsan Yahia had mixed emotions. The impossible had been achieved, but the future looked so uncertain.
YAHIA: And I feel so happy and I feel so sad. I feel so happy because I remembered the happiness and the joy of the -- all the people there. But I feel so sad because it wasn't the end. It was the beginning.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): A week after Mubarak resigned, hundreds of thousands crammed into Tahrir Square for what was declared a Day of Pride. Egyptians were in a state of elated shock. Mubarak was gone, the country free at last.
AHMED AL-MENAWI, ACTIVIST: This is the first time Egyptians are all together. We're always divided, we have so many classes and so many people are from different education. But this time, everybody was there, everybody was in the street, kids and rich and poor and women and everybody was there. So, it felt like we are one.
WEDEMAN: But it didn't take long for reality to set in. Egypt's new ruler was the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, led by Mubarak's defense minister, Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi.
SCAF, as it became known, talked the talk of the revolution, but very soon, the high hopes of the revolutionaries collided with the military's desire for order.
In Tahrir Square and beyond, the new regime was starting to look an awful lot like the old one.
NOUR: This is the even that crystallized -- that crystallized the idea of the army being a continuation of the Mubarak regime was the 9th of March, the 9th of March, when the -- when military police forcefully evacuated the Tahrir area of -- of the demonstrators or the protesters who were sitting in Tahrir Square, where they took a huge number of activists and demonstrators into the Egyptian museum and tortured them for hours.
WEDEMAN: The Egyptian military has denied allegations that it has tortured or beaten detainees, but pro-democracy activists now knew that powerful and well-entrenched forces were arrayed against them.
NOUR: This is also when virginity checks were -- had taken place on some of the female demonstrators. This is when we knew that the revolution has not begun yet, that the 18 days were merely an uprising and that the revolution is still in its beginnings if not has yet to begin.
WEDEMAN: Revolutionaries like Gigi Ibrahim increasingly saw SCAF as pushing a counter-revolution, a new head on an old body.
IBRAHIM: Their interests lie against the revolution's interests, so by default, they're going to attack it. So, they're going to try the protesters in military courts, they're going to try anybody who speaks against SCAF.
Like we've seen the many cases of activists who have been summoned or tried or even sentenced for something that they wrote on their blog or they tweeted. This is absolutely unacceptable.
WEDEMAN: Unacceptable maybe, but to human rights advocate Hisham Qasim, no surprise.
QASIM: The democratic preventions are non-existent. The state requires different human resources, OK? That's on one hand. On the second, are military capable of economic and political reform? And the answer is no.
WEDEMAN: The men in uniform seem to stumble from one catastrophe to another, says Mohamed ElBaradei.
ELBARADEI: The army's got this hot potato on their lap. They didn't expect that to happen. They have zero experience in managing a country politically, and they started to make one mistake after another.
WEDEMAN: A pattern began to emerge. Protests followed by a bloody crackdown, followed by violent clashes.
In November, street battles raged for days just off Tahrir Square. Dozens were killed, thousands wounded. With a sense of deja-vu, the protesters, now demanding that SCAF and Field Marshal Tantawi step aside.
TARIQ ZIAD, ACTIVIST: You know, a thousand-mile journey starts with one step. There hasn't been a step. If people would believe that seriously Tantawi and his gang are doing anything for us, we really wouldn't say anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not expecting anything, yes.
ZIAD: Just show us a step, show us a plan.
WEDEMAN (on camera): Their plan, their promise of parliamentary and presidential elections and a shift to civilian rule has a hitch: the military council wants to preserve the army's vast business empire and prevent civilian oversight of the military budget. In essence, they want to maintain their state within a state.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): The army stood its ground. Protests spread. Outside the office of the prime minister, the extent of the military's heavy hand was exposed.
The military council didn't seem to realize that Egypt has changed beyond recognition. A people once silent had found its voice and wasn't going to simply shut up and obey. They could no longer be beaten and intimidated into quiet submission.
YAHIA: We are not like before. We will not just wait and see what you are doing. We are now watching our country. We want to know what are you doing and why you are doing it.
WEDEMAN: While the activists were transfixed by the drama in the streets, other Egyptians had more down-to-earth concerns. The economy had come to a halt, tourism had evaporated, and law and order seemed to be breaking down. For many, the revolution was losing its luster.
ELBARADEI: A lot of people, your average Joe, what has he seen of the revolution? The economy is going down, he's been unemployed, prices are going up, security is not there.
WEDEMAN: The government is now negotiating with the International Monetary Fund for a $3 billion standby loan. Economists estimate that a quarter of young people are without work.
QASIM: You have now people on the streets saying "I thought this revolution was for me, but I've been jobless for the last three months." The turmoil that followed the ousting of Mubarak, which, in a way was natural, there was a lot of anger, people were venting anger, frustration.
But it did a lot of damage to the economy. People lost jobs. Things certainly did not get any better on any level except freedom.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): November 28th, 2011. A quiet but momentous day in Cairo. Voting stations opened at 8:00 AM for the first post-Mubarak parliamentary elections.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel good. I feel my vote will change Egypt to a better future.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm 47, this is my first time, too.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: And how are you feeling?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm feeling great, because it's for our kids' future, because otherwise, everybody will leave this country if it goes down the drain.
WEDEMAN: For a country wracked by months of unrest, shaken by street clashes, worn-down by a faltering economy, the elections were, for most, a breath of fresh air.
QASIM: It's an indicator that -- democracy will have its way in Egypt, because the most important thing was participation, and from a turnout of 8 percent, in which at least 5 percent were bussed by force by Mubarak to go vote for his party, to an average of 62 percent. We have a 54 percent new voter turnout, and that was the most important thing.
WEDEMAN: Egyptians turned out in their millions, but to some involved in the revolution from day one, the vote was a distraction.
IBRAHIM: This parliamentary elections is a whole show. It's just a show to end this revolution, say, "OK, now you have your parliament, now you elected these people, now your fight is with these people." And it's taking away the revolution from the streets.
WEDEMAN: And only the street could push the military from power.
Others felt the vote did matter because it mobilized the people of Egypt.
NOUR: For the first time, Egyptians feel that their voice and their vote count and could make a difference, the fact that people would go down and stand for hours in line just to give their vote, this is unprecedented, and it's a good step, regardless of the outcome of this primary.
WEDEMAN: The outcome was a victory for the Muslim Brotherhood's newly-formed Freedom and Justice Party, which won almost 40 percent of the seats in Egypt's lower house. Hounded by the authorities for decades, their moment had come. And it was a moment they savored.
"At this time a year ago in 2010, in this exact place, we were beaten and dragged on the ground to stop us from voting," recalls Muslim Brother Abdel Aziz Zaid. "But now, the future before us is great."
ELBARADEI: 45,000 of them went to prison during Mubarak's time. They had, obviously, the sympathy of the people. They have always been underground. They have been providing services when the government failed to provide services: health care in mosques, education. And they have been presented as God-fearing people.
WEDEMAN: Another God-fearing party did well, too, the hardline Salafist Party, which won over 20 percent of the vote.
Ehsan Yahia initially supported the Salafi Nour Party, but was disturbed by their attitude toward women and relations with Egypt's Coptic Christian minority.
YAHIA: The thing I don't like about the Salfis that they said we shouldn't be friends, you are not like me. They have this strange idea, it's -- we have been in Egypt living all our lives Muslims and Christians and we have been friends and neighbors and helping each other, and we never feel the differences.
WEDEMAN: For now, the future of Egypt's democracy lies not in the hands of politicians, but with the generals. A presidential election is set for June, but will the military, as it promises, cede power and its special perks to a civilian government.
Eventually, yes, says Hisham Qasim. But not yet.
QASIM: Right now, with the top brass in the military, they will not do that, OK? And they have personal interests to protect.
But over a period of five years, they will be starting, five years from now, when you began to build the instruments of good governments and democracy, a proper judiciary, parliament, and establish civilian rule, the military will have to give up their privileges.
WEDEMAN: Mohamed El-Baradei recently pulled out of the presidential race, accusing the military of being little more than an extension of the old regime. Nonetheless, he's optimistic that Egypt is ultimately on the right course.
ELBARADEI: There is no going back for sure. For one single, important reason. The culture of fear is gone and gone forever. You tell me -- you look at any of these guys and that anywhere in Egypt and tell them, you will not be able to protest, if you are angry, you will not be able to call for your rights. And you will see the answer you get.
So that is -- and I think everybody, whoever is going to govern Egypt, any regime, they will know that it's -- there is people power, and people power is here to stay.
WEDEMAN: In the last year, a generation has undergone a crash course in the power of protest, power they're not about to relinquish.
IBRAHIM: Being a revolutionary myself and being in the streets and taking parts in these clashes, you know that these -- all these people are fighting for a better Egypt. They don't have hidden agendas. They don't get finance from abroad.
They are simply fighting for their rights, they're fighting for a better living, and they're not going to stop because we sacrificed so much. We sacrificed so much to reach to where we are now that there is no way of going back.
WEDEMAN: Egypt's revolution is far from over, but there's a spirit and determination that sustains it.
NOUR: We knew form day one that this wasn't going to be easy, and if you fought against the Mubarak regime, you were fighting against it not because you thought it was easy. You knew it was difficult at the time. And since you're fighting the remnants of the Mubarak regime, then we also know right now that it's not going to be easy. But I personally don't have any other country to go to.
WEDEMAN: And Egypt's revolutionaries are ready for a struggle that transcends generations.
NOUR: I was born here, I was raised up here, all of my family and my friends are here. I'm going to live here, I'm going to raise my children here. So, it will be difficult, but this country's worth it.