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Madeleine Albright Talks about Europe's Migrant Crisis; Challenges for Iran's President. Aired 5-5:30p ET
Aired March 11, 2016 - 17:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[17:01:24] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, as the Balkan Route closes on refugees fleeing to Europe, the
first female U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright speaks out on the migration crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FIRST FEMALE U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The things that really drives me crazy is watching these people that have crossed carrying
their children or one world they go to cross deserts and then being in boats where they're afraid of drowning and then being treated like dogs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: She joined me in International Women's Day this week.
Also ahead, my interview with the Iranian president's right hand man in London trying drum up post sanctions business. Plus, five years on from
the Syrian uprising, exiles take to the pages of a French news paper to tell the story of their people's struggle.
Good evening everyone and welcome to the special weekend edition of our program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
And this week European and Turkish leaders hail their one in one outdeal to stop the chaotic flow of refugees. But the U.N. says sending refugees back
could violate international law. Final details are still being hammered out, but would it even be practical to have a refugee exchange whereby
Europe would resettle one currently in Turkey for every new one that Turkey stops from entering Europe. As one E.U. leader says the refugees
outrunning the EU's decision-making.
The United States in the midst of a fierce election campaign has barely taken in any which shocks the former secretary of state Medeleine Albright
who joined me here in the studio earlier this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Secretary Albright, welcome to the program.
ALBRIGHT: Great to be with you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Here we are in the midst of a gigantic refugee crisis in Europe and the latest is sort of one for one resettling of refugees between Turkey
and Europe. From what you know about it is it even workable? What has gone so wrong with refugee situation here?
ALBRIGHT: I think it is the major tragedy of our time in terms of the worst humanitarian crisis since the end of World War II. And I think that
the system in many ways was not prepared for this, the international system, the U.N. refugee operation as well as the European one. And it's
just kind of overwhelming. And ...
AMANPOUR: What should they've done?
ALBRIGHT: Well, I think -- first of all I do think that they should, could have and should have mounted ways of processing better so people weren't
just standing there. And then, setting up tent cities or something that really showed that they were ready for this. I know that it's a huge
amount of people but the thing that really drives me crazy is watching these people that have crossed carrying their children or one world good
across deserts and then being in boats were they're afraid of drowning and being treated like dogs. And by the way I've said American dogs are
treated better than what is happening with the refugees.
AMANPOUR: Do you think people like Angela Merkel who are the de facto, she is the de facto leader of Europe, and had a very moral policy or welcoming
policy. Did she bite off more than she could chew?
[17:05:06] What went wrong there?
ALBRIGHT: I actually think that she was terrific and very brave and was -- somebody from her own background, I think of understanding what had gone on
in Central and Eastern Europe, and I think she's been great. I do think that -- and I can't obviously speak for her, is I think she expected the
other countries in Europe to step up and be generous and remember how much other countries had done for Europeans in the past.
AMANPOUR: Now, Europe has to depend on Turkey. And Turkey is saying, in return for its help, sending them back to Greece for instance, it wants to
fast track E.U. negotiations. And a lot of Europeans are saying, that's blackmail especially as Turkey takes on more authoritarian bent, just takes
over the largest newspaper in Turkey, what do you think?
ALBRIGHT: Well, I do think that I have thought for a long time that Turkey should have been in the E.U., and it was certainly something that I
advocated when we were in office. I do think that Turkey is in a position where they can be more helpful and should be more helpful, but I can't
quite sort out how this is going to work, and one needs to make sure that it does make things worse in terms of sending people back, and then this
one for one, and deciding who comes and who goes. I do think that they need to -- there some pressure obviously has to be put on them in terms of
how they behave internally, but they are, in fact, in a CAPREIT seat in many ways.
AMANPOUR: What about the other person whose hands we are in? According to many western leaders, we're in Putin's hands when it comes to resolving
Syria, and he is really calling the shots on the ground. How dangerous is that? How much is that against U.S. and Western interest in your view?
ALBRIGHT: Christiane, I have to say, I have never seen anything quite as complicated as all of this because I have believed that the Russians, to
some extent, have been involved in Syria because they want to distract our attention from Ukraine where they were illegally ceased Crimea.
And what they want to really do, among other things, is regain influence in the Middle East. And then also, I do think undermine the alliance, NATO
and the E.U. in terms of setting one country against another. Some people have called it the militarization of the refugees.
And so, the tragedy here is that these poor people, and people don't have to leave the country where they were born, are really pawns in a much
larger, and I hate to say game, but pawns in something that is fairly cynical in terms of the way they are being used, and it's a tragedy. And I
do wish, frankly, that the United States would take more. It's very hard for us to tell other countries what to do if we are not generous.
I'm a refugee. I don't have a terrible story, but I'm so grateful to America and America is a big country and refugees really work hard and want
to be a part of the diversity of America.
AMANPOUR: So, this failure to deal with the refugee crisis has fed into the extreme, the far, the hard right all over Europe. What is that say to
you? How dangerous is that?
ALBRIGHT: I think it's very dangerous. And I have to tell you what I'm really troubled by, Europe in the 20th century was wrecked by identity and
hypernationalism. The beauty of creating the European Union was trying to find countries, borderless countries and an exchange and understanding, and
what is happening now is kind of going back to kind of atavistic nationalism in terms of, I only want to be with own kind. And it's fine to
have an identity, but if your identity hates another one, then it leads to terrible problems.
AMANPOUR: You've been traveling around the world nonstop. You go to the Middle East, Europe, all over the place. What are people telling you about
what's going on in the United States and this presidential election, not just the tone but what it means for American leadership, for foreign
policy? What are they asking you?
ALBRIGHT: I think people are confused. I think we have ...
AMANPOUR: That's putting it gently.
ALBRIGHT: ... one of the weirder political campaigns. And what I get asked is what is going on here in terms of, doesn't America need to play a
major role? I obviously do. I have thought always that things are better when the United States is engaged, not alone, but is engaged. And I think
people are troubled by that either we want to bring walls or keep out all Muslims or corporate bond (ph). And that there are no answers that make
sense to people that are following this very carefully.
AMANPOUR: You have said that people, you know, ask you if the United States has lost its mind. You described the Republican candidates as
school children in the school yard, the way they're behaving. What would a Trump presidency do for America in the world, do you think?
ALBRIGHT: I have no clue. I think that it would be, I personally believe that it's dangerous.
[17:10:00] I think we have no idea what Trump believes in except himself. And I think that it is a major problem in terms of how we lay out what
America's options are.
I think the American people really want to hear more about what is going on, trying to explain the complexity of it and not just give simplistic
answers that are dangerous. I am very concerned and I hope that as this campaign goes on that there is the opportunity with the help of the media
frankly, Christiane, is to be able explain the stakes what America's role can and should be. How we behave as what I use to call the indispensable
nation. And by the way as I keep saying, there is nothing in the word indispensable that says alone. It just means we need to be engaged and not
make threats or think that we're going to isolate ourselves from everything.
AMANPOUR: So you're obviously supporting Hillary Clinton. It's also International Women's Day today and. you know, you got yourself into a bit
of a media flap I say social media flap about whether women should vote for Hillary or not.
What did it say to you about feminism today, about where things stand today regarding women's rights?
ALBRIGHT: I think a little complicated in terms of -- and I call it for an intergenerational discussion. I know that people kind of get tired of
stories about how it took some of us a long time to develop our voice. But I do think that we need to have a discussion about it.
I should not have said what I said in terms of voting. People need to decide if who ...
AMANPOUR: What you said was there's a special place n hell for women who don't help other women. Now many people would agree with that statement.
ALBRIGHT: Well I do believe that but I should not -- voting is different thing and people need to make up their own minds specially women. I do
think that I am concerned about the fact that things could go backward. That a lot of the things that you and I and others have worked for all our
lives of that they're in danger of going backward. And on International Women's Day, it isn't just us. It's internationally, in terms, of women
that are threatened violence against women, literal violence or a murder, but then also kind of keeping women from being involved politically, kind
of constantly questioning what our role is and by the way, when most societies, women are more than half the population. It is a lost of a
valuable resource if women are not politically and economically empowered. So I'm glad to be able to talk about it.
AMANPOUR: And just finally, you know, there has not been a female president of the United States, but there has been several females
secretary of state. You were the first, you broke that barrier. And you say something funny about your granddaughter that is for her is the norm.
ALBRIGHT: Well it was, I mean like, seven years ago she said, "So what's the big deal about grandma Maddy being secretary of the state. Only girls
were secretary of state". And I do know now there are a lot of little boys that are very encouraged by John Kerry.
AMANPOUR: All right, Secretary of State, Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, thank you for joining us.
ALBRIGHT: Thank you very much Christiane.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And after our break, major trade mission plan between Iran and the U.K.. Now the sanctions are lifted and recent election seemed to have
given the Iranian moderates the upper hand.
President Rouhani's right hand man joined me to talk about the changing times. That's next.
[17:15:03] AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. A special trade conference in London this week signaled that Iran is now open for business
and eager to promote its contracts for foreign investment.
And Britain announced that it would lead its biggest trade mission ever to Tehran. While in Tehran itself, President Rouhani has been void by the big
victory scored by moderates in recent parliamentary elections signaling popular approval for his nuclear diplomacy and his economic reforms.
Now few people are closer to the president than his Chief of Staff Mohammad Nahavandian, who came seeking investors and speaking about the challenges
Rouhani still faces from hard liners and their vested business interests.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: You're welcome to the program.
MOHAMMAD NAHAVANDIAN, CHIEF OF STAFF OF IRAN'S PRESIDENT, HEAD OF IRAN'S PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So what do you -- how do you read the election results? Is it a victory? I mean, some results are still to come in. But how much of a
help is that going to give President Rouhani and willing to allow him to now unimpeded move forward with economic reform, attract foreign
investment. The key things that he wants to do.
NAHAVANDIAN: I think it was victory for all. It was for Iranian nation because it show the very wide range political participation by people,
showed to the world that it's a ballot box in Iran which strikes the destination for Iran.
And the results of the elections was voting for moderates from all different factions and political orientations. That means that the new
parliament will have closer cooperation with the government to solve the Syria's issues of the country.
AMANPOUR: So you know obviously that the conservatives, the hardliner's tried they dammed (ph) this to prevent this result. They didn't even let
the presidents own party filled any candidates but this result came none the less, the people came out to approve the president on what he is trying
to do. So they did it.
But this already pushed back from the hardliners. Apparently your oil ministry was unable to have a conference here in order to advertise new
foreign contracts and, you know, drum up business in that regard.
There's criticism about some of the international deals with bowing and airbus and who ever else the president did deals with airbus in the
Italians. How much resistance are you going to face? And will it be significant resistance in terms of just the economy?
NAHAVANDIAN: I think we are going forward. Just compare the situation that we are in now with three years ago. Now that sanctions are lifted,
there is also of that is being felt in so many areas.
The export of oil has gone up more than 300 barrels a day. The transportation cost has gone down 25 percent. The access to parts in
airline industry is now available. And people start to feel that their presence in global economy is being felt more than if. However, in some
areas like for example in banking sector, that may be slower than expected.
The good thing about JCPOA is that ...
AMANPOUR: This is the nuclear deal?
NAHAVANDIAN: Yes. The governments, including U.S. government committed themselves to do adequate administrative and regulatory work to insure the
clarity and effectiveness of the lift of sanctions. That is the area that we need more work.
AMANPOUR: Are you a little worried that there may be new sanctions or pressure for more sanctions after the ballistic missile test?
NAHAVANDIAN: No, no. That has nothing to do with JCPOA.
AMANPOUR: Oh but they're separate, I mean, is potentially a U.N. violation.
NAHAVANDIAN: Yes. That is a political issue. What is related to JCPOA? On one side is the commitments of Iran on technical aspects of nuclear
facilities. And on the five plus one is lift of sanctions. The military issues are beyond this agreement.
AMANPOUR: I know, you want to push this economic story forward. So let me ask you also about oil. You get introduced back into the international
market as oil prices plumed and as there's a major blot on the market. Who wants oil anymore?
What do you going to do? You want to export as much as you did before the sanctions?
[17:20:03] And I think you want to redirect you exports towards Asia, is that your plan?
NAHAVANDIAN: We have made it clear to everyone that first step, Iran is going to take east to get back to its market share. Those who cause this
price decline, they are responsible for it. They have to do something t correct that. And I think that is being understood by other producers.
AMANPOUR: So where do you see your next big market? Is it the east, Far East?
NAHAVANDIAN: We have already started exporting to Europe and that we think that the area the security Europe.
AMANPOUR: And you think that will be fine OPEC will accommodate all of this?
AMANPOUR: You have no doubt about that.
AMANPOUR: And in terms of what President Rouhani wants to do beyond reforming and opening up and attracting foreign investment. Obviously, he
wants to also open up private sector in Iran, which has been heavily dominated by vested interest.
Revolutionary guards are just not military. They're an economic power as well as everything else. And they have had a major hold on huge segments
of the economy. They have no interest in seeing there hold busted open for competition. That's going to be tough isn't, especially as they're
NAHAVANDIAN: One of the priorities in economic policy of President Rouhani new administration has been empowerment of the private sector and this
principle is supported by supreme leader in his policy which was announced.
So, by widening the area of presence for private sector and increasing the GDP, when the economy grows bigger and bigger, the private sectors role
will be more and more. The government has already started privatization. The problem in the practice was that the -- in the privatization which
occurred before this administration, part of that went to pseudo-private sector, some public organizations, but now that is being corrected.
AMANPOUR: Obviously the people who voted the president of the economics and for personal freedoms. You know, he's obviously got a major economic
plan, but he hasn't been able to implement the freedoms of people also voted for. Will he be able to?
NAHAVANDIAN: If you compare the environment in our media, the criticism that is being done to the government is not comparable to the past. People
really practice freedom of expression of their opinion, freedom in having different organizations, NGO's are benign supported and what President
Rouhani emphasized on the rights of citizens and the rights of women. That has been followed up and in the future we'll have more on that.
AMANPOUR: Well we'll be watching.
NAHAVANDIAN: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Chief of Staff Mohammad Nahavandian, thank you very much indeed for joining us.
NAHAVANDIAN: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: After a break, we pop across the channel for the latest Middle East news from France. Imagining the newspaper "Liberation" filled with
the words and the stories of Syrians struggling to survive their war. That's next.
[17:25:20] AMANPOUR: And finally tonight. Imagine a world where the words of Syrians a hot off the Parisian presses. Today, thousands of people
across the globe, a peacefully protesting, twitting and getting informed all to more five years since the uprising against the Assad regime begun.
And the legendary French newspaper Liberation has issued a special edition, handing over its pages and its presses to a dozen Syrians from all
different walks of life, to give the often forgotten civilians there. A voice as the veteran Syrian French journalist and special coordinator Hala
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HALA KODAMI, SYRIAN JOURNALIST: They are seldom heard so to know there are women, there are children, there are families, there is everyday life and
this is very I believe very important to show and exceptional because we don't have the occasion of now of covering those -- many of these Syrian
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And this Friday edition took three weeks to bring together it's filled with articles written by artists and other experts, refuges as well
as young people still living in Syria. In print, the edition appears in its usual French, but on line, an Arabic translation has been added.
Liberation has a history of generous hospitality more than a year ago after the brutal attacks on Charlie Hebdo staff and headquarters. Liberation came
to the rescue giving survivors the office space to work on their now famous post attack issue. Remember "Tout est pardonne" or "All is forgiven".
That's it for our program this week. I'm Christiane Amanpour, thanks for watching. And remember, you can always listen to our podcast or just
online and follow me of Facebook and Twitter.