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tv   Smerconish  CNN  January 16, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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expressive. this is the pursuit of perfection. in new york state, we believe tomorrow starts today. all across the state the economy is growing, with creative new business incentives, the lowest taxes in decades, and university partnerships, attracting the talent and companies of tomorrow. like in utica, where a new kind of workforce is being trained. and in albany, the nanotechnology capital of the world. let us help grow your company's tomorrow, today at there is is cnn breaking news. >> 6:00 p.m. eastern. i'm poppy harlow in new york. we begin with breaking news on a historic day that is for sure. the united states, u.s. sanctions against iran, are over, a number of them.
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that means in the eyes of international nuclear observers, i iran has completed, quote, all necessary steps to limit the nuclear program. president obama signing executive order lifting sanctions against iran. iran has joined a special group of, quote, peaceful users of nuclear energy that included the united states, the uk, france, germany, china, russia. the relationship between the u.s. and iran is now verging on significant changes. the united states implemented sanctions in iran back in 1979, in the wake of the iranian hostage crisis. sanctions were toughened in 1995. and now, some of those sanctions are gone. i do want to caution, though, this does not lift all of the sanctions. there's an important differentiation there. we'll talk about all of it in the next hour. we did just hear from john kerry. he praised iran's progress. >> the fact is that today marks the first day of a safer world, one where we believe it is
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possible to remain safer for years to come, particularly, with the compliance of this agreement. i think we have also proven, once again, why diplomacy has to always be our first choice and war our last resort. and that is a very important lesson to reinforce. we have approached this challenge that the -- with the firm belief that exhausting diplomacy before choosing war is an imperative and we believe that today marks the benefits of that choice. >> also today, five american prisoners in iran set free. they are "the washington post" reporter jason rezaian, american christian pastor, say eed abedini, amir hekmati, and nosratollah khosravi-roodari. a fifth american being released is a student, his name is matthew trevithick. u.s. officials note his release
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is not part of the negotiated trizer in swap. he will fly home with the four americans. secret negotiations happened leading up to the prisoner swap announced and finalized today. the united states agreed to done sanctions-related charges against seven iranians. the names of those seven iranians are not released by either government. wolf blitzer with more. >> we have team coverage of the stunning deal that has clearly covers the world. i want to go to international diplomatic editor, nic robertson, first. nic, word that the director general of the international atomic energy agency, he's getting ready to travel to tehran as early as tomorrow to meet with the iranian president, the iranian foreign minister, others to make sure compliance continues. what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, he described
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the compliance that iran has put into place, this begins the joint comprehensive plan of action. he's going to tehran sunday. he said this, ray ran now enters a new phase with the iaea, international atomic energy agency. he said there would be a monitoring system in place, that iran would now have to sign up the additional protocols which will give inspectors greater powers than they've had in the past, powers to say they would like to inspect a particular site because they have suspicions about that site, and iran would then have to comply with that request or give reasons why it wouldn't, and then it would go into a series of sort of cut-outs that would not allow iran to continue to stall on those inspections. that's something clearly key. secretary kerry, we've heard him outline in detail how the three pathways to a bomb have been
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shut down. the enriched uranium, 10,000 kilograms, that cuts to 2% of that, 300 kilograms. the rest, he says, shipped out to russia. talked about reduction in centrifuges used to enrinl uranium, two thirds shut down, 6,041 left. the iraq heavy water production plant that could have been used to make plutonium, that also a route to making a weapon, the core of that reactor taken out, filled with cement. four-door research facility all f f fissile materiel moved. now the new inspection system that the iaea will put in place will cover the extraction of the uranium from the ground, mills where it's milled to refine it down, to the enrichment process so there could be no covert way in which iran could divert or secretly dig up uranium, divert
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into covert mills, and then secretly enrich. secretary kerry laying out what they've done and precisely what's going to be overseen in the future. so the director general of the iaea going to tehran to kick start the new phase of the rip between his organization and the iranian nuclear scientists there. >> nic robertson, stand by. a lease lelise labott getting m information on the prisoner exchange. the implementation of the nuclear deal today. what are you hearing about that? >> we're still waiting for the majority of those four americans to be flown out, get out of iranian airspace, so the u.s. and families know they're safe. we've been talking about these four americans, "the washington post" reporter jason rezaian, pastor saeed abedini, former
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marine, amir hekmati, and a fourth we didn't know much, nosratollah we didn't know that much about. and those were the four part of 14 months of intense diplomacy between the u.s. and iran. a fifth american, matthew trevithick, and he was also released, not as part of the larger negotiations but the iranian released him. he was a student detained in the last 40 days as a goodwill gesture. the white house just wrapped up a call with reporters, senior administration officials do say that matthew trevithick has left iran. waiting for four americans to get out of airspace to be reunited with their families. >> jim sciutto's getting more information. i what would have thought four americans were already out of there. apparently something is delaying their departure.
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what you hearing, jim? >> white house officials say the plane is still on the ground but it's just a logistical issue at this point, and i've been speaking to families as well. they're waiting for confirmation of wheels up from the plane. they don't have it yet. the white house saying it will happen but they have to work through what sounds like red tape. i would know it's already sunday in tehran, to by iran time they will not be released until tomorrow in effect but we may get word before that u.s. time. speaking to white house officials saying that why are these two things happening today? you have prisoner swap today or at least announcement of the prisoner swap today and you have the implementation of the nuclear deal. they confirmed that there was two separate negotiating tracks but in the last two or three weeks it became clear both tracks were coming to fruition around the same time. and it was only the last two or three days they made a decision,
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let's make both announcements on the same day. they weren't tied necessarily to separate negotiating tracks but realized they were coming to a head at the same time they decided to make the announcement on the same day. so no direct tie. but in the last two, three days they decided to announce them on the same day, because they've reached that point where they can make this happen. and that's truly remarkable since they were two very difficult things to come about in terms of these negotiations. one more note, i would say, to come off what nic was saying with iaea director going there tomorrow. white house officials describing this as unprecedented inspector access to iran's nuclear facilities and they make the point that iran has, with this agreement sign on to additional protocol under the iaea which gives the greatest access in the white house officials' words, to iran nuclear facilities and it a whole host of things. it's things like electronic
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seals on iranian nuclear commitment. it is video cameras in particular places, as well as, and this is most important perhaps, regular visits by iaea inspectors and the head of iaea going to iran tomorrow to begin that process. >> are they saying anything -- the crit such levelled, as you know, about the iaea inspectors' ability to go anywhere, anytime, in he have to give, what, two, three, four weeks' notice before they go ahead and get access to sensitive sites, is that still on the table? >> reporter: the white house didn't specify any advanced warning, but the fact is, with the iaea inspection process the iranians will know when they're coming. but the white house will say, under these additional protocols this is the greatest access possible under iaea monitoring. the fact is, it is much more than was the case in the past. but does that allow for some
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meddling in the future? what i'm told by the white house, and i'm also told this by intelligence officials, wolf, there are a lot of eyes watching iranian nuclear activity, that includes not only iaea inspectors but u.s. satellites that have capability to detect these things. that's the administration's ability, they have more ways to monitor iranian compliance with this deal. >> everyone, stand by. we heard the secretary of state, john kerry, say the president of the united states, president obama, would be speaking about the prisoner exchange later. standing by to hear from the president. we don't know yet when he will make the statement that secretary kerry spoke about. of course, cnn will have live coverage of that. much more on breaking news. "beth" by kiss ♪ beth, i hear you calling.♪. ♪ but i can't come home right now... ♪
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it takes all kinds of jobs. and the best place to find the job that's right for you ♪ is on the world's number-one job site. indeed. how the world works. within just the last few hours a number of international
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sanctions have been lifted against iran. this came almost immediately after the u.n. nuclear watchdog, the iaea, confirmed that iran was, indeed, dismantlingite nuclear program, meeting requirements of the nuclear agreement with the us. also, iran has released four americans, in a prisoner swap with the united states, and freed a fifth american held there for roughly a month. in return, the u.s. will commute sentences of seven iranians. bill nelson voted to back the iran deal. he joins me from washington. >> thanks, poppy. >> you were a supporter of this. not all democrats were. we have one of your fellow democrats on later this hour to talk about it. how optimistic are you, though, that iran stays in compliance? we did hear that warning from secretary kerry tonight in vienna. >> it's clearly in iran's interests to stay in compliance. and i think they will, just by virtue of what has happened.
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they've put concrete in the plutonium reactor, they've shipped 24,000 pounds of enriched uranium out of the country. they can't do a bomb in three months like they used to could. now the minimum time will be 12 months, and we would easily catch that. so it's clearly in iran's interests to stay in compliance. what do you say this those who argue -- we're hearing this from a number of republicans -- you still have two americans, leviso in a businessman, and also they argue just made iran wa8 to 10 more months and they would have had for breakout time to make a nuclear weapon what do you say? >> i'm happy for the five that will be released. i am distressed that we did not
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get any information about bob levison, which i have been involved in from the get-go. i know this is devastating to the levison family. a wife and seven children. the last proof of life was a couple of years ago in a photograph. but notice that a government, administration official said today that they -- the iranians have promised to continue to help and help try to find any evidence of where bob is. they claim they don't know where he is. well, of course, i have great suspicions about that. but that is on the table. it's been on the table from day one. we'll see what happens. >> you agree with making this deal even though the united states does not believe, you do not believe iran is being honest about bob levison.
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>> well, the nuclear deals a separate thing. >> i mean the prisoner swap today. >> oh, five for seven? yes. and if you're part of the families of the five you certainly agree with it. i just want to see us find out what happened to bob eight years ago on the iranian island of kish. >> talk about lifting the sanctions what it will mean is iran will be able to sellite oil on the global market, that's going to bring in money. also, billions in frozen iranian assets is now being unfrozen, whether that's $150 billion as republicans are saying, whether that's closer to $50 billion, it's still billions. are you concerned about what that's going to do in terms of bolstering iran's economy, in terms of being a sponsor of terrorism? >> of course, i'm concerned. but it's $56 billion, it's iranians' money that was frozen in foreign banks, not u.s.
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banks, and they're going to make money on oil, sure, but thank goodness oil is below $30 now. so you have to look separately as whether or not this was a good deal for the united states and our allies and especially israel with regard to them not being able to make a nuclear weapon in three months. >> i want to get your reaction to something that senator marco rubio said today. let's play that. >> shouldn't be involved in swaps. they should never have happened is my point. i'm glad -- if these reports are true, we're happy author for them. but they should have never been this. this tells us about the iranian regime, they take people hostage in order to gain concessions. >> the key part is when he said, while we celebrate their return, the deal serves as a piece of propagan propaganda, that was ted cruz.
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mark cco rubio said they take people hostage in order to take concessions. do you believe that? >> i would have suspicions about the fifth person, which was a student that was scooped up a while ago. but with regard to the others, i don't believe that the case. and if you said that the united states should not be involved in swaps, my goodness, that's been going on since the beginning of humankind. >> what do you think this means, north, for diplomatic relations, big picture between iran and the united states? you've got parliamentary elections coming up next month in iran. you've got the fact that the president, rouhani, and also zarif the foreign ministers moderates compared to the ayatollah or iranian revoluti revolutionary guard.
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it seems like the moderates won out, convinced the ayatollah to do this. >> i believe so. i believe this is a victory for the moderates in iran. and i think the fact that now the deal is working, it's being implemented, i think is going to give extra political strength to rouhani and zarif, and as a result, i think they are going to have a chance of trying to tamp down the right-wing crazies that all they want is confrontation. a diplomatic peaceful dialogue between the two of 0 us that can start to turn iran into the family of nations, albeit ever so slowly and so painfully slowly, if we have them to did that turn over the years, that's clearly in our interests' and our allies' interests.
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>> bill nelson, appreciate your time. thank you very much. >> thanks, poppy. next -- we bring you reaction from the white house and you will also hear directly from a friend about "the washington post" journalist jason rezaian who will shortly be a free man. here at the td ameritrade trader group, they work all the time. sup jj, working hard? working 24/7 on mobile trader, rated #1 trading app on the app store. it lets you trade stocks, options, futures... even advanced orders. and it offers more charts than a lot of other competitors do on desktop. you work so late. i guess you don't see your family very much? i see them all the time. did you finish your derivatives pricing model, honey? td ameritrade. you premium like clockwork. month after month. year after year. then one night, you hydroplane into a ditch. yeah... surprise... your insurance company tells you to pay up again.
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>> breaking news, we continue to
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follow the historic day and agreement between the united states and iran. a number of u.s. and european economic sanctions against iran have just been lifted in the past few hours. this is after the international nuclear watchdog, the iaea, declared that iran is in full compliance with the nuclear agreement reached last year. also today, five americans jailed in iran for various reasons are free. let's get straight to cnn's chris frates. reaction from the white house. we keep waiting to hear from the president. any indication when he may speak? >> reporter: we're still waiting to see. a lot of people think he may come out to take a victory lap. what we have heard from senior administration officials is that matthew trevithick, the student who was in iran, has left iran. but we've learned now that the four other americans who have been released are still in iran. white house is not talking much about where they're going, when they'll be reunited with family
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members. but we do know they're going to look after their medical needs, if there are any, and they hope that they'll be leaving iran soon. the or question that we asked of senior administration officials, what happens to these seven iranians who had been pardoned. and that's going to take presidential action. president obama's going to need to pardon iranians or he's going to need to commute those sentences. but again, the white house being rather mum on the details about who those iranians are, and what actions have to be taken, they're waiting for our americans to leave iran before they get into that. however, all day long they have told us that these iranians didn't do anything violent here, they weren't convicted of violent crimes and they weren't part of terrorism in any way. these are folks who broke economic sanctions and the trade embargo. the third thing we heard was a bit of a pushback from white house officials who said there's been a lot of criticisms about whether or not the u.s. should deal with iran. they're saying that opening up
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this diplomatic channels with the nuclear agreement allowed them to fast track the discussions, they were parallel and separate discussions from the nuclear deal, but allowed them to really make progress on getting these five americans out of iran. and they think they have a victory here, poppy. so some news and reaction from the white house tonight as we wait to see whether or not the president himself is going to make a statement or come out and talk on camera. >> one interesting thing, though, about the timing, correct me if i'm wrong, you're saying the u.s. likely isn't going to release the names of the iranian who will be pardoned or sentences commuted until those five americans are on a plane headed back to the us? >> reporter: exactly right. that's what we're hearing. they want the americans to clear the iranian airspace, and then we'll maybe get more details who the iranians that we are swapping, who they are, what they did. >> chris frates, live at the white house this evening, thank you. we'll keep you posted when we
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might hear from president obama. i want to bring in a research director at national iranian american council. thank you for being with me. before we get to your reaction on the broader agreement, sanctions lifted, you are a friend of "the washington post" reporter jason rezaian. when i saw this headline cross this afternoon, i was stunned. when he was convicted last year, many peep didn't know what his future would hold what are your thoughts? >> my thoughts are of happiness and my thoughts are with his family because, above all else, this is a day where we should be happy that somebody who was unjustly imprisoned inside iran finally gets to reunite with his family. i can't think of a more important and a more poignant thing to think about. anybody that's questioning this prisoner swap, imagine if you were in jason's position, imagine in you were in jason's family's position, what would be the priority? the priority would be bringing our people home, and that's exactly what the obama administration achieved today.
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>> his wife, who we're seeing in some photos, unless a journalist, she was not imprisoned, she was temporarily, but she was not allowed to leave iran. so we're hearing she will fly back with jason. can you tell us a little bit him? >> jason is one of the nicest guys i ever met, and i'm not just saying that because he left prison. this is one of the reasons why we became friends. but it's one of the reasons so many call jason a friend. he went back to iran because he wanted to get in touch with his roots, they wanted to show the world while iran has a side oftentimes reported in the media that is about human rights abuses and doing things in conflict with the united states, it also had another side to it, that represented the iranian people and a great country and a great civilization which makes it all the more tragic that somebody like him would get caught up in political in-fighting amongst iranian political officials. >> we heard secretary kerry make
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brief remashes tonight in vienna before getting on his plane back. and he said the world is a safer place now. and he talked specifically about the time line saying the time line breakout, if you will, to build a nuclear weapon in iran has gone from, as he put it two to three months to a year. talk to me about the bigger picture here, diplomatic relations going forward between the u.s. and iran. what now? >> poppy, there's two things that stand out above all else. one, this is the most robust and intrusive nonproliferation agreement negotiated in the history of the world. because we've been able to negotiate it, because we have a direct channel of communication with the iranian government, that hasn't existed in over three decades, we're able to get ten u.s. sailors released in 16 hours. we're able to bring american citizens home that were rotting in iranian prison cells. this is the value of diplomacy.
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this is great triumph of diplomacy. there's no guarantee it continues forward in the future but provides the greatest hope that we've had in 37 years. >> are you worried at all, though, as you've seen a number of republicans pointing out in the campaign trail today, that billions of dollars that will flow back into the iranian economy, the oil from iran that will hit the market, this will make them a richer, more prosperous country. any concern? >> i think the obama administration was the first to outline these concerns. so the gop candidates aren't saying anything different than the obama administration. but they're not giving the full pish tur, which is that iran is considered a state sponsor of terrorism. but the amount of money you can spend on asymmetric warfare, terrorist activities around the world have a point of diminishing returns. when iran was under the most back breaking sanctions in the history of the world they didn't reduce the amount of money dedicating to the issues. the money they need to rebuild the economy, which is broken and dedicate it towards other stuff,
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which they're doing relatively well in air own eyeser it stretches the limits of rely ability. >> no doubt you're looking forward to seeing your friend jacen. thanks very much. five families desperately waiting for those five men to come home to the united states. we know one of them is on his way. >> my kids, just running around, asking me every other second when they get to hug daddy. coming up, hear from the wife of the christian pastor held in iran for three years and will finally come home. stay with us. aren't moving in the right direction,bers it can be a burden. but what if you could wake up to lower blood sugar? imagine loving your numbers. discover once-daily invokana®. with over 6 million prescriptions and counting,
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back with breaking news coverage of this historic day. the relationship between iran and the united states vastly different right now. the united states has lifted many economic sanctions in place against iran after the country officially completed steps to eliminate the nuclear program. put in place in 1979, some at least, right now a freed american prisoner, matthew trevithick has left iran. release was negotiated in secret. it not part of the more complex prisoner swap. four other prisoners, american prisoners, including "the washington post" reporter jason rezaian, will soon be on a plane. it has not yet departed iran
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we're told. they're still in tehran. i swap negotiated in secret over a year. in exchange, the u.s. will set to commute sentences of seven iranian prisoners in the united states, abedini captured by iran back in september of 2012. and now his wife is waiting to see him again. she spoke earlier to me by phone from boise, idaho. >> it's a great, joyful day. my kids cannot stop just running around and asking me every other second when they get to hug daddy. so it's just 3 1/2 years in waiting. this morning i got messages through my iranian friends there was news out in iranian media that four americans were released, and soon after that i got a call from the state department probably 6:30, 7:00 in the morning mountain time, and they said it is confirmed
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that they were at the swiss embassy at that time in the morning, this morning, and they were being transferred over for -- to another country for medical evaluation. once i got that confirmation, i told my kids, i woke them up and i said, daddy's coming home. it's just been really exciting. we're waiting to hear from saeed any time now. he's supposed to be able to call me anytime. >> so exciting. but naghmeh, as far as you know he's at the swiss embassy in tehran? >> i believe they're out. >> they're out? >> supposed to land, what i've heard is they're supposed to land to safe country, i believe in germany, at a u.s. base there for medical attention. once they go through certain process with our government, then they're allowed to call family members and that process should have been over by now.
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so anytime in the next few minutes to few hours there should be a call from sae. d and family. >> we were told they would go through medical attention at a u.s. medical facility in germany before coming back to the united states. you plan on going to germany to be reunited or wait until your husband comes back to the united states? >> you know, i would love to go there, i'm trying to get the green light from state department and from talking to my husband and seeing what's the best, how long it will take, if he's being brought over to the u.s. immediately or what's going on. i will have more information once i speak with him of where we would meet. but i would fly in an hour, i would fly now to germany if i had more information and confirmation that i could meet him. >> that's what i've heard from family members. jason rezaian, amir hekmati, your husband, the pastor, abedini. do you know, by the way, the fourth american, nosratollah who
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was freed? we don't know much about him? >> there was -- there was not much information in the media about him but there was some coverage a few months ago, he was picked up, a businessman in dub dubai, dual iranian-american citizen. there was not media about his situation but i was aware of it and i'm glad he's being freed too. he's only been in their custody a few months. >> i assume you and your attorney who has been really helpful in trying to get your husband freed, you've been in close touch with officials at state department. how have they treated you? >> sorry. it's been wonderful. the last especially year, constant communication, constant updates by, of course, last year this time we met with president obama. he was in boise, idaho. we had a private meeting with
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the kids. just the last year has been the most, the best support. they were continually updating us on the site, the talks with iran and the negotiations. i had a feeling in the last few months it was coming to a close about i wasn't really sure and i want trying to get my hopes up. but they were constantly updating us they were working on it and talks they were having. so our family was constantly updated. again, of course, president obama meeting with my kids and with me. and reassuring me last year at this time that he would get my husband and other americans out, that i would have to be a little more patient. but that's going to work out, like he did with the cuban prisoner. it was reassuring when the president made that comment lastier. and they've done a great job, especially last year, communication has gotten much
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better, and they've reached out, made sure our family's okay, from his cabinet, from the president's cabinet members, meeting privately, calling up, checking up on our family and reassuring us it's a high priority. >> as you know, for a long time u.s. officials were insisting there was no collection between the negotiations to try to free your husband, the other americans and the iran nuclear deal. the fact that your husband, others are being freed on the sail same day as implementation agreement goes into effect, looks like there was a connection. are you surprised? >> no. we didn't -- we didn't believe there should have been a connection. but we never know what the iranians are -- what the intentions and all of the behind the scenes. but we knew that during the negotiations saeed and other americans were being discussed on the sidelines. and it was parallel with the
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nuclear talks and so i'm not surprised that it's happening on a crucial day with the nuclear milestone. >> remind our viewers, naghmeh, your attorney was telling us earlier, abedini, the pastor, your husband, he was in iran, wanted to open up an orphanage, is that right? >> yeah. he was in iran working on an orphanage when arrested. and the charges, they gave him eight years in prison. he served three years of that, over 3 1/2 years of that. and the charges were his christian faith. >> naghmeh abedini, wife of saeed abedini, christian pastor, who has been freed. unfortunately the four americans who have been freed still in tehran, we're told. they haven't taken off yet. supposed to take off on a swiss plane heading to switzerland first and making their way to germany, landstuhl air base, they will get medical attention,
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maybe reunited with families. there's some sort of delay there in tehran. i suspect they were supposed to be in the air by now but something's going on, maybe a technical problem. hopefully it is. we're staying on top of the story. we hope four americans are out of there asap, as quickly as possible. next, more on breaking news coverage coming out of iran. how the frosty relationship between iran and the united states may be changing even as we speak. the two countries were at odds more more than 35 years, going back to 1979 when american diplomats held hostage for 444 days in tehran. experts discuss the pace of change for a relationship filled with darkness for decades. your core. trubiotics a probiotic from one a day naturally helps support both your digestive and immune health by combining... ... two types of good bacteria. trubiotics. be true to your health.
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secret talks over 14 months led to the release of secret talks led to the nuclear negotiations all culminating today. five americans should be on their way home soon. cnn global affair analyst kimberly dozier is live with me this evening. a day that will go down in history, no question. there is no question about the timing here. it is 100% connected to implementation day. your thoughts? >> absolutely. and yet senior administration
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officials are at pains to say these were two separate tracks. they are being very careful about this trying not to link the two. so they, i suppose, don't get accused of trading nukes for american citizens. but you know how this is going to play on the streets of eye rap. as a victory for the moderate president there and in a sense it might help the administration. you have parliamentary elections coming up in february in iran. this is hoping for a moderate victory. so it's as if they don't want to do anything to -- they want to hand this victory to the iranians. >> you would agree this makes the moderates in iran look stronger. >> they are able to say now we have billions of dollars flowing
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back into the country but we have this international prestige. we have conducted this trade with the americans. and now in other sense ises we can take part on the world stage in things like they have been invited to be in the background of the syrian peace talks. those will kick off brokered by the u.n. at the end of january. now, they'll only have the syrians, rebels, and assad government at the table. but in the background, you have the iranians as major backers of the assad government. and now they are going to have a bigger voice in those talks in the background. >> at the same time, you have the incredibly complex geopolitical dynamic at play here in terms of the united states and iran being on opposite sides of the fight in syria in terms of yemen, for example, the houthi rebels. how does this play in the big picture in terms of those
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fights? >> well, in a positive accepts, what it could do is give the u.s. an ally, at least someone not fighting their efforts on the ground for isis. the iranians are working with the iraqi government. iranian treatments are fighting isis inside that country. and neighboring syria, iranian troops working with the assad government. u.s. officials tell me have been the major reason the assad government has been able to take back territory. so there is someone you have to have on side to work with the assad government and they are a formidable useful in defeating isis. >> a lot more. levinson not part of this prisoner swap deal. thank you very much. coming up next, donald trump versus ted cruz. new attacks today that had one of them getting boos from the audience.
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now to south carolina where the leading republican presidential candidates are duking it out in the key early voting state. donald trump and ted cruz really going after each other. m.j. joins me from myrtle beach, south carolina. one of them got booed. >> that's right, poppy. i think it's fair to say that donald trump and ted cousin are finally in an open war with one
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another after having been on friendly terms. now they are neck and neck in iowa and because the iowa caucuses are now two weeks away. it goes to show why they are fighting, why they are ratcheting things up. ted cruz went after trump to a group of reporters. >> it seems donald has a lot of nervous energy. for whatever reason, donald doesn't react well when he is going down in the polls. i imagine he's very dismayed by the latest wall street journal/nbc poll that shows in a head-to-head matchup not only does it lose to me but 51-43. knowing donald, that has got to drive him nuts. i imagine it pulled him out of bed this morning and september him tweeting and tweeting and tweeting. i think in terms of a commander in chief, we ought to have someone who isn't springing out
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of bed to tweet in r in a frantic response to the latest polls. i think the american people are looking for a commander and chief who is stable and steady and a calm hand to keep the country safe. >> so cruz, as you heard, going after trump for tweeting and tweeting and tweeting all the time. well, here's how trump responded by tweeting and tweeting and tweeding. i actually went back and counted the number of anti-cruz tweets trump today. i counted 14. i will read one of them to you. ted cruz is the ultimate hypocrite. says one thing for money, does another for votes. so the two are really going after one another on twitter, to reporters. but it was interesting the two candidates just finished up speaking at the south carolina tea party convention behind me.
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you wouldn't have known unless you were really paying attention. cruz didn't even mention trump by name. trump, at the end of his speech, he did go after cruz. it backfired a little bit. let's take a listen. >> i mean, you give a campaign contribution to ted cruz, you get whatever the hell you want, okay. whatever you want. and he's a very nice guy. but you have to get -- right? excuse me. bank loans. excuse me. didn't report his bank loans. say whatever you want. he didn't report bank loans. it's okay. he didn't report his bank loans. he has bank loans from goldman sachs, from citi bank. and then, and then he acts like robin hood. say whatever you want, but it doesn't work that way. >> poppy, be i don't know if you can hear. but there were definitely some people in the crowd who were starting to boo at trump. they didn't like that he was going after cruz.
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obviously this is a risk when you are talking to a crowd that is just your supporters. >> it is getting real as we are two weeks away from iowa and two weeks away from new hampshire. this is cnn breaking news. top of the hour. i'm poppy harlow in new york. we begin with breaking news on what is a historic day that will no doubt be talked about for years and years. a number of u.s. and european economic sanctions against iran have been lifted in the last few hours. and an american matthew trevithnick has left iran. they have endured life in a notoriously tough iranian prison. iran has completed the necessary