Transcript: Ep. 3 - The Iran Deal | Oct 30, 2018

(music plays)

Logo: TVF International.

Fast clips show images of Anti-American protests in the Middle East.

The narrator says THIS WEEK, ON
THE
NEW SILK ROAD,
I TRAVEL TO A
COUNTRY ON THE CUSP OF CHANGE.
THE UNITED STATES CALLS IT AN
"AXIS OF EVIL."
BUT CHINA SEES IT AS AN
IMPORTANT ALLY ON ITS NEW SILK
ROAD.

Xi Jinping says "I am full of confidence in China and Iran's comprehensive strategic partnership."

The narrator says IRANIANS ARE NOW EMBRACING ALL
THINGS CHINESE.

A clip shows Iranian girls demonstrating Chinese martial arts.

In a classroom, the students repeat after the teacher ""Thanks Heavens and earth."

The narrator says AND ITS ECONOMY IS RACING AHEAD
AS IT REBUILDS THE ANCIENT SILK
ROAD WITH CHINA.
THIS WEEK, I'M GOING TO IRAN TO
INVESTIGATE HOW TO CHINA'S SILK
ROAD WILL IMPACT THIS COUNTRY.

(music plays)

In animation, a light beam travels across the cities the railroad joins.

The name of the show appears in yellow letters over a map. It reads "The new Silk Road. Season 3."

The narrator says GOOGLE "IRAN," AND THIS IS THE
IMPRESSION YOU GET.

An online article from The Wall Street Journal appears with a headline that reads "Iran is a bigger threat than Syria and North Korea Combined."

The narrator says ISOLATED STATE...

Another headline reads "Iran remains top terror sponsor as global attacks decline."

The narrator says TERROR SUPPORTER...

Another headline reads "It's become a monster: is Iran's revolutionary guard a terror group?"

The narrator says AND NUCLEAR POWER.

Another headline reads "Why Iran's nuclear program is a greater threat than North Korea's."

The narrator says NOT EXACTLY AN OPTIMISTIC
IMPRESSION.
BUT WHAT I'VE SEEN HERE FEELS
LIKE QUITE THE OPPOSITE.

The narrator takes pictures of local people.

He enters a local whole foods market and says WANT TO TRY AGAIN?
THESE ARE ALSO FROM IRAN AS
WELL?
THAT'S REALLY GOOD.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

He says THE PEOPLE I'VE MET HERE ARE
JUST SO FRIENDLY.
ALL RIGHT, SEE YOU GUYS, BYE!
IRAN IS A DYNAMIC COUNTRY.
IT HAS A HUGE POPULATION OF
OVER 80 MILLION.
AND IT'S A FAST-GROWING
ECONOMY.
WITH SOME FASHIONABLE AND FUN
PEOPLE.
NOW IRAN IS AN IMPORTANT PLACE
ON CHINA'S NEW SILK ROAD, AND
I'M HERE TO FIND OUT WHY.
BUT BEFORE I DIVE INTO THE
POLITICAL ISSUES, I'M TOLD
THERE IS A PLACE I MUST SEE TO
UNDERSTAND THE TWO COUNTRIES'
DEEP TIES.

(music plays)

The narrator says FOUR HOURS' DRIVE TO THE SOUTH
OF TEHRAN IS ISFAHAN, THE
ANCIENT CAPITAL OF PERSIA.

A caption reads "Anthony Morse."

Anthony is in his late thirties, with short brown hair and a graying stubble. He wears jeans and a blue shirt.

Anthony says ISFAHAN WAS AN IMPORTANT TRADING
POINT ON THE OLD SILK ROAD.
400 YEARS AGO, TRADERS FROM
EUROPE, CHINA, AND THE MIDDLE
EAST WOULD MEET HERE TO DO
BUSINESS.
IMAGINE, TRADERS FROM CHINA,
WALKING FOR MONTHS IN THE HOT,
UNFORGIVING DESERTS.
AND WHEN THEY ARRIVED, THEY
WOULD SEE THIS...
JEWELLED BUILDINGS AND LUSH
GARDENS, WHAT A SIGHT IT MUST
HAVE BEEN FOR THEM.
ISFAHAN WAS LARGER THAN LONDON,
MORE COSMOPOLITAN THAN PARIS.
AND GRANDER, BY SOME ACCOUNTS,
THAN EVEN ISTANBUL.
ELEGANT BRIDGES CROSSED ITS
RIVER.
POLO PLAYERS DASHED ACROSS WHAT
WAS THEN THE WORLD'S LARGEST
SQUARE.
AND HUNDREDS OF DOMES AND
MINARETS PUNCTUATED THE
SKYLINE.
THE PERSIAN COURT WAS THE
CENTRE OF A VAST EMPIRE THAT
WAS COMPRISED OF MODERN-DAY
IRAN, ARMENIA, AZERBAIJAN,
IRAQ, AND ALSO PARTS OF
AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN, AND
TURKEY.
ZAHRA MALEK IS MY GUIDE.
THIS PLACE IS MAGNIFICENT, CAN
YOU TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT
IT?

The caption changes to "Zahra Malek. Lecturer, Azad University of Isfahan."

Zahra is in her thirties and wears black trousers, a light blue coat and a sparkly blue headscarf.

Zahra says "Oh sure, this is Imam square in Isfahan. There are 2 mosques, there is 1 palace, and there is 1 imperial bazaar."

Anthony says IT'S HUGE!
THERE MUST HAVE BEEN MANY PEOPLE
WORKING TO BUILD IT UP.

Zahra says "Yes, lots of workers, Iranians and also Chinese, Chinese workers."

Anthony says REALLY?!

Zahra says "It was said that there were 300 workers from China to Iran."

Anthony says SO, EVEN 400 YEARS AGO, THERE
WERE CHINESE WORKERS HERE IN
IRAN?

Zahra says "Yes! Shah Abbas the First brought some Chinese artists from China to Iran, and ordered them to teach Iranians how to make some artistic things like porcelain, porcelain dishes."

Anthony says I SEE, WELL, LET'S CHECK OUT THE
REST OF THE COMPLEX.

Zahra says OKAY, SURE.

Anthony says THIS IS THE SHAH'S
PALACE, WHERE PEOPLE FROM
EUROPE, INDIA, AND CHINA CAME
TO PAY THEIR RESPECTS.
OH, WOW, THIS IS BEAUTIFUL!

Zahra says "This is the throne hall that people from different nations gather here. Every picture refers to some culture, some nation. For example, this picture is from China, we can see 2 Chinese people in this picture."

Anthony says I CAN SEE THAT... SO, HOW LONG,
THEN, OR HOW EARLY, DID THE
CHINESE FIRST ARRIVE IN IRAN?

Zahra says "It's a long history, they had relations for 2 centuries before Christ."

Anthony says SO 200 BC?

Zahra says "Yes, 200 BC."

Anthony says SO THAT'S OVER 2,000 YEARS.

Zahra says "Yes."

Anthony says THAT'S A LONG TIME.

Zahra says "It's a long time."

Anthony says IRAN AND CHINA WERE THE TWO
GREAT CIVILIZATIONS THAT
FLOURISHED ON THE ANCIENT SILK
ROAD.
PERSIAN KINGS SENT INVOICES TO
CHINA, AND CHINESE EMPERORS
SENT GIFTS AND WORKERS.
CHINESE-IRANIAN DIPLOMATIC TIES
SPRING FROM DEEP HISTORICAL
WELLS.
TODAY, AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY,
OFFICIALS FROM BOTH COUNTRIES
INVOKE THIS ANCIENT
RELATIONSHIP, AND IT'S NOT EMPTY
TALK.
BOTH COUNTRIES WANT TO RECREATE
THE PAST AND REMAKE THE SILK
ROAD.
NOT JUST REMINISCE ABOUT IT.
AS THE EUROPEAN EMPIRES ROSE IN
THE 19TH CENTURY, ISFAHAN, ONCE
CONSIDERED THE CENTRE OF THE
WORLD, FADED FROM MEMORY.
AND IN THE 20TH CENTURY, IRAN
WENT FROM GLOBALIZATION TO
ISOLATION.

A caption reads "1978."

Anthony says THE DRAMATIC EVENTS LEADING TO
THIS BEGAN IN 1978.

Archive footage shows massive street protests.

Demonstrators chant "The royal regime of the Shah must be destroyed and replaced by Khomeyni!"

Anthony says MILLIONS SPILLED ONTO THE
STREETS TO DEMAND THAT THE SHAH
STEP DOWN.
ORDINARY IRANIANS FELT THEY HAD
LITTLE REASON TO BE GRATEFUL TO
THE SHAH, WHO WAS RULER OF
IRAN.
WHILE MANY IRANIANS STRUGGLED
WITH POVERTY, THE SHAH LIVED IN
LUXURY.
I'M VISITING THE PALACE THAT
USED TO BE HIS HOME.

Anthony walks in a lavish palace.

Anthony says THE SCALE OF ROYAL WEALTH IS
STUNNINGLY APPARENT.
BUT WHILE HE LANGUISHED IN
LUXURY, ANGER MOUNTED IN THE
STREETS.

The caption changes to "Prof Mohammad Marandi. Political Analyst. University of Tehran."

Mohammad is in his early fifties, with short wavy brown hair and wears glasses, a gray shirt and a gray blazer.

He says THE SHAH, NOT ONLY WAS HE
DESPOTIC, AND HIS WHOLE FAMILY
WAS STEALING THE WEALTH OF THE
COUNTRY, BUT EVEN MORE
PROBLEMATIC THAN THAT WAS THE
SHEER AMOUNT OF CORRUPTION.
BUT ALSO IRAN'S LACK OF
INDEPENDENCE.
MANY IRANIANS FELT THAT THE SHAH
WAS A PERSON WHO ABIDED BY THE
DEMANDS OF THE UNITED STATES,
AND THAT HE WAS UNABLE TO MAKE
ANY INDEPENDENT POLICIES FOR THE
COUNTRY, SO ON THE WHOLE, IRAN
WAS A COUNTRY THAT WAS BASICALLY
AN AMERICAN CAMP.
IT WAS VERY CORRUPT, VERY
BACKWARD.
(CHANTING)

Anthony says IN AUTUMN 1978,
PROTESTS AGAINST THE SHAH HAD
GROWN TO SUCH PROPORTIONS THAT
MARSHAL LAW WAS DECLARED IN
MOST CITIES.
SOLDIERS ORDERED THE CROWDS TO
DISPERSE.
BUT ANGRY PROTESTERS IGNORED
THE ORDER.
A CYCLE OF BLOOD AND VIOLENCE
BEGAN.
EACH TIME THE SHAH'S SOLDIERS
TRIED TO CONTAIN THE PROTESTS,
MORE CAME OUT IN ANGER.
WITHIN A YEAR, THE MONARCHY WAS
TOPPLED.
THE SHAH'S ANTAGONIST-- HOLY
MAN AYATOLLAH KOHMEYNI
INHERITED IRAN'S REVOLUTION.

Protesters chant "Khomeyni is the spirit of god."

ISLAMIC LAW WAS IMPLEMENTED IN
WHAT WAS NOW THE ISLAMIC
REPUBLIC OF IRAN.

The caption changes to "Einar Tangen. Political Analyst."

Einar is in his fifties, with short receding white hair and wears glasses, a black suit, white shirt and printed pink tie.

Einar says IT BECAME, OVERNIGHT, A
THEOCRACY, AND IF YOU'RE A
WOMAN, YOU HAD TO WEAR A FULL
BURKHA, OR BEING AT RISK-- BEING
LITERALLY PUNISHED ON THE
STREET, BEATEN BY THE POLICE,
THE RELIGIOUS POLICE WHO WERE
ROVING AROUND IN BANDS.

Anthony says ALMOST OVERNIGHT,
THE WEST'S MOST STEADFAST ALLY
IN THE MUSLIM WORLD HAD BECOME
A VIOLENT AND VOLATILE ENEMY,
WHERE MASS CROWDS RAISED THEIR
FISTS TO CHANT "DEATH TO
AMERICA."
IN THIS VIDEO CLIP, THE CROWDS
ARE SEEN MARCHING TOWARDS THE
US EMBASSY TO PROTEST.
WESTERN COMPANIES, ESPECIALLY
THOSE IN THE OIL AND GAS SECTOR
WERE KICKED OUT OF IRAN.
THIS WAS THE STARTING POINT OF
DECADES OF CONFLICT BETWEEN THE
WEST AND IRAN.
AFTER THE SEPTEMBER 11TH
BOMBINGS,
IRAN WAS FAMOUSLY LABELLED AN
"AXIS OF EVIL" BY GEORGE BUSH.

A caption reads "States like those (Iraq, Iran, and North Korea) constitute an axis of evil. U.S. President George W. Bush, 2002."

Anthony says SINCE THEN, IRAN HAS BEEN SEEN
BY MANY, AT BEST, AS AN
ENIGMATIC RELIGIOUS COUNTRY.
AT WORST, AS A SUPPORTER OF
TERRORISM AND AN INTERNATIONAL
PARIAH.
ALL THAT CHANGED IN 2016.

(SINGING)

Anthony says DECADES OF SANCTIONS WERE
LIFTED IN JANUARY OF THAT YEAR,
AFTER A UN WATCHDOG COMMITTEE
CONFIRMED THAT IRAN HAD
COMPLIED WITH THE DEAL TO STOP
DEVELOPING NUCLEAR WEAPONS.
THAT VERY SAME MONTH, CHINESE
PRESIDENT XI JINPING PAID A
VISIT.
PRESIDENT XI WAS THE FIRST HEAD
OF STATE TO VISIT IRAN AFTER
SANCTIONS WERE LIFTED.
THE TWO LEADERS ANNOUNCED THE
SIGNING OF 17 MAJOR DEALS THAT
WOULD BOOST BILATERAL TRADE TEN
FOLD, TO AN ANNUAL 600 BILLION
US DOLLARS IN THE NEXT DECADE.
IRANIAN AYATOLLAH, ALI KOHMEYNI,
SAID IRANIANS NEVER TRUSTED THE
WESTERN WORLD, BUT ARE HAPPY
WORKING WITH SO-CALLED "MORE
INDEPENDENT NATIONS," LIKE
CHINA.
THE REVIVAL OF THE ANCIENT SILK
ROAD IS ONE OF THE KEY
AGREEMENTS MADE.

The caption changes to "Hassan Rouhani. President of Iran."

Hassan is in his late sixties, with gray hair and a thick beard. He wears glasses, a black robe and white headdress.

He says "The traveling of the Chinese President Xi Jingping and delegation to Iran is historical and important. And I am sure from today, a new period of relationship between Iran and China has started."

The caption changes to "Xi Jinping. President of China."

Xi is in his mid-fifties, with short dark hair and wears a black suit, white shirt and burgundy tie.

He says "I am full of confidence in China and Iran's comprehensive strategic partnership. As our ties develop, it will bring benefits to the people of both nations. This partnership will also contribute to peace and development in this region, and also for the world."

Anthony says THE FIRST ITEM ON THE SILK ROAD
AGENDA IS RAIL LINK FROM YIWU,
CHINA TO TEHRAN.
THAT IS A 3,200 KILOMETRE
ROUTE, CROSSING FIVE COUNTRIES.
KYRGYZSTAN, KAZAKHSTAN,
UZBEKISTAN, AND TURKMENISTAN.
FROM TEHRAN, THE IRON SILK ROAD
WILL JOIN IRAN'S EAST-WEST
NETWORK, LEADING TO TURKEY, AND
ONWARDS TO EUROPE.

An animated map shows the train network.

Anthony says ONE MONTH AFTER THE
ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE, THE
FIRST FREIGHT TRAIN FROM CHINA
ARRIVED IN TEHRAN.
NOT ONLY IS IT STAGGERING IN
ITS EFFICIENCY, BUT THERE ARE
HIGH HOPES THAT IT WILL DEVELOP
IRAN INTO A REGIONAL TRANSIT
CENTRE.

(WIND BLOWING)

Anthony says I'M ON CHINA'S SILK ROAD IN THE
CAPITAL OF IRAN.
AND I'VE COME TO THE (UNCLEAR)
CARGO TRAIN STATION, THE MAIN
TRAIN STATION IN THE COUNTRY.
A LONE, DISUSED PASSENGER TRAIN
SITS RUSTING IN THE TRACKS.
A FEW CARGO CONTAINERS LIE
WAITING.
BUT ALL THIS IS ABOUT TO CHANGE.
IRAN HAS SIGNED UP TO BE A PART
OF CHINA'S NEW SILK ROAD, AND
THIS PLACE IS GONNA GET A LOT
BUSIER.
FEBRUARY, 2016, A FREIGHT TRAIN
FROM YIWU CITY IN EAST CHINA
MADE ITS MAIDEN TRIP TO TEHRAN.
THE TRAIN, CARRYING 32
CONTAINERS, ARRIVED IN TEHRAN
AFTER A 14 DAY JOURNEY.
THIS IS THE IRON SILK ROAD OF
THE 21ST CENTURY.
CHINA'S ASTONISHING RAIL MASTER
PLAN IS ALREADY CHANGING GLOBAL
LOGISTIC FLOWS.
SINCE THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE
NEW SILK ROAD POLICY IN 2013,
THE CHINESE HAVE SPENT OVER
250 BILLION US DOLLARS ON RAILWAY
TRACKS.
THE FIRST LINE TO OPEN
CONNECTED CHONGQING IN CHINA TO
KAZAKHSTAN, RUSSIA, EASTERN
EUROPE, AND POLAND, BEFORE
ARRIVING IN DUISBURG, GERMANY.
EACH YEAR, MORE LINES WERE
ADDED FOR CARGO TRAINS,
CONNECTING CHINA TO LONDON,
CHINA TO SPAIN, CHINA TO
PAKISTAN, CHINA TO LAOS,
THAILAND, AND MALAYSIA.
AND NOW, CHINA TO IRAN.
WHAT'S GLARING IS THE FACT THAT
THIS IS THE ONLY LINK ON
CHINA'S IRON SILK ROAD THAT
CONNECTS TO THE MIDDLE EAST.
CHINA HAS FRIENDLY RELATIONS
WITH ALL THE MIDDLE EASTERN
COUNTRIES, WHO HAVE ALSO SIGNED
UP FOR THE BELT AND ROAD.
BUT TO IRAN, CHINA SEEMS
EXCEPTIONALLY FRIENDLY.
HOW WILL CHINA'S SILK ROAD
IMPACT IRAN?

The caption changes to "Dr. Asghar Fakhriyeh Kashan. Iran Deputy Minister. International Affairs and Investment."

Asghar is in his sixties, balding and with a gray goatee. He wears glasses, a blue shirt and a gray blazer.

He says IT IS CONNECTED TO DIFFERENT
COUNTRIES, TO AFGHANISTAN,
PAKISTAN, TURKEY, IRAQ...
AND FROM SOUTH-- EVEN TO INDIA.
THEREFORE, IT WILL IMPACT IRAN,
IF WE CAN COMPLEMENT-- IF WE
CAN-- UH, HAVE A MORE
COMPREHENSIVE NETWORK.
WE BELIEVE THAT ONE BELT, ONE
ROAD WILL ADD TO IRANIAN
NETWORK, AND THIS IS VERY
IMPORTANT.
THIS IS A VERY POSITIVE IMPACT.

Anthony says AND HOW IMPORTANT IS ALL OF
THIS FOR IRAN'S OVERALL ECONOMIC
PLAN?

Asghar says IT'S VERY IMPORTANT BECAUSE
CHINA IS CONSIDERED ONE OF THE
MAJOR PLAYERS OF THE WORLD
TODAY.
THEREFORE, NO ONE CAN IGNORE
THE ECONOMIC RELATIONS BETWEEN
ANY COUNTRY, AND CHINA.
WE ARE NOT EXEMPT.

Anthony says TRANSSHIPMENT, OR
THE TRANSFER OF CARGO, IS AN
IMPORTANT COMPONENT OF THE SILK
ROAD.
THIS GLOBAL LOGISTICS INDUSTRY
IS WORTH BILLIONS.
AND IRAN WANTS A SHARE OF THE
PIE.
WHAT WAS YOUR TRANSSHIPMENT
INCOME IN 2016?

Asghar says IT WOULD BE ABOUT 600 MILLION
US DOLLARS IN THE LAST YEAR.

Anthony says AND THEN WHAT ABOUT IN THE
NEXT TEN YEARS?
WHAT IS THE PROJECTED INCOME,
ONCE THE SILK ROAD IS FULLY
INTEGRATED?

Asghar says IT IS EXPECTED THAT WE REACH
TO TWO BILLION US DOLLARS.

Anthony says PER YEAR?

Asghar says PER YEAR, BUT IN THE NEXT
THREE YEARS, NOT TOO LONG, WE
WILL BE CONNECTED BY RAIL AND
ROAD TO ALL NEIGHBOURING
COUNTRIES.
AND THROUGH THOSE COUNTRIES,
ALSO WE WILL BE ABLE TO BE
CONNECTED TO CHINESE RAILWAY, TO
RUSSIAN RAILWAY NETWORKS, TO
EUROPEAN NETWORKS.

Anthony says ANALYSTS HAVE
POINTED OUT THAT IRAN IS AN
IMPORTANT LINK ON CHINA'S SILK
ROAD MASTER PLAN.
FROM A GEOGRAPHIC POINT OF
VIEW, IRAN IS THE ULTIMATE
EURASIAN CROSSROADS, LINKING
THE MIDDLE EAST, CAUCASUS,
CENTRAL ASIA, INDIAN
SUBCONTINENT, AND PERSIAN GULF.
IT IS LOCATED BETWEEN THREE
SEAS-- CASPIAN, PERSIAN GULF,
AND SEA OF OMAN.
IT IS RELATIVELY CLOSE TO THE
MEDITERRANEAN AND EUROPE.
AND ON THE DOORSTEP OF ASIA.
IRAN HAS AN UNBEATABLE
GEOGRAPHIC ADVANTAGE.
BUT FROM A POLITICAL POINT OF
VIEW, INVESTMENT IN IRAN IS A
RISKY VENTURE.
THE THREAT OF SANCTIONS HASN'T
GONE AWAY, BUT ALL THIS HAS NOT
DETERRED CHINA.
FIRST, AS CLEAR INDICATION OF
THEIR COMMITMENT, CHINA WILL
FINANCE THE ELECTRIFICATION OF
A 926 KILOMETRE RAILROAD, FROM
TEHRAN TO MASHHAD, WITH A 1.5
BILLION US DOLLAR LOAN FROM A
CHINESE BANK.
BESIDES THE RAILWAY, CHINA ALSO
SIGNED OTHER DEALS THAT WOULD
BOOST BILATERAL TRADE TEN FOLD,
TO AN ANNUAL 600 BILLION US
DOLLARS IN THE NEXT DECADE.

Captions on screen read "China-Iran Deals: 1. Financing of rail infrastructure projects in Iran; 2. Boost cooperation promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy; 3. China to 'invest and finance upstream and downstream energy projects in Iran.'; 4. Strengthen bilateral cooperation in mining; 5. The two countries to enhance cooperation in fossil and renewable energy, transportation, railways, ports, industry, commerce and services."

Anthony says IT IS A LONG LIST, INCLUDING
AGREEMENTS ON RAIL, NUCLEAR
ENERGY, OIL EXTRACTION, MINING,
AND A RANGE OF OTHER PROJECTS
TO BUILD PARTNERSHIP ON THE NEW
SILK ROAD.
THE AVALANCHE OF CHINESE
INVESTMENTS HAS CREATED
INTEREST IN ALL THINGS CHINESE.
FROM MANDARIN CLASSES TO WUSHU.

Clips show girls practicing the martial art.

Anthony says SPORTS, EDUCATION, CULTURAL
EVENTS, AND MEDIA.
THIS IS ALL PART OF CHINA'S
SOFT POWER PUSH IN THE WORLD.
THE COMMITTEE IN BEIJING
RESPONSIBLE FOR WINNING HEARTS
AND MINDS IS A POWERFUL
ORGANIZATION, NEAR THE TOP
ECHELON OF CHINA'S POLITICAL
STRUCTURE.
SPORTS IS ONE OF THE MANY
FACETS OF ITS WORK.
WHY DO YOU LIKE WUSHU?

The caption changes to "Mahsa Bazlloo. Wushu Practitioner."

Mahsa is in her mid-teens and wears a sparkly pink and gold Wushu costume and a blue headscarf.

Mahsa says "Because it gives strength and it is a kind of sport which involves all the muscles in your body. It also causes our spirit to be stronger."

Anthony says IS WUSHU GETTING MORE POPULAR IN
IRAN?

Mahsa says 'Yes. Very much so. There are more people practicing wushu now compared to previous years, and we also have more participants in competitions."

Anthony says WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON CHINA?

Mahsa says "I have a good feeling towards China. I would like to travel to China and get familiar with their culture. I would like to visit the wushu schools and register my name and practice there!"

Anthony says DO YOU HAVE ANY FRIENDS FROM
CHINA?

The caption changes to "Estatira Asadi. Wushu Practitioner."

Estatira is in her late teens and wears an off white Wushu robe with silver sequins applications.

She says "This year, with the help of the Iran Wushu Academy, they had a special plan and got a Chinese talo wushu style coach, her name was Li Shu yuan, she trained us and it was very helpful. She is one of our best friends."

Anthony says DO YOU KEEP IN TOUCH WITH THEM?

Estatira says "Right now I'm still in touch with them through Telegram and Instagram."

Anthony says SPORTS IS ONE ASPECT OF WINNING
HEARTS AND MINDS.
HERE IS ANOTHER.
THE CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE, NAMED
AFTER THE FAMOUS PEACE-LOVING
CHINESE SAGE.

The students in the classroom repeat after the teacher "'Save.'
'Clothing'."

Anthony says I'M GONNA CHECK OUT ONE OF THE
CHINESE CLASSES, AND THIS SHOULD
BE THE ONE.
(KNOCKING)

He walks in the classroom and says HELLO?
HI, CAN I JOIN YOU?

The teacher says YEAH!

The teacher says "Yes. Please sit down behind."

Anthony says OKAY.

The teacher says "Shall we look at the text, practice and read the words together?" 'All in all', 'landlord', 'Thank Heavens and the earth.' Nicely read! 'Celebrate'."

Anthony says LIKE THE BRITISH COUNCIL OR THE
GERMAN GOETHE INSTITUTES, THE
CONFUCIUS INSTITUTES ARE
DESIGNED TO TEACH THE LANGUAGE,
AND PROMOTE CHINA AND CHINESE
VALUES.
IT CERTAINLY SEEMS TO BE
WORKING.

The caption changes to "Fateme Zeynali. Student, Confucius Institute. University of Tehran."

Fateme is in her twenties, with dark hair and wears glasses and a black hijab.

She says "I love China! I love Chinese history and Chinese culture. With the New Silk Road, we can make friends with China, we can do business and it will help our economy."

The caption changes to "Sina Nemati. Student, Confucius Institute. University of Tehran."

Sina is in his twenties, with short curly brown hair and wears glasses and a black T-shirt with a print on the front.

He says "I have watched many Chinese TV serials. I love Chinese movies, songs and especially Teresa Teng. I love that song "The Moon Represents my Heart. Many Chinese people are coming here to sell and trade their products. They need translators and I can be one. And I can make a lot of money!"

Anthony says THIS CHARM OFFENSIVE EXTENDS
WAY BEYOND IRAN.
CHINA HAS NOW ESTABLISHED 500
CONFUCIUS INSTITUTES, AT A
UNIVERSITY LEVEL, AND OVER
1,000 CONFUCIUS SCHOOLS, AT A
SECONDARY LEVEL.
TEACHERS FROM CHINA ARE BEING
SENT TO OVER 120 COUNTRIES,
SERVING MORE THAN A MILLION
STUDENTS.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN HERE?

The caption changes to "Mu Weizhen. Teacher, Confucius Institute. University of Tehran."

Mu is in her forties, with long graying hair and wears glasses, a gray short sleeved sweater over a black, long sleeved T-shirt and a green headscarf.
She says "I've been here for over a year now."

Anthony says WHY DID YOU WANT TO TEACH HERE
IN TEHRAN?

Mu says "Our country needs it. With the New Silk Road initiative, the world has become a global village. So we could come here and understand the relationship between ancient Persia and ancient China, on the old Silk Road. And also explore how we can recreate the path of the Silk Road today."

Anthony says DO YOU MISS HOME?

Mu says "Yes. I miss it sometimes but I love these students. And I'm happy hanging out with them all day. It makes me less homesick."

Anthony says WERE YOU INITIALLY AFRAID TO
COME HERE?

Mu says "Yes a little. Iran's international image is quite misunderstood. But after I came, I realized I like the country very much!"

Anthony says FOR COUNTRIES ALONG THE NEW
SILK ROAD, THE CONFUCIUS
INSTITUTES HAVE AN ESPECIALLY
URGENT TASK-- TO FACILITATE
CHINESE BUSINESS INTERESTS.

The caption changes to "Amin Bazrafshan. Principal, Confucius Institute.
University of Tehran."

Amin is in his fifties, with short straight brown hair and a shadow of a beard. He wears a purple shirt.

He says "It is very helpful for the Silk Road plan. First, Iranians are not very familiar with the One Belt One Road (Silk Road) plan. These students can understand the plan first hand and introduce the New Silk Road to Iranian people. It will be a big influence. Secondly, more Chinese companies want to come here and in these few months, there are Chinese companies contacting me everyday. They need Iranian students to help them in their projects."

Anthony says THE TASK AT HAND IS CRITICAL.
CHINA AND IRAN HAVE PLEDGED TO
BOOST BILATERAL TRADE TEN FOLD.
WHICH MEANS MANY MORE MANDARIN
STUDENTS ARE IN DEMAND, AND
MOST OF ALL, FOR THIS.

A clip shows images of an oil refinery.

Anthony says IRAN IS A MAJOR POWER IN THE
MIDDLE EAST.
IT IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULOUS
STATES IN THE REGION, WITH 80
MILLION PEOPLE.
AND IT HAS ONE OF THE LARGEST
ECONOMIES, DESPITE STRINGENT
SANCTIONS FOR MANY YEARS.
THE SANCTIONS THAT LASTED 'TIL
2016 WERE AUTHORIZED BY THE
UNITED NATIONS TO STOP IRAN
FROM DEVELOPING NUCLEAR
WEAPONS.
THE IMPACT OF SANCTIONS WERE
SEVERE FOR THE PEOPLE OF IRAN.
WHEN EUROPE AND THE US BANNED
TRANSACTIONS WITH IRANIAN BANKS
AND BANNED THE IMPORT OF IRANIAN
OIL, IT CAUSED ESTIMATED LOSSES
OF FOUR TO EIGHT BILLION US
DOLLARS EVERY MONTH.
BUT THERE WAS ONE MAJOR ALLY
THAT SAW THEM THROUGH THOSE
DIFFICULT YEARS.
CHINA.
FOR CENTURIES, THIS BAZAAR IN
IRAN HAS BEEN HAWKING IRANIAN
GOODS.
BUT ONE SIGNIFICANT CHANGE
OCCURRED DURING THE SANCTION
YEARS-- THE ARRIVAL OF GOODS
FROM CHINA.
AS OTHER COUNTRIES STOPPED
TRADING WITH IRAN, CHINA
IMPORTS SOARED.
SINCE 2005, TRADE HAS INCREASED
FOUR FOLD, TO OVER 50 BILLION
US DOLLARS.
SO ALL THESE PRODUCTS HERE,
THEN, ARE THE VAST MAJORITY MADE
IN CHINA?

The caption changes to "Ansari Fard. Journalist and lecturer, University of Tehran."

Ansari is in his late fifties, with short wavy gray hair and a moustache. He wears gray trousers and a blue shirt.

He says 'Yes, vast majority, most of them are made in China. Some of them are made in Iran. But the raw materials are imported from foreign countries, from China, Turkey or other countries. But, most of them are imported from China as a whole. They are cheap and their quality is not very high. It is mostly low or middle quality."

Anthony says REALLY.
OKAY, AND ARE THESE POPULAR,
THEN, AMONG THE IRANIANS?

Ansari says "Because of the low salary of the people and low income of the people, they are, let's say, enforced and they are obliged to buy these commodities. Because they don't have enough money to buy expensive western commodities."

Anthony says ANSARI FARD HAS BEEN MONITORING
IRANIAN TRADE WITH CHINA FOR
THE LAST 20 YEARS.
HE EXPLAINS WHY THE REASON FOR
CHINA'S DOMINANCE GOES BEYOND
JUST PRICE.
TO GET AROUND THE SANCTIONS,
CHINA SIMPLY BOUGHT OIL FROM
IRAN AND PAID IN BARTERED
CHINESE GOODS, RATHER THAN
CASH.
SO HOW DID CHINA COME TO PLAY
SUCH AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN IRAN'S
ECONOMY?

Ansari says "Because the Chinese are easy going in providing commodities, and get oil instead of them, exchange oil with commodities. And, perhaps easy going banking system. The blocking of the money and blocking the commodities won't happen with the Chinese, but with the Western countries it usually happens. And their money is blocked and their commodities blocked, so all sorts of difficulties you have with the Western countries, but with the Chinese no. Everything is easy going."

Anthony says SO WHILE THE US AND EUROPEAN
COUNTRIES COULDN'T REALLY DO
BUSINESS WITH IRAN DUE TO THE
SANCTIONS, CHINA WAS STILL ABLE
TO GO RIGHT AHEAD?

Ansari says YES, DEFINITELY, DEFINITELY.

Anthony says SO IT SOUNDS LIKE THERE WAS A
BARTERING SYSTEM, THEN, RIGHT?

Ansari says YES, THAT'S RIGHT.

Anthony says WHERE CHINA WOULD BUY IRANIAN
OIL-- UM, IRAN COULDN'T ACCEPT
MONEY FROM CHINA, BUT THEY COULD
ACCEPT GOODS IN RETURN?

Ansari says "Definitely. That's why trade between Iran and China has been vastly broadening in every day and every year."

Anthony says OKAY.
SO THE SANCTIONS THAT WERE
SUPPOSED TO PUNISH IRAN INSTEAD
PUSHED IRAN CLOSER TO CHINA.
AND IT ISN'T JUST CHEAP CHINESE
GOODS THAT HAVE COME TO
DOMINATE THE BAZAARS.
CHINESE MACHINES ALSO PREVAIL
IN IRAN'S TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK.
THE BUSSES IN TEHRAN ARE ALL
CHINESE.
CHINESE CAR BRANDS DOMINATE THE
ROAD.
AND TEHRAN'S METRO SYSTEM WAS
BUILT FROM SCRATCH WITH CHINESE
CAPITAL AND CHINESE ENGINEERS.
THE TRAIN CARS THAT RUN ON IT
ARE, OF COURSE, CHINESE.
INSIDE IRAN'S MODERN MALLS,
CHINA'S BRANDS ARE ALSO AT THE
FOREFRONT.
PLENTY OF HUAWEI PRODUCTS ARE
SOLD HERE IN DIFFERENT STORES.
APPLE HAS NO OFFICIAL
DISTRIBUTORSHIP, BUT IT HASN'T
STOPPED ENTERPRISING
BUSINESSMEN FROM SELLING THEIR
PRODUCTS.
YET IRANIAN BUYERS PREFER
HUAWEI TO APPLE.
I SEE YOU HAVE A COUPLE OF
BRANDS HERE, APPLE, HUAWEI,
WHICH IS THE MOST POPULAR BRAND
IN YOUR STORE?

The caption changes to "Fatemeh Amir Zade Ghan. Sales Representative. Media Pardazesh."

Fatemeh is in her thirties, with long dark hair and wears a black tunic and black headscarf.

She says "First Huawei, then the last, Apple."

Anthony says OKAY, WHY IS THE HUAWEI BRAND
REALLY POPULAR?

Fatemeh says "Because they have best camera. And best selfie camera. And the price is cheaper than the other brand."

Anthony says ANOTHER CHINESE BRAND, ZTE,
ALSO HAS A BIG PRESENCE IN
IRAN.
AND IT ISN'T JUST ABOUT SELLING
PHONES.
HUAWEI AND ZTE ARE HELPING IRAN
TO TRANSIT INTO A NEW ECONOMY,
DRIVEN BY TECHNOLOGY.

Einar says says WHAT THEY'RE DOING IS PUTTING
IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE, THE
BACKBONE INFRASTRUCTURE, THAT IS
NOT ONLY IMPORTANT TO THE
INTERNET, BUT ALSO TO THE COMING
NEW ECONOMY.
IF YOU WANT TO HAVE INTERNET
BANKING, IF YOU WANT TO HAVE
E-COMMERCE, E-PAY, ALL OF THESE
THINGS, YOU NEED THIS KIND OF
INFRASTRUCTURE TO SUPPORT IT.
SO THAT'S WHY IT'S SO IMPORTANT
TO IRAN, AND WHY ZTE AND HUAWEI
WILL CONTINUE TO BE PART OF IT.
IT'S NOT ABOUT SELLING A
HANDSET, THAT IS JUST A
PERIPHERAL PART.
IT MAY MAKE MONEY, BUT THE MAIN
PART OF THIS IS THIS BACKBONE
INFRASTRUCTURE.

Anthony says HELPING IRAN TO
BUILD ITS IT INFRASTRUCTURE
HAS CAUSED A STORM OF
CONTROVERSY IN THE UNITED
STATES.
ZTE WAS SLAPPED WITH A 1.2
BILLION US DOLLAR FINE IN THE
UNITED STATES FOR VIOLATING US
SANCTIONS.
HUAWEI FACES A SIMILAR CHARGE,
AND COULD BE FINED UP TO TWO
BILLION DOLLARS IN THE US.
IF THEY DON'T PAY UP, THEY WILL
NOT BE ALLOWED TO OPERATE IN
THE US.
CHINESE POLITICAL ANALYSTS I
SPOKE TO IN BEIJING WERE
OUTRAGED.
DO YOU THINK THE US IS JUSTIFIED
IN TAKING THAT APPROACH?

The caption changes to "Li Guofu. Director of the Center for Middle East Studies, China Institute of International Studies."

Li is in his sixties, clean-shaven, with short wavy gray hair and wears beige trousers and a blue shirt.

He says "China, this is our long time ago policy. We are against any countries in using sanctions to interfere in other countries' internal affairs. Huawei and the Chinese companies doing this kind of business in Iran were very lawful, very legal. The Americans are using their domestic policies to apply to international affairs. So China is totally against it. It is unlawful, it is illegal."

Anthony says THE HUAWEI AND ZTE EXAMPLES
HAVE NOT DETERRED OTHER CHINESE
COMPANIES.
THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN TEHRAN
SAYS THERE ARE OVER 100 LARGE
CHINESE COMPANIES HERE.
I TRIED CALLING THESE
COMPANIES, BUT NOBODY WANTS TO
BE INTERVIEWED, SO I'M MEETING
THE MAN IN IRAN WITH THE
CLOSEST TIES TO CHINA.
MR. HARIRI HAS BEEN WORKING
WITH THE CHINESE FOR OVER 30
YEARS NOW.

The caption changes to "Majidreza Hariri. Vice President. Iran-China Chamber of Commerce."

Majidreza is in his late fifties, with short wavy gray hair and wears a blue suit, black shirt and blue gray tie.

He says "A lot of Chinese companies are working with Iran directly and indirectly. Those companies which have an office in Iran are mainly working in infrastructure, roads, railway, subways, and those directly or indirectly related to oil, for example petrochemicals, gas, oil extraction and refineries which are built by the Chinese."

Anthony says SO IT SOUNDS LIKE THEY ARE IN
EVERY SINGLE SECTOR OF YOUR
ECONOMY.

Majidreza says "Most Chinese companies are working with 70 percent of our industries which are governmental or state linked. The amount of trade between China and Iran in 2017 is an estimated 40 billion US dollars.
Less than 20 percent of this is accrued to the private sector."

Anthony says HOW IMPORTANT ARE THE CHINESE
COMPANIES TO THE OVERALL ECONOMY
OF IRAN?

Majidreza says "Because we don't have any economical relationship with the world's biggest economy (USA), the role of China in our economy is stronger."

Anthony says NOW I'VE CONTACTED OVER TEN
CHINESE COMPANIES, BUT NOBODY
WANTS TO BE INTERVIEWED.
WHY IS THAT?

Majidrea says "Every businessman, for every action they take, are considering the benefits they get. Talking about working in Iran, and the issue of sanctions- what benefits are there for those Chinese companies? I believe since they don't have benefits, they don't want to be interviewed by media."

Anthony says POLITICS AND BUSINESS ARE
INSEPARABLE EVERYWHERE.
AS IRANIAN POLITICS CONTINUE TO
DOMINATE INTERNATIONAL
HEADLINES, THE CHINESE
COMPANIES WHO HAVE INVESTED
MILLIONS PREFER TO STEER CLEAR
OF IT.
THE CHINESE OPERATE PROFITABLE
BUSINESSES HERE.
BUT NO PUBLICITY IS WANTED,
BECAUSE OF THE POLITICAL
SENSITIVITIES.
AS THE NEW SILK ROAD PUSHES
AHEAD, HOW LONG WILL IT BE
BEFORE THE WORLD'S TWO SUPER
POWERS CONFRONT EACH OTHER OVER
THE ISSUE OF IRAN?

(music plays)

Anthony says OIL... IT'S THE LIQUID THAT
POWERS OUR FACTORIES, OUR CARS,
AND ALL OF OUR CITIES.
AND THIS VALUABLE COMMODITY IS
CHEAPER THAN WATER IN IRAN.
TO SEE THE OIL FIELDS, I'M
TRAVELING TO NORTH AZADEGAN.
AFTER A TWO HOUR DRIVE FROM THE
AHVAZ AIRPORT, THROUGH DUSTY
TOWNS AND ARID FIELDS, I'M
FINALLY HERE.
THIS PLACE IS THE SOURCE OF THE
COUNTRY'S WEALTH.
IRAN IS HOME TO THE WORLD'S
FOURTH LARGEST RESERVES OF CRUDE
OIL, AND SECOND BIGGEST DEPOSITS
OF NATURAL GAS.
ITS ENERGY ASSETS ARE
STAGGERING.
BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF
OIL LIES BENEATH THESE FIELDS,
BUT INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS
HAVE STRANGLED IRAN'S ENERGY
SECTOR FOR DECADES.
MANY OIL FIELDS HERE WERE USING
OLD MACHINES AND RUSTY
INFRASTRUCTURE.
THEY NEEDED INVESTMENT.
AND NO SURPRISE WHO CAME TO
THEIR AID.
CHINA STEPPED IN THE FILL THE
VOID CREATED BY WESTERN
SANCTIONS.
FOR EXAMPLE, THIS FACILITY WAS
CONSTRUCTED BY THE CHINA
NATIONAL PETROLEUM COMPANY, IN
PARTNERSHIP WITH THE IRANIANS.
NOW, THE CHINESE RUN THIS PLACE
ALONGSIDE THE IRANIANS.
THEY FORM HALF THE WORKFORCE AT
THE SITE.

He walks in a cafeteria and says THEY'VE EVEN BROUGHT CHEFS FROM
CHINA TO PREPARE THE MEALS.
STIR-FRY, TOFU, EVEN DUMPLINGS.
ALL OF THIS TO MAKE THE WORKERS
MORE COMFORTABLE DURING THEIR
STAY HERE.
SO HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN HERE,
AND HOW DO YOU FIND LIVING HERE?

The caption changes to "Xu QuanZhou. Chef. North Azadegan Oil Field."

Xu is in his late forties, with short brown hair and wears a chef's coat.

He says "I have been here for 5 years. Living here is not bad."

Anthony says HOW OFTEN DO YOU GO BACK, 'CAUSE
I'M SURE YOU MUST MISS YOUR
FAMILY.

Xu says "Yes I miss home. Each time we come, we stay 5 to 6 months.
Then I go home for a month."

Anthony says I ALSO WANTED TO TALK TO THE
CHINESE AND IRANIAN WORKERS,
BUT THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO
SPEAK TO THE MEDIA.
THAT AUTHORITY RESTS WITH THE
BIG BOSS, WHOSE OFFICE IS BACK
IN THE CAPITAL CITY.
IS CHINA YOUR NUMBER ONE
PARTNER?

The caption changes to "Seyed Nurodin Shahnazizadeh. CEO. Petroleum, Engineering and Development Company (Subsidiary of Iran National Oil Company)."

Seyed is in his fifties, with short wavy graying hair and a beard. He wears a white and blue striped shirt and a gray blazer.

He says OF COURSE WE HAVE A VERY GOOD
RELATION WITH-- WITH OUR
PARTNERS, CHINESE PARTNERS.
AND WE GREATLY APPRECIATE THEIR
CONTRIBUTIONS TO OUR OIL
INDUSTRY DURING THE HARD TIME OF
SANCTIONS.

Anthony says WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF
THE OIL INDUSTRY HERE?

Seyed says AS YOU KNOW, WE HOLD FOURTH...
WORLD'S FOURTH LARGEST CRUDE OIL
RESERVES, AND ALSO SECOND
LARGEST NATURAL GAS RESERVES.
ADD TO THAT, WE HAVE A
SIGNIFICANT POTENTIAL FOR
FURTHER DISCOVERIES IN SOME ON-
SHORE AND OFF-SHORE FIELDS.
AND FOR THOSE, WE NEED TO HAVE A
NEW INVESTMENT FOR THE EXPANSION
OF THESE RESERVE OILS.

Anthony says ARE YOU HOPING TO DO MORE
BUSINESS WITH THE WEST?

Seyed says YES, WHY NOT.
OUR STRATEGY IS TO EXPAND, AND
TO HAVE GOOD RELATIONS, AND GOOD
CORPORATIONS, GOOD CONTRIBUTIONS
WITH ALL OF THE COUNTRIES IN THE
WORLD.
IN EUROPE, ALSO, WE ARE
INTERESTED TO MAKE USE OF THE UP
TO DATE AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND
DEVELOPMENTS OF THE FIELD.

Anthony says BUT THERE ARE
POWERFUL FORCES IN IRAN
OPPOSING CLOSER TIES WITH THE
WEST.
AND YOU CAN FIND ONE INDICATION
OF THAT SENTIMENT HERE.
(RHYTHMIC SINGING)

Anthony says FRIDAY PRAYERS IN TEHRAN.
IT'S A MAJOR EVENT HERE.
THE FRIDAY PRAYERS ARE NOT ONLY
ATTENDED BY THOUSANDS, BUT IS
ALSO BROADCASTED ACROSS THE
COUNTRY.
IT'S NOT JUST A TIME FOR
RELIGIOUS REFLECTION, IT'S ALSO
A TIME FOR POLITICAL
DISCUSSION.
THIS WEEK, AHMAD KATAMI, ONE OF
THE 14 MEN IN THE COUNCIL OF
EXPERTS, TALKS ABOUT THE
DISMANTLING OF THE IRANIAN
NUCLEAR DEAL BY THE UNITED
STATES.
THE COUNCIL OF EXPERTS ARE A
GROUP OF MEN WHO ADVISE THE
SUPREME AYATOLLAH, WHO IS THE
ULTIMATE DECISION-MAKER IN
IRANIAN POLITICS.

The caption changes to "Ahmad Khatami, Senior Iranian Cleric."

Ahmad is in his late fifties, with short gray hair and a thick beard. He wears glasses, and a black rope and headdress.

He says "Don't be hopeful in Europe's support. We don't have any conflict with Europe and our authorities are interacting with them. But be sure, if Europe has to choose between Iran or America, it will choose America."

Prayers chant "Allah is great! Khamenei is the leader! Down with those against the leader! Down with the United States! Down with hypocrites! Down with Israel!"

(CHANTING)

Anthony says THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I'M
WITNESSING A RELIGIOUS CEREMONY
THAT IS SO POLITICALLY CHARGED.
AS THE PRAYERS END, I ASK
PEOPLE ON THE STREETS WHAT THEY
THINK ABOUT THE WORLD'S TWO
SUPERPOWERS.
SO WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON THE
UNITED STATES?

A young man on the street says "As our supreme leader (Ayatollah Khomeyni) said, the United States is the great Satan. He is exactly right. The United States never never never wants good for Iranians."

Anthony says BUT WHAT ABOUT YOUR VIEWS ON
CHINA.

The man says "Well, China, I personally do not have much information about China."

Anthony says WE HEARD FROM THE YOUNGER MEN,
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
FROM THE OLDER GENERATION, WHAT
ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
YOU CAN USE FARSI, THAT'S FINE.
WHAT IS YOUR VIEW ON THE US?
(SPEAKING IN FARSI)

The man says "Our supreme leader says that America is the mother of all sins. And Iranians consider the US as enemy number one!"

Men behind him chant "Allah is great! Khamenei is the leader! Down with those against the leader! Down with the United States! Down with England! Down with hypocrites! Down with Israel!"

Anthony says WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON CHINA?

The man says 'But we have never seen China to be cruel with other countries or other Muslims."

Anthony says SO WOULD YOU MIND TELLING ME
ABOUT YOUR VIEWS ON THE UNITED
STATES?

A young woman says MOST PEOPLE UNFORTUNATELY
THINK IT'S LIKE, A REALLY
DEVILISH COUNTRY, OR TRUMP TRIES
TO, LIKE, MURDER EVERYONE, EVERY
MUSLIM, EVERY IRANIAN, BUT WHAT
I SEE IS A REALLY STRONG
COUNTRY, WHICH IS ACTUALLY
HAVING A GREAT ATMOSPHERE FOR
MUSICIANS, FOR DOCTORS, FOR
ENGINEERS, FOR MANY OTHER WORKS
AND JOBS, AND I LIKE IT.

Anthony says AND WHAT ABOUT CHINA?
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR
THOUGHTS OR FEELINGS ON CHINA?

The woman says WHAT I'VE HEARD ALL THESE
YEARS IS THAT THEY ARE REALLY
HARD WORKING PEOPLE, AND THIS IS
WHAT IRANIANS LOVE THE MOST
ABOUT CHINA.
I'M ON THE SIDE OF PEACE, I
REALLY LOVE SEEING COUNTRIES'
PRESIDENTS TOGETHER, TALKING
ABOUT PEACE AND DOING STUFF
TOGETHER-- I'M THAT KIND OF
PERSON, I HATE WAR.

(music plays)

Anthony says THERE ARE MAINLY TWO
VERSIONS OF IRAN IN
INTERNATIONAL OPINION.
ONE, THE CHINESE VERSION, THAT
IRAN IS A MISUNDERSTOOD NATION
FULL OF ECONOMIC POTENTIAL.
ANOTHER, THE AMERICAN VERSION,
THAT IRAN IS A DANGEROUS
COUNTRY INTENT ON VIOLENCE.

The caption changes to "Donald Trump. President, United States of America."

Trump says THE IRANIAN DICTATORSHIP'S
AGGRESSION CONTINUES TO THIS
DAY.
THE REGIME REMAINS THE WORLD'S
LEADING STATE SPONSOR OR
TERRORISM, AND PROVIDES
ASSISTANCE TO AL QAEDA, THE
TALIBAN, HEZBOLLAH, HAMAS, AND
OTHER TERRORIST NETWORKS.
IT DEVELOPS, DEPLOYS, AND
PROLIFERATES MISSILES, AND IT
LAUNCHES CYBER ATTACKS AGAINST
OUR CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE,
FINANCIAL SYSTEM, AND MILITARY.
THE UNITED STATES IS FAR FROM
THE ONLY TARGET OF THE IRANIAN
DICTATORSHIP'S LONG CAMPAIGN OF
BLOODSHED.

A headline from a newspaper article reads "World War 3: Iran's ballistic missiles 'will send' every Arab capital 'into the abyss'."

Another headline reads "Iran to blame for cyber-attack on MP's emails- British intelligence."

Anthony says IS IRAN AN "AXIS OF EVIL?"

Mohammad says IRAN IS A VERY ORDINARY
COUNTRY.
IRAN IS A COUNTRY WHICH PURSUES
POLICIES WHICH ARE RATIONAL.
ITS PEOPLE CONDUCT THEIR LIVES
IN A VERY ORDINARY FASHION, AS
DO PEOPLE IN OTHER COUNTRIES.
THE PROBLEM THAT IRAN HAS WITH
THE UNITED STATES IS ITS
HEGEMONY, ITS SUPPORT FOR
COUNTRIES THAT PROMOTE
EXTREMISM, SUCH AS WAHHABISM.
ITS SUPPORT FOR COUNTRIES THAT
SUPPORT APARTHEID, LIKE ISRAEL.
IF WE TAKE A CAREFUL LOOK, IT IS
THE UNITED STATES THAT HAS BEEN
SPREADING EVIL.

Anthony says NOW, PRESIDENT TRUMP CALLS
IRAN "A DANGEROUS TERRORIST
STATE."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS?

Ansari says "I think Mr. Trump is mistaken and is also lying."

Anthony says LYING?

Ansari says "Lying. As you know Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei has mentioned on several occasions that Iran is a peaceful country. And Iran is not after the nuclear arms. And, it is prohibited religiously to have nuclear arms and also chemical arms."

Anthony says HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND TO THE
UNITED STATES' CLAIMS THAT IRAN
IS A DANGEROUS COUNTRY?

Asghar says VERY SIMPLE... WHEN YOU ARE
TALKING ABOUT DANGEROUS, IT
MEANS VIOLATING THE RULES AND
LAWS, CREATING TROUBLE.
UH, INITIATING WARS, INTERVENING
IN THE AFFAIRS OF THE OTHERS.
ESTABLISHING DOUBLE STANDARDS.
WHO IS THEN GUILTY, IRAN OR THE
UNITED STATES?

Anthony says AS THE IRANIAN-USA
CONFLICT CONTINUES TO PLAY OUT,
CHINA'S NEW SILK ROAD IN IRAN
IS GOING FULL STEAM AHEAD.
IN CULTURE.
BUSINESS.
INFRASTRUCTURE.
AND POLITICS.
JUST AS CHINA AND IRAN WERE
GREAT PARTNERS ON THE ANCIENT
SILK ROAD, THEY SHARE A COMMON
VISION FOR THE PROSPERITY OF
THE NEW SILK ROAD.

Music plays as the end credits roll.

Narrator, Anthony Morse.

Executive producer, Tan Lek Hwa.

Copyright 2018, Mediacorp Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.

Logo: TVF International.

Watch: Ep. 3 - The Iran Deal