01/12/2011 GMT with George Alagiah


Britain and Germany call for new sanctions against Iran as EU foreign ministers gather to discuss concerns over the Iranian nuclear programme.

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Britain aims to tighten the screw on Iran. It's calling for more


sanctions from the European Union at a meeting of foreign ministers.


Iran's all-important oil industry could be a target, says Britain's


William Hague - just one of the options being considered. I hope we


will agree today additional measures that will be an


intensification of the economic pressure on Iran. Peaceful,


Welcome to GMT, I'm George Alagiah. Also in the programme:


So far, so good - America rewards Burma for progress, but says it


needs more reform before it's business as usual.


And green is red hot at the Tokyo Motor Show as Japanese


manufacturers unveiled their visions for the future of the car.


It's midday here in London, 3:30 in Tehran, and 1:30 in Brussels.


That's where the British Foreign Secretary William Hague is pushing


for more sanctions against Iran at a meeting of fellow European Union


foreign ministers. The talks come two days after Iranian protesters


stormed the British mission in Iran. Mr Hague, who's since ordered the


expulsion of Iranian diplomats from London, suggested that Iran's


money-spinning oil industry could be targeted, though he acknowledged


that there could be a variety of views on that.


Here is James Reynolds. This morning in Brussels, Britain's


Foreign Secretary William Hague arrived to test Europe's desire for


further steps against Iran. European Union has taken many


measures already but the additional measures, I hope we will agree


today, that will be an intensification of the economic


pressure on Iran. A peaceful, legitimate economic pressure,


particularly to increase the isolation of the Iran financial


sector. The attack, British Embassy is still fresh in every one's mind.


-- the attack, V. There is enormous amount of support for those people


who have had a dreadful experience. This is what British diplomats are


still recovering from. The country's two compounds in Tehran


work stormed by protesters on Tuesday. In response, Britain has


withdrawn its staff and ordered the closure of the Iranian embassy in


London. It wants Europe to act together. Here is what may be


discussed in Brussels. Iran is one of the world's largest oil


exporters and it is how the country get much of its revenue. There is a


suggestion that an oil embargo may be debated.


The EU and Iran do a lot of business, but Iran's key market is


in Asia, China in particular, which means that more European sanctions


can only have a limited impact on Iran.


Let's get some more analysis on the story. We will be like that the


Iranian embassy in London shortly, but first, let's cross to Brussels.


His Tehran going to be concerned that William Hague, up the British


Foreign Secretary, is talking about targeting the oil industry? I think


they are very concerned. I think they should be concerned. Judging


by the muted response from Iran today after the events of the last


24 hours, the closure of the embassies and the expulsion of


Iranian diplomats from London, it is quite clear that either they,


Iranian leaders, they recognise that the attack on the British


Embassy was pretty much a major mistake bad miscalculation -- and


miscalculation and has projected Iran of working outside the norms


of international relations and international law. Here, it has


firmed up the attitudes of the foreign ministers here, who are not


talking, are they don't have any more doubts, if there were any,


about increasing sanctions against Iran. Here, the idea... Can I just


interrupt? When you say there is a sense that there has been a


miscalculation, are you suggesting that within the administration in


Tehran, there is now, if you like it, various factions vying for


status, vying for power? Well, there was always a division about


this issue of relations with Britain and how to handle the


latest sanctions that Britain imposed about 10 days ago. The


Government of President Ahmed dared Jack was against the idea are such


taking -- the Government of the present was against taking such


drastic measures, but the opposition had different ideas.


Let's go back to or oil sanctions, it has been suggested on BBC World


News by our colleague James Reynolds that most of Iran's oil


coast eastwards towards China and Asia, so they wouldn't really have


to be worried about sanctions from Europe -- goes eastwards. Europe


accounts for about 15-20% of Iran's oil exports, and the drying up of


20% of the oil exports, it is not going to impact that much. But


these things have a tendency to be incremental, NSX that today, the


European Union is going to do that, tomorrow other countries might be


under pressure to do the same thing. If, for example, the banking


sanctions are tightened further and many countries are going to censure


and Iran's central bank, bent Iran's -- then Iran's ability to


get its hands on its oil export revenue from countries like China,


South Korea, India, it is going to be difficult. Already, Iran has


trouble getting the money for its oil exports from China. Apparently,


they have signed some kind of barter agreement. They have trouble


getting the money getting back from the Indians, who are channelling


their money through Turkish banks these days. These are serious


problems. A we will leave it there for the moment. -- we will leave it


there. Let's go to the London Iranian embassy, described the mood


there. Diplomats were given 48 hours to leave, were they not?


know that they have to leave very soon, but it is rather quiet here,


despite some calls or demonstrations in front of Iranian


wet -- embassies in European capitals. We only have one protest


here, but in front of the Iranian consulate, 10 or 15 minutes' walk


from here, we heard that there are some Iranians killing to do their


paperwork, because the consulates said it is opened their -- queuing


up. They say they are doing their best to try and finish the


paperwork and give people their documents, including passports


under ID cards. They have also started moving things out of the


consular. Both of you, thank you very much. American Secretary of


State Hillary Clinton has told Burma's leaders that changes


they've made so far are unprecedented and welcome, but just


a beginning. Mrs Clinton said it was encouraging that Hang Seng Sue


Key was free to take part in the talks but the US would not take any


further part until broader Reformation as were taking place. A


we are not that the point yet until -- that we are considering lifting


sanctions. That is because of ongoing it concerns, policies that


have to be reversed. But any steps that the Government takes will be


carefully considered and will be, as I said, matched, because we want


to see political and economic reform take hold and I told the


leadership that we will certainly consider the easing and elimination


of sanctions as we go forward in this process together. Let's cross


live to Thailand, where many Burmese exiles live. Thank you for


joining us on GMT, of what is your reaction to what you are hearing


from Burma? -- what is. We are quite excited, this is an


historic moment. We certainly hope that Hillary Clinton can break the


ice and can leverage the reform of the Burmese pro for -- process. We


are the same as many Burmese, cautious as to whether this change


is irreversible, and especially within the military administration,


because there is ongoing and oppression -- ongoing depression.


I'm sorry to interrupt you. When you say you are excited, are you


not concerned that there are still something like 1,000 political


prisoners behind bars? That is where we have concerns, for


political prisoners under -- and oppression in a wider area. The


President was saying there were no political prisoners left, so at


least acknowledgement about those remaining political prisoners and a


dressing on going -- and a dressing ongoing issues. And there are many


other concerns, when we talk about reconciliation. Would you accept


that in the end, in these sorts of things, you have got to be prepared


to take risks, and that is what America is doing? That is exactly


what we are doing it, of course. Every change has always risk


involved. Especially taking risks... The President is taking risks to


change. It is so via a oppression. A lot of people have suffered -- it


is so via. -- Severe. It is all about risk taking. But the question


is whether shall we take this risk? Is it worth it? Then the question


is, well a lot of stakeholders take this risk? We will have to leave it


there, sorry to interrupt again, it is a difficult line. Let's take a


look at some of the other stories today.


Thousands of people are protesting in Athens about salary cuts and tax


increases. They are staging a 24 hour strike against austerity


measures which Greece must implement if it is to reach the


next stage of the international bail-out plan.


The cigarette manufacturer British American Tobacco says it will


challenge a new law passed in Australia that requires tobacco


companies to sell their products in non branded packets. The changes


due to come into force in a year's time. -- changes.


Police in Mexico have discovered the 600 metre tunnel used


discovered -- Korea drugs from Tijuana to San Diego. The tunnel


entrance was close to the headquarters of the federal police


force Bob bash. Still to come, the Afghan women out


of their homes and now working. They are afraid it will all change


if there is a reconciliation with the Taliban.


Let's get all of the business news. I didn't know this, but there are


much fuel made in China labels around.


You wouldn't believe it, but yes, the overheated economy looks like


it is cooling down. The latest figures from China manufacturing


figures show that the economy fell by one. In November. This is a sign


of the Government's's efforts to cool the economy but also a sure


sign that the problems are the Eurozone are filtering through to


China and affecting demand for Chinese goods. Let's listen to what


they had to say. The PMI data we saw today shows the economy is


slowing and slowing fast, so with growth coming off quite


considerably, if you take that in conjunction with calming inflation


under property market that looks like it is correcting significantly


and the disastrous looking efforts in the euro-zone, it means that


policy makers in China are fairly concerned. This comes after the


Chinese central bank announced it is cutting reserve ratios for banks,


basically meaning it is easier for banks to lend money. Talking of


central banks, Mario Draghi is the new head of the European Central


Bank and has been speaking in the European Parliament, I think it was


his first time, any hint as to what he is going to do with the bank and


its policies? He has been talking about what he thinks government


should do. He has said he wants more integration between


governments and wants European economies to work closer together


and warns that the risks to Europe's growth have really grown.


Basically, it is pretty grim reading. Let's listen to what he


had to say. Whatever the approach, companies, markets and the citizens


of Europe expect policy makers to act decisively to resolve the


crisis. It is time to adapt the euro area designed with a set of


institutions, rules and processes that is commensurate with the


He is basically saying they need to work together, European leaders of


the Eurozone economies. There will be a meeting in Brussels in nine


days' time between Eurozone leaders. His words come only a day after the


central bank, the Federal Reserve and the central banks across Europe,


agreed to come together to create more liquidity in the markets. If


we can look at what the markets are doing now, that is what the


We have not got the European markets for you, but they are


stable. This is GMT from BBC World News.


The headlines: Britain pushes for more sanctions against Iran at a


meeting of European foreign ministers. On an historic visit to


Burma, Hillary Clinton says more democratic reform is needed before


full diplomatic ties with the US can be restored.


Women's rights activists in Afghanistan say the international


community is preparing to abandon them in the rush to withdraw troops


from the country. Improving women's rights was one of the major


objectives cited when US-led forces toppled the Taliban ten years ago.


Now campaigners fear that women and their concerns could be sidelined


at the upcoming Bonn conference on the future of Afghanistan.


Fashioning a new future, for themselves and their country. Every


stitch testament to a fragile freedom. Under the Taliban, Afghan


women were trapped at home, uneducated and unemployed. Spalford


Teniers, and they make up half the workforce -- if you spool forward


ten years, they make up half the workforce at this company where


they toil alongside men. Zargona says she is proud to be the


breadwinner for her two younger brothers. But the company's founder


worries about the outlook. If there is reconciliation with the


insurgents. None of the Taliban have come forward to say, I am a


moderate and I believe differently. We are fooling ourselves if we


believe that the Taliban have changed their view or philosophy.


They have not claimed that they have changed and will be different.


There are big plans for this business. The hope is to begin


exporting to the US and Europe, and eventually to create a hundred jobs


here. All of that might be possible in the future if the future is not


shaped by the Taliban. In areas under their control, women are


still voiceless and defenceless. This is Siddiqa, 25 years old. Her


final moments are captured in this footage, which emerged in January.


For the crime of adultery, the Taliban stoned her, then shot her


dead. This woman is another of their targets. She is a prominent


member of parliament who survived a Taliban ambush on her car last year.


This outspoken activist refuses to be silenced, but she fears that


Afghan women could soon be abandoned by the international


community, which promised them so much. They seem to turn their faced


to women's issues and say, we just want to say goodbye and leave


Afghanistan. That could put us more at risk, because we have been


outspoken about what we want. eldest daughter is studying hard.


She wants to be an aerospace engineer. But she and her younger


sister are afraid for themselves and their mother. They want a


future outside Afghanistan. The Tokyo Motor Show is getting


underway at the end of a dismal year for Japan's car industry.


First it was hit by the earthquake. Then floods in Thailand disrupted


its supply chain. Still, Japanese manufacturers remain confident in


their capacity to lead the way to a new generation of cars.


The Tokyo Motor Show is a celebration of Japanese cars. But


this has been a terrible year for the industry. The earthquake, the


tsunami, the floods in Thailand. Nissan is showing off new types of


electric vehicles, putting the technology into his sports car. The


chief executive says more production will leave Japan unless


the high yen can be tamed. That is why we are being very vocal to the


Government to say you should not underestimate what is taking place.


Take action. I do not buy that there is nothing you can do. Look


at what the Swiss have done. They have drawn a line in the sand. The


whole country was a lined on a position, and they made their


position respected. Japan is one of the largest economies. It has a lot


of financial clout. Japan can make it happen if it wants.


challenge for these companies is to ensure that making cars in Japan


remains profitable in the years ahead. Other countries are simply


cheaper. But the future for Japan could lie in the -- becoming more


high-tech. Toyota is pushing ahead with hybrids. The mass


manufacturing of cheap vehicles, Japan struggles to compete, but it


is leading the way in developing the next generation of cars. In the


market, we successfully transformed the conventional engine into their


new type. That activated the industry. So I really hope the


future course is now starting. amount of Blitz can hide the


difficulty faced by manufacturing because of the strong yen. But the


car industry is putting its faith in what made it a world beater -


Japanese ingenuity and innovation. Ask anyone about Hamlet, and they


are likely to answer back with another question - To be or not to


be? Unless, of course, it is a foreign production, in which case


the question will sound completely different. Well, on today's GMT, we


are talking about one such production in German. And it is not


just the sound that is different - its look is also a radical


departure from the Shakespearean standards. In the original, there


are over 20 characters. In this one, directed by Thomas Ostermeier, just


six actors play all the characters. Well, the German Hamlet is now on


tour in Britain and the lead actor, Lars Eidinger, joins me from our


central London studio. I was reading about you, and I gather


there was a time when you thought this play would not transfer very


well to Britain. But you have changed your mind? No, it was more


that we were afraid that people with the English tongue, they don't


want to listen to Shakespeare spoken by German translation by


Germans. That is a good point, because there are purists in


England who say Shakespeare should not be modernised even in the


English language, let alone hearing it in German. It is difficult,


because you lose so much of the meaning. But in a way, it is an


advantage, because people say that even English people sometimes do


not understand the original Shakespeare. So in our performance,


I am sure you will get everything. But it must put an enormous stress


on you as an actor if the audience cannot understand what you are


saying. We are relying entirely on what you are doing with your eyes,


your voice, your hands. But we are very used to play in foreign


countries. Our experience is that people can follow. In the beginning,


it is a bit difficult with the surtitles. But then they get into


it. And they do not read the whole time. The whole performance is very


visual, very physical and very strong. So I think people know how


that already. And this will not be the first time it is playing to an


English audience. You have been in Australia? Yes, and it has been a


big success in Sydney. Wherever we play, people love it with, although


it is always translated. producers tell me that this


particular production is a gritty and sexy. What are you going to get


up to? I take it as a compliment. I think it is something to do with,


how do you say, the physicality. I think it is very passionate. The


way I am interpreting the character, it is very emotional. And yes, of


course, there is a sequence where Hamlet and Horatio are doing the


play, which used originally played by a company. We play it ourselves.


And I am playing my mother and I am half naked. Well! Hopefully, that


will do something for your audience. I wish I had worked out how to say


good luck in German. But the best of luck from us. But I like the


English expression, break a leg. Don't do that!


Serving at night is not usually recommended, but this group of


surfers in Sydney have not let cover of darkness stop them.


Australia's famous Bondi Beach was lit up with colour as the surfers


International news and intelligent analysis going live to the heart of the day's top global story. George Alagiah shares his experience as one of the BBC's most successful foreign correspondents to communicate why world stories matter to a UK and global audience.

Featuring exclusive reports from BBC World News correspondents based around the world, plus up-to-the-minute global business news.

Britain and Germany call for new sanctions against Iran as EU foreign ministers gather to discuss concerns over the Iranian nuclear programme.

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