This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," January 25, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: All eyes are on Iran, where tensions escalate rapidly over its nuclear program.
Tonight, Israel says Iran represents the world's most serious security threat. This comes less than a week after the vice president said, quote, "We are very concerned about Iran. They have used terror in various incendiary way to kill Americans and a lot of other folks around the globe. You look around the world at potential trouble spots, Iran is right at the top of the list."
Just hours after Cheney's warnings, President Bush sent this message during his inaugural speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny, prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder, violence will gather and multiply in destructive power and cross the most defended borders and raise a mortal threat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Joining us in Washington is the former crown prince of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, the shah's son. Welcome, Reza.
REZA PAHLAVI, FORMER CROWN PRINCE OF IRAN: Good to be back.
VAN SUSTEREN: Nice to see you. What is Iran up to, and how do you know?
PAHLAVI: Well, Greta, one has to understand that this regime's survival has always depended on creating as much instability, violence, radicalism, terrorism — you name it. The regime has survived thus far by trying to keep the area from becoming more stable or more democratic. Case in point, look at the way Iran is trying to interfere in the case of Iraq.
What's important to know is that the people of Iran are the free world's best allies, and they're looking to join this world as soon as they can. The only thing that keeps them from reaching the free world and this regime. And as such, a lot of expectation in Iran exists in terms of what the world is doing right now, looking into the situation, and how do they relate to the Iranian situation.
VAN SUSTEREN: You mention Iraq. The Muslim population in Iran is Shi'ite. The population in Iraq that we think will ultimately win the most in the elections will be the Shi'ites, not the Sunnis. It seems to me that Iran is not meddling in Iraq. At least, they may have other issues going on in the world, but that it's not the election.
PAHLAVI: Well, any transition to democracy and stability next door will be a big slap in the face as far as the regime in Tehran is concerned. Add to that the fact that if there's an independent clergy in Najaf today who speaks the position of the free clergy, as opposed to the governmental clergy, which is the case in Iran, particularly, when it stands not in support of another Islamic republic or theocracy-type regime but in a clear separation between religion and government, this again begin will be an additional threat to the regime and everything that he has stood for so far, with this ideal of exporting a clerical, a radical Islamic revolution.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let's talk about the enriched uranium program. Iran says that they need it just for energy, but they're sitting on an awful lot of oil, so frankly, it's doubtful to me that that's the intention. Do you believe that their motives are sinister, in terms of wanting to enrich uranium, or do you buy what they say, that it's for energy?
PAHLAVI: Let me tell you why, because this regime knows that by having the finger on the trigger or having the atom bomb as their final blackmail element against the rest of the world, they can perhaps hope to have yet again a prolongation of their survival. The important issue again is to realize that we have to see a democratic solution in Iran. Only this will bring safety and stability and peace in our region, as opposed to this entire WMD race that the regime is definitely after.
VAN SUSTEREN: How do we get democracy in Iran?
VAN SUSTEREN: What do you mean by empowerment?
PAHLAVI: Well, look, again, I think that the world has until now looked at only two options vis-a-vis Iran, either appeasement of the regime, or failing that, attacking the country.
I'm here to tell you that today we have a very important development in Iran. There's a call for a national referendum, where the Iranian people demand the right to go to the polls and elect what they want for themselves in the future. Pressure can be brought onto the regime both domestically, as well as the support of the international community, by lending a hand to the democratic forces, by standing with them, by sending them a clear message that we are not standing against them and cutting a deal over your head with the mullahs.
And as far as this country is concerned, I think the message from this administration has been very clear. What's left to be seen is what Europe is going to do. And as you know, Europe is engaging in trade talk with Iranians, even though the issue of nuclear weapons has been one of the major setbacks. What we would like to see happen is to add to the caveat and demand further issues that relates to human rights. I think when the regime realizes that the world is not going to stand idle and is not going to take no for an answer, it can only invigorate and hearten the people of Iran, who don't need anything other than moral support to achieve that goal.
VAN SUSTEREN: But do you have any indication the regime is just going to sort of accept the sort of diplomatic pressure that you're suggesting, is that, you know, that Europe stand tall and strong and that the Americans stand tall and strong? I mean, why would they cave in to that?
PAHLAVI: I think that the collective domestic and international support has demonstrated time and again in other countries in the world that even the most despotic and dictatorial regimes, at the end, do concede. Look at Chile, for example, and Pinochet. Look at the latest situation when we had Milosevic in Serbia. Look at the way the people have stood up against — you know, an election in the Ukraine.
The same thing goes for Iran, except for until now, the Iranians have received so many mixed signals from the outside world, not knowing if the world is committed. In addition to that, the repressive elements of the regime — namely, the Revolutionary Guards — have to be able to find a way out and find political survival beyond the regime. If you offer them a non-violent scenario of change, they are more likely to join with the rest of the people, as opposed to be told by the regime that, Don't think that you're going to ever survive beyond this regime, your only bet is to stand with us to the bitter end.
This way, we can avoid bloodshed. This way, we can avoid a violent conflict. There'll be a very few who might resist, but at the end, there won't be enough of them.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Always nice to see you, sir. Appreciate it.
PAHLAVI: Thanks for having me back.
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