This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 18, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to a very special edition of Hannity. Now tonight we take an in-depth look at the Middle East ticking time bomb, the Islamic republic of Iran and the imminent threat it poses to America and the rest of the world.
Now it's a story that Iran does not want you to hear. In fact, the Iranian regime is publicly condemning the new film that is already selling out screenings all across North America. Now the controversial documentary that exposes the alarming truth about the Islamic republic's nuclear program is called, "Iranium." It is now showing in select theaters all across the U.S.
And joining me tonight is the film's producer Raphael Shore and Fox News Middle East expert on terrorism and the author of "The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East," who is also featured in the film, Walid Phares is with us.
Guys, good to see you. Thanks for being with us.
WALID PHARES, AUTHOR, "STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM IN THE MIDDLE EAST": Thank you.
HANNITY: I'm going to show in-depth clips tonight but how dangerous is an Iranian armed -- Iran armed with nuclear weapons, how dangerous is this?
PHARES: Well, the planet will move into a different history. Because this will be the first time a regime that accepts and support suicide bombing, small size, will have a large sized nuclear bomb. And the chanting in Iran since 1979 until now has been death to America. So, that along will tell you how dangerous the world will be.
RAPHAEL SHORE, "IRANIUM" PRODUCER: Well, I agree. Until now Iran has used every means at their disposal to attack Iran. It's been their enemy. They've used terror, whatever vehicle they have, whatever method they've viewed. So, if they have nuclear weapons, there is no reason to believe that they might not use it.
HANNITY: All right. Let's start tonight -- and this is in the film -- a history of Iran's hatred towards the United States and towards the western general.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: The threat America and the world face from Iran today can be traced back to 1978. At the time, Iran was ruled by the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a long time ally of the United States.
FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER: Iran is an island of stability. And one of the more troubled areas of the world.
NARRATOR: The Shah was rapidly modernizing Iran, introducing secularism and capitalism to a traditional Muslim society. Within Iran, the Shah was viewed as uncompromising dictator. Growing distaste quickly turned into public outrage.
Rightists and leftists from all across Iranian society including Marxists, communists and religious elements formed a popular revolution to overthrow the Shah. And one man emerged as the leader of the movement. In February 1979, the Shah left Iran, never to return. Two weeks later, Khomeini triumphantly arrived to Iran as a hero. For Khomeini, the Shah was gone but the western influence he promoted was still present across Iranian society.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING ARABIC) Those who think there is something about the west, they must be aware that there is nothing in the west by villainy.
NARRATOR: America would soon become Khomeini's next adversary.
BERNARD LEWIS, PROFESSOR EMERITUS OF NEAR EASTERN STUDIES, PRINCETON: In their perception, the leading power of the world of the unbelievers is the United States. And United States is therefore inevitably the main enemy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: America is the great Satan because from their point of view, it is the enemy of God. We are Satan whispering into the ears of the Muslims trying to tempt them away from Islam.
AMIR FAKHRAVAR, PRESIDENT, IRANIAN FREEDOM INSTITUTE: For years during our school in Iran, our teachers and the government, they told us Americans are devils, they are going to kill us. Every morning they forced us to chant death to America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: All right. We know what happened in November of that year. We went 444 days with Americans held hostage. Here's what is fascinating to me. I went back and I looked at the time. And there were people in our own government saying that Gandhi, comparing the Ayatollah to Gandhi. New York Times thought this was a favorable development, reminds me a lot of people whom what they are saying today about Egypt.
PHARES: This is the perception of Jihad is yoga, don't worry about it. It's basically went the academic elite in this country, those who advised government, say that there is no threat coming from Islamic fundamentalism. And we saw what happened 30 years ago, when the Islamist fundamentalists of Khomeini said, we are just here to get rid of the Shah. And then there will be democracy, then they destroyed their allies and establish the Islamic republic.
HANNITY: And we saw this too in Turkey a little bit in 2002, they ran on moderation and each year, you know, progressive year, they become more dictatorial and this becomes more of a theocracy, correct? So, there's a very common threat here.
SHORE: There is. In the Middle East, it's unfortunately democracy, a liberal western democracy is unfortunately, not to be found. And it needs to be developed these institutions of democracy. Democracy is not just about elections. And sometimes westerners make the mistake to think if we just hold an election, the solution has been found. But unfortunately, they need to learn about what democracy is. And if you have one election, it's very possible that radical Islamist will be elected as we saw also in the Palestinian territories.
HANNITY: Let's go to this concept they think America is the great Satan, Israel the little Satan and that anybody that doesn't believe in Islam is an enemy of God.
PHARES: Well, ideologically, all Jihadists, the Khomeini's and Iran, but also Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, everybody the international Jihadists believes that the world is like an apple divided in two. On the one hand where the caliphate is, where the Imamate is, on the other hand, everybody else, the infidels. So, this is an ideological position, if we don't see reform hitting the Muslim Brotherhood today, all the Iranians that are about this, we are still in a confrontation with the Jihadists.
SHORE: Well, the issue is that this is a religious war. And most westerners fail to understand that that's what is at stake here, that although we look at with western eyes, what we have a difficult time understanding is people who are motivated by religious idealism, religious fanaticism.
HANNITY: When people hear religious war, they think that, wait a minute, are you talking about a war against Islam? Do you make a distinction between radical Islam and those who are just practicing different faiths?
SHORE: Yes. I make a distinction of radical Islam versus Islam. I know it's a challenging question in itself. But I believe that it's not important, because there are so many people who are radical -- there are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. And even if the small percent --
HANNITY: What percentage do you think is radicalized?
SHORE: It's hard to know, perhaps, well, Walid knows it better.
PHARES: I think between five and seven percent have been impacted by all of them, how this Khomeini's. But we're talking about dozens of billions of people, that's a huge poll. That's a poll that Al Qaeda and the Iranians can recruit from for the next 20 years.
HANNITY: Isn't there also an intimidation factor for those that consider themselves more moderate, a fear to speak out against the radicalized groups?
PHARES: Well, the battle inside the Muslim world is about that, is about those who control the microphone, those who have the satellite TV, the petro dollars, those that control basic -- the classroom on the one hand, these are the regimes and these are the organizations. And civil society who are trying to free themselves and when they do so, how are they treated? Oh, you are agent of the Israelis, agent of the Americans.
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