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Special Report

U.N. Sanctions Against Iran; Female Winners in Primaries

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PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This resolution will put in place the toughest sanctions ever faced by the Iranian government, and it sends an unmistakable message about the international community's commitment to stopping the spread of nuclea r weapons. These sanctions do not close the door on diplomacy. Iran continues to have the opportunity to take a different and better path.

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BRET BAIER, "SPECIAL REPORT" HOST: The U.N. Security Council today voting to approve a new round of sanctions, a fourth round of sanctions against Iran, specifically targeting the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The vote was 12-2, Lebanon abstaining, and Brazil and Turkey voting no. In response, Iran's president Ahmadinejad said he does not recognize the sanctions and, "For us they are annoying flies, like a used tissue." And here is the response from Republicans or at least one of them on Capitol Hill, Senator Jon Kyl, who said, "The divided vote of the security council displays to Iran the world is not united in dealing with its illicit conduct. We are, in fact, in a far worse position than we were 18 months ago when the president started his diplomacy of appeasement and apology. It's clear the president's policy has failed." That is where we begin with the panel, Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, Erin Billings, deputy editor of Roll Call, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: It is hard to believe that the president could actually say with a straight face this demonstrates the unmistakable -- it gives unmistakable message about the international community's commitment here.

This is an unmistakable messages about the fecklessness of the U.S. and the international community which in and of itself is a fiction anyway. The sanctions are totally watered down by Russia and China to be almost meaningless. To achieve even this it took 16 months of administration labor ending up and producing a mouse. And last, the three sanctions resolution that the Bush administration had without apology and without concessions were approved unanimously. And this one received 12 of the 15 with an opposition by allies Turkey and Brazil and as you said, an abstention from Lebanon. So if anything, it's a clear demonstration of the collapse of the international effort to the extent that it ever existed. Under this administration's policy as a Senator Kyl said of appeasement and apology. The president of Iran is exactly right that this is a flea, it's meaningless. And everybody in the administration I think knows that.

BAIER: Erin, even the administration concedes they had to walk back a bit, water down some of this to get the votes of Russia and China. But when asked about it, Robert Gibbs said today that well, there wouldn't have gotten the sanctions had they not done that and they are expecting other things to come, for example, the EU to have its own round of sanctions.

ERIN BILLINGS, ROLL CALL: That is right. Congress obviously has a bill, legislation that has been stalled. They have been waiting for the Obama administration to work with the U.N. Security Council to get these sanctions in place. Steny Hoyer, the majority leader, Democrat of Maryland today said they are going to try to move forward on this, the week of June 21st.

So even hawk Democrats on Capitol Hill today said this is great, but we need to do more. Republicans are pushing for it as well. Even though the Obama administration's claiming victory and the Democrats are backing them up, they want more. They don't think that these are the crippling sanctions that the Obama administration promised 16, 18 months ago.

BAIER: And Bill, even France has been speaking out pretty aggressively, saying that this isn't going to do a thing.

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: If you talk to people privately from the Obama administration, which I occasionally do, when I haven't said anything too harsh on this show for a week or two, then they will talk for a minute.

Here is their sort of sophisticated defense of this. We know it's weak and we know it's watered down, but the way the Europeans work you have to get a U.N. Security Council resolution first. Then we can build on this with stronger sanctions, both unilateral on the part of the U.S. the congressional law, and also joint EU/U.S. sanctions which could allegedly target financial institutions and do damage. Most people I talk to who know about this don't think even if we got to that in three or six months that those would do enough damage by any means to really slow down the Iranian nuclear program. But it's their justification. Don't look at the details of the U.N. sanctions. The fact of the U.N. sanctions will legitimize going further they say on the part of the EU. But I agree with Charles, unfortunately. We are 16 months closer to Iran having nuclear weapons and Iran is less isolated than it was before. That is what really galls me. For 16 months, the administration not having progress on sanctions patting itself on the back and saying they're much more isolated. But every time you turn on the TV, Ahmadinejad is with Putin or the leaders of Brazil and Turkey or visiting China or he is throwing his weight around throughout the Middle East. Indeed, the Washington Post has a front page story, saying they're, a, good at evading sanctions, and, b, Iran is less isolated than it was.

BAIER: Is there a scenario, Charles, where sanctions of a unified front, coalition of the willing, actually do have a pinch on Iran that could make an effect? Or are we past the point of no return as far as the nuclear program?

KRAUTHAMMER: We passed it on the issue of sanctions. Perhaps military attack might succeed, but sanctions, even if they are strong and serious are not going to have an effect.

Even if you imagine we went back five years, the Iranians were never -- this regime was never going to be deterred to achieve its ultimate objective, which is hegemony in the region, the power with nukes that it sought for 1,000 years in the Arab world for what, a mess of porridge, a few economic sanctions? There was no chance in the first place. The only effect it might have had is during the quasi-revolution last year if we applied sanctions and weakened the regime suddenly and quickly, economically, it might have been toppled. But that was an opportunity that came and went.

BAIER: Also in the Middle East today, President Obama met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office for a long time and talked to reporters afterwards saying the current situation in the Middle East and in Gaza specifically with the flotilla incident the past week is unsustainable.

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OBAMA: It seems to me we should be able to take what has been a tragedy and turn it into an opportunity to create a situation where lives in Gaza are actually directly improved.

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BAIER: Bill, what about that response from the administration and to all of this over the past week-and-a-half?

KRISTOL: I guess it suggests that the problem is that people's lives in Gaza are difficult. They're difficult in some degree but that's because Hamas rules Gaza. The deeper problem, to go back to Iran, letting Iran succeed in the last several years has had disastrous effects, not just because Iran is going to get nuclear weapons probably unless military force is used, but the incentives it's created for everyone else in the region, the lesson it taught.

In Turkey, there are debate between Islamists who like Iranians and others. And if you debate internally with the Turkish military and others and they say you can't go down that road and compete with the Iranians to be radical, you will annoy the U.S. and pay a big price. Everyone looks around and says are you kidding? This is the path to success and glory in the Middle East.

And so we have created a dynamic in which the radicals are getting stronger in the Middle East.

BAIER: Also, there was a bit of image about the prime minister of Israel essentially not getting a photo op, a photo spray last time he came. Obviously he canceled because of the events with the flotilla this last time. But here is the Palestinian president getting the full deal.

BILLINGS: He is, and the president wants to kick-start peace talks again and get them in a room and move forward. I'm not sure if it is going to happen. There is clearly a movement on the Hill to pass resolutions supporting Israel. Look we are not of one mind on all of this, and particularly, up in Congress.

BAIER: and in the administration.

BILLINGS: Exactly.

BAIER: Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: I think anybody would be struck by the warmth of that handshake with the leader of the Palestinians and the fact that a few months ago, you wouldn't, he wouldn't even see or allow a picture of himself, the president, with the prime minister of Israel, our oldest ally in the region and the only ally in that region with whom you never have to worry when you go to bed that you will wake up in the morning and a coup has replaced it with an anti-American government because it's intrinsically an ally the way no other country in the region is.

I think it's an unbelievable contrast and it shows a lot about how Obama has shifted and reversed American sympathies in that region.

BAIER: Much more on these topics for sure. Go to the homepage at foxnews.com/specialreport and tell us what you think we should talk about in Friday's lightning round. Up next, tonight's panel, winners and losers in Tuesday's primaries and what all of it means for the November midterms.

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SHARRON ANGLE, R-NEV., U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: We have an opportunity to send a very positive message and that message is that we are going to dump Harry Reid on November 2nd.

MEG WHITMAN, CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: California is in crisis. And we certainly cannot save California's future by repeating the failures of the past.

CARLY FIORINA, R-CALIF., U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: When I started this campaign, I was nearly bald. And after seeing that reflection in the mirror for many months, Barbara Boxer doesn't scare me a bit.

SEN. BLANCHE LINCOLN, D-ARK.: Let me tell you, not only can my vote not be bought, yours can't be either. And in November, we're going to win!

NIKKE HALEY, R-S.C., GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: It's really about making sure that government is accountable, that they understand the value of a dollar, that D.C. is not the answer to any of our problems.

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BAIER: It could have been the night of the woman as you see the women speaking after their big wins, or heading to runoffs, but wins in their states, as far as the most votes. They all ran on different issues, different storylines. They didn't run on being women, but it just turned out that way.

We're back with the panel about the overall storyline from the big primary night. Erin, let's start with you.

BILLINGS: Well, it was a good night for women. The question is how many of the women will actually win the general? I'd probably say not a huge number of them.

But it was an interesting election night. We keep looking at these elections and trying to do the takeaway and say was this the bellwether? I'm not sure if we can say this was the bellwether. But what I will say, it was a good night for Harry Reid because obviously Sharron Angle has got to prove she has broad appeal in Nevada, and that is not necessarily borne out yet.

BAIER: Although, Harry Reid, while he got the nomination, 10 percent or roughly that voted "none of the above" in the Democratic nomination.

BILLINGS: Harry Reid is vulnerable and if he ran against a monkey he would be vulnerable. He is vulnerable. That is a fact. It doesn't matter who is running against him. However, of the Republican frontrunners, this was the preferred candidate for Harry Reid because Sharron Angle does have, you know, some kind of out-of-the box ideas. The other thing I will say is this is going to, I really want to see what happens from here on out. Obviously, Blanche Lincoln won her runoff in Arkansas. I think she has a tough road ahead. I don't know if we can look at this race, like I said earlier, and be able say what is going to happen in November. There is a lot of time.

BAIER: Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: I think on the Republican side there are no ideological storylines. You get centrist and wingers winning. On the Democratic side, I think the trend is much more anti-Obama, anti-left wing policies than it is anti-incumbent.

I think the Arkansas race was quite important. She brought in President Clinton, the quintessential Democratic centrist. She won and ran hard against the unions. We had a case in May of a 14-term Democratic congressman in West Virginia who lost in a race in which he was attacked for supporting Obamacare and because he was insufficiently opposed to cap-and-trade. And then there was that seat of John Murtha where the Democrat won but he was anti-Obamacare, anti-cap-and-trade, and a classic god and gun clinger of the type Obama disdains. I think ideologically if you are a Democrat, Obama is toxic and centrism is where you want to go.

KRISTOL: I'm struck by the youth of some of the winners. Nikki Haley is 38. And the Republican nominee for the congresswoman in South Dakota has a shot to pick up the seat is also 38. Tim Scott, the African- American, who led in the primary in the first district in South Carolina will get a runoff with Strom Thurmond's son, an interesting American moment, the segregationist candidate for president, his son running against African-American Republican.

And Marco Rubio could be the senator for Florida, 38, or 39. On the Republican side we have had a big turnover from the Dole, Bush, McCain establishment Republicans, who were aging, and that's fine. We all do. I think a lot of fresh young faces winning the primaries and likely to be in the House, Senate, and governor mansions next year.

BAIER: It's a big night.