All-Star Panel: Nuclear deal with Iran possible?

'Special Report' All-Star panel reacts in Friday's Lightning Round


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," September 27, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Each week, we ask you to vote in our Friday Lightning Round poll. This week, you decided to let Charles choose the topic. We are back with our panel. I'm going to play a sound bite before you go on your topic which was Iran and it's just timely. Because here is the president.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Just now I spoke on the phone with President Rowhani of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The two of us discussed our ongoing efforts to reach an agreement. The very fact that this was the first communications between an American and Iranian president since 1979 underscores the deep mistrust between our countries. But it also indicates the prospect of moving beyond that difficult history. I do believe that there is a basis for a resolution.


BAIER: We should point out that Charles' choice came before that announcement. So it was clairvoyant.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Exactly, presence of the highest order. Look, Obama and my question is what are the prospects of a deal that will stop and reverse a nuclear program? I think they are very small. Right after that, the President said in explaining the basis of his optimism for a deal. He said that the supreme leader had issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons and that Rowhani himself had said that Iran will never construct a nuclear weapon. But Rowhani says it's never been working on it and isn't working on it today. So, he starts with a double lie and then we are to believe that his next statement it will never construct one is true. I think this is a very shaky basis, looks like we are the supplicant and we're going to give a lot away which I think will leave Iran in a position to go nuclear in a very short order.

BAIER: President Rowhani did not want to shake hands with President Obama or have that photo at the U.N. But he did do the phone call. Kirsten?

KIRSTEN POWERS, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, look, there is a lot to be skeptical about here. Absolutely. There is every reason to believe that the Iranians will mislead. And very well maybe up to no good. The question is, whether you know, we haven't been talking to them and they have been moving closer towards, you know, building a bomb or so we believe. That's not working. So, at least trying to talk and starting some sort of conversation is a step hopefully in the right direction. But it has to be, I think, dealt with less skepticism.

BAIER: Jonah.

JONAH GOLDBERG, NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE EDITOR: Yes. I think that's all. Fair enough. I think there is something terribly unseemly about, it is sort of like a high school crush that Obama seems to have on Rowhani. Refused to meet with him but he called me. You know, as if at least I got a phone call. Wouldn't shake my hand. Wouldn't be seen in public with me but he likes me enough to call me. Moreover, all of this talk about concessions from Iran -- these aren't concessions that we are talking about. It's compliance by treaty and by U.N. resolution, they have to give up their nuclear program. And we talk about it as if they are doing us a favor by having these conversations.

BAIER: All right. Jonah, one of the winners and losers this week.  Start with the winner and then loser.

GOLDBERG: The winner this week, whether you agree with the strategy or his tactics or anything that has to be Ted Cruz. However this plays out, I think he helped himself enormously politically. And loser, I picked Al Gore as a sort of representative of the entire sort of climate hysteria wing. He, from his comfortable perch at Al Jazeera calling Republicans terrorists today. Has lost one -- the great cause of his life. This is now something that is scientifically acceptable to be skeptical of.

BAIER: Kirsten, winner and loser.

POWERS: The winners are the Democratic Party. And the losers are the Republican Party and it's because of the antics of these House Republicans that are going to guarantee that the Republicans are not going to be a national party any time soon.

BAIER: All right. E-mails Kirsten Powers@...



KRAUTHAMMER: I will eschew a rebuttal and go to my original winners, United States, defeating the Kiwis the New Zealanders in a miraculous comeback in sailing. A loser, the United States in getting snookered by Russia at the Security Council over the resolution on Syria, Putin he drew a red line. There will be no enforcement of this of any consequence. And that's exactly what he got. Now weighing the two -- defeating New Zealand versus losing on a very important issue to Russia. Unfortunately, was a bad week for the U.S.

BAIER: Bonus round. Government shutdown or not?

KRAUTHAMMER: I thought no. But now it's about 50/50.

POWERS: I think yes.

GOLDBERG: Yeah, a couple of days and then they'll get a CR to keep it going.

BAIER: That is it for the panel but stay tuned for diplomatic message to the American people.

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