How to prevent a nuclear Iran

Newly released audio tapes of deputy national security advisor shedding light on negotiations


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 31, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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GUTFELD: In the unresolved problem segment tonight, stopping a nuclear Iran. A November 24th deadline to reach a dual is rapidly approaching. In a newly released audiotape of Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes speaking with left wing activists back in January, is shedding light on how the administration is approaching the negotiations.


BEN RHODES, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: Bottom-line is this is the best opportunity we've had to resolve the Iranian issue diplomatically as soon as President Obama came into office and probably since the beginning of the Iraq war. So no small opportunity big deal. This is probably the biggest thing that President Obama will do in his second term on foreign policy. This is healthcare for us, just to put it in context.


GUTFELD: Yes, because ObamaCare has worked out so well for everyone.

Joining us now to analyze from San Diego, Rick Grenell a FOX News contributor and former advisor to four U.S. ambassadors to the U.N. And from Washington we got Matthew Duss, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.

So, Rick, first to you. The upside is at least he didn't compare the negotiations to Ebola. But, still comparing I do taunt with Iran to ObamaCare, he kind of implies it could be a disaster.

RICHARD GRENELL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Actually, Greg, Ebola would have been a better analogy because that example actually would pull in the dangerous and deadly element.

GUTFELD: Um-huh.

GRENELL: To what we are dealing with. I mean, this is a very serious problem. And I think what Ben Rhodes, his slip-up and it's clearly a slip- up when he is talking to a left wing group, what it does is it tells us that the White House views this as a political issue, not a National Security issue. And that's where, I think most of us have you a fundamental problem. We shouldn't be focused on any deal with the Iranians. This is a serious issue. And as we approach the one year interim deadline next year, remember we signed this interim deal a year ago. We have had sanctions relief. The economy in Iran has improved. So, the pressure is off the Iranians and they like having the enrichment extra time in secret and it's clearly going to be a problem for us because the pressure is gone.

GUTFELD: Mathew, Rick, I know you probably are going to disagree with him but does Rick have a point? I always get the sense that Iran is constantly outsmarting the United States. They know how to play us. They refer to us as the devil half the time. And they only want to work with the devil when they have to. Is this actually a good time to be negotiating?

MATTHEW DUSS, PRESIDENT, FOUNDATION FOR MIDDLE EAST PEACE: Well, I think it is. I agree with Rick that it's a serious issue. But I think we should be serious about it. And to me, it's very clear what Ben Rhodes meant there. It's that, just as the healthcare, the Affordable Care Act was hugely important of Obama's first term agenda, arguably the most important part of his domestic agenda, the diplomacy effort, the diplomatic effort, the nuclear with Iran and the P5 plus 1 is the most important part of Obama's foreign policy agenda, it's been clear since he was a candidate back in 2008 that this was a very very important part of what he was going to bring to foreign policy. So I don't think -- you know, I find this sort of consternation over that statement a bit confusing.

GUTFELD: Uh-huh. But okay, my confusion is, Matthew, I'll stick with you on this. How you can thaw a relationship with a country who sees the west as hopelessly evil? We went through this with the cold war. We had to topple USSR to make this happen. If they already hate us so much, how can you negotiate?

DUSS: No. But I think that's a very good comparison. Because let's look at the way that the USSR eventually toppled. President Reagan decided to engage with the soviets. He sat down with Miguel Gorbachev in the 80's and was criticized very, very aggressively by hawks in very much the same way that Obama is being criticized right now. In retrospect that was a very smart move. So, I think if we look at the actual details of the agreement right now, the Obama administration in the joint plan of action, the interim deal that we're still operating under right now, the Iran nuclear program is under heavier inspection than it has ever been. This is a very important opportunity. We're not doing this because we trust Iran, we are doing it precisely because we don't trust Iran and want to keep their nuclear program under heavy inspection into the future.

GUTFELD: All right. Rick, did he just trounce me?

GRENELL: No, not at all. Because, look, there has been five U.N. resolutions.


GRENELL: On Iran, five. And what happens on those U.N. resolutions is that there is a demand that Iran stop enriching all uranium. The Obama deal that he brought to the P5 a plus 1, what the deal says is that they get to continue enriching some uranium. There is just a momentary bleep of stopping it, but they don't disband the whole program. What's happening is the Obama idea, the Obama proposal is weaker than the U.N.'s demand. And you know we are in trouble when you are weaker than the U.N.

GUTFELD: The other thing, too. I just want to follow with Rick is the -- what the leak about what was said about BB Netanyahu, about him being a chicken blank, isn't that -- doesn't that kind of green light Iran because we're basically saying that we know Netanyahu is not going to do anything?

GRENELL: Of course, I mean, when you are tougher on Israel than you are on some of our enemies, why haven't we heard that there has been a chicken bleep statement about ISIS or some of our enemies, you never hear that. What you hear is really derogatory terms towards Israel. And we've seen this from the beginning, if this was one time slip up, they can get past it. But Greg, this has been a problem from the beginning, this is a narrative, this is a mean now. We keep hearing it.

GUTFELD: All right. Matthew, you want to respond, I cut you off there?

DUSS: Yes. Just very quickly. First on Netanyahu, I mean, obviously Iran is under a very, very sanctions regime. So, the idea that we're treating Israel worse than we're treating Iran I think is just not serious. But going back to Rick's point about the enrichment, I mean, this was a decision made by the P5 plus 1. This is the permanent five members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, the decision that was made to allow some measure of Iranian enrichment. So, to bring up the past U.N. resolutions as if Obama himself was violating that. That doesn't make sense. This was a decision that --


GRENELL: Outside of the Security Council though.

DUSS: No, but this is the permanent five members of the security council making what I think was the correct judgment that you could continue to make this demand or you could take less in order to have a more comprehensive deal.

GUTFELD: Rick, last word?

GRENELL: I have been in the room for these negotiations from the beginning. The Europeans have tried to water this down. The Americans have been the only ones holding back when the Americans cave to the Europeans, that's why we have this deal outside of the Security Council. They got to bring it back to get the full council to approve it.

DUSS: It was the French holding the line back in November if you remember.

GUTFELD: All right.

GRENELL: No, I'm talking about before Obama came into office.

GUTFELD: All right. I guess, you know, the problem is, there are people who believe we should bend and people who believe that we shouldn't. My question is, do we really want radical extremists who believe they have a direct line to God with a nuclear weapon?

DUSS: No, we don't. And that's precisely why we made this bill.

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