Gov't terror threat report omits Iran, Hezbollah

Sen. Sullivan: Omission is 'remarkable'


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," March 18, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: What is a terror list without Iran and Hezbollah? Well, ours, because National Intelligence Director James Clapper left them both off his worldwide terror assessment. That would be our worldwide terror assessment.

To Alaska Republican Senator Dan Sullivan, who is doing some reassessing of his own.

Senator, what do you make of these omissions?

SEN. DAN SULLIVAN, R - AK: Well you know, Neil, it`s -- my first reaction when I heard it was, is this another concession from John Kerry in terms of his negotiations with the Iranians?

It seems to me very fishy that certainly in many people`s views the biggest terror -- the biggest sponsor of state terrorism is Iran. And the fact that they`re not on the list is remarkable. And, you know, Neil, one of the things is, Iran is a -- is not just any normal country.

As I mentioned, it`s been on that list for decades. But it`s also -- and this is something that a lot of Americans overlook. It also has the blood of U.S. soldiers on its hands very recently.


CAVUTO: Do you know why they did this, though, Senator? They were on the list last year. So, we took them off. Part of me started -- maybe because we`re trying to strike this nuclear deal with them, maybe because they are allegedly -- we can`t prove it -- fighting ISIS in Iraq.

What did it? Do you know?

SULLIVAN: I have no idea. But I`ll tell you this.

One of the big issues with regard to the nuclear deal is that it should go before the Congress. Let the American people through their representatives in Congress weigh in, vote on one of the most important national security issues facing our country in a generation, and then we can ask these kind of questions.

But it would be very interesting to hear from John Kerry. Was this some kind of quid pro quo? It shouldn`t be. They should be on the list. They`re one of the biggest sponsors -- the biggest sponsor of state terrorism in the world.

CAVUTO: Now, the Hezbollah thing surprised a little bit too because they have been on and off that list.

But now we have Benjamin Netanyahu`s surprising victory in Israel. And I wonder how that complicates things, because we deliberately take Hezbollah off. I`m sure many at the State Department and at the White House were not fans of seeing Benjamin Netanyahu re-elected. That happened. I think they call that an awkward moment.

SULLIVAN: Well, I think it is an awkward moment.

The prime minister gave a very powerful speech before a joint session of Congress. And one of the things that he mentioned was the biggest threat that our country faces, that all of our countries face is the marriage of nuclear weapons with radical Islamic regimes like the Iranians.

And I think that this is a critical issue. And there`s a lot more questions that need to be answered about how in the world Iran, the biggest sponsor of state terrorism, with terrorist networks all over the world and an army, the Quds Force, that was supplying the most lethal IEDs in Iraq that were killing and maiming thousands of American troops just recently, Neil, how they can be off the list.

We need to hear answers from this administration and we`re not getting any.

CAVUTO: The best we can get are statements from the DNI through press reports. I want to pass this along to you, get your reaction.

"The intelligence community`s position on Iran has not changed. In fact, Director Clapper specifically referenced the threat from Iran and their client group Hezbollah in his recent testimony."

But it doesn`t address the bigger questions you raise, Senator. They`re off the list. That`s like being off the FBI`s most wanted list. You`re not wanted. You`re not feared.


SULLIVAN: They`re off the list.

And, again, given the consistent, regular concessions that Secretary Kerry has made in these negotiations, it raises a lot of suspicions that this was some kind of quid pro quo tied to the negotiations. That`s again why we need the Congress to weigh in on this, to vote.

And, Neil, I think you`re going to see a bipartisan support certainly in the U.S. Senate on that position. It`s going to be an important issue.

CAVUTO: Senator Sullivan, a busy first few months in Washington for you.

Thank you very, very much.

SULLIVAN: Yes, sir. Good to talk to you, Neil. Thanks again.

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