OTR Interviews

Bolton: Deal paves Iran's way to nuke weapon

Amb. John Bolton disputes Obama's claim that the landmark agreement would prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 14, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Ambassador, will Iran keep its word?

JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR, UNITED NATIONS: Absolutely not. I would tweet twice on that.

Look, Iran has been violating its commitment under the nuclear non- proliferation treaty not to seek nuclear weapons for almost 35 years. So today it's agreed to commit not to seek nuclear weapons under this agreement. There is no evidence whatever that Iran has made a strategic decision to give that up long quest for deliverable nuclear weapons. That's a critical fallacy underlying the entire Obama administration position.

VAN SUSTEREN: Here is what sort of alarming to me is that India, Pakistan, and North Korea essentially set off nuclear arms tests -- I mean, nuclear test without us knowing about it and those were our friends, but we got caught off-guard.

I mean, what is the level of competence that we truly can monitor what they do. There's supposed to have a year breakout period in which they can't do anything.

BOLTON: Let me just -- you know, the administration, the president said today right now they could break out in two to three months, which I think is accurate. For six years the Obama administration denied that. So now they say, having rejected the idea that Iran was close to nuclear weapons say now we have pushed them back one year. That rests.


VAN SUSTEREN: Nine months really, if it's two to three already. Nine months.

BOLTON: One year total, right. That rests on another critical fallacy that we know everything that Iran is doing on its nuclear weapons program. That's a very chancy thing to say at best. And the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency will not be able to find it out under the terms of the deal agreed today.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, we were surprised when we found out that they had an underground installation. I mean --


BOLTON: In Fordow.


BOLTON: And who knows what else they have been building over the past several years in the Zagros Mountains, a huge area of the country, very hard to detect, or what they're doing together with North Korea under a mountain in North Korea.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what was our alternative to have no deal at all and have the sanctions continue to cripple them? Is that what they --

BOLTON: The sanctions were not crippling them. I mean, if you --


VAN SUSTEREN: So what would you have done?

BOLTON: Well, I think, the course we have been on really for 20 years now has led to the point where the most likely outcome, deal or no deal, is Iran gets nuclear weapons. The unpleasant realty is the only way to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons is if somebody is prepared to use military force.

The president himself said all the time all options are on the table, but he never meant it and he doesn't mean it now. That's why it's up to Israel, one way or the other.

VAN SUSTEREN: So would you expect that Israel would take some military action? Or Israel going to just sit back and be unhappy with this and watch it unfold which ever way it unfolds?

BOLTON: I think they should have taken action five years ago.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what do they do now?

BOLTON: Well, they should act today before it gets worse. But I'll tell you, under the terms of the deal, the Europeans will help Iran develop advanced centrifuge technology at that Fordow facility that you mentioned. Once Europeans are in that facility, it's immune from bombing.

VAN SUSTEREN: Can we expect in your view that there is going to be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

BOLTON: The nuclear arms race has already begun. We have known for some time the Saudis have options on Pakistan's existing nuclear arsenal. They are now building their own indigenous capability. Egypt, Jordan, Turkey will follow suit and perhaps others.

So, again, regardless of this deal, the past two years of negotiations have convinced many in the region that they need to look out for number one. And that's what they have started to do.

VAN SUSTEREN: Ambassador, thank you, sir.

BOLTON: Thank you.