OTR Interviews

Bolton: No one believes Obama will use force against Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a serious warning to Jewish Americans and ramped up pressure for Congress to vote against the Iran deal. Will his plea make an impact? Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton sounds off.


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 4, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasting the nuclear deal with Iran saying it paves a dangerous path to a bomb. Listen to this.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAEL PRIME MINISTER: The nuclear deal with Iran doesn't block Iran's path to the bomb -- to the bomb. It actually paves Iran's path to the bomb. Worst, it gives Iran two paths to the bomb. Iran can get to the bomb by keeping the deal or Iran can get to the bomb by violating the deal.

Under the deal, if a facility is suspected of housing a hidden nuclear activity, inspectors must wait at least 24 days. That's 24 days, before getting access to those suspected sites.

Not only that, the inspectors must first share with Iran the critical intelligence that led them to suspect these sites in the first place. That's actually astounding.

Some have said that 24 days is not long enough to conceal evidence of illicit nuclear activity. But as leading experts have pointed out, 24 days is more than enough time to clean up a site of all traces of illicit activity.

It's like the police giving a drug dealer three and a half weeks' notice before raiding his lab. Believe me, you can flush a lot of nuclear meth down the toilet in 24 days.

The claim that we oppose this deal because we want war is not just false. It's outrageous. Israel wants to dismantle Iran's nuclear program and Israel wants peace. This deal would advance neither goal. I don't oppose this deal because I want war. I oppose this deal because I want to prevent war, and this deal will bring war.

It will spark a nuclear arms race in the region and it would feed Iran's terrorism and aggression. That would make war, perhaps the most horrific war of all, far more likely.


VAN SUSTEREN: Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton joins us. Good evening sir and President Obama and Secretary Kerry believe that this is our best shot in avoiding war. Prime Minister Netanyahu says the deal will bring war.

JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: Well, I think the deal is not going to stop Iran from getting Nuclear Weapons and I'm not waiting until the end of the eight to 10-year period. I think they're violating the deal already. They're pursuing a 30-year long objective of getting nuclear weapons

VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think that? Why -- just because they're, you know, they're liars in response to terrorism or something else?

BOLTON: Well, that -- those are interesting points but they've violated their commitments on nuclear agreements going right back to violating the fundamental commitment they made under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. They don't have credibility. We've known how they destroyed buildings, excavated thousands of cubic yards of dirt, lied in stone wall to the IAEA for over 20 years.

So I think there are facilities we don't know about. I think they're on a path to nuclear weapons but as Netanyahu said, even if they accept the deal when the time limits expire, they're on the way to nuclear weapons then.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what would be the best case? I mean what would you do if you're President of United States?

BOLTON: I would have five years ago in conjunction with Israel or on our own gone after the key points of the nuclear fuel cycle the Iranian enrichment facilities, the Iranian conversion facility and the heavy water facility.

This regime is not going to be talked out of its nuclear weapons program.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, five years ago, we're right now according to the president two to three months out from a nuclear weapon of Iran. Five years ago, I don't know where we are but we've now -- we're -- it seems like if you believe that this that the Intel is correct that the two to three months out and, you know, I got to tell you that since the dam and what happened with weapons of mass destruction, I don't have a lot faith on the intelligence collection but if we're two to three months out, why have we get up to the cliff?

BOLTON: Well, for about four and a half years, the Obama administration was saying they were at least a year away. That became inconvenient when they decided that they had extended that period. We don't have great intelligence. That's not a good thing. What that means is that as this deal unfolds we'll be hard press to know what Iran is really doing and they will take full advantage of it including their cooperation with North Korea which they've engaged in the ballistic missile program for well over 15 years.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'll tell you what is deeply charged me is that photo in Richmond that we didn't know about that Iran finally told us about it. We had no clue existed although these two to three months, I don't know whether to be like the scare to death because at two to three months or that just bad intelligence I got to say. I feel like the American people are totally in the dark just sort of picking sides like Netanyahu, you like President Obama.

BOLTON: We're operating in time of great uncertainty but the idea that any of the coercive measures that Obama says will apply if Iran violates the deal, I don't know why anybody has any faith that they'll apply. The snapback sanctions mechanism has doomed the failure. Vice President Biden has been on Capitol Hill saying use of force is still an option. No, it's not. Nobody believes that Barack Obama will use force against Iran.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right and once they get all those millions of dollars in cash, what they can do with that that's actually serve whole another issue and one that I hope thinking strong about in Capitol Hill.

Anyway, Ambassador, thank you sir.

BOLTON: Thank you.