Is Iran already undermining nuclear agreement?

Reaction from the 'Special Report' All-Star panel


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," August 7, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


ALI ALFONEH, FOUNDATION FOR DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES: This is the type of reaction which needs to be shown. If Iran is not even ready to accept and respect travel ban against a person like Mr. Qassem Soleimani, how can we expect them to live up to the nuclear agreement?

TED CRUZ, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The day General Soleimani flew back from Moscow to Iran was the day we believe that Russia used cyber warfare against the Joint Chiefs. We need a new commander in chief that will stand up to our enemies and that will have credibility.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Well, talking there about the story we broke on Fox yesterday, our Pentagon team did, that General Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Quds force, heavily sanctioned by U.N. Security Council sanctions, confined to Iran, he traveled to Russia. And he was talking about S300 missile systems and met with a lot of people including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

We're back with the panel for the Friday lightning round. Jonah, what about this story?

JONAH GOLDBERG, NATIONAL REVIEW: I think it's a huge story. It's symbolically also just huge because it undermines the entire idea the Iranians can be trusted to play by the rules. They're not playing by the rules now. The idea they'll be playing by the rules down the road when we have so many more opportunities for mischief and cheating under this horrible deal, it should be a wake-up call to some of the Democrats who are ling up in favor of it.

BAIER: Speaking of that, Kirsten, a loss of Senator Schumer, Congressman Engel. What do you think about the Democrats and the vote counting on Iran?

KIRSTEN POWERS, USA TODAY: Well, based on people I've talked to they still feel confident they're going to have the votes. And the sense is that Schumer is not going to be lobbying people to move him over to his side, that this is just his view on this. It's not -- for some people it was unexpected, for other people it was completely expected. He's always been a hawk. And to a certain extent the fact that he's doing it almost shows that the White House has the votes that they need because he probably wouldn't necessarily be doing it if it wasn't the case.

BAIER: By the way, President Obama was pressed on that statement that he said that the Republicans were tied to hardliners essentially in Iran. Take a listen to this on CNN.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The reason that Mitch McConnell and the rest of the folks in his caucus who oppose this jumped out and opposed it before they even read it, before it was even posted, is reflective of an ideological commitment not to get a deal done. In that sense, they do have a lot in common with hardliners who are much more satisfied with the status quo.


BAIER: So I guess that now includes Chuck Schumer.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: It does. And it shows how ridiculous it is to make it a Republican-Democratic issue. The only real partisans here are the Democrats who know it's a terrible deal but don't want to cross the aisle and join Republicans on this.

But I think the Soleimani story gives you one reason why it isn't a partisan issue. This is occurring while the debate is happening. This is occurring three days after the secretary of state states in Congress that under American initiative Qassem Soleimani will never be relieved of any sanctions. And here he is on the loose in Russia. It undermines entirely the idea that the lifting of the arms embargo was five years away. They are negotiating arms deals today. Everything the administration has said is shown to be naive or false. And that's the reason you are getting all this opposition.

BAIER: OK, winners and losers, winner first. Jonah?

GOLDBERG: My winner as I suggested earlier is Carly Fiorina. It's very rare especially in a forum like that you can be a breakout figure, and I think she was.

And my loser is Barack Obama in part for the reasons that Charles referenced. I thought his speech on Iran was one of the most repugnant, divisive, and irresponsibly cynical things I've seen in a foreign policy speech in my lifetime. He unleashed incredibly bad demons in this country, and he will be remembered very negatively for it by historians.

BAIER: Winners and losers, Kirsten.

POWERS: My winner is Rubio for being the breakout at the debate. And my loser is Hillary Clinton because of the rise of Carly Fiorina. Not that I necessarily think she's going to be the nominee and beat her, but I think having a really articulate woman who's clearly not afraid to challenge Hillary could end up being a real problem for her.

BAIER: Winners and losers.

KRAUTHAMMER: Winners, the GOP. It has the strongest field of candidates since at least 1980. But that was overshadowed and distracted from by all the attention to Trump over the last month. The irony is Trump is the one who brought everybody into the circus to have a look last night, those huge numbers, and what they saw was a strong, capable and confident Republican Party.

Loser Jon Stewart. It's a coincidence his last show was on the night of this FOX debate. The results are in -- FOX, 24 million people, Stewart, 3.5. I'd say this round goes to Roger Ailes.

BAIER: That is it for the panel. But stay tuned for some of your Friday feedback.

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