OTR Interviews

'Tantamount to a death sentence': Montel Williams pleads for Marine vet deteriorating in Iran prison

Former talk show host goes 'On the Record' with impassioned plea to not forget Amir Hekmati, who has been held in an Iranian prison for more than a year and whose health is in decline. #FreeAmirNow


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," September 29, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight, the fight to bring home those three innocent Americans Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati and Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian is becoming life and death for at least one of the three.

U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati's health is rapidly deteriorating. Montel Williams is working very closely with the family to get the marine home. Montel Williams goes "On the Record."

Montel, what is the condition of our marine?

MONTEL WILLIAMS, ADVOCATE FOR U.S. MARINE JAILED IN IRAN: Well, I know some of you have seen me on before with Ramy Kurdi, who is Amir's brother-in-law. And Ramy is a doctor. He has been listening to him and talking to him every couple of days on the phone. He has had recently a severe fever, infection. Something else going on. People at home, what I'm saying is he being treated by prisoners who are doctors. People who had have being held as prisoners.

VAN SUSTEREN: Without medicine.


WILLIAMS: Without medicine. These are some of the same prisoner doctors that tortured him. And these guys are taking care of him. He has been there 492 days. Come on.

VAN SUSTEREN: Incredible. You know, in the conversation I just had with Secretary of State John Kerry they just heard. He said my hope over next course of days and then he added weeks. And I thought, I sort of heard in there maybe I'm just overly optimistic that I sense that maybe there is something going on.

WILLIAMS: Well, you know, before we sat down and started talking, I wasn't that emotional. That made me emotional. Because in Amir's case, we may not have weeks.


VAN SUSTEREN: I sort of sense he said days and then all of a sudden he added weeks. I think this has been a very busy week, and so maybe I'm being overly optimistic something is going on.

WILLIAMS: You know, I hope that's what we could think. But listen, this week, we had the Pope here. The Pope was talking about to the world showing more compassion. Why don't we put the rest of the world on report? Right now, Amir being held in prison without the route medical care is tantamount to it a death sentence.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you tried to contact the Iranians when the president was here?

WILLIAMS: I helped write a letter with the family that was delivered to the Secretary General of the U.N. We know they received it. We asked if we could orchestrate a meeting between ourselves and them, or just with them directly to talk about compassion. I get what Secretary Kerry is saying. I want to change the conversation with when comes to Amir. This is about a sick marine. We had a conversation about another marine that was in Mexico.


WILLIAMS: And it worked paradigm.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did Iran respond to you?

WILLIAMS: No. We didn't get a response yet, even from the Secretary General. I was at an event at the U.N. this past weekend hoping somebody might say something, but it didn't happen.

VAN SUSTEREN: Anyway, three Americans, also a Christian pastor and of course, the Washington Post reporter just sitting in that prison tonight. Anyway, Montel, nice to see you.

WILLIAMS: Nice to see you too, Greta. Thanks for bringing it up again.