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OTR Interviews

Netanyahu: 'We have to keep Iran's feet to the fire'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," October 2, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Right now Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu goes ON THE RECORD just one day after slamming the Iran nuclear deal. During an address to the United Nations, Prime Minister Netanyahu and I sat down to discuss the deal and the future and safety of Israel.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Prime Minister, nice to see you, sir.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Nice to see you again, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Welcome to the United States.

NETANYAHU: Well, thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Before we dig into some deeper issues that going on with the U.N., I do want to say that I'm very sorry to hear about the two young Israelis who were essentially executed the other day.

NETANYAHU: Murdered.

VAN SUSTEREN: Murdered.

NETANYAHU: These are Palestinian terrorists who brutally murdered a young father and mother, leaving four little orphans in the back. And they knew they were killing a father and mother. It's horrific. We grieve today and we know America grieves about the awful murders in Oregon. And our people are together on a day like this.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it's almost unthinkable in the backseat of a car, a 9-year-old, a 7-year-old, 4-year-old and four months old and they execute the parents.

NETANYAHU: Yes. And you know what's untenable? Secretary Kerry issued immediately a powerful condemnation. And I have yet to hear from President Abbas, from the Palestinian authority any condemnation. And worse, I hear two of his chief lieutenants in the Fatah Muhd praise this murder.

How can you move forward to peace if you don't fight terror, if you don't renounce terror? I mean, the first thing is fighting terror. And if they don't, if they don't do it, we will and we are.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think it happen? There is one suggestion that it may be in part reaction to President Abbas saying that he considers the Oslo Accords off the table at this point.

NETANYAHU: Well, look, there is consistent incitement from Hamas, from the Islamist movements, from -- and unfortunately, from the Palestinian authority to these continuous incitement against Israel and continuous praise of these terrorists.

You know, these terrorists who murdered Israel, they name public squares after them. You know, if we have isolated cases in which Jews perform terrorism, we all condemn it.

I went to the hospital of a terror victim, a Palestinian terror victim. We condemn this. We fight terrorism. We don't care where it comes from. And they have to get on -- you know, they have to get on the case and they have to understand that. And if they don't, it means they don't want peace.

VAN SUSTEREN: You have mentioned Secretary Kerry. You just met with him. What did you discuss?

NETANYAHU: Well, we talked about -- how can I put it the day after. You know, we had a profound disagreement on the Iran nuclear deal. And President Obama and I both said well, this is a disagreement within the family.

And I appreciated the fact that President Obama called me while that deal was being discussed, and he said, look, we can talk about bolstering Israel's security now or later.

Well, this morning, was later. This was the day after it began today. And we're going to talk and we started talking about what we need to do, and I think there are three things we need to do right now.

One is we have to keep Iran's feet to the fire. They have to make sure it abides by its obligations under the nuclear treaty, under the nuclear deal.

Second, we have to bolster those forces that are working against Iran's aggression in the region. It's growing. And the most important party that works against Iran's aggression in the region is Israel.

So I appreciate and I look forward to the opportunity to discuss with President Obama how to put flesh on his serious commitment to bolster security in the face of this new challenge.

And third, we have to tear down Iran's global terror network. Because it's not merely increasing its aggression in the region. It's building terror cells on five continents including in this hemisphere.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, that brings me to your speech yesterday because, you know, all the focus is on the nuclear weapons issue. But, with the relief from the sanctions as you spoke about yesterday at the U.N., with the relief from the sanctions, Iran is going to be flush with cash. They are going to have billion dollars of dollars. We talked about it. I mean, that does, they can do with what they want. I assume with it. And you mention the fact that they're going to fuel cells around the world.

I mean, how does Israel, how does the United States or any other nation stop the money from the sanctions relief from being used to build all these cells?

NETANYAHU: President Obama has said that he is committed to preventing dangerous weapons coming into the hands of Iran's proxies. That he wants to prevent Iran from destabilizing countries in the Middle East. There is no better partner for that than Israel.

You know, Israel stands in the breach in this deteriorating region. It's just collapsing. States are disintegrating. Militant Islam, either the Shiite variety led by Iran and its proxy Hezbollah is rushing into the void or ISIS. The Sunni, the radical Sunnis rushing from the other side.

The one party that is standing there 10 miles from ISIS, a few hundred yards from Iran's murderous proxies is Israel. And we are protecting ourselves. But in so doing, we are also protecting the neighborhood. Israel has no better ally than the United States. And the United States has no better ally than Israel. And I think the order of the day now, after the deal, is to make sure that Israel and America's other allies are strengthened in the region against this Iranian aggression. And I look forward to this conversation with the president.

VAN SUSTEREN: But how do you stop? I mean, I can see, you're making sure they don't buy big weapon systems and doing things like that. But, you know, the two people who were killed in Israel this week, the young couple, that wasn't expensive weapons. And I mean, I assume that Iran has got a lot of money if they really want to create more problems in the region with weapons like that.

NETANYAHU: There are two different problems. One is defending against what I call local terrorism. But the other is defending against strategic terrorism or strategic threats.

I, mean, Iran is pouring into Lebanon, precision-guided missiles, they want to be able to hit every part of Israel with precision-guided rockets. It's not just the 80,000 statistical rockets that they have which are not precise, but have precision-guided missiles to hit every target in Israel. Their proxies are putting into Lebanon, Yakhont, supersonic cruise missiles that can hit our gas rigs in the Mediterranean.

They are putting in the most devastating weapon around us. They are trying to build a second front, terror front of the Golan Heights. They send Iranian generals there to prop up another terror front. And I have made it very clear what our policy will be. And that's to fight this.

If we are attacked, we attack back. We have done it in Syria. If we see Iranian arms being transferred through the territory of Syria, we try to thwart that. That's a very clear policy. And I think Israel has to be strengthened to be able to defend itself against Iranian aggression but also to deter Iranian aggression.

And this is a very important conversation that we have to have in the wake of what is happening now, in the wake of the deal with Iran, in the wake of the change, enormous change that has taken place in the Middle East. And there's just no better partnership. No better alliance than the one between Israel and America. And this we agree.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, and I understand we have a very strong friendship between our two nations but we've got another problem in that Putin is now seriously moving into Syria. And a lot of, you know, the United States is very frustrated by this. I don't know what the president is going to do, but that certainly creates a bigger problem with you because it's in partnership with Iran.

NETANYAHU: Well, that's true. And I flew to Moscow and I said to President Putin, look, you have your goals in Syria. Here are my goals in Syria. I don't want any Syrian territory to be used for attacks against Israel or for the transfer of lethal weaponry to Hezbollah and Lebanon. And we take action against that, now.

VAN SUSTEREN: What did he say?

NETANYAHU: He said, he understood. But I said that we should make sure that we don't bump into each other. And so we set up a mechanism to discuss what said in the jargon de-confliction. That means, let's not have our forces bang up against each other. That we're going to do.

But, I said I have to take care of the security of Israel. That's my responsibility as the prime minister of Israel. Here is what we are doing. Here are our red lines and I think it's very important that we maintain the relationship that Israel has had with Russia in recent decades.

We used to be an adversarial position. Many years ago. I don't think we want to get back there. And I know Russia doesn't want to get back there. And we are doing our best to make sure that it doesn't happen. And I don't think it will happen. But the important thing for me in Moscow was to make clear what our defense policy is, and we will continue to take action to defend our security.

VAN SUSTEREN: Can you trust Putin? I mean, look, he surprised the United States when he walked into the Baghdad embassy and said -- he didn't, but his general, and said we are going to start flights, air strikes in an hour.

Can you trust him when you meet with him?

NETANYAHU: I think the most important thing is that he understands where I'm coming from, where Israel is coming from. And I think we made that very clear.

VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of your speech for the U.N., you had a 45 second silence.

NETANYAHU: 44.

VAN SUSTEREN: 44, thank you for the correction. What was -- what were you -- what point was driven home, do you think?

NETANYAHU: Look, you know, the U.N. is celebrating now, not celebrating but marking its 70th anniversary. That 70 years after the defeat of Nazism. And in many ways, the U.N. was established after the horrors of World War II and especially the holocaust.

Now, 70 years after the murder of 6 million Jews, Iran's dictator, the Ayatollah Khamenei promises to murder another 6 million Jews, the citizens of Israel, and with one or two exceptions. This was met with deafening silence. And I think that's outrageous and we learned nothing? Nothing? We are condemned to repeat these grave errors of history?

I thought I'd bring that point home by that deafening silence.

VAN SUSTEREN: You talked about how the U.N. has been bashing Israel.

What's the function of the U.N.? What do you think the U.N. is doing right now? How would you describe it?

NETANYAHU: Well, it's not living up to its great universal role of being a force for promoting peace because it's bashing Israel. 60 percent of the resolutions of the U.N.'s human rights counsel are directed, not against Iran, not against Syria and not against all the other places where these horrible -- this horrible carnage is taking place and where millions are being displaced and murdered. Hundreds of thousands are being murdered. But against the one true democracy in the Middle East, Israel.

I mean, it's unconscionable. And then it's going on as a ritual. I quote a Yogi Berra there on the Senate. When it comes to Israel bashing at the U.N., I said it's "deja vu all over again." It just happened again and again with no reference to reality.

Israel is standing in the breach there, protecting civilization. Fighting the forces that ravage people, burn them alive, decapitate them, destroy ancient treasures of civilization. Who's standing there? Israel, first. And who gets bashed in the U.N.? Israel.

I think it's time to rail against this hypocrisy, and I did. And I'll continue to do that.

VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Prime Minister, it's nice to see you. Thank you, sir.

NETANYAHU: Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: It's always nice to see you, sir.

NETANYAHU: Thank you, Greta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)