This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," November 16, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: The U.N.'s IAEA just released a report on Iran that says the country has installed 3,000 operating centrifuges, and experts say this brings Iran to within one year of being capable of producing a nuclear weapon.
The United States is continuing its effort to impose further economic sanctions against Iran, and joining us now is the author of The New York Times best seller, "Surrender is Not an Option," and former ambassador to the U.N.. Our good friend John Bolton is back with us. Welcome. Congratulations.
JOHN BOLTON, "SURRENDER IS NOT AN OPTION": Thank you. Appreciate it.
HANNITY: Well, you happy about that?
BOLTON: Yes, that's great. It's good to be here.
HANNITY: Well, you should be. It's a great book, great read, an important. All right. What do we make of this IEAE report on Iran? One year?
BOLTON: This is a very significant report. the IAEA says Iran is not cooperating proactively — meaning it's still withholding data. They answer a few questions when it's under questions.
Second, the IAEA says its losing visibility into Iran's program which is what Iran is intending to obscure its weapons intention.
HANNITY: Right. We're talking about 3,000 centrifuges, operating centrifuges installed. Would that be an accurate assessment that within one year they might be able to produce a nuclear weapon?
BOLTON: That is the conventional assumption, but we don't know how many it has. If it's mastered the technology to make 3,000 run, there could be 30,000.
HANNITY: Look, I got to tell you something, if I'm the prime minister of Israel today, I am thinking within the next six months, I have no option based on the repeated threats to annihilate my country. I've got to take those facilities out, if this is true.
BOLTON: Well, I think the Israel send a pretty strong signal on September the sixth, when they bombed that facility in Syria, at Euphrates River. If I were the Iranians, I'd be concerned about it.
HANNITY: Well, what was amazing about that strike too is their ability to sneak in, Syria didn't even know that their planes were going. I mean, this is a stunning military operation.
BOLTON: And it's the same Russian radar that's been sold to Iran, so it's another reason for Iran to worry.
HANNITY: But do you think they'd able to learn from the mistakes of Syria, and do you think it's really likely that within a year that there's a chance that those nuclear facilities are going to be taken out?
BOLTON: Yes. There are a lot of estimates when Iran will have the bomb. They're based on good faith assumptions. But you can overestimate or underestimate capability. If I were Israel I would not believe in "just in time" proliferation.
HANNITY: I hate the fact that Israel often has to act alone. If we would go back to when they took out Iraq's nuclear facilities, there was worldwide condemnation in the early 1980's, but it turned out that they did the right thing.
BOLTON: No. Secretary of State, Jim Baker, in 1991 said in retrospect, Israel did the right thing.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Jim Baker who says we ought to talk to Iran and not start a war but actually talk — when is the last time Iran invaded a country?
BOLTON: Let me tell you something, the Iranians are pushing for hegemony within the Islamic world, they're pushing influence within the Middle East and to be a world player and given a nuclear weapon, they'll achieve it.
HANNITY: When's the last time they invaded a country?
BOLTON: I don't think that's the real issue there. Because what they're doing is subverting other countries without —
COLMES, CO-HOST: But they're not invading countries, they haven't taken over other countries, haven't invaded other countries at least for 150 years.
BOLTON: If you can get control of a country without invading, that's even better. If they —
COLMES: But they're not likely to use a nuclear weapon then —
BOLTON: For Syria now. No, I don't think that shows it all. They have a demonstrated record of arming terrorists as they did the Palestinian Authority. There's a very real risk. If they got a nuclear weapon they would get it to a terrorist.
COLMES: Now, Sudir Garassi (ph) who you would probably know, the former Iranian ambassador to France and somebody who wrote a 2003 offer from Iran to resolve outstanding issues between the United States and Iran which we ignored. Iran wants recognition, they want us to unfreeze their assets, they want previous sanctions against Iran to be lifted.
There are all kinds of areas that we could talk to them and negotiate. There are a lot of carrots that we can use along with the sticks. Why don't we go that route?
BOLTON: Alan, that 2003 story about an Iranian offer is a complete and utter fabrication.
COLMES: So everybody's lying about this? The Iranian ambassador, the U.N. is lying, everybody's lying about it?
BOLTON: The ambassador to the France, a former Swiss ambassador who was a busy body. I recommended to Secretary Powell that we get the Swiss to fire that guy or we find a new protecting power in Tehran.
COLMES: What about the things I mention about what Iran would like some recognition and unfrozen assets? Aren't things negotiable - so we could try some common grounds with Iran.
BOLTON: The Europeans have offered Iran virtually every carrot conceivable over the past four years, and they've gotten one answer back from Iran, we're not going to give up our uranium enrichment program.
COLMES: Didn't Iran helped us after 9/11? Didn't want to help with Afghanistan? Didn't they offered to help the United States?
BOLTON: They helped us for tactical reasons in Afghanistan in 2001 and today they're arming their former sworn enemy —
COLMES: So there is common ground and common interest which we could use to develop a relationship and negotiate?
BOLTON: Not on the nuclear program. The Iranians are never going to give up voluntarily, it's their trump card.
COLMES: We thank you very much for being here.
BOLTON: It's always a pleasure.
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