Ahmadinejad vs. Mousavi

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 17, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tens of thousands are hitting the streets in Iran. It is not stopping. The world has not seen Iran like this since 1979. Protesters are outraged, calling the Iranian government liars, saying the presidential election was rigged, that President Ahmadinejad did not win. And the main challenger, Mousavi, is demanding a new election. If Mousavi does win, what does that mean for Iran or for us?

Earlier, we spoke to former secretary of state Henry Kissinger.


VAN SUSTEREN: Dr. Kissinger, nice to see you, sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: OK, all eyes are on Iran. What difference do you think it means to the United States if it's Ahmadinejad is president or Mousavi who's president?

KISSINGER: It -- the personalities may make some difference. Ahmadinejad is fanatical and very much based on a very populist approach. Mousavi -- Mousavi was no great bargain when he was prime minister. So it isn't that one of them is pro-West and the other isn't. He'd probably be more liberal, a little bit more liberal domestically. And he has the support of intellectuals and professors and the city people as against the agricultural area.

But what I think the difference will be is this. Here is a regime that's run by theologians and has an ayatollah as the head of it. And they've been running it on the principle that they're religiously based (INAUDIBLE) Now they've had mass demonstrations Teheran and in other cities against the regime. And in order to counter it, they've had some mass demonstration against the demonstrators.

This puts the legitimacy of the regime more on the side of the public than of the ayatollahs. So whether the -- the ayatollahs, in my opinion, cannot fully recover from the fact that they announced the election as a divine result and then had to start reconsidering it and (INAUDIBLE) examining it. And whatever different result they announce was not what they had originally intended to do.

So I think the regime has been shaken up a bit. Now, how will it affect their foreign policy? Will it make them more aggressive in order to rally people on a nationalist basis? In the short term, this could be. But their self-confidence and their self-assurance inwardly will be somewhat affected because, after all, many of the people who voted for Mousavi are saying they want better relations with the outside world.

So I think it is, on the whole, an evolution that may go in a positive direction.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, as I look at...

KISSINGER: Not yet, but I think it's a prospect.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's -- and I guess that that's sort of good for us because that's on the outside. When I look at these two men, Ahmadinejad and Mousavi, I think -- I can't imagine being on the losing end of the election. Mousavi during the 1980s executed, like -- or thousands of people were executed when he was prime minister. Ahmadinejad has been equally vicious to his people. I can only imagine, like, whoever wins this round, that his opponent's supporters are in for deep trouble internally.

KISSINGER: I suspect Ahmadinejad will win. I mean, he's gone to Russia, and he -- and several of the heads of state there sort of certified him from (INAUDIBLE) I think the Brazilian and the Russian, maybe the Indian. But their problem will be how deep their support is. They might crack down briefly. But for the immediate -- for their visible opponents, it may be difficult.

VAN SUSTEREN: Iran right now is accusing the United States of intolerable meddling in its internal affairs. I guess that's directed at our president. I mean, how -- how do you -- if you were -- if you were advising our president now, what would you be telling him? And how's he doing on this?

KISSINGER: Well, you know, I was a McCain supporter and -- but I think the president has handled this well. Anything that the United States (INAUDIBLE) puts us totally behind one of the contenders (INAUDIBLE) behind Mousavi, would be a handicap for that person. And I think it's the proper position to take that the people of Iran have to make that decision.

Of course, we have to state our fundamental convictions of freedom of speech, free elections, and I don't see how President Obama could say less than he has, and even that is considered intolerable meddling. He has, after all, carefully stayed away from saying things that seem to support one side or the other. And I think it was the right thing to do because public support for the opposition would only be used by the -- by Ahmadinejad -- if I can ever learn his name properly -- against Mousavi.


VAN SUSTEREN: All right, here's a tease for all of you. Guess who Secretary of State Kissinger had dinner with last night here in Washington. We pried it out of him, a rather unusual dinner, and it is our "Last Call," so you have to wait.


VAN SUSTEREN: 11:00 is almost here. Flash the studio lights. It is time, last call.

Now, you heard from former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on Iran earlier in the hour. But what he did last night is pretty interesting, too.


VAN SUSTEREN: Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, can she cook?

HENRY KISSINGER, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I don't know whether she could last night.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so you went to a big dinner last night in our home?

KISSINGER: There is a tradition. It is only the second time that it happened, but when Condi Rice was the Secretary of State, she conceived the idea that all former secretaries of state should welcome her to the club. And we gave a dinner for her.

This time Madeleine, being a Democrat, gave a dinner for the Democratic Secretary of State. And so all this came. The only one missing was Jendra Lake (ph). It was friendly. And you have to remember, when you have been in this position, even if you differ politically, you know what the job is, any know that inform policy there is no really intellectually no partisanship. It's not bipartisan, it is nonpartisan.

Doesn't mean we all agree with each other. But, you know, there was some discussion of different points of view. But we all wish our successors well, and we all want them to succeed.

VAN SUSTEREN: Who did you sit next to at dinner?

KISSINGER: I sat next to Hillary on one side and Mrs. Baker on the other.

VAN SUSTEREN: And in terms of the dinner, I know you cannot talk about the substance, it's all private, but did you guys talk shop the whole time?

KISSINGER: I am afraid that was the case.

VAN SUSTEREN: You talked shop.

KISSINGER: We talked shop most of the time.


Content and Programming Copyright 2009 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2009 CQ Transcriptions, LLC, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC'S and CQ Transcriptions, LLC's copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.