American Companies Still Doing Business With Iran

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 9, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight: A very good report in The New York Times — see, they can do good work — spotlights a number of American companies still doing business with Iran, even though that country is causing all kinds of problems, as you know. The companies are Tyson Foods, ConocoPhillips, Lukoil, Dresser-Rand, Ingersoll Rand, and Itron.

With us now, Fox News Business correspondent Charles Gasparino, author of the big best-seller, "The Sellout: How Three Decades of Wall Street Greed and Government Mismanagement Destroyed the Global Financial System."

Now, before we get to Iran, look, am I right, it's impossible to know whether this Obamacare is going to raise, lower, destroy, you just can't…

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CHARLES GASPARINO, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: I mean, it's the most complicated bill in the world.

O'REILLY: Right, so even you, Charles Gasparino…

GASPARINO: An alleged financial expert who doesn't really understand this. I don't believe — listen, I just don't see the government lowering costs. When was the last time that really happened?

O'REILLY: It's never happened, but they say it will. The Harvard guy, and by the way, he's not on the payroll. He used to be on the payroll of Obama.


O'REILLY: But you are not confident saying either way.

GASPARINO: Listen, they said the stimulus package would keep unemployment at 8.5 percent.

O'REILLY: It didn't, OK.

GASPARINO: That's all you need to know.

O'REILLY: All right. If you were a congressman, would you vote for Obamacare?


O'REILLY: OK, you wouldn't.

GASPARINO: I mean, who would? I mean, I think at this point, it's — I don't think anybody really understands it.

O'REILLY: OK, just because you don't know what the hell it says. Do you understand it? Same thing.

GASPARINO: Do you understand it?

O'REILLY: I don't, but I don't understand many, many things.


All right. Now let's go to Iran. We hammered General Electric…


O'REILLY: …about a year ago because they were playing footsie over there.

GASPARINO: My old employer I should disclose.

O'REILLY: Yes. And I actually saw Immelt, Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO, at a football game. And, you know, he said look, we're out. And I believe him. So he left.


O'REILLY: Now, Tyson Foods isn't out. And what are they doing?

GASPARINO: I mean, what's interesting about Tyson Foods is the connection to the Clintons, right?


GASPARINO: Long time Arkansas company, very close to the Clintons. It's very interesting that they're still there. You know what's interesting about this, Bill, is that they're doing it in kind of a sleazy way. They do it through these sort of shell companies…


GASPARINO: …and try to say oh, it's not us. It's not the main…

O'REILLY: Well, it is, but Tyson, this is Gary Mickelson, all right, told The New York Times that they only do $2 million annually in sales, Tyson does. Why bother?

GASPARINO: $2 million? I mean…

O'REILLY: Why bother?

GASPARINO: You know, here's the thing, Bill. For years, U.S. companies have gone overseas. They've gone to China saying that this is kind of economic detente, that if we go there…

O'REILLY: That's bull.

GASPARINO: …we — think about how much progress they make.



O'REILLY: Tell the Tibetans.


O'REILLY: All right. Now ConocoPhillips, Lukoil, they do business over there. And you know, look…

GASPARINO: Company profit…

O'REILLY: Right.

GASPARINO: Again, 20 percent investment. Not bad.

O'REILLY: Right. So I'm not going to buy their oil anymore.

GASPARINO: I wouldn't.


GASPARINO: I mean, I think the American people have to make a choice here and simply this. If you want to support companies that support a dictatorship, I mean, that's the real problem…

O'REILLY: But it's the nukes, too.

GASPARINO: It's the nukes.

O'REILLY: It's the anti-Semitism.

GASPARINO: I know, it's very bad.

O'REILLY: It's the terrorism in Afghanistan. I'm not buying Conoco anymore. That's — it's over or Lukoil anymore. It's all over for them. Not going to buy it. All right, Dresser-Rand. What is that? Texas-based oil company?

GASPARINO: Oil gas supplier, you know.

O'REILLY: Right.

GASPARINO: I mean, listen, it's all there. It's in multiple filings that they have foreign subsidiaries. And again, what they're trying to do is hide the direct investment through these sort of foreign shell companies. But by the way…

O'REILLY: They're unrepentant though, Dresser-Rand. They're in the Sudan and Syria. And Sudan's where Darfur is.

GASPARINO: But it all goes to the bottom line. Their shareholder benefit. I mean, what's…

O'REILLY: Of course, it's so — yes, you can sell cocaine futures, too, you know?

GASPARINO: But think about the hypocrisy here. We had a huge debate in the '80s, when I was going to college, about companies investing in Iran's pension fund, excuse me, companies investing in South Africa, pension funds buying stocks of companies that invested in South Africa. What's the difference between Iran? Why aren't we seeing that debate on college campuses right now?

O'REILLY: All right, Ingersoll Rand, Paul Dickert is the spokesman, told us today they're going to stop doing business, because they knew we were going to hammer them.

GASPARINO: Yes, story came out.

O'REILLY: And that's a Jersey-based company which does what? What does Ingersoll Rand do?

GASPARINO: You know, lucrative contracts, military contracting. You know, they're — it's pretty nice. You got an arms company helping out with subsidiaries…

O'REILLY: They don't sell them arms though. They sell them drilling stuff.

GASPARINO: Yes, well, they could be…

O'REILLY: Air compression systems, air conditioning, that kind of thing. But Ingersoll says it's getting out.


O'REILLY: And they better.

GASPARINO: Maybe air compression…

O'REILLY: What's Itron? What's Itron?

GASPARINO: Electronic meters used by utility companies. By the way, all this technology…


GASPARINO: …these could be used in military means. There's no…

O'REILLY: Well, they could, sure.

GASPARINO: There's all crossover.

O'REILLY: And that's what I told GE.


O'REILLY: Oh, yes.

GASPARINO: It's all crossover stuff here.

O'REILLY: Right.

GASPARINO: And that's the scandal.

O'REILLY: Now, the companies that are doing business are well-known. The U.S. government, what are they doing?

GASPARINO: Nothing. Nothing. I don't think they've ever enforced this law.


GASPARINO: You know, I think it's part of the U.S. government and it's the same way they dealt with China that believes that…

O'REILLY: No, they can in Iran because it's coming down to almost war.

GASPARINO: Economic — I believe there's people in the State Department and various parts of government that believe economic detente works. I don't believe that.

O'REILLY: But there's only five of these companies, six of these companies. There's only a few of them.


O'REILLY: And you would think that the government would just shut them down.

GASPARINO: But you know, these are well-known companies.

O'REILLY: Yes. They're big companies.

GASPARINO: Well, I think that there are people in government that really believe that economic detente works.

O'REILLY: All right. So Bush administration let them go, and the Obama administration is letting them go.


O'REILLY: And the U.S. government hasn't done anything to them, but we wanted to expose them here. All right, Charles, thanks very much. We appreciate you coming on.

GASPARINO: Thanks for having me.

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