Confrontation Looming With Iran?

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," March 28, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: First, our top story tonight. It is now day six of the hostage crisis in Iran, and there were major developments today. Iranian television aired the first images of the captured British soldiers and marines. And they were seated and eating, and the Iranian government insists they're being treated well.

Iran also announced that they would release the one female hostage, 26-year-old Faye Turney, but late today the Associated Press reported that the Iranian foreign minister was hedging on the time frame for that release, making it unlikely that it could happens as early as tomorrow.

The Iranians also showed this letter, allegedly written by Turner to her parents. In it, Turner admits that the British sailors and marines did, in fact, cross into Iranian waters. But, tonight, there is increasing scrutiny of that letter and questions about its authenticity.

And just a few minutes ago, another report came out of Iran. The foreign ministry is now saying that the only way this standoff will be resolved is if Great Britain acknowledges that the 15 sailors and marines crossed into Iranian territorial waters. So it seems the crisis is getting more and more dangerous by the minute.

Joining us now with more on the story that has captured the attention of the world is the host of "War Stories" right here on FOX News Channel, our own Colonel Oliver North, and David Jacobsen. He was held hostage in Beirut for 17 months before being released in 1986.

All right, in this final hour, Colonel North — by the way, you look great in a tux.

OLLIE NORTH, HOST OF "WAR STORIES": Nice work getting out of it. I had to go to this thing with our co-host here tonight, you know that.

HANNITY: All right, well, listen, you don't want what I have, which kept me out of work yesterday.


ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Luckily, I have a food taster, with North next to me.

HANNITY: OK. Colonel, this is getting more serious by the minute. These hostages and the British government has been demanding here that they be released unconditionally. If, in fact, they put out this demand, is it possible that we see an extended crisis here?

NORTH: Well, it's certainly possible. First of all, we're not dealing with a rational government. Second of all, the Iranians lie. I know. And David Jacobsen is proof of it, because they lied to me repeatedly about when they were going to release him.

Third, what you may be seeing is internal disgorge being played out in the world stage, internal to Tehran. You know, there's been a number of very high-level defections from the Republican Guard Corps. They've come over to the British and the Americans.

You've got a set of circumstances right now where Ahmadinejad is being criticized by the very mullahs and imams and ayatollahs that put him into power. And, of course, you've got two U.S. carrier battle groups launching aircraft into the air right off the coast of Iran right now that's certainly got their attention. So it could easily escalate, not because of what we or the British do, but because the Iranians are not rational actors.

HANNITY: Well, two things here. The White House deputy press secretary said today, told reporters that the president spoke via secure video conference with Tony Blair. The president fully backs Tony Blair and our allies in Britain, is what he said, Colonel, which is the right step.

But it's also told to us that this is in response to the five Iranians that were in Iraq that America took hostage here. So America is in this, with their allies, the Brits.

NORTH: First of all, just to make sure everybody understands, the five Iranians who were arrested in Iraq were there aiding and supporting the Shia militias against the coalition government, against the coalition forces and the Iraqi government. And so they're being detained as a consequence of their illegal activities. They're not hostages.

HANNITY: David Jacobsen, by the way, welcome back to the program, my friend. It's good to see you. Thank you for taking time to be with us.

You know as well as anybody, having been held hostage for 17 months, you know how difficult, how tough it is. I want to you answer two questions. What do you think is going through the minds of these guys?

And it's important, I think, for people to know, when we see, for example, this one Navy person, Faye Turney, and they release this letter that says that the British were in Iranian waters, we cannot accept that as truth. As a matter of fact, we have a lot of evidence to the contrary. But she was pretty much forced to do it, correct?

DAVID JACOBSEN, FORMER HOSTAGE: Yes. You know, the hostages, the Brits are going through a shock. They're quite perturbed of what happened. They're wondering if they're going to get out. They're going through a multitude of scenarios.

The lady speaking and probably not what she really feels. I know when I've had to give presentations on video for Hezbollah, I was told that, if I didn't follow a certain line of thought, something bad was going to happen to one of the other hostages.

I've also known where hostages have been on camera and another hostage has been off camera with a gun at his head. So you're under a lot of pressure and tension. You want to do nothing that is going to cause further harm to the hostages.

COLMES: Mr. Jacobsen, it's Alan Colmes. Thanks for being on our show. I guess you would say it's also the right thing to do, if the hostages ask to write a letter, if you are suggested by your captors to do something, that you should just follow their advice and do whatever you're asked to do. Is that the way it should be?

JACOBSEN: I think it's all right to write a letter. I think it's important for the families to get evidence that you're really alive. They will know if you are not telling the truth.

I remember I wrote a letter that Father Jenko was released. And I was concerned for the family of Bill Buckley, because I was in the room with Bill Buckley the night that he died. And in my little presentation, I deviated from the script, and I gave my sympathies to the family of Bill Buckley, because I honestly believed that he was married and with children.

And, unfortunately, he was a bachelor. They picked it up on TV in this country, sent it to Lebanon, and I had the holy heck beat out of me for that, the fact that American anchorman said I had sent out a coded message. So they used that video for support of their own people.

COLMES: We expect, of course, that would be the case.

Ollie North, Manouchehr Mottaki, who is the Iranian foreign minister, says it could have been a mistake that the British people made, that the British soldiers and Navy personnel made. So that is a softening of their position. If they're acknowledging that, shouldn't we look at some of the rhetoric that may be favorable, in terms of moving their position, coming out of this?

NORTH: First of all, you've got to remember, the Iranians will repeatedly lie. I mean, they do it all the time.

COLMES: Why would you say that?

NORTH: Well, I think what he's doing is he's looking for some way out of the mess that they've created.

COLMES: Right.

NORTH: Second of all, the Iran Revolutionary Guard corps, which is often portrayed as the elite of the Iranian security forces, really is off on its own on a number of these things. They've also got foreign investments that are at risk. And so the pressure that the British can bring to bear on them is significant.

COLMES: Another story out tonight is that the Iranians have agreed to allow British authorities to meet with some of the captives. So, again, so there's positive movement here.

NORTH: Those are very positive things; I wouldn't dispute those a bit. The bottom line of it, however, is we still have allied forces and Iraqis and Brits operating in the Shadahalrab, where this all occurred. The British know exactly where those units were. They know that they were in Iraqi waters, because they've got the GPS transponders from the units, as they were searching that vessel.

COLMES: The fact of the matter is, though, there is movement, there is positive movement. Iran certainly knows that Britain, along with its ally, the United States and other countries, have a lot in their arsenal, and I don't mean military arsenal, that they can do to bring to bear to bring this to a positive conclusion.

NORTH: In fact, what Tony Blair has talked about is not military options. Tony Blair is talking about things that they can do, full diplomatic clearances, stop all visas, close their trade missions, shut down their banks. And if they get the Germans to go — if Iranians leaving Iran, coming to Europe, they go through Germany. Get the Germans to cooperate, shut them off.

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