Meet the Press   |  September 22, 2013

How serious is Iran?

A Meet the Press roundtable examines the diplomatic willingness of Iran to cooperate internationally.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> syria, now iran . is there a breakthrough here? bill kristol doesn't think so. he wrote this in the weekly standards. syria is merely act i. next week act ii opens at the united nations . there we'll see a charmo fence sieve worthy of richard iii by the new iranian president and veteran. the obama administration will move on from punting in syria to appeasing iran . the diplomatic dance in iran will be long in complex, but who doubts that the people will end up where iran , the leading partner, wants to go? bill, the counterpoint to that is maybe these openings are happening because obama threatened a military strike and he's actually tough, and that's what the russians and iranians and syrians think.

>> i don't think the iranians and syrians are at all impressed with obama . he threatened to do it, he didn't do it, and now syria is paying for the use of chemical weapons . i think the obama administration thinks that's a template for how to go down a diplomatic path, kick the can down the road, not have to make any tough decisions and maybe he can kick the can further down the road that the next administration will maybe have to deal with a civil war , and iran is maybe closer to or even has nuclear weapons capability.

>> economic sanctions imposed over the course of many years have had a big impact on the iranian economy , and that puts big pressure on leaders to do something. i think, look, we will get an opportunity to see this week, and everyone should press the iranians on just how serious they might be. we've seen them before say they might want to have conversations but never move to the next step, and i think it's certainly worth, as we hold strong economic sanctions in the threat of military force , see if they're willing.