If you've got Russia -- and that's why they're working on Russia now -- they think they can get China. China gets 14 percent of its energy from Iran. I think the chances are very, very low that this is going to work. But at least, you know, they've -- they've got this dance, you know, going with the Russians.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And they...
WILL: Severe means gasoline.
FRIEDMAN: Oh, absolutely.
WILL: And the -- and the Chinese have promised to give them gasoline.
FRIEDMAN: Yes, it's...
RADDATZ: And the dance will continue, I think, for several months. And the Iranians will let them in and let inspectors in, maybe show them computers, have the scientists...
WOODWARD: But -- but the key was what Secretary Gates told you today, namely they -- United States has to convince the Iranians they will be more secure without nuclear weapons. Now, come on, that -- that is, unfortunately, a fantasy. Everyone knows, you get the nukes and you're the big guy on the block, and that's exactly what Iran wants to do.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And that's across the board in Iran.
WOODWARD: Across the board. And so...
RADDATZ: And there are more secret sites.
WOODWARD: ... stopping this is -- is in the too-hard file.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I think there's no question there's probably more secret sites.
RADDATZ: No question there's more secret sites.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, George, I've picked up in discussions with Israeli officials over the last few weeks a striking change in their tone. You know, at the beginning of this year, they kept saying, "Boy, we only have until the end of 2009 or watch out. Anything can happen." They seem to be pushing the timeline much more towards the end of 2010, maybe even 2011.
WILL: As long as they don't see deployed in Iran and elsewhere the 300 series surface-to-air missiles, which could immobilize the Israeli air force, which leaves them disarmed.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That comes right back to Russia, Tom.
FRIEDMAN: Yes, it's a Russia-China story. And -- and I think getting them on side in a truly meaningful way is -- is going to be very, very difficult.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Is the calculation correct, though -- and maybe the missile defense decision helped here -- that if Russia comes along, China does, as well?
FRIEDMAN: That is -- that is the assumption. Yes, and you've got the whole Arab world there, basically. And the only thing the Arabs are afraid of more than an Israeli strike is the absence of an Israeli strike.
I guarantee you one thing, George: If the Israelis do decide to strike against Iran, there's going to be a lot of Arab radar off that day, OK? "Oh, Ahmed, you forgot to turn the radar on? Shame on you." That's really what they're rooting for.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's going to have to be the last word for today. You guys go continue this in the green room.
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