Bill O’Reilly and Charles Krauthammer tonight debated how the U.S. should handle nuclear weapons negotiations with Iran ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress tomorrow.

The Obama administration wants a deal which would stop Iran from immediately developing nuclear weapons. Critics say the deal is too soft and that Iran will continue down a path toward nuclear weapons.

“The Factor” host said it’s “impossible” to know how close Iran is to developing a nuclear weapon, although Israel says the nation is very close, and that it would be unacceptable for Iran to acquire nukes.

“But President Obama has to negotiate on behalf of Americans, not the Israelis,” O’Reilly said. “And if the president walks away from the Iranian nuke deal, war may follow.”

“You seem to present the alternative as either we either go through these negotiations – which is essentially capitulation – or war, as if there is not a third way,” Krauthammer said.

Krauthammer argued that the alternative would be imposing sanctions, which have worked on Iran in the past.

O’Reilly argued that Israel believes Iran is close to developing nuclear weapons, which Israel won't allow. O’Reilly said Israel could attack Iran, which “blows up everything.”

The IAEA has reported that there’s no way to assure the international community that Iran isn’t cheating and developing a weapon, Krauthammer said. He explained that even if we reach an agreement, Iran could at best be a year from obtaining nukes. He added that there is reportedly a 10-year sunset clause in this agreement.

“There’s a sunset clause, it expires, and Iran is cut loose, and that is supposed to be an agreement that is in our interests?” he questioned.

O’Reilly noted that Obama has said he is pessimistic that Iran will agree to a 10-year timeframe. “The Factor” host said that it seems economic sanctions will have to be re-imposed.

But Krauthammer said it’s not easy to impose sanctions, explaining that “the original sin” was when Obama relaxed sanctions at the start of negotiations with Iran. He stressed that sanctions are the “only way to avoid capitulation on one hand and war on the other.”

O’Reilly asked Krauthammer how he would handle the Iran situation as president. Krauthammer said he would tell the Iranians that the U.S. won’t allow them 6,500 centrifuges, as the current offer does. He said Iran would be given the option of no enrichment or a token program with a few hundred machines to save face. Under this plan, the U.S. would be willing to legitimize Iran’s regime, but only if Iran allowed inspections and accounted for past programs.

He said he would tell Iran in advance that if the nation did not agree, it would be hit with hard sanctions, leading to a destabilized economy.

What do you think of Krauthammer’s plan?