Nasrallah to Assange: We Contacted Syrian Opposition Urging Dialogue with Regimeإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange interviewed Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday in the debut of his "The World Tomorrow" talk show on Russia's state-funded RT cable broadcaster.
Assange remains under house arrest and was speaking from his study in London to Nasrallah at his Lebanese office via a computer video link.
Nasrallah revealed that his party has contacted the Syrian opposition, urging them to engage in dialogue with Assad's regime, but they refused.
According to the English-language transcript of the interview published on RT’s website, Nasrallah told Assange that Hizbullah supports Syrian President Bashar Assad the same as Syria supported Hizbullah’s resistance against the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon.
Nasrallah also said Assad “hasn't backed down in the face of Israeli and American pressure.”
Nasrallah noted that Assad’s regime “served the Palestinian cause very well.”
“This is the first time I say this – We contacted … the opposition to encourage them and to facilitate the process of dialogue with the regime. But they rejected dialogue,” he revealed.
“Right from the beginning we have had a regime that is willing to undergo reforms and prepared for dialogue. On the other side you have an opposition which is not prepared for dialogue and it is not prepared to accept reforms. All it wants is to bring down the regime. This is a problem.”
Nasrallah called for “balance” concerning the Syrian crisis, saying “armed groups in Syria have killed very many civilians” and accusing the international community of putting all the blame on the regime while turning a blind eye to acts committed by armed groups.
According to the interview’s transcript, Nasrallah told Assange al-Qaida wants to turn Syria into a battleground.
“There is fighting in Syria – when one party retreats, the other will advance, it will go on as long as doors to dialogue are shut,” he told Assange.
Stressing that Hizbullah supports dialogue, Nasrallah pointed out that without it, "civil war is the only alternative."
In his words "this is exactly what America and Israel want… Arab states are ready for tens of years of dialogue with Israel but won't have two months to try a political solution in Syria."
Nasrallah stressed that Israel is “an illegal state.”
“It was established on the basis of occupying the lands of others,” he said. “If I occupy your house by force it doesn't become mine in 50 or 100 years,” he added.
While “Hizbullah does not want to kill anyone,” the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is establishing a democratic state on Palestinian land where Muslims, Jews and Christians live in peace but the U.S. “won't let people listen to Hizbullah,” Nasrallah noted.
“Our priority is still the liberation of our land and the protection of Lebanon from the Israeli threat", he told Assange.
"Israel's hi-tech surveillance will never crack the code of the Lebanese resistance – they use local village dialects,” Nasrallah added.
The controversial founder of the whistle-blowing website admitted he was bound to face criticism for airing his show on an English-language channel that is funded by the Kremlin and openly promotes Moscow's view on global affairs.
Assange said in remarks released by RT that he expected to be called an "enemy combatant, traitor (for) getting into bed with the Kremlin and interviewing terrible radicals from around the world."
"But I think it's a pretty trivial kind of attack on character," he said in comments released on the RT website.
"If they actually look at how the show is made: we make it, we have complete editorial control, we believe that all media organizations have an angle, all media organizations have an issue."
The 12-episode weekly show is being produced by the Quick Roll Productions company that Assange set up after establishing fame with his site that leaked U.S. diplomatic dispatches.
Assange has been under house arrest for almost 500 days awaiting judgment from the Supreme Court in London on whether he can be extradited to Sweden for questioning over allegations of rape and sexual assault.
“Nasrallah is the first guest on Julian Assange's The World Tomorrow – one of the most anticipated news programs of 2012. The first-episode, with Nasrallah's identity kept secret until broadcast, coincides with the 500th day of financial blockade on WikiLeaks,” said RT on its website.
The 10-episode series features Assange in conversation with “iconoclasts, visionaries and power insiders,” it noted.
“The announcement that RT would host Assange's show created a global media stir, with many questioning the RT/Assange link-up. In a pre-show interview Assange explained his rationale.
“A lot of the things that we have been trying to report have not been carried accurately in the mainstream press. There are many, many fine exceptions, but when we look at international networks there’s really only two that are worth speaking about, and that’s RT and Al-Jazeera.”