Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Mr. President thank you very much for this opportunity to talk to you at a very important moment

  • because the President of the United States

  • will address the nation

  • this week and

  • as you know an important conversation is taking place

  • in Washington and important things are happening here in your country.

  • Do you expect an airstrike?

  • As long as the United States doesn’t obey the international law

  • and trample over the Charter of the United Nations we have to worry

  • that any administrationnot only this onewould do anything.

  • According to the lies that weve been hearing for the last two weeks

  • from high-ranking officials in the US administration

  • we have to expect the worst.

  • Are you prepared?

  • Weve been living in difficult circumstances for the last two years and a half,

  • and we prepare ourselves for every possibility.

  • But that doesn’t mean if youre prepared things will be better;

  • it’s going to get worse with any foolish strike or stupid war.

  • What do you mean worse?

  • Worse because of the repercussions because nobody can tell

  • you the repercussions of the first strike.

  • Were talking about one region, bigger regions, not only about Syria.

  • This interlinked region, this intermingled, interlocked,

  • whatever you want to call it;

  • if you strike somewhere, you have to expect the repercussions

  • somewhere else in different forms in ways you don’t expect.

  • Are you suggesting that if in fact there is a strike;

  • there will be repercussions against the United States from your friends

  • in other countries like Iran or Hezbollah or others?

  • As I said, this may take different forms: direct and indirect.

  • Direct when people want to retaliate, or governments.

  • Indirect when youre going to have instability and the spread

  • of terrorism all over the region that will influence the west directly.

  • Have you had conversations with Russia, with Iran or with Hezbollah about how to retaliate?

  • We don’t discuss this issue as a government, but we discuss the repercussions,

  • which is more important because sometimes repercussions

  • could be more destroying than the strike itself.

  • Any American strike will not destroy as much as the terrorists have already destroyed in Syria;

  • sometimes the repercussions could be many doubles the strike itself.

  • But some have suggested that it might tip the balance in the favor

  • of the rebels and lead to the overthrow of your government.

  • Exactly. Any strike will be as direct support to Al-Qaeda

  • offshoot that’s called Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

  • Youre right about this. It’s going to be direct support.

  • This is about chemical warfare. Let’s talk about that.

  • Do you approve of the use of chemical warfare?

  • What do you mean?

  • The use of deadly chemicals.

  • Do you think that it is an appropriate tool of war, to use chemicals?

  • We are against any WMD, any weapons of mass destruction, whether chemical or nuclear.

  • So youre against the use of chemical warfare?

  • Yes, not only me. As a state, as a government, in 2001 we proposed to the United Nations

  • to empty or to get rid of every WMD in the Middle East,

  • and the United States stood against that proposal.

  • This is our conviction and policy.

  • But youre not a signatory to the chemical warfare agreement.

  • Not yet.

  • Why not?

  • Because Israel has WMD, and it has to sign, and Israel is occupying our land,

  • so that’s we talked about the Middle East, not Syria,

  • not Israel; it should be comprehensive.

  • Do you consider chemical warfare equivalent to nuclear warfare?

  • I don’t know. We haven’t tried either.

  • But you know, youre a head of state, and you understand

  • the consequences of weapons that don’t discriminate.

  • Technically, theyre not the same. But morally, it’s the same.

  • Morally, they are the same.

  • They are the same, but at the end, killing is killing.

  • Massacring is massacring.

  • Sometimes you may kill tens of thousands or

  • hundreds of thousands with very primitive armaments.

  • Then why do you have such a stockpile of chemical weapons?

  • We don’t discuss this issue in public because

  • we never said that we have it,

  • and we never said that we don’t have it.

  • It’s a Syrian issue; it’s a military issue

  • we never discuss in public with anyone.

  • This is from the New York Times this morning:

  • Syria’s leaders amassed

  • one of the world’s largest stockpiles

  • of chemical weapons with help from the Soviet Union

  • and Iran as well as Western European suppliers,

  • and even a handful of American companies.

  • According to American diplomatic cables and declassified

  • intelligence records, you have amassed one

  • of the largest supplies of chemical weapons in the world.

  • To have or not to have is a possibility,

  • but to depend on what media says is nonsense,

  • or to depend on some of the reports of the intelligence

  • is nonsense and that was proven when they

  • invaded Iraq ten years ago and they saidIraq has stockpiles of WMD

  • and it was proven after the invasion that this was false;

  • it was fraud.

  • So, we can’t depend on what one magazine wrote.

  • But at the end, I said it’s something

  • not to be discussed with anyone.

  • You accept that the world believes you do

  • have a stockpile of chemical weapons?

  • Who?

  • The world.

  • The United States and other powers who also said that you have chemical weapons.

  • It isn’t about what they believe in,

  • it’s about the reality that we have,

  • and this reality, we own it, we don’t have to discuss it.

  • Speaking of reality, what was the reality on August 21st?

  • What happened in your judgment?

  • Were not in the area where the alleged chemical attack happened.

  • I said alleged. Were not sure that anything happened.

  • Even at this date, youre not sure that chemical weapons

  • even though you have seen the video tape,

  • even though youve seen the bodies,

  • even though your own officials have been there.

  • I haven’t finished.

  • Our soldiers in another area were attacked chemically.

  • Our soldiersthey went to the hospital

  • as casualties because of chemical weapons,

  • but in the area where they said

  • the government used chemical weapons,

  • we only had video and we only have pictures and allegations.

  • Were not there; our forces, our police,

  • our institutions don’t exist there.

  • How can you talk about what happened

  • if you don’t have evidence?

  • Were not like the American administration,

  • were not social media administration or government.

  • We are a government that deals with reality.

  • When we have evidence, well announce it.

  • Well, as you know, Secretary Kerry has said

  • there is evidence and that they saw rockets

  • that fired from a region controlled by

  • your forces into a region controlled by the rebels.

  • They have evidence from satellite photographs of that.

  • They have evidence of a message

  • that was intercepted about chemical weapons,

  • and soon thereafter there were other intercepted messages,

  • so Secretary Kerry has presented what he views as conclusive evidence.

  • No, he presented his confidence

  • and his convictions.

  • It’s not about confidence, it’s about evidence.

  • The Russians have completely opposite evidence

  • that the missiles were thrown from an area where the rebels control.

  • This reminds mewhat Kerry said -

  • about the big lie that Collin Powell said

  • in front of the world on satellites about the WMD in Iraq

  • before going to war.

  • He saidthis is our evidence.”

  • Actually, he gave false evidence.

  • In this case, Kerry didn’t even present any evidence.

  • He talkedwe have evidence

  • and he didn’t present anything.

  • Not yet, nothing so far;

  • not a single shred of evidence.

  • Do you have some remorse for those bodies,

  • those people, it is said to be up to at least

  • a thousand or perhaps 1400,

  • who were in Eastern Ghouta, who died?

  • We feel pain for every Syrian victim.

  • What about the victims of this assault from chemical warfare?

  • Dead is dead, killing is killing, crime is crime.

  • When you feel pain, you feel pain about their family,

  • about the loss that you have in your country,

  • whether one person was killed or a hundred or a thousand.

  • It’s a loss, it’s a crime, it’s a moral issue.

  • We have family that we sit with,

  • family that loved their dear ones.

  • It’s not about how they are killed,

  • it’s about that they are dead now; this is the bad thing.

  • But has there been any remorse or sadness

  • on behalf of the Syrian people for what happened?

  • I think sadness prevails in Syria now.

  • We don’t feel anything else but sadness