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Transcript -- Charlie Rose Interviews Bashar Al-Assad

Transcript -- Charlie Rose Interviews Bashar Al-Assad

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Published by Julia Steers
Charlie Rose interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Charlie Rose interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

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Published by: Julia Steers on Sep 10, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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CHARLIE ROSE:00:59:58;15Mr. President, thank you very much for-- this opportunity to talkto you at a very important moment, because the President of the United States-- will address the nation-- this week. And asyou know, an important conversation taking place inWashington, and important things are happening here in yourcountry. Do you expect an air strike?BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:00:19;30As long as the United States doesn't obey the international lawand trample over the charter of the United Nations, we have toworry that any administration, not only this one, would doanything. But-- according to the lies that we've been hearing forthe last two weeks from high-ranking officials in thisadministration, we have to expect-- the worst.CHARLIE ROSE:01:00:43;17Are you prepared?BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:00:46;12We've been living in different circumstances for the last twoyears and a half. And we're prepared of-- ourselves for everypossibility. But that doesn't mean if you're prepared, somethings would be better. It's going to get worse with any foolishstrike or stupid war.CHARLIE ROSE:01:01:01;14What do you mean worse?BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:01:03;10Worse because of the repercussions. Because nobody can tellwhat the repercussion of the first strike. When you talk aboutone region, bigger regions. It's not only about Syria, it'sinterlinked-- region, it's intermingled, interlocked, whatever youwant to-- to call. If you strike somewhere, you have to expectthe repercussions somewhere else in different forms in s-- in away that you don't expect--CHARLIE ROSE:01:01:27;28Are you suggesting that if in fact there's a strike, there would berepercussions against the United States from your friends inother countries like Iran or Hezbollah or others?BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:01:38;30Yeah. As I said, it's-- it may take different forms, direct andindirect. Direct when people wants to retaliate s-- orgovernments. Indirect when we're going to have instability andthe spread of terrorism all over the region that will influence theWest directly.CHARLIE ROSE:01:01:54;11Have you had conversations with Russia, with Iran-- with
Hezbollah about how to retaliate?BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:02:01;04We don't discuss-- this issue-- as a government. But we discussthe repercussions, which is more important because sometimesrepercussions could be more destroying than the st-- the strikeitself. Any American strike will not destroy as much as therebel-- the terrorists has destroyed in Syria. So sometimesrepercussions could be many doubles the strike itself.CHARLIE ROSE:01:02:26;14But some have suggested that it might tip the balance in thefavor of the rebels-- and lead to the overthrow of yourgovernment.BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:02:34;09Exactly. Any strike will be as direct support to Al Qaeda offshootthat's called al-Nusra, Jabhat al-Nusra (?)
and the Islamic state of Iraq (?) and Syria. You're right about this. It's going to be directsupport.CHARLIE ROSE:01:02:47;21This is about chemical warfare. And let's talk about that. Doyou approve of the use of chemical warfare?BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:02:53;23What do you mean?CHARLIE ROSE:01:02:54;30The use of chemicals, deadly chemicals?BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:02:56;21Do I-- do I think that we have to use s--CHARLIE ROSE:01:02:59;02No. Do you think that it is an appropriate tool of war to usechemicals?BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:03:03;22The chemical?CHARLIE ROSE:01:03:04;01Yes.BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:03:05;28We are against any W.M.D., any weapons of mass destructionwhether chemical or nuclear. And that--CHARLIE ROSE:01:03:12;04So you're against the use of chemical warfare?BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:03:13;23Yeah. It's not only me as a state, as a government. In 2001, weproposed to the United Nations-- purported to-- empty or to getrid of every W.M.D. in the Middle East and the United Statesstood against that proposal.CHARLIE ROSE:01:03:29;12But--
BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:03:29;15So this is our conviction and policy.CHARLIE ROSE:01:03:31;12But you're not a signator to the-- chemical warfare--BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:03:33;23Not yet.CHARLIE ROSE:01:03:34;15--agreement.BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:03:35;03Not yet--CHARLIE ROSE:01:03:35;06Why not?BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:03:36;21Because Israel has W.M.D. and it has to sign. And Israeloccupying our land. So that's why we talked about Middle East,not Syria, not Israel. It should be comprehensive.CHARLIE ROSE:01:03:45;13Do you consider chemical warfare equivalent to nuclearwarfare?BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:03:49;17I don't know. We haven't tried either. (LAUGH)CHARLIE ROSE:01:03:50;27Yeah, but you know, you're a head of state and you understandthe consequences of weapons that--BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:03:55;01You mean that--CHARLIE ROSE:01:03:55;23--don't discriminate--BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:03:56;15Tec-- technically, they're not--CHARLIE ROSE:01:03:57;25That are beyond--BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:03:58;15Yeah, technically, they're not the same. But--CHARLIE ROSE:01:04:00;23But.BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:04:01;01--morally, they're the same.CHARLIE ROSE:01:04:02;06Morally, they're the same.BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:04:03;08They have the same. But at the end, killing is killing.CHARLIE ROSE:01:04:07;24And it's indiscriminate--BASHAR AL-ASSAD:01:04:08;05Mass killing is mass killing. Sometimes you-- you may kill tens

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