Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Lebanese Hizbullah terror group, has said he would act as a mediator in the Syrian conflict, The BBC reported on Tuesday.
Nasrallah made the remarks during an interview with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, for his new show on Russia's RT cable TV channel. It is Nasrallah’s first international interview in six years.
The terror group leader reportedly said Hizbullah “would be more than happy to mediate” in the Syrian conflict, while urging a political solution. Hizbullah has backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since the crisis began in March of 2011, the BBC noted.
Nasrallah, who spoke from a secret location, said he had spoken to the opposition but they were unwilling to negotiate. “We contacted the opposition early on, but they refused any dialogue with the regime,” he was quoted as having said. “We’ll be more than happy to mediate, but we are asking others to make their effort to create a political solution.”
The interview, noted BBC, was recorded several weeks ago, before the UN-backed peace plan brokered by Kofi Annan was put in place. It focused on Syria, with Nasrallah saying his organization has been in “constant contact with the Syrian leadership.”
“We’ve spoken as friends giving advice about the importance of reforms. We believe Assad is very serious about carrying out radical reforms,” he added.
Assange pointed out that while Hizbullah can be trusted not to be on the side of the West or the Gulf countries, there would always be a perception that it is biased in favor of Assad's regime.
In response Nasrallah was quoted by the BBC as having said his group is made up of “friends, not agents of Syria” and suggesting that other countries were fuelling conflict by refusing to negotiate with the Syrian government. He alleged that al-Qaeda has sent fighters to Syria.