Assange screen debut
THE opening episode of Julian Assange’s new talk show features an interview with militant leader Hassan Nasrallah, whose Syria-backed Hezbollah militia is considered a terrorist organisation in the US and Europe.
The half-hour segment on Assange’s The World Tomorrow show aired on Kremlin-backed broadcaster RT yesterday and featured questions about Israel, Lebanon, Syria, theology and encryption. Nasrallah, who is rarely seen on English-language television, largely stuck to wellestablished positions.
He revealed his group had been in touch with opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying Hezbollah had ‘‘contacted elements of the opposition, to encourage them, to facilitate dialogue with the regime’’.
Speaking through a translator, Nasrallah claimed that Hezbollah had been rebuffed.
‘‘You have an opposition that is not prepared for dialogue . . . all it wants is to bring down the regime,’’ he says.
Yesterday marked the launch of Assange’s unlikely career in television, and a partnership with a state-backed station that many have found uncomfortable.
Assange himself said he anticipated criticism along the lines of: ‘‘There’s Julian Assange, enemy combatant, traitor, getting into bed with the Kremlin and interviewing terrible radicals from around the world.’’
But the Australian said that RT had a big audience and his guests had told him things they ‘‘could not say on a mainstream TV network’’.
Assange remains under strict bail conditions at an undisclosed location in England while he fights extradition to Sweden on sex crime allegations.
The interview with Nasrallah was carried out via videolink.
Hassan Nasrallah and Julian Assange