Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, interviewed Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah for the debut of his talk show on Russian state-run RT news channel.
“I want to know: why is he called a freedom fighter by millions and at the same time a terrorist by millions of others?” Assange asked on his program, which is titled The World Tomorrow.
Nasrallah, who claimed it was his first interview in six years, said Hezbollah supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad because his regime supported the Lebanon-based organization. Al-Assad, he added, “hasn’t backed down in the face of Israeli and American pressure.”
Nasrallah is considered a wanted terrorist by the United States, Israel, and other governments and Hezbollah is also considered a terrorist organization.
“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,” Nasrallah said.
Assange conducted the interview from a undisclosed location in the U.K. and used the video chat program Skype to communicate with Nasrallah.
New York Magazine panned Assange’s premiere as entirely underwhelming.
“Lo-fi production values—think public-access plus Skype—plagued the entire 30-minute show as the camera switched between close-ups of Assange, often with his hands on his face, and Nasrallah, who sat plainly in front of a blue background and a pair of flags,” wrote the magazine’s Joe Coscarelli in a review.
Coscarelli criticized Assange’s interview style in asking Nasrallah, who is a controversial figure, “predictable but not probing questions about Israel, Syria, and, yes, WikiLeaks cables.”