WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Launches Talk Show With Hezbollah Leader Hassan Nasrallah as First Guest

4:53 AM PST 04/17/2012 by Georg Szalai
Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images

UPDATED: The head of the Lebanese political and paramilitary organization is the first of a slew of controversial guests expected on "The World Tomorrow" on English-language Russian news channel RT.

LONDON -- Controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Tuesday launched his talk show The World Tomorrow with Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Lebanese political and paramilitary organization Hezbollah, as a guest.

The show aired on English-language Russian news channel RT, formerly known as Russia Today, and online. RT said it was Nasrallah's first interview in six years.

The partners previously said 12 episodes of the chat show have been recorded. Assange, who has been under house arrest, conducted the interview via computer video link with a translator by his side.

Assange asked Hezbollah Secretary General Nasrallah about political topics in the Middle East, such as the situation in Syria, the U.S. decision to "block" some Hezbollah-friendly media from getting to the U.S. and even mentioned his discovery that some of his organization's leaders had developed too comfortable a lifestyle. 

"[We] don't want to kill anyone. We don't want to treat anybody unjustly," Nasrallah said at one point. But he reiterated that one democratic Palestinian state is the "only solution" for him in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Any other solution "wouldn't be viable," given that he continues to believe that Israel "is and will be an illegal state," he said. He said the state would be on Palestinian land and see Muslim, Jewish and Christian people live together peacefully.

Asked about Syria's leader, he said: "I have found Bashar al-Assad willing to engage in real reforms." While he expressed his continued support for him, he said Hezbollah has talked to the Syrian opposition to encourage their dialogue with Assad rather than "civil war," which the U.S. and Israel seem to be hoping for, he argued.

On Twitter, people chimed in on the discussion. One viewer, @Alexander McNabb, said: "Two of America's favourite people chatting: Assange and Nasrallah."

RT had described the show's guests as people who are "stamping their mark on the future: politicians, revolutionaries, intellectuals, artists and visionaries."

The show's goal is “to capture and present some of this revolutionary spirit to a global audience," Assange has said. "My own work with WikiLeaks hasn't exactly made my life easier, but it has given us a platform to broadcast world-shifting ideas.”

Email: Georg.Szlaai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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