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Syria Eyes Neighbor Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions

May 27, 2010 at 12:00 AM EDT
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As the Obama administration implements its own foreign policy strategy, PBS's Charlie Rose spoke to Syria's President Bashir Al-Assad for another perspective on Iran and international security concerns.

JEFFREY BROWN: And, while the Obama administration is releasing its new foreign policy strategy, our PBS colleague Charlie Rose was getting another perspective from Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

Here’s a short excerpt where they discussed Syria’s ties to Iran.

CHARLIE ROSE, host, “The Charlie Rose Show”: There are those in America who would like to believe America can do something that will put some distance between you and Iran.

BASHAR AL-ASSAD, Syrian president: They contradict themselves. They talk about stability in the region. Stability starts with good relation.

You can not have stability and have bad relations. This is — second, what’s their argument? Why do they need Syria to be away from Iran? They have conflict with Iran. Well, so, what does it mean to put Syria away from Iran?

Sometimes, they talk about the relation between Syria and the Iranian relation and the peace. That’s not true. That’s not realistic, because Iran supported our — our efforts to achieve — to get back our land through the peace negotiations in 2008, when we had negotiations in Turkey.

CHARLIE ROSE: Let me underline that. You believe that Iran, even though it says it doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist, when you, through Turkey, were trying to negotiate with the Israelis, the Iranians were supportive of that?


CHARLIE ROSE: And, so, you’re saying actions speak louder than words?

BASHAR AL-ASSAD: Exactly. That’s what I mean.

And, actually, they said it in words. They said publicly that we support Syria. So, they said it twice during the negotiations and formally. So, you can not see with one eye.


BASHAR AL-ASSAD: So, that’s what’s happening in the world. They see only what they want to. They hear what they want to hear, and they ignore the other stand from the same government.

JIM LEHRER: Charlie’s full interview with President Assad can be seen later tonight on most PBS stations.