The following are excerpts from an interview with Syrian Ambassador to the U.S. 'Imad Mustafa, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on May 5, 2008.
To view this clip, visit http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/1763.
"This [U.S.] Administration is Characterized By A Great Deal Of Recklessness, In Addition to its Capabilities for Fabricating and Lying"
'Imad Mustafa: "Even though this story [about a Syrian nuclear reactor] is ridiculous, we do not take it lightly. This [U.S.] administration is characterized by a great deal of recklessness, in addition to its capabilities for fabricating and lying, and of causing the utmost damage to other nations, as well as to the American nation itself. This is not propaganda. This is the reality in which the American people is living right now. Therefore, we do not take this story lightly.
"We believe that this story comes in a certain context. This story, as presented by the American administration, is another link in a continuous chain of actions, which the U.S. administration has been taking against Syria for at least four years.
"There are two very significant differences between then and now. When the U.S administration made its false claims in the past – even though some people doubted the claims about Iraqi WMDs – the American political establishment as a whole accepted the administration's account, in order to wage the war against Iraq. Both Democrats and Republicans, who form the U.S. political establishment, are very upset today because they have realized that the U.S. administration lied to them and dragged them into a war, which has turned into a muddy quagmire of blood and destruction – blood and destruction in Iraq, and a lot of blood and huge damage in the U.S.
"This war has destroyed Iraq, but it also wounded the national pride of the U.S. There was damage on both sides, even if not to the same extent. The difference is that from the moment the U.S. administration presented its fabricated story about the Syrian nuclear reactor, in both houses of Congress and in both the Republican and Democratic parties there has been great discontent."[...]
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"The Administration Thought... It Could Once Again Increase the Tempo of the Drumbeat of War by Unleashing a New Nuclear Crisis In Our Region"
"The current U.S. government is very upset about losing the momentum for waging a war or aggression against Iran, because political public opinion in the U.S. does not support such a war. The administration thought – this is my analysis, but I can't swear to it – that it could once again increase the tempo of the drumbeat of war by unleashing a new nuclear crisis in our region all of a sudden, and then lumping together all of us – the countries of the 'Axis of Evil,' the rogue states."
"Sometimes It Amazes Me That My Enemy is So Naïve, Superficial, and Stupid... The American Media, Legislative, Political, and Intelligence Establishment Has Already Begun to Pound Away At This Account "
"Therefore, it presented the American people with a story according to which there is a great danger in that region, because evil rogue states like Syria and Iran are arming themselves with nuclear weapons, while the good, democratic, and angelic state of Israel is in terrible danger, and we have to do something in order to save Israel from the evil of those rogue states. This reckless hotheadedness of theirs... Sometimes it amazes me that my enemy is so naïve, superficial, and stupid. They did not plan it very well.
"We in Syria are expecting this new story to collapse as a result of two types of blows – internal and external blows. The American media, legislative, political, and intelligence establishment has already begun to pound away at this account, and the blows will only increase.
"You will be able to check what I am telling you very soon. Voices are beginning to be heard. They are still few, but they are constantly increasing, and they doubt this account very clearly. But there are also external blows. Over the past three days, I noticed dozens of articles published by nuclear technology experts from various countries, from Western Europe and the U.S., who analyzed and explained why this story is stupid and ridiculous, and they showed that scientifically and technologically, this account is completely unreliable."
Interviewer: "With regard to the Golan Heights and the rumors about Syrian-Israeli contacts in order to reach an agreement on this matter – can we understand from you that this issue is dead and buried, at least for the foreseeable future?"
"We Think That It Is Ridiculous and Ludicrous That Some Arabs Believe te Story That the Israelis Are Constantly Spreading, About Secret Syrian-Israeli Talks"
'Imad Mustafa: "This issue does not even exist for us to consider it dead and buried. Syria's position is clear and well known, and we have no doubts about it. We are party to the Arab peace initiative, and we believe that peace talks that will lead to the restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, and to the return of the occupied Syrian and Lebanese lands, are the only way to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the region.
"Since Syria publicly declares that it has no objection to the renewal of peace talks leading to a just and comprehensive peace, we think that it is ridiculous and ludicrous that some Arabs believe the story that the Israelis are constantly spreading about secret Syrian-Israeli talks.
"Why would we conduct secret talks, if we are declaring publicly that we have no objection to the renewal of serious and public peace talks, based on the authority of the Madrid Conference and the U.N. resolutions?"