Assad: Peres Offered Us ‘Golan for Iran and Resistance Movements’
Syrian President Bashar Assad says his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, relayed a message from Israeli President Shimon Peres last week that the Zionist entity was willing to withdraw from the Golan Heights in exchange for Syria cutting its ties with Iran and the “resistance movements”.
Assad made the remark in an interview published Tuesday in Lebanese daily as-Safir.
Last week, Peres took part in ceremonies marking the 65th anniversary of the Nazi defeat in Moscow. He asked Medvedev to relay a message to Assad, with whom the Russian leader met two days later.
On the backdrop of the recent tensions and the calming messages, Assad replied: “Our answer is clear. Reality proves that Israel is not working for peace, so talks will not help.”
Peres told Medvedev, “We are reaching our hand out for peace with Syria, but peace cannot exist without a basic condition: You cannot reach a hand out for peace while continuing to support terror groups.”
He explained that “Israel has no other interpretation for the transfer of arms from Syria to Hezbollah. The transfer of long-range, precise missiles to the organization is an incitement to war.”
Assad was asked in the interview whether Syria would join a war in the event of an Israeli attack on Lebanon.
“I believe that the Israelis hope to hear the answer to this question, but I won’t fulfill their wish,” the Syrian president replied. “These are military matters which we shall not reveal. We shall not reveal our cards or plans.”
He also addressed claims that his country transferred Scud missiles to Hezbollah. “All the public sights of war and peace are imaginary. I say we must worry if the Israelis are silent, not if they talk. The threats you hear and the Scud missiles they talk about have nothing to do with the conditions of war and the possibility that it will take place, just like all the calm attempts which follow do not mean that the chances of peace have grown stronger.”
“We don’t believe the Israelis,” Assad added. “We act based on the assumption that we must be prepared for war and peace at any minute. There are those who made a mistake and erased the resistance option, becoming hostage to the peace option. We must be prepared for both options at the same time.”
The Israeli president’s associates said that a situation in which the Syrians have the Golan but continue to maintain relations with Iran is inconceivable.