Q: What are the American conditions, Doctor? What do they want? The real purpose of this law?
Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban: I believe that since the beginning of this war on Syria, the main objective is to confiscate the independent national decision and to have Syria in the host of the countries that are subject to the American decision and not to rule itself. I think that this is the problem that the United States is experiencing not only with Syria but with all the countries that it imposes sanctions on, whether it’s Venezuela, Bolivia, China or Russia, this is the main focus.
The United States, as a dominant pole in the world today, is beginning to fear for its position and is punishing all countries that, by certain alliances, could form other poles in the world.
Q: Are there any demands beyond the crisis in Syria towards the Arab-Israeli conflict? The Deal of the Century? The settlement of the Palestinians..?
Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban: We have no (communication) channel between us and the United States and there is no negotiation on any subject at all, whether, by the Deal of the Century or any other subject, They may need through this Jordan and Egypt, while you see the procedures for the Golan and for Jerusalem all arbitrary actions stemming from the Zionist interest. But for us, there is no dialogue in this regard at all.
Q: Only from the experiences of other countries, for example, JASTA (act) towards Saudi was to withdraw funds from Saudi, there were sanctions on Libya after the Lockerbie plane crash, there were sanctions on Iraq after the first Gulf War, there were sanctions on Sudan, all of which ended with a deal in which they asked this or that regime to make a series of concessions, often related to the Arab-Israeli conflict and to (stop) support for liberation movements such as in Libya and elsewhere, so I asked this question about what is required of Syria?
Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban: We don’t have any information what is required, but I think the difference between this law and JASTA and Lockerbie is that this law is trying to punish Syria’s allies, who support Syria, also, as you mentioned in the introduction, it mentioned Iran and Russia more than once in punishing parties that could help Syria in reconstruction.
Q: Could this include China as well as other countries?
Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban: It might, but I think all of these countries have procedures as well, alliance procedures with each other and action measures. I don’t think these sanctions being drafted by the United States will last long, I do not think that states will abide by them for long, because all the states we have mentioned are affected by these sanctions. None of these countries wants to go into direct conflict with the United States but I see action against this current as valid as President Putin said yesterday, he said we are not seeking a military alliance with China but trust with China is very strong and we will contribute to all industrial and technical products with China.
There is a world that is being formed, allied and works, but not to confront who imposes these sanctions. But I think in the short term these sanctions will lose its impact.
Q: Some may consider expanding sanctions to other entities and other countries as a weakness of this law, but on the other hand, is there coordination between you and allies: Iran, Russia, China, and possibly other countries in the face of these sanctions?
Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban: Sure, of course, there is coordination at many levels between us and our allies, and there is a common understanding and understanding between us and our allies about where the world is today and what the United States is doing in this world, and there is great resentment and a vision of what we should all do. So I don’t think all this pressure from the United States will work at all in any file you want from Syria, it’s not going to work.
Q: Today, Doctor, you are telling the Syrian people that Caesar’s law will not change anything?
Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban: No, it won’t change anything. True because since the beginning of the crisis, all the items I have read in Caesar’s Law have nothing new at all: Boycott, ban spare parts and (sanctions on) the central bank and officials, all of them. They are already punishing allies who wanted to send us oil, medicine or food, all of this exists.
I didn’t see anything new in this law. We have to pay attention to the media; they create a media aura about any action to win the war before it begins. In fact, part of this law is a psychological war, especially the way it was drafted.
Q: We hear in the street that after the passage of Caesar’s law, the exchange rate of the dollar will rise to a record level against the Syrian pound.
Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban: The dollar has nothing to do with Caesar or the economic level, there is no economy that goes negatively or positively in a day and night, these are speculations of exchange companies, when they say that the dollar reached the price of 850 Lira you find that in the market no one sells or buys at this price, all of it is just talk on paper, it has nothing to do with the reality of the Syrian economy.
I met with colleagues in charge of the economy and they told me today the economy is 50 times better than it was in 2011, the reality of economic reality is much better than it was at the beginning of the crisis. There is work going on in agriculture, industry, in enterprises and institutions, there is strong work because we know that we must be self-sufficient in everything and we must rely on ourselves.
Q: This is very reassuring, Doctor, especially for Syrians with expectations of the effects of this law, but the law comes amid tremendous U.S. pressure and a firm application of the strategy of extreme pressure on Iran. Is there a relationship between the strategy of extreme pressure on Iran and the passage of Caesar’s law on the one hand, and also is there a connection to what is happening in Iraq and Lebanon? Are these things connected?
Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban: I would like to tell you, Mr. Kamal, that I see the world as one square, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, China, Venezuela and Libya, all one square and there are strategies put in place to break up our countries from within to prevent communication and solidarity between our nations. What is happening in Lebanon and what is happening in Iraq is undoubtedly against Syria, against Lebanon, against Iraq, against Libya, and against all these countries.
They have resorted to methods to break up our societies from within. It is true that there is no doubt that people have right demands and that they have the right to revolt against corruption and against the absence of services, this is their right, but these revolutions did not bring all countries to a better level, including what happened in Syria, did Syria become better because of what some called and took to the street to destroy institutions and destroy factories, is this a way that leads to more freedom, more democracy and more prosperity?
Q: The sanctions and economic pressure exerted on Syria, Lebanon and other countries is mainly aimed at creating a state of popular restlessness and thus the emergence of social classes to claim their rights.
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