17/04/2012 12:25 BST

Julian Assange's Show Debuts With Hezbollah Leader Hassan Nasrallah Interview (VIDEO)

The first episode of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's chat show has aired in Russia, featuring an interview with Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanese political and military group Hezbollah.

The 40-year-old Australian, who is a polarising figure in the world's media and political class due to both his whistle-blowing website's reputation and his own, controversial character, interviewed Nasrallah, who was based in a "secret location", in order to find out "why is he called a freedom fighter by millions and, at the same time, called a terrorist by millions of others."

Hezbollah is considered a terrorist group by the US and a number of Western countries. The choice of Nasrallah as the first guest was Assange's.

The website founder previously said in a promotional interview for the show that he would be seen in his show The World Tomorrow as "enemy combatant, traitor (for) getting into bed with the Kremlin and interviewing terrible radicals from around the world."

Assange's interview with Nasrallah was largely without cross-examination from the host, with Nasrallah delivering long, expansive answers unchallenged by Assange.

Watch the full episode of The World Tomorrow, courtesy of RT, below...

The interview did, though, cover a broad range of topics around Hezbollah and its activities, from asking if they do target civilian areas with rocket attacks to questioning why the group supported the Arab Spring in most countries except Syria.

Referring to the siege of Homs, in which hundreds of civilians were killed, Nasrallah revealed that Hezbollah "contacted elements of the opposition, to encourage them, to facilitate dialogue with the regime."

Getting Hasrallah on camera was in fact something of a coup for Assange, as he rarely gives interviews with networks that do not explicitly support Hezbollah.

Assange, who affected a rough around the edges look with stubble, a creased shirt and a cluttered, small set, chose the RT network due to a combination of its reach and the relatively loose leash they allowed him in making the show.

However, he has faced accusations of hypocrisy, as the channel is owned by the Russian government, essentially making Assange an employee of the Establishment he claims to oppose.

Assange is closing in on 500 days of house arrest in England while he waits to hear whether he will be extradited to Sweden to face charges of sexual assault.

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