"We do not expect an arsonist to be a firefighter", President Assad told The Sunday Times in a videotaped interview conducted last week in his Damascus residence, the Al-Muhajireen palace. "How can we expect them to make the violence less while they want to send military supplies to the terrorists and don't try to ease the dialogue between the Syrians?"
Britain has been pushing for the lifting of a European ban on arms supplies to Syrian rebels, but at a meeting last month European Union foreign ministers decided instead to allow only "non-lethal" aid and "technical assistance" to the so-called opposition.
The Syrian president added that "Britain has played a famously unconstructive role in different issues for decades, some say for centuries" and talked of "a bullying hegemony".
He highlighted the fact that many nations in the Middle East region do not trust Britain. "You cannot separate the role from the credibility, and you cannot separate the credibility from the history of that country”, the Syrian president noted. "To be frank, Britain has played famously in our region (an) unconstructive role in different issues, for decades, some say for centuries."
"I think they are working against us, and they are working against the interests of the UK itself. Britain has been pushing for providing armed terror groups in Syria with heavy weaponry in a desperate attempt to help topple the popular government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Its agents, including MI6 spies and military experts, have long been conspiring against the Syrian people from bases in Turkey, Cyprus and sometimes in Lebanon, reports say.
Concerning the dialogue between his government and the opposition, Assad said he is ready to negotiate with the opposition, and even with militants on condition they lay down their arms, but will not step down.
"We are ready to negotiate with anyone, including militants who surrender their arms. We can engage in dialogue with the opposition, but we cannot engage in dialogue with terrorists."
This offer comes as UN chief Ban Ki-moon and his Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said they were prepared to broker peace talks between the Assad government and the opposition. A joint statement by the pair said the UN would "be prepared to facilitate a dialogue between a strong and representative delegation from the opposition and a credible and empowered delegation from the Syrian government".
They also claimed that both the regime and opposition fighters "have become increasingly reckless with human life" and said perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity must be brought to justice.
"If this argument is correct, then my departure will stop the fighting," Assad said. "Clearly this is absurd, and other recent precedents in Libya, Yemen and Egypt bear witness to this."