Surayud told a news conference on Monday: "Mr Thaksin isn't barred from returning to the country, so if he wants to come back, we need to have a conversation.
"After he returns, he must not be involved in any political movement because such movement may bring trouble."
Thaksin's interview was not aired in Thailand because the country's cable operator co-operated with a military request not to do so.
The Council for National Security (CNS), as the coup leaders call themselves, has set up a committee to investigate alleged wrongdoings committed by Thaksin, his cabinet ministers and their families, but they have announced no evidence yet.
Thaksin has said he does not want his return to cause unrest in the country but is willing to go back to defend himself against corruption charges.