Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Saturday that Syrian rebels are responsible for the safety of 48 Iranians kidnapped in August, the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) reported.

The Syrian rebels said in a video posted on YouTube that they would start to execute the Iranians, whom it says are members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) if Iran and Syria do not stop striking Syrian citizens.

The video shows a rebel officer dressed in army fatigues standing in front of a group of hostages. The officer said that the execution threats came after the failure of negotiations with the Syrian authorities to exchange the Iranians for Syrian rebel prisoners.

According to ILNA, Ramin Mehmanparast said Iran "condemned the continuing lack of freedom of Iranian pilgrims in Syria".

"The responsibility for their lives lies with their kidnappers and their supporters," the foreign ministry spokesman added.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger