A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said on Tuesday any foreign powers intervening in Syria would suffer "decisive blows", specifically referring to "hated Arabs" - a veiled reference to regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
"Not yet one of Syria's friends and the large resistance front has entered this arena, and if this were to happen, decisive blows would be struck against the enemy's front and specifically the hated Arabs," Masoud Jazayeri was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.
He did not specify who would strike those blows and said the enemies of Syria were incapable of replacing its government, which has battled a sustained armed uprising against the rule of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Jazayeri's comments came after Syria acknowledged on Monday that it had chemical and biological weapons, and said it could use them if foreign countries intervened.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said the army would not use chemical weapons to crush rebels but could use them against forces from outside the country.
The Syrian people were "furious" with those who have supported the armed rebels and would seek their revenge, said Jazayeri, specifically naming the United States, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Damascus has accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of channeling weapons and money to rebels fighting Assad's forces. Activists say more than 17,000 people have been killed in the 16-month uprising against his rule.
Turkey has called for Assad to quit after he failed to heed calls for reform, and has harbored Syrian rebels and tens of thousands of refugees along its border with Syria. Washington has also called on Assad to step aside.
Jerusalem Post Annual Conference. Buy it now, Special offer. Come meet Israel's top leaders