The Iranian regime on Monday voiced its support for embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, blaming the US and its allies for contributing to instability in the country by delivering massive amounts of weapons into the hands of the opposition.
Tehran's endorsement of its longtime ally Assad came as dozens of civilians were killed in cold blood in the Syrian city of Homs. Footage posted by opposition activists on YouTube showed men, women and children lying dead in a blood-drenched room.
The Local Coordination Committees of Syria, a network of opposition activists, said at least 45 women and children had been stabbed and burned in the Homs district of Karm al-Zeitoun.
It said another seven people were slain in the city's Jobar district, which adjoins the former rebel bastion of Baba Amr.
Activists contacted in Homs accused Alawite militiamen loyal to Assad of carrying out the killings under the protection of regular Syrian military forces. State media blamed "armed terrorists" for the massacre.
AFP quoted Iran's Deputy Foreign Minster Hossein Amir Abdollahian as saying to the Iranian media on Monday that "the Islamic Republic of Iran underlines its total support for the Syrian people and government."
Abdollahian added that Western and Arab nations "that support the insecurity and instability in Syria are responsible for any aggravation of the crisis in Syria."
The Iranian official said that the Islamic Republic believes a political solution based on reforms suggested by Assad can pacify the situation.
"The troubles in Syria are happening with the backing of the United States, European and Arab countries with the massive delivery of weapons to the country," AFP quoted Abdollahian as saying in an interview with the Russian media on Monday.
The UN Security Council was set to hold a special meeting on Arab revolts later on Monday and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was expected to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines.
Russia and China have blocked attempts to pass a Security Council resolution condemning Damascus for its attempts to crush the rebellion, in which the United Nations says well over 7,500 people have been killed. Syrian authorities said in December insurgents had killed over 2,000 soldiers and police.
The United States has drafted a new resolution, but Washington and Paris say they doubt it will be accepted.