Iran engaged in 'malignant behavior' in Syria

May 31, 2012 22:48

WASHINGTON - The White House on Thursday accused Iran of "malignant behavior" for propping up Syrian President Bashar Assad and warned anew that the country's conflict could explode into a wider proxy war unless Assad steps down.

In sharp comments toward Tehran, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that Iran was exploiting the violence in Syria to entrench its regional sway.

"That fact further highlights Iran's continued effort to expand its nefarious influence in the region, and underscores Iran's fear of a Syria without the Assad regime," he told reporters at the White House.

European and US security officials say Iran has offered Assad extensive support, including weapons and ammunition, to shore up a vital ally.

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