"Israel and certain Arab countries are behind a plot against Syria," said Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al Muallem on Sunday, after arriving on an official visit to Tehran.
Muallem met with his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, as well as with secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili. After the meeting, Muallem said, "We [the Syrian people] are facing a global war against Syria. Syria will defeat the terrorists plotting to conquer our cities, and foil the plot hatched by external forces that hold an interest [in Syria]."
Muallem also talked about Syria's chemical weapons stockpile and the threat it potentially poses, saying the ongoing involvement of the media with this issue is nothing but a slander campaign propagated by the U.S. and other countries. "Whether or not Syria had chemical weapons, I would like to point out that the aggressive nation of Israel has nuclear weapons," he said, adding that Syria is ready to establish a region without weapons of mass destruction. "If Israel signs the [Nuclear] Non-Proliferation Treaty, then we as a responsible country will also commit ourselves to all international treaties." Iranian Foreign Minister Salehi showed support for his colleague, saying that "whoever believes the Syrian government will topple is only deceiving himself. We will not let the Zionist regime succeed in its plot to [cause] conflict in Syria."
In the meantime, Syrian rebels continue to clash with President Bashar al-Assad's army in the city of Aleppo. The military opened fire early Sunday morning on several neighborhoods in the city, yet eyewitnesses said that the rebel forces had managed to stand up to the assault. Arab news media have broadcast amateur films showing the brutal fighting taking place in Aleppo, in what has already been called 'the mother of all battles.'
Syrian opposition has called Arab countries to arm the rebel forces with anti-plane weapons and tanks, and admitted that the United Arab Emirates have been funding the salaries of the Free Syrian Army since April. According to the opposition, the number of casualties in Syria has already exceeded the 20,000 mark.
On Sunday, Syrian public television acknowledged for the first time the fighting in Aleppo, stating that "terrorist gangs that imposed fear on civilians, have suffered great losses."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also referred to the uprising in Syria, saying that his country will not be offering Assad asylum. "We have said more than once publicly that we are not even thinking about this," he said. "There is no agreement, no thought about this issue ... This is all a provocation by those who want to place all the blame for what is happening in Syria on us and on China."