The presidents of Russia and Iran said on Wednesday the crisis in Syria must be resolved peacefully without foreign intervention, according to a Kremlin statement.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discussed "the dramatic situation developing around Syria" by telephone a day after the United States appeared to open the door to eventually arming rebels.
What else would we expect from two of the main components of the Gog-MaGog alliance?
Russia has protected Syrian President Bashar Assad from UN Security Council condemnation and potential sanctions during nearly a year of violence most countries blame on his government, twice vetoing resolutions along with China.
In line with Russia's position, the Kremlin said Medvedev and Ahmadinejad called for an internal Syrian political dialogue "without preliminary conditions" - wording that means Assad should not be required to step down as a condition for talks.
"The heads of state agreed that the main task now - including in the framework of international organizations, primarily the United Nations - is not to allow civil war, which could destabilize the situation in the entire region."
Russia warned Israel not to attack Iran over its nuclear program, saying on Wednesday that military action would have catastrophic consequences."Of course any possible military scenario against Iran will be catastrophic for the region and for the whole system of international relations," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said."Therefore I hope Israel understands all these consequences ... and they should also consider the consequences of such action for themselves," Gatilov said at a news conference.
Gatilov's comments came as Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday that Tehran's nuclear course would not change regardless of international sanctions, assassinations or other pressures.
But Iran's refusal to curb sensitive atomic activities with both civilian and military purposes, and its track record of secrecy and restricting UN inspections, have drawn increasingly harsh UN and separate US and European sanctions, now targeting its economically vital oil exports.