"I warned Al-Qaida. The Americans and the European countries and Arab and Islamic countries have set a trap for you in Syria, and opened for you a battlefield so you come from across the world to be killed and to kill each other."
Days earlier, Russia denied one of its senior diplomats said Assad is losing control of his country.
Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov was misquoted. Media scoundrels claimed Moscow believed he was doomed. His real assessment was:
"The fighting will become even more intense, and (Syria) will lose tens of thousands and, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of civilians."
"If such a price for the removal of the president seems acceptable to you, what can we do? We, of course, consider it absolutely unacceptable."
Russia's Foreign Ministry said Bogdanov "has not made any statements or (given) special interviews recently." His comments were made in a recent speech.
On December 17, senior Iranian lawmaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel condemned Washington and Western allies. He denounced their double standard hypocrisy on Iran's nuclear program.
"If you are concerned about (it), why do you support the Zionist regime which does not abide by UN resolutions," he asked?
Tehran fully complies with NPT provisions, he stressed. Israel spurns them. No evidence whatever suggests an Iranian nuclear weapons program. High US, other Western, and Israeli officials know but won't say.
Israel's had a powerful arsenal for decades. It's the region's only nuclear power. It threatens to use them if endangered. It refuses inspections.
Iran's UN ambassador , Mohammad Khazayee, earlier denounced Israel's refusal to join NPT and allow IAEA inspections.
"Iran considers Israel as the prime suspect in the field of possessing nuclear weapons and not abiding by the NPT. The international community should exert pressure on the Zionist regime to join the NPT," he added.
On December 17, Haaretz/Reuters headlined "Iran FM: Tehran, world powers must end impasse over nuclear program," saying:
FM Ali Akbar Salehi said both sides "reached a conclusion that they must exit the current stalemate." More talks are needed. Serious ones. He expects them. He's not sure when.