AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — An Iranian official has warned of a "catastrophe" in the Middle East if no political solution is found to the 16-month crisis in Syria.
Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian also says Syria has a strong army and is able to defend itself from attack alone without Iran's help.
Iran is Syria's closest ally and has stood by President Bashar Assad's regime through the uprising against his rule.
Abdollahian spoke at a press conference in Amman, Jordan, Sunday.
His comments follow an acknowledgement by special envoy Kofi Annan that the international community's efforts to find a political solution to the escalating violence in Syria have failed.
Some in the Syrian opposition have called for outside military intervention to help stop the bloodshed.