Several leading Iranian officials told Arab TV networks that the U.S., Israel and NATO were conspiring to overthrow the Syrian regime ahead of Iran’s hotly contested presidential elections in June. While no official response was forthcoming from any major Israeli or Western leader to Iran’s accusation, there was growing sentiment in American and British media outlets that a strong response by the Western allies against pro-Assad combatants would effectively put Iran’s religious and political leaders on notice that the West would act to prevent the spread of chemical and nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, Israel has reportedly stepped up reconnaissance flights over Lebanon (near the Syrian border) in an effort to track pro-Assad Hizbullah units and radical anti-Assad al Qaeda groups. It is believed that they are seeking to overrun Assad’s chemical weapons bases across Syria.
– Additional reporting by Tzvi Ben-GedalyahuSteve K. Walz
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