Syria's foreign minister has blamed a Sunni Muslim axis of Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia for fuelling the rebellion across the country.
Walid al Muallem made the remarks whilst on a visit to Iran - Syria's powerful Shia ally.
Speaking in the capital Tehran, he said UN envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan had failed as a result of their interference.
"Unfortunately the armed groups failed to commit themselves. Also, the regional powers behind them, they are not committed. I mean Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are not committed to fulfil this item in the peace plan."
The comments add a worrying regional dimension to a conflict which is escalating.
The Iranians have already made it clear they will not allow regime change in Damascus.
Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar meanwhile are - according to diplomatic sources - now funnelling weapons to the rebels.
The two power blocs are jostling for influence in the region and some analysts argue Syria is now turning into a proxy war based on sectarian differences.
There does though appear to be no obvious end to the crisis.
President Bashar al Assad's forces are continuing to pummel districts in the southern and western outskirts of Aleppo.
His troops are attempting to dislodge the rebels who have taken control of a number of civilian areas.
Activists claim loyalist forces are using artillery and helicopter gunships in the attack.
The regime knows it is vital to win back the city if it is to survive.
Meanwhile, the number of refugees continues to grow.
The United Nations estimates more than 120,000 people have now been displaced to neighbouring countries by the fighting.