Washington: The United States has said there is no evidence that Tehran is playing a constructive role in Syria, insisting the Iranian behaviour in the country is "destructive."

In fact all indications are quite the contrary, a top Obama aide said.

"I think there is no evidence that Iran has been playing a constructive role in Syria – in fact, quite to the contrary. There's vast evidence that demonstrates that Iran has been engaged in an effort to prop up Assad as he brutally murders his own people," the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters travelling with the US President on Air Force One in Colorado.

India had sent a low level diplomat to attend the international meet on Syria convened by Iran, at the end of which the Iranian Foreign Minister urged the Syrian rebels to hold talks with President Assad.

The State Department was however more vocal in its criticism of the Iranian role in Syria.

"We think the Iranian behaviour in Syria is destructive. It's just hard for us to imagine that a country putting so much effort into keeping Assad in power, to helping him, stage manage this repression on the people of Syria – it's just hard to imagine how they could be a constructive actor in facilitating a political solution to the crisis in Syria," the State Department spokesman, Patrick Ventrell, told reporters at his daily news conference.

"We have heard of 78 more people killed across Syria. One hundred and sixty-two were reported killed on Thursday. And we just think that it's unconscionable that the government would use fighter jets, artillery, tanks, and helicopters to bombard towns and cities under the rubric of protecting them.

Nor do we see how they possibly can justify closing hospitals and hindering humanitarian access, which is what the regime is clearly doing now," he said.

"What I would say about the broader issue though of momentum is that despite this onslaught, we think that the army is increasingly overstretched. We think that the economy is under increasing strain. We think the rebels are getting stronger.

So they may tactically retreat from neighbourhoods here or there, but the broader trend line is that the opposition continues to gain strength as they hold large swaths of territory in the north," the spokesman said.

(Agencies)

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