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Diplomats and others who still believe there might be a way to bring some sort of orderly resolution to the current crisis in Syria surely will have to rethink their positions following a series of events on Tuesday. Despite months of maneuvering and discussions by world leaders, President Bashar Assad shows no sign of conceding to political reformers intent on bringing more representative government to his nation. If anything, the Syrian leader seems determined to retain power despite mounting pressures for him to make concessions.

Assad hasn't budged in months, and there's no indication he will. He, or the officials behind him, believes he can continue to rule. A senior Obama official said Tuesday that a recent visit by the commander of Iran's elite Quds force to Damascus is a sign that Iran is supplying many of the weapons Assad needs to retain power. That's not a surprise. Iran, fearful of the influence Assad's fall might have on Iranian dissidents, has publicly backed Assad since the uprisings began.

Its support of Syria's regime is another way for Iran to challenge the United States, which continues to advocate stricter sanctions against Iran as long as that nation pursues a nuclear weapons program. The support of Assad contradicts the U.S. call for regime change in Syria, and goes hand-in-hand with Iran's threat to block vital oil routes through the Strait of Hormuz. The United States has publicly warned Iran not to take such a step.

Also on Tuesday, Syrian officials rejected any plan by neighboring states to send Arab troops to their country. Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the leader of Qatar, was quoted Sunday as saying that Arab troops should be sent there to stop the violence. It's the first time an Arab leader has made such a statement, and it signals growing frustration with Assad in the Mideast diplomatic community.

Assad has rejected all calls for reform. He's also effectively diminished the role of Arab League observers sent to Syria to help restore order. He continues to wage war against his own people. On Tuesday, activists reported that at least 30 people had been killed across the country, though confirmation of that number is difficult since travel by the press is forbidden within Syria. Whatever the number, Tuesday's deaths add to a ghastly toll.

A United Nations spokesman says about 400 people have been killed in Syria in the last three weeks. That's in addition to about 5,000 killed since March. The Syrian government, of course, denies it is fighting those seeking political freedom; it says it is trying end a terrorist-inspired insurrection. Given growing evidence to the contrary, only Assad's sycophants believe that.

Assad's continued intransigence, confirmation of Iran's support for him, and the first suggestion of Arab intervention in Syria further snarl an already complicated situation. Additional moves from the United States and other nations are required to bring stability to Syria, but they must be implemented carefully. The risks are already high of civil war in Syria, convulsions in the oil markets and global diplomatic and economic distress.

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