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“All of our efforts up to now have led to failures,” he said. “We have not managed to change the situation.”

Neither Russia nor China, which have vetoed three Western-backed resolutions aimed at pressuring Assad to end the violence and enter negotiations on a political transition, were invited to Friday’s meeting.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov — who was to address the General Assembly on Friday — has accused the U.S. and other countries of encouraging terrorism in their stance on Syria.

However, Clinton told the meeting that the greatest threat to Syria, other than the Assad regime itself was Iran.

“Let’s be very frank here,” she said. “The regime’s most important lifeline is Iran.”

“There is no longer any doubt that Tehran will do whatever it takes to protect its proxy and crony in Damascus. Iran will do everything it can to evade international sanctions,” Clinton said. She urged Syria’s neighbors to take extra steps to ensure that Iran is not smuggling weapons and materiel into Syria through their airspace or territory.

Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report from Washington.