McCain: Iranians 'already supplying' arms to Syrian government

"The Iranians are already there. They're already there. All reports confirm that," said McCain on CBS News Monday. "They're already supplying arms and equipment to Bashar al-Assad, as are the Russians supplying arms."

McCain, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), both of whom serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, has urged that the United States arm rebel forces in Syria as the government continues a bloody crackdown on the protests that have engulfed the nation.

"Right now it's an asymmetric situation with Bashar al-Assad receiving equipment and actual physical help from Iran, Russia, and the Syrian rebels not receiving equal assistance, or certainly not very much," McCain said Monday. 

McCain and Graham, who were in Afghanistan as part of a larger tour through the Middle East, argue that arming rebel fighters in the country could help counter Iranian influence in the region.

McCain has been outspoken in his calls to consider providing aid and arms to the Syrian opposition. The former presidential contender sent a letter last week to Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) calling for a hearing on military options in the country. 

“All options must now be on the table to stop the bloodletting in Syria,” McCain wrote. “It is incumbent on the committee to lead a frank and open debate about the merits of the various options at our disposal.”