A prominent Iranian lawmaker has criticized the training of some Syrian rebels by the United States and its allies, calling it a "strategic mistake."

The U.S. program to train Syria's moderate rebels began earlier this month in Jordan and is scheduled to expand to Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Iranian parliament member Alaeddin Boroujerdi said during a visit to Damascus on Thursday that the program is the "hated and despicable" face of what he called training and empowering "terrorists" — a term the Syrian government uses for rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Boroujerdi reaffirmed Iran's support for Assad's government, saying it's "stable and permanent."

He also lashed out at Saudi Arabia for its military campaign against Yemen's Iran-backed Shiite rebels. He called the Saudi monarch a "traitor."