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Rudy Giuliani: Syria is a total catch-22

Though President Barack Obama continues his drive to get congressional backing for a possible military strike on Syria, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told CNBC on Tuesday that strike or no strike, the entire conflict is a total catch-22.

"If we take out [Syrian President Bashir Assad], we may have a fundamentalist Islamic government there," Giuliani explained. "If we leave Assad, we have Iran's best friend standing up, creating kind of an access of Shiite power. We have somebody who would have withstood all of our anger, all of our threats and make him more powerful."

(Read more: Obama finds a very unlikely ally on Syria strikes)

To Giuliani, Syria is a national national security threat because of its ties to Iran.

"They [Iran] control Iraq. If they can control Syria, that's quite a large access of Shiite power, which is the reason Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel are so worried about allowing Assad to, you know, remain in power," Giuliani said.

Syria accepted a Russian proposal on Tuesday to give up chemical weapons and win a reprieve from U.S. military strikes, and major western powers began working on a United Nations resolution to create a timetable and process for ensuring it happens.

Giuliani expressed disappointment that Russian President Vladimir Putin initiated the negations instead of Obama. Such a development, he said, shows the U.S. has lost its leadership position in the world thanks to what he characterized as Obama's lack of leadership.

—By CNBC's Drew Sandholm. Follow him on Twitter @DrewSandholm.

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