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BEIRUT Oct 11 The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah
movement, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, said on Tuesday the Middle
East was in a phase of escalating tension and there appeared to
be no prospect of a political solution to the war in Syria.
"The regional scene is currently one of tension and
escalation, and it does not appear that there are paths for
negotiations or solutions", he said in a rare live televised
speech before thousands of supporters in Beirut.
Speaking about Syria, where the Iran-backed group is
fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Nasrallah
said "the theatre was open to more tension, escalation and
However, large sections of his more than hour-long address,
marking Shi'ite Islam's annual Ashura commemorations, were spent
attacking Sunni power Saudi Arabia, the main regional rival of
Iran, mostly over its military campaign in Yemen.
Nasrallah said the Saudi leadership were pushing their
country to "the abyss" and accused Riyadh of being responsible
for an air strike on a Yemeni funeral in the capital Sanaa on
Saturday that killed scores of people.
Saudi Arabia, which backs Syrian rebels, earlier this year
marshalled other Arab states to denounce Hezbollah as a
terrorist group, part of Riyadh's efforts to contain Iran's
influence and reduce its ability to support Assad.
Hezbollah denies being involved in terrorism and Nasrallah
accused Saudi Arabia of supporting terrorism in his speech on
The thousands of Hezbollah supporters in the crowd, mostly
dressed in the traditional dark colours worn by Shi'ites at
Ashura, were shown repeatedly chanting "Death to the Al Saud",
Riyadh's ruling dynasty, while pumping their fists in the air.
(Reporting by Laila Bassam, Tom Perry and Angus McDowall;
editing by Ralph Boulton)