The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah has accused militants linked to Saudi Arabia of being responsible for a twin suicide bomb attack on the Iranian Embassy in Beirut that killed 25 people last month.

Hassan Nasrallah told Lebanese broadcaster OTV on Tuesday that the Al-Qaeda affiliate that claimed responsibility for the attacks, “has an emir and he is Saudi, and I am convinced that it is linked to the Saudi intelligence services, which direct groups like this one in several parts of the world”. 

The comments mark the first time that Hezbollah has openly accused Saudi Arabia and represent a major escalation in the Shia Muslim group’s rhetoric. Hezbollah and its backer Iran support Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, while Sunni Saudi Arabia backs rebel groups.

A day after the attack, Saudi Arabia condemned the “cowardly and terrorist” bombings.