Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah gestures as he addresses his supporters during a rare public appearance at an Ashura ceremony in Beirut's southern suburbs, Lebanon October 23, 2015. REUTERS/Khalil Hassan
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Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah Tuesday accused Saudi Arabia of putting the squeeze on Lebanon to end his party's criticisms of Saudi policy.Nasrallah rejected accusations that Riyadh's decision to halt $4 billion in military aid was motivated by positions taken by Hezbollah or Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, a party ally.Hezbollah and Bassil, the head of the Free Patriotic Movement, were merely scapegoats in Riyadh's strategy to silence dissenters, he added.He said if Saudi Arabia had a problem with Hezbollah to take it up with the party itself, and not target Lebanon, its people, army and Hezbollah's allies. Nasrallah said Saudi Arabia has been trying to pick a fight with Hezbollah since 2005, but that the party would not give in. It wasn't until Saudi Arabia launched its war in Yemen that Hezbollah could no longer be silent, he added. Saudi Arabia's execution of prominent Shiite Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in January aimed to ignite inter-Muslim conflict, he added.
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