The Hezbollah representative in Iran struck a defiant tone on Monday, warning that his militant group plans to widen its attacks on Israel until "no place" is safe for Israelis.
"We are going to make Israel not safe for Israelis. There will be no place they are safe," Hossein Safiadeen told a conference that included Tehran-based representative of the Palestinain group Hamas and the ambassadors from Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian Authority.
"You will see a new Middle East in the way of Hezbollah and Islam, not in the way of Rice and Israel," Safiadeen said.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a surprise visit to Beirut on Monday while en route to Israel.
Safiadeen reinforced earlier threats by Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah to widen their attacks, which have included unprecedented missile strikes deep into northern Israel.
The comments by Safiadeen reflected the deep opposition within Hezbollah to the efforts to broker a truce to halt the two-week fighting, including apparent attempts by Arab powers to pressure Syria into ending its support for Hezbollah and leave Iran as its lone major backer.
Safiadeen told the Associated Press he "had no news" about Syria considering withdrawing its support for Hezbollah, which touched off the crisis July 12 with a cross-border raid that captured two Israeli soldiers.
"We will expand attacks," he said, "The people who came to Israel, (they) moved there to live, not to die.