Iran's foreign ministry accused Israel of carrying out deadly double blasts outside the Islamic republic's embassy in Beirut that killed one of its diplomats.
Two explosions targeting the Iranian embassy in Beirut have killed 23 people, injured 146 people and damaged buildings around the embassy compound, Lebanon's Health Minister said.
The bombings were "an inhuman crime and spiteful act done by Zionists and their mercenaries," ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said in remarks carried by the official IRNA news agency.
She also confirmed that one diplomat was killed in the bombings. Iranian media has identified the diplomat as the cultural attache at the Iranian embassy, Ebrahim Ansari.
The explosions occurred in the Bir Hassan neighbourhood, a stronghold of the Shiite movement Hezbollah, which has already seen its bastions in southern Beirut targeted with blasts twice this year.
The Zahraa hospital nearby told AFP that it had received the bodies of five people and was treating at least 35 others for wounds.
Lebanese media broadcast harrowing images from the scene of the blast, with charred bodies on a street lined by blazing cars and strewn with the rubble.
Cars and trees were blackened, and men hurriedly carried the wounded away from the scene on stretchers.
Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in war-hit Syria, has seen its strongholds in southern Beirut targeted twice by car bombs this year.
The blasts, on July 9 and August 15, killed 27 people.
Tensions in Lebanon over the conflict in Syria have been rising, with Hezbollah's involvement criticised by many Sunni Lebanese who back the Sunni-dominated uprising against Assad.
Images of the scene have been posted on Twitter.