Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Moscow had repeatedly warned Washington and its regional allies about the “unthinking and reckless pumping up of tensions in an explosive region”, Presstv Reported.
“Now what we see are unending and sustained US attempts to crank up political, psychological, economic and yes military pressure on Iran in quite a provocative way. They (such actions) cannot be assessed as anything but a conscious course to provoke war,” he added.
“If that’s the case, the US should refrain from further reinforcement of its presence and from other steps, including dragging and pushing its allies in various parts of the world into stepping up pressure on Iran,” Ryabkov said.
The United States has recently taken a quasi-warlike posture against Iran. The Pentagon announced on Monday that the US will send 1,000 additional US forces and more military resources to the Middle East.
Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan made the announcement, asserting that the deployment had “defensive purposes.”
His comments came a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Washington does not want to go to war with Tehran, while falsely accusing Iran again for the attacks on two oil tankers in the Sea of Oman last week.
Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan made the announcement, claiming that the deployment had “defensive purposes.”
His comments came a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Washington does not want to go to war with Tehran, while falsely accusing Iran again for last weeks’ attacks on two oil tankers in the Sea of Oman last week.
In response to such US claims, Ryabkov said if Washington did not want war, it had to show it.
“If that’s really how it is then the US should step back from reinforcing its military presence,” the senior Russian diplomat added.
Tehran has time and again said that it does not seek military confrontations with the United States, yet it stands ready to defend its interests in the region.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday reaffirmed that Tehran does not seek war with any state, but stressed that the Iranian nation will be the ultimate winner of any warfare against the Islamic Republic.
All sides must show restraint: Kremlin
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday called for restraint to avoid the escalation of tensions in the Middle East.
“We are urging all the sides to show restraint,” Peskov told journalists. “We would prefer not to see any steps that could introduce additional tensions in the already unstable region.”
The United States remarkably stoked tensions with Iran in May 2018 when the US president pulled his country out of a 2015 multinational nuclear deal with Tehran, and re-imposed harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticisms.
The tensions saw a sharp rise on the first anniversary of Washington’s exit from the deal as the US moved to ratchet up the pressure on Iran by tightening its oil sanctions and deploying reinforcements to the Middle East, including an aircraft carrier strike group, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles.
The US’s recent military moves have sparked global concerns that the Trump administration was contemplating military aggression against Iran.