0434 GMT January 23, 2020
"We have been suggesting to the [Persian] Gulf countries to think about collective security mechanisms ... starting with confidence-building measures and inviting each other to military exercises," Lavrov told a security conference in Delhi, according to Reuters.
Tensions in the Persian Gulf have risen following the recent US assassination of Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani and a retaliatory missile attack by Iran on US bases in Iraq.
"Since I mentioned about Persian Gulf, we are very much concerned about what is going in there," Lavrov said.
Tensions have been running high between the US and Iran since Washington’s decision in May last year to abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Tehran as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at forcing it to renegotiate a new deal that addresses its ballistic missile program and regional influence as well.
The Russian foreign minister said unilateral sanctions were a problem in today's world.
"So the 21st century is the time when we must get rid of any methods of dealing in international relations which smack of colonial and neo-colonial times. And sanctions, unilaterally imposed sanctions, they are not going to work."
Tensions between Iran and the US deteriorated after Iran shot down a US surveillance drone on June 20 following its violation of Iranian airspace.
Several oil tankers were also targeted near the Persian Gulf, with Washington and its ally Saudi Arabia quickly blaming Iran for the suspicious attacks.
Tehran rejected the accusations of its involvement as baseless, saying the incidents in the Sea of Oman appeared to be false flags meant to frame the Islamic Republic.
The United States has engaged in significant regional military buildup, including by sending an aircraft carrier, a bomber task force, an assault ship, and thousands of additional forces to the Middle East.
Tehran has time and again said that it does not seek military confrontations with the United States, yet stands ready to defend its interests in the region.