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Moscow Slams US Over Escalating Tensions With Iran Through New Deployments to Middle East

© Flickr / DAVID HOLTStatue of Liberty
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SOCHI (Sputnik) - Russia regrets that the United States continues pursuing the policy of stirring up confrontation with Iran and asserting its military might, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Thursday, commenting on new US deployments to the Middle East.

"We can only regret that there is no sign of abandoning the policy of stirring up confrontation. The United States is flexing its muscles and demonstrating its readiness to put pressure on Iran, which a country that has over the past years been strictly abiding with its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and still technically remains in this agreement", Ryabkov told reporters.

The deputy foreign minister expressed hope that US military buildup in the Persian Gulf region would not become a "spark able to produce fire."

"Destabilization is extremely dangerous, especially in this region. Everyone who has a way too easy and irresponsible approach to such steps should stop until it is too late, show common sense and pay attention to the arguments of responsible global players, including Russia", Ryakov added.

Ryabkov slammed the United States for failing to particularise its offer to sign an agreement that would cover a wider range of issues than the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Ryabkov recalled that when US President Donald Trump announced over one year ago that Washington would withdraw from the JCPOA, the US leader suggested working on a broader deal, which would focus on other matters apart from the Iranian nuclear program.

"A year has passed but nothing has been particularised, no offers have been made. Nothing has followed, except for declarations and verbal impulses in favour of some new process", Ryabkov said.

The United States has in recent weeks stepped up its forces in the Middle East, deploying there an aircraft strike group, B-52 bombers, F-15 fighters and Patriot missiles, amid tensions with Iran. In addition to that, acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Monday that the United States would send 1,000 additional troops to Iran. A battalion of Patriot missiles, reconnaissance fighters and mission support aircraft will complement this deployment.

The increased US military presence in the Middle East comes against the backdrop of the recent controversies that sent the US-Iran relations spiralling down to a new low. A US military drone has been reportedly shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz, which a US official source later confirmed.

Moreover, tensions in the Gulf area flared over the past week as a number of oil tankers from various nations have been attacked in the region which prompted Washington to accuse Iran of the wrongdoings. Tehran vehemently denied all the allegations.

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