Russia Says US Is Trying To ‘Provoke War’ with Iran, Condemns Decision To Send More Troops


A Russian official warned against any attempts by the U.S. to “provoke war” with Iran on Tuesday, saying it should drop actions that would intentionally antagonize the Islamic Republic.

Hours after the U.S. announced plans to deploy 1,000 more troops to the Persian Gulf region, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russian news outlets the U.S. should refrain from “unthinking and reckless pumping up of tensions in an explosive region,” Reuters reported.

Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman earlier in June, which the U.S. blamed on Iran. The decision to send 1,000 more troops to Iran came from acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan on Monday in an attempt to combat “threats in the Middle East.”

President Donald Trump announced later Tuesday that Shanahan will not go forward with his confirmation process.

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“In response to a request from the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) for additional forces, and with the advice of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in consultation with the White House, I have authorized approximately 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East,” Shanahan said in a statement Monday.

Russia has repeatedly warned Washington and allies about attempts to instigate problems in regions such as Iran, and told reporters the decision to send more troops could only be seen as a way to provoke war, according to Reuters.

“Now what we see are unending and sustained U.S. attempts to crank up political, psychological, economic and, yes, military pressure on Iran in quite a provocative way, they (these actions) cannot be assessed as anything but a conscious course to provoke war,” Ryabkov said according to The Hill.

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If the U.S. does not want a war, it should begin reducing its military presence in the area, Ryabkov said.

Iran won’t “wage war” against the U.S. unless the U.S. attacked first, according to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, who also commented on the deployment of additional troops.

“Iran will not wage war against any nation,” Rouhani said Tuesday during a television speech, The Hill reported.

“Despite all of the Americans’ efforts in the region and their desire to cut off our ties with all of the world and their desire to keep Iran secluded, they have been unsuccessful.”

Iran denied allegations it was responsible for attacking the two oil tankers last week, although photo and video evidence surfaced suggesting otherwise.

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“The end of this battle will see victory of the Iranian nation,” Rouhani reportedly said.

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