Russia warns US is trying to 'provoke war' with Iran

Russia warns US is trying to 'provoke war' with Iran
© Getty Images

Russia's government on Tuesday accused the Trump administration of attempting to provoke a war with Iran, calling recent U.S. actions in the Middle East "reckless."

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russian news agencies that the U.S. should cease actions in the region that he said were meant to antagonize Iranian forces, according to Reuters. His comments were made just hours after the U.S. announced the deployment of 1,000 more troops to the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 reportedly said, adding that the U.S. should reduce its military presence in the region if it truly does not seek war.

Ryabkov's comments came amid others from Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, who said Tuesday that his country would not wage war against the U.S. unless it was attacked first.

“Iran will not wage war against any nation,” Rouhani said Tuesday in a televised speech, according to news outlets. “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.”

“The entire Iranian nation is unanimous in confronting” the U.S. in the Middle East, Rouhani reportedly continued. “The end of this battle will see victory of the Iranian nation.”

The Trump administration announced Monday that it would deploy about 1,000 troops for defensive purposes to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran, the second such deployment of U.S forces in recent weeks.

U.S. officials have also blamed Iran for the recent destruction of two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, a charge which Iran has strongly denied.