Russian Federation to Washington: Drop Middle East troop plan and stop provoking Iran

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

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

The Japanese government expressed concern on Tuesday over the United States' plans to deploy additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East following the recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. "They [the actions] can not be assessed as anything but a conscious course to provoke war", Ryabkov was quoted as saying. Shanahan added that the United States was not seeking a conflict with Iran and the additional forces were being sent to protect U.S. interests and personnel in the region. Washington previously tightened sanctions, ordering all countries and companies to halt imports of Iranian oil or be banished from the global financial system.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that Iran would not wage war against any nation and the Kremlin called for restraint from all sides.

Tensions between Tehran and Washington have escalated ever since the United States quit the nuclear deal and with Washington blacklisting Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization.

The 2015 nuclear deal with Iran aimed to head off any pathway to an Iranian nuclear bomb.

Rouhani said on Monday the collapse of the deal would not be in the interests of the region or the world and Russia's Ryabkov said Moscow had repeatedly warned Washington and its regional allies against the "unthinking and reckless pumping up of tensions in an explosive region". "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". "If Trump starts a war with Iran, he will have kept none of his promises and created an unimaginable disaster in the Middle East".

Tehran has denied all allegations, branding them "ridiculous" and "dangerous".

"United States does not seek conflict with Iran", Shanahan said, but he highlighted recent threatening behavior by the state terror sponsor that could endanger US forces.

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"In response to a request from the US Central Command 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", read a statement from acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.

USA officials said last month there was an increased threat from Iran-backed militias against US interests in Iraq, and the USA embassy in Baghdad evacuated hundreds of staff. He told Al Jazeera: "It's created to send a message, but this is nowhere near what you'd need for an invasion or a war".

Foreign Minister Wang Yi also urged Tehran to not abandon the nuclear agreement "so easily" after Iran said it would exceed its uranium stockpile limit if world powers fail to fulfil their commitments under the agreement in 10 days.

The 2015 accord caps Iran's stock of low-enriched uranium at 300kg enriched to 3.67 percent, well below the weapons-grade level of about 90 percent.

"The move will be reversed once other parties fulfill their commitments", he said.

Iran has threatened to go even further in scaling down nuclear commitments by July 8 unless remaining partners to the deal - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation - help it circumvent United States sanctions and especially enable it to sell its oil.

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