Russian government Tuesday accused the Trump administration of attempting to provoke a war with Iran, calling recent U.S. actions in the Middle East “reckless.”
“For quite a while, we have been witnessing the United States’ continuous attempts to increase political, psychological, economic and military pressure on Iran. I think that such actions are rather provocative and cannot be considered as anything other than a deliberate policy to instigate a war,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov reportedly told Russian news agencies, adding that the U.S. should reduce its military presence in the region if it truly does not seek war.
“We would prefer not to see any steps that could introduce additional tensions in the already unstable region,” he tells journalists.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that Iran 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.”
“We call on all parties to remain rational and restrained, not to take any actions to provoke the escalation of tension in the region, and not to open a Pandora’s box,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi had told reporters in Beijing Tuesday.
“In particular, the United States should change its practice of extreme pressure,” he said. Wang also urged Iran to “make prudent decisions” and not “so easily abandon” the 2015 deal.