TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov criticized the US for "purposefully" seeking to escalate tensions with Iran, warning that the situation is very alarming.
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"The situation is very alarming. We can see that that in fact, the risk of a direct conflict has risen to such an extent that it is getting harder to predict future developments," the senior Russian diplomat told reporters on Thursday.
"The reason is clear: Washington purposefully seeks to raise tensions (with Iran)," Ryabkov added.
The US has ratcheted up pressure on Iran since last year after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Since then, the administration of US President Donald Trump is trying to reduce Iran's oil exports to "zero," and has sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber squad, an amphibious assault ship, and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East to try to stack up pressure on Tehran.
Iranian officials, however, have dismissed such moves as psychological warfare, saying the country has its own ways of circumventing the American bans and selling crude oil.
They also maintain that the enemy would not dare to launch a military confrontation with Iran.
In a speech back in May, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei underlined that there will be no military confrontation between Iran and the US as Washington is aware that it won't be in its interest, adding that negotiation with the US is not on the Islamic Republic's agenda either.
"The Iranian nation's definite option will be resistance in the face of the US, and in this confrontation, the US would be forced into a retreat," Ayatollah Khamenei said. "Neither we nor they, who know war will not be in their interest, are after war."