August 1, 2019 / 12:58 PM / 4 months ago

Russia senses U.S. wants pretext for Persian Gulf conflict - RIA

FILE PHOTO: Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova listens during the annual news conference of the Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (not pictured) in Moscow, Russia January 16, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday it had the impression that the United States was looking for a pretext for conflict in the Persian Gulf, the RIA news agency reported.

“Events there are really moving to a dangerous point and there are risks of a large-scale military clash,” RIA cited foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying.

“In principle we have the sense that Washington is simply looking for a pretext to whip up the situation, continue its aggressive rhetoric towards Iran, and to shift to a hotter more active phase of the conflict.”

Zakharova told the same news briefing that a U.S. move to create a naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz looked like a crude attempt to pressure Iran.

Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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