1 Aug 2019 18:16

Coalition U.S. is building in Gulf area designed to pressure Iran - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. Aug 1 (Interfax) - The international marine coalition that the United States is building is in fact designed not to maintain peace in the Persian Gulf but to put forcible pressure on Iran, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said.

"This so-called marine coalition is designed not for maintaining peace but rather for putting forcible pressure on Iran. And, unfortunately, as we understand it, the United States of America is playing first fiddle here," Zakharova said.

Russia is worried to witness the significant growth in the conflict potential in the Gulf area, Zakharova said. "The events are moving toward a dangerous line and are fraught with the danger of a major military conflict," she said.

The U.S. is deliberately fomenting tensions and increasing its military presence in the Gulf on the pretext of enforcing freedom of navigation, she said.

"In doing so, it is involving other countries, even those located far away from this region, in its provocative designs. As you see, they are actively building a so-called naval coalition - this is a favorite trick of the past several years, I mean forming not some forces to promote peace and stability on an international legal basis, but creating some coalitions whose mandate is not practically determined and which don't have any legitimate rights and duties. They simply act based on vested interests of a certain group of countries," Zakharova said.

"Before the U.S. unilateral withdrawal from the agreements on ensuring the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program, both navigation and oil traffic through the Strait of Hormuz were stable and calm," she said.

"But something went wrong," she said.