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Senior Russian diplomat says US, Iran are on the brink of war

The Russian deputy foreign minister commented on reports that Donald Trump had ordered but later canceled strikes on Iran

SOCHI, June 21. /TASS/. The United States and Iran are on the brink of war, which creates a very dangerous situation, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, commenting on a New York Times report claiming that US President Donald Trump "approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them."

"Judging by available information, the situation is clearly very dangerous. I would say it is like being on the brink of war," he pointed out.

In Ryabkov’s view, the fact that the US is not just considering the possibility of using force but is ready to make a decision confirms that the "US is pushing the situation towards the abyss of a conflict, no matter how hard the Pentagon tries to prove that it isn’t so." "It seems to me they don’t quite get us. They are saying Russia seeks to expand its influence, while they should consider the contents of our message, which calls for searching for a political way out of the crisis," the Russian deputy foreign minister emphasized.

On Thursday, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps claimed to have downed a US drone over the country’s southern Hormozgan Province. US Central Command Spokesperson Bill Urban, in turn, said that the unmanned aerial vehicle had been flying in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.

On June 13, two oil tankers caught fire following an alleged attack in the Gulf of Oman. The crew members of Japan’s Kokuka Courageous tanker were rescued by the USS Bainbridge destroyer, while Iranian border guards took the crew of the Norway’s Front Altair tanker, which included Russian nationals, to the port of Jask. The US and Saudi Arabia blamed the incident on Iran, who denied all accusations.