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US, UK escalate tensions in Persian Gulf, says Russian embassy

The embassy noted that for many years, Russia has supported a diplomatic approach to overcoming crises in the region

LONDON, August 17. /TASS/. The increase in pressure on Iran from the side of the US and the UK will escalate tensions in the Persian Gulf, the Russian Embassy in London stated on Friday.

"We are confident that an increase in pressure from the US on Iran with the support of the UK, namely by forming the so-called "mission on guaranteeing freedom of navigation" will only facilitate the escalation of tensions in the Persian Gulf," the message by the embassy informed.

The embassy noted that for many years, "Russia has supported a diplomatic approach to overcoming crises in the region." "We think that this can only be achieved by creating an inclusive system of regional security. In this regard, an optimal mechanism may be the Concept of Collective Security in the Persian Gulf, developed by us back in 2004 and updated in accordance with the latest trends. The document supposes stage-by-stage progress based on equal cooperation of all regional powers and other interested parties on the way to unblocking conflict situations, developing measures of trust and control and, finally, forming a wholesome mechanism of collective security and cooperation in the region," the message stressed.

The Russian diplomats added that they had acquainted the British side with the concept, stressing that Russia is ready to discuss this topic with all interested partners.

The situation in the Persian Gulf sharply deteriorated on June 13 when blasts and fires occurred onboard two tankers in the Gulf of Oman after a suspected attack. Washington pointed the finger at Iran for the attacks, supported by the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, while Tehran denied the accusations.

In late June, the US Department of State announced that Washington was creating a coalition to ensure the freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf region. On July 23, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested that countries from various regions should join the international coalition. The same day the reports emerged that Germany, France and the UK were in talks to establish their own mission to protect the maritime navigation in the Persian Gulf. On July 31, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced that Germany would forego participation in Washington-initiated coalition. On August 6, Israel confirmed its readiness to join the coalition.