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Iranian and Russian Officials Blame US for Crisis

Analysts Weigh in With Risks and Highlights

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Posted on: 
18 Jul 2019 (All day)
Iranian and Russian Officials Blame US for Crisis
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif lashed out at the US on Wednesday, using the platform of the UN General Assembly to declare that Washington was engaged in "economic terrorism" against his country and has "shot itself in the foot" by withdrawing from the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov appeared to back up Moscow’s ally in Tehran by telling the Argumenty i Fakty media site in an interview published Wednesday that “The increased tensions in the region are a direct result of the anti-Iranian policy pursued by the US and some of its allies.”

“The US is flexing muscles, blames Iran for all sins. This creates a dangerous situation: it can only take one match to light a fire," Lavrov added, before addressing his own governments conduct in the region by saying that “relations with Iran, Israel, as well as other states of the Middle East are valuable to Russia. Our foreign policy is multi-pronged, we don't "ally" against anybody. We guide our partners towards peaceful solutions to problems.”

Meanwhile, CNN reported on Thursday that the Pentagon is sending an additional 500 troops to the Prince Sultan Air Base east of the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. Some defense analysts have speculated that the deployment is meant to prepare the base to service US aircraft should they be required to strike Iran.

Finally, Bahrain Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa announced on Wednesday that his country is preparing to host a conference of regional and world powers aimed at addressing Iranian threats to naval security in the Persian Gulf. On Thursday afternoon, reports emerged that Iranian troops had seized a foreign owned ship in the Persian Gulf.

Here is a video giving some analysis of the possible way forward in Iran