MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kremlin, asked on Tuesday about potential U.S. strikes on Iranian interests, said tensions in the Middle East were high and that steps were needed to de-escalate rather than destabilise the wider region.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday vowed the U.S. would take “all necessary actions” to defend its troops after a deadly drone attack in Jordan by Iran-backed militants, even as President Joe Biden’s administration stressed it was not seeking a war with Iran.
“We do not welcome any actions that lead to destabilisation in the region and increase tensions, especially against the backdrop of the excessive potential for conflict,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“We will not welcome the continuation of such actions, regardless of who they come from. The level of tension is high now and we need to take steps to de-escalate. This is what will prevent the conflict from spreading.”
Russia enjoys increasingly close ties with Iran at a time when its ties with the United States are at their lowest level since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis over what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
(Reporting by Dmitry Antonov; Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Mark Trevelyan, William Maclean)