Russia’s foreign minister on Monday said U.S. plans to send 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East would lead to increased risks of conflict, and he voiced the hope that “sensible voices” arguing against “war against Iran” will be heeded.

Pentagon officials are stressing that deployment of the 1,500 troops is a defensive and deterrent measure, and that the U.S. does not seek conflict with Iran.

But Sergei Lavrov, speaking alongside his visiting Cuban counterpart in Moscow, took a different view.

“Risks always grow with the buildup of military potential,” he said. “I hope that sensible voices that come from Washington, including statements by former military leaders, politicians and diplomats on the recklessness of the idea of war against Iran, will be heard.”

Lavrov expressed optimism that that would be the case, adding that “not all U.S. administration officials are obsessed with aggression.”

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