Russia‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday it had the impression that the United States was looking for a pretext for conflict in the Persian Gulf, the state-run RIA news agency reported.

“Events there are really moving to a dangerous point and there are risks of a large-scale military clash,” RIA cited Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying.

“In principle we have the sense that Washington is simply looking for a pretext to whip up the situation, continue its aggressive rhetoric towards Iran, and to shift to a hotter more active phase of the conflict.”

Zakharova told the same news briefing that a U.S. move to create a naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz looked like a crude attempt to pressure Iran.