Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused the United States of destabilizing the world, airing a list of grievances over the Trump administration's foreign policy.
Lavrov dedicated the opening of his annual press conference Monday to castigating the U.S., which is expected to soon issue a fresh round of sanctions against Russia over its interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Russia has long denied meddling in the vote.
Lavrov criticized the U.S. for issuing regular "threats" in relation to events in North Korea and Iran that had "further destabilized" the global situation.
He did not mention President Donald Trump by name, but the U.S. president has issued stern threats to North Korea and Iran, sending a series of fiery Twitter posts attacking the leadership in both nations.
Trump has openly ridiculed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Twitter over Pyongyang's missile and nuclear testing and threatened military intervention. He recently lambasted the Iranian leadership for being repressive, "brutal and corrupt," and supported anti-government protesters challenging the government in six days of rallies.
Lavrov accused the U.S. of provoking tensions on the Korean peninsula.
"The United States quite plainly says that the military confrontation is inevitable, however, everyone understands the catastrophic consequences of such recklessness," he said.
He also criticized the U.S. for expanding its military exercises around North Korea, "which provoked a new escalation of tensions," while others were working through diplomatic channels to resume talks with Pyongyang.
Lavrov warns US on Iran deal
Lavrov warned the U.S. not to back out of the Iran nuclear deal. Trump had vowed to tear up the 2015 agreement, brokered by the Obama administration, alongside several European allies, Russia and China. The deal obliges Iran to restrict its nuclear program in exchange for eased sanctions.
Trump signed a waiver on Iran sanctions Friday under the deal but signaled that he would not do so again. He has been under pressure from foreign allies and, according to U.S. officials, his own national security team to stick to the deal.
The day he signed the waiver, however, Trump also announced new separate sanctions on 14 Iranian individuals and entities, in a move that has rattled Tehran.
Lavrov said that U.S. threats to walk away from the deal would undermine any future agreement with North Korea.
"It's sad that United States once again gives a reason to doubt their ability to be reliable contract partners," he said.
"And if this agreement is being taken aside and Iran is being told --- you stay within the frame of agreements but we will return the sanctions -- well, put yourself in place North Korea's place. They are being promised that sanctions will be lifted if they say no to their nuclear program, what if they do it but sanctions are still there?"
U.S. officials have not publicly responded to Lavrov's comments.
This BBSNews article originally appeared on News | WPLG.