Russian FM: US has no plans for war against Iran

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday that US officials assured him in meetings in Washington this week that the United States does not have plans to launch military action against Iran, Russian news agencies reported. Lavrov, who returned to Moscow on Saturday from meetings with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and others, said he discussed the United States' plans to send additional forces to Iraq and neighboring areas. "The American side assured us that they have no plans for war against Iran and that the additional presence of forces and equipment in the Persian Gulf region is aimed at stabilizing the situation," the ITAR-Tass and RIA-Novosti news agencies quoted him as saying. In addition to the deployment of 21,500 more American soldiers to Iraq, the US Navy is building up forces in the Middle East, prompting concern in Iran, which is already locked in a standoff with the US and Europe over its nuclear program.