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Why Russia is planning Iran war games

Russia has reportedly ordered the military to plan war games to deal with potential spillover from a US-Iran conflict.

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Russian servicemen walk during an operation to search for unexploded military shells, which were used during previous military war games, at the 'Lyaur' firing ground of Russia's military base number 201 outside Dushanbe, in Tajikistan, Tuesday.

Nozim Kalandarov/Reuters

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As tensions ratchet up in the Persian Gulf, the Kremlin is signaling that it will use all its diplomatic influence to oppose war and, according to a leading Moscow newspaper, has ordered the military to prepare for any possible spillover from a conflict between Iran and the US into the sensitive post-Soviet Caucasus region.

Russia will block any further sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council, a Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday, because it believes rising tensions could trigger a conflict that would destabilize the wider region. Last week Russian deputy prime minister and former ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin warned that any Western attack on Iran would constitute "a direct threat to [Russian] national security."

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