Harrier
© Reuters / Ahmed Jadallah
An AV-8B Harrier aircraft lakes off on the flight deck of USS Boxer in the Arabian Sea off Oman. July 17, 2019.
Washington's claim that it downed an Iranian drone is another sign that tensions in the Persian Gulf are at risk of spiraling into a bigger conflict, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov warned.

President Donald Trump had earlier claimed that the assault ship USS 'Boxer' shot down an Iranian drone that was approaching it in the Strait of Hormuz. Iran denied losing any aircraft that day.

"The concentration of forces of different countries in the Persian Gulf is so high that any incidents are possible there," the Russian diplomat told reporters on Friday, adding that the main task now is to "prevent the escalation."

"As we see once again, the situation... can lead to an outbreak of a conflict."

Ryabkov said that, despite calls to show restraint, Washington "stubbornly continues to follow the path of stoking tensions and maximum pressure on Tehran."

"This path is a mistake, and prone to cause further complications and shocks."

Last month, the Iranian military shot down a US drone it said had violated the nation's airspace. Washington said the drone was destroyed over international waters.