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Japan's Abe departs for Tehran to ease US-Iran tensions

IANS  |  Tokyo 

Japanese Shinzo departed on Wednesday for a two-day trip to Iran, during which he will try to help diffuse rising tensions in the between and

Prior to the Japanese leader's departure from Tokyo's Haneda airport, said he wanted to exchange candid views while in and help ease rising tensions, reported.

"To ease tensions, I'd like to have a frank exchange of views," told reporters at the airport.

During his visit, Abe is slated to meet with Iran's Ayatollah and and intends to try and urge to stick to an international nuclear accord inked in 2015 between and six major powers, including the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and

US Donald Trump, however, has since pulled the out of the international nuclear deal and restored sanctions against that were scraped under the 2015 deal, leading to a backlash from and it opting to suspend some of its commitments under the deal.

The US sending a carrier strike force, bombers and armed troops to the Gulf, after Iran said it plans to keep more enriched uranium than is permitted under the pact, has contributed to rising tensions in the region.

Prior to this, the US said it would on May 2 end waivers granted since November that have been applicable to certain countries including resource-poor to import from Iran.

The Japanese believes he can help de-escalate the situation as has friendly ties with both and Tehran.

Abe's high-stakes, yet symbolic visit to Iran will mark the first visit to be made a Japanese to Iran since in 1978.

In light of the escalating tensions in the region, Abe will seek to use the summit-level talks to try and urge Iran to exercise restraint and engage in dialogue as the US. has voiced its openness to hold further talks.

Abe garnered the support of Trump to try and help mediate the situation with Iran while the US leader was here for a state visit recently.

Last month, formally expressed its concern over the mounting tensions in the in hastily convened talks in held between Abe and Iran's

Abe, at the time, said the issue was becoming increasingly more tense, but maintained that Japan wanted to continue to develop amicable ties with Iran.

Japan, who maintains friendly ties with Iran, relies on its Middle Eastern partner for 5 per cent of its total crude imports, due to favourable prices.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 12 2019. 08:24 IST