Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on May 16. Photo: Pool via REUTERS
politics

Abe reportedly considering visit to Iran in mid-June

20 Comments

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering a visit to Iran as early as mid-June, NHK national television said on Friday, the first such trip in four decades, as global concern grows about rising tension between Iran and the United States.

Iran said the visit was unlikely in the near future.

The United States withdrew last year from a 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran, and is ratcheting up sanctions on the Middle East nation in efforts to strangle its economy by ending its international sales of crude oil.

Japan was a major buyer of Iranian oil for decades before the U.S. sanctions.

The report on plans for a visit by Abe comes a week after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Japan and met the prime minister and Foreign Minister Taro Kono.

NHK said Abe was likely to discuss his plan for a Tehran visit with U.S. President Donald Trump when the latter visits Japan from Saturday, and a final decision might rest on the results of that.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi was quoted as saying by state media that President Hassan Rouhani had invited Abe to Tehran "a while ago, and he replied he will visit at an appropriate time.

"Some published reports are far from reality and have no credibility," Mousavi added.

Asked about the state of preparations for such a visit, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also denied the NHK report.

Asked if it would figure in discussions with Trump, Suga said only that the talks would be "wide-ranging". He declined to comment directly on what Japan might be able to do, in the context of its good ties with both nations.

"Our country has traditionally had friendly relations with Iran," he said, adding that Japan hoped to be able to contribute to peace and stability in the Middle East.

No Japanese prime minister has visited Tehran since 1978, not long before the Shah of Iran was toppled by the Islamic Revolution.

During his visit to Japan, Zarif said Iran was committed to its obligations under the international nuclear deal despite the U.S. withdrawal from the landmark agreement. He called the reimposition of U.S. sanctions "unacceptable".

The Islamic Republic also denies the Trump administration's accusations of possible Iranian plots against the United States and its allies.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

20 Comments
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What timing, first he meets with the foreign minister, now playing with Trump, then going to go to Iran in a few weeks?

Can anyone say "errand boy" here? "Here Shinzo...fetch!"

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Unlikely or not, it's something I'd like to see. I hope he goes.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

You kiss up to Trump and then you want to visit Iran? Should have been reversed if he was really concerned about Japan's plight.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Diplomacy.

Iranians are some of the friendliest people in the world. I hope Japan can maintain ties with the country, as opposed to the regime.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Maybe Shinzo thinks he can act as a mediator between the US and Iran. I fear he would get played like a fiddle, but being the emperor for so long in Japan, his head has grown so large he thinks he can do anything.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Good thing he is meeting Trump first, co-ordinate those bombings so he isn't accidentally under one. Then he can change the constitution and put other Japanese under the bombs. Sounds perfectly reasonable.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Then Abe gets to meet with Xi with instructions from Trump. He’s like a US diplomat.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And anger Trump.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Abe is in a unique position to be the cool headed mediator guy on the world stage. Forget trump; deal maker Shinzo! What a chance to show the world who they are, the world they envision and what they represent. We all wait with baited breath. Big chances , big responsibility.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

First:

"Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering a visit to Iran as early as mid-June, NHK national television said on Friday"

Then:

"Iran said the visit was unlikely in the near future."

"Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi was quoted as saying by state media that President Hassan Rouhani had invited Abe to Tehran "a while ago, and he replied he will visit at an appropriate time.

"Some published reports are far from reality and have no credibility," Mousavi added.

Asked about the state of preparations for such a visit, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also denied the NHK report."

Looks like he's not going. Not in the near future, at least.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Pointless to meet with all the sanctions in place, there's literally no business which can be done.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why all the hate? If Abe can help mediate peace between Trump and Iran then that is a good thing in my book.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

help mediate peace between Trump and Iran

Lolololololololololoololololololol

Help? This right here is the joke of the week

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Why all the hate? If Abe can help mediate peace between Trump and Iran then that is a good thing in my book.

Abe cant even mediate the peace in his own backyard, why do you think he would between Trump and Iran?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan agreed with the Iran nuclear agreement and like the European countries didn't withdraw when Trump pulled America out of the Obama agreed deal. Was that more to do with Obama or Iran? This meeting would be a non starter while Trump and America, Saudi and Israel are all unwilling to shift from their very anchored positions.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is NO crisis between the US and Iran anymore than there is between the US or Mexico,

What? Sorry, you’re wrong on both of those statements.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/06/world/middleeast/us-iran-iraq-troops-.html

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/immigration/2019/03/27/border-patrol-chief-says-crisis-breaking-point-1000-migrants-cross-us-el-paso-monday-alone

or the US and Andorra. Dumpster won't listen to someone like Abe and he's being a punkish brat again - NK, Venezuela and now this.

So he should let Kim, Maduro walk all over him like Obama would ans just take it? Wrong President.

He drops bombs on an empty Syrian airfield, obeys Putin,

Obeys Putin?? Stop listening to Joy Behar and Rosie O’Donnell.

and says 'ISIL is defeated and the troops are leaving Syria' but they ain't! Then a concentration camp has his ugly mug on a mural with a quote about his imaginary 'war' with the Hispanics.

Apprehending close to a million illegals is far from imaginary, it’s a bloody nightmare!

He can't be trusted in anything no matter what anyone tells him.

That’s why the left will never get power, they refuse to even remotely calm down or even work with this President....too bad for them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

On the subject of Iran, since Trump declared that no one should buy their oil, the price of a gallon of gas here in California has gone up by about $1. That is a lot of money out the tailpipe, all because of one man's mistake.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

On the subject of Iran, since Trump declared that no one should buy their oil, the price of a gallon of gas here in California has gone up by about $1. That is a lot of money out the tailpipe, all because of one man's mistake.

Buy an electric car and you dont have to worry! Seriously though, dont blame the hikes all on Trump, opportunistic people raise the prices because of the "idea" not reality of any trouble.

The US is one of the largest EXPORTERS of oil in the world, so, if you want to blame anyone, blame the US system that sells it's products overseas, instead of letting "cheap" gas run at home!

As much as I dislike Trump, this one is not his fault!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe is on a mission to visit every country on the globe as PM while taxpayers pick up the tab.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Drlucifer* if the PM of my country was out there actively making personal relationships with world leaders, I would consider that a good thing. Especially if he was contributing to the national interests and maybe even representing a voice of quiet reason in an over charged easily triggered world. Of course the “no one in power can do anything good, we are all doomed” narrative is an easier story to buy for those that have given up on themselves and the world.

Take your pick innit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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