Iran Hopes Japan PM Helps Calm Mideast Tensions in Tehran Visit

'Iran-Japan Ties Enhanced More Than Ever During Abe’s Tenure'

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi has expressed hope that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will help reduce tensions in the Middle East region during his visit to Tehran later this month.

Araqchi told Japan’s NHK TV channel on Tuesday that Abe might be able to speak sense into American officials and make them understand the dangers of the ongoing situation in the Middle East.

The administration of US President Donald Trump has been ratcheting up tensions by sending military reinforcements to the region to defend its interests against what it calls a “threat” from Iran.

Araqchi welcomed Abe’s visit and said he would be meeting with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and the country’s senior officials during his stay between July 12 and 14.

Abe will be the first Japanese premier to visit Tehran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The last Japanese PM to make the trip was Takeo Fukuda who made a stop at the Iranian capital in 1978.

Abe met the Iranian president on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2018.

Earlier this month, he hosted Trump in Tokyo. Iran was one of the main issues the two leaders discussed in their meetings.

Trump said he was open to the idea of having Abe act as a mediator between Washington and Tehran.

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