Morteza Rahmani Movahed told Iran’s Labour News Agency (ILNA) that Tehran and Tokyo already had enough shared interests to get to during Abe’s visit but a “third country” was affecting bilateral ties.
He said Japan relied on Persian Gulf for 80 percent of its fossil fuel imports it was only natural that it would react to tensions in the region.
“Of course Japan, in order to protect its interests, will use all its potentials to resolve issues and bring stability back to the region,” he said.
That’s why, Movahed argued, Tokyo is keen to use it closeness to both the US and Iran as the basis for its de-escalation plan.
However, the Iranian envoy noted that if the Japanese premiere has made it a mission for himself to take a mediatory role then he should first ask US President Donald Trump to give him more freedom.
He said, “If Japan is for different reasons interested in doing this then it must have the necessary powers from the party that has asked it to do the job,” he said. “Even though it has not asked for it, the he Islamic Republic will hear the ideas of an old friend.”
One way Japan can help resolve the tensions is if it uses its influence to persuade the Trump administration rejoin the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, after it left the agreement in May 2018, Movahed argued.
Back then, according to Movahed, Japan lashed out at Washington’s decision and now it might be able to help compensate the losses Iran sustained as a result of the US departure.
Moreover, countries like Japan cannot accept Washington’s use of sanctions against others and hopefully will try as a key aspect of the trip to convince the US to drop this and other policies that “run against international norms”, said the ambassador.
Movahed said many Iranian and Japanese firms had signed agreements to work together after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of action was signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.
However, those agreements are now put on halt because of US sanctions.
“Due to the widespread connections that Japanese and American companies have and the way they are intertwined, Japanese firms’ risk-taking is at its lowest level,” Movahed added.