Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has arrived in Tehran to mediate between Iran and the US in the first-ever visit of a Japanese premier to Tehran since 1979.
He will hold talks with President Hassan Rouhani later today, and with Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Thursday.
Hours ahead of Abe’s arrival, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Japanese Counterpart Taro Kano sat for talks in Tehran.
During the first round of the meeting, the Iranian foreign minister welcomed Kano and his accompanying delegation. He then referred to the longtime and 90-year-old diplomatic ties between Iran and Japan and described Tokyo as Iran’s good and friendly partner in political, economic and cultural areas.
Zarif also referred to the economic war and terrorism waged by the US against the Iranian nation and said, “The Americans have launched an economic war against our nation. We’re also faced with their hatemongering and propaganda campaign on a daily basis.”
He went on to say that amid the current difficult situation, Iran will seek new ways to promote the Iranians’ welfare, including by revising its financial policies and budget, making them less dependent on oil revenues.
For his part, Japan’s top diplomat expressed satisfaction with his presence in Iran and the warm welcome his delegation received upon arriving in Tehran, and said Abe is visiting Iran as a historical and friendly country.
“Iran is a significant country in the region and we believe that the more secure the region is, the more interests all regional countries will gain. Otherwise, we all will lose,” he said.
Cano also expressed his country’s interest in contributing to efforts to lessen regional tensions.