Japan PM Abe, Iran’ Rouhani hold diplomatic meeting to deescalate US tensions

Tehran, June 13: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has on Wednesday held talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, during a rare diplomatic meeting aimed at de-escalating frictions between the Islamic Republic and the United States.

According to Dawn news reports, Abe, who marked the presence of first Japan’s PM in Iran in more than four decades, was received at the Sadabad presidential palace by Rouhani where both the leaders began their closed-door diplomatic mission, as per a reporter.

Abe was expected to meet with Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei early on Thursday morning.

The visit has come amidst rising tensions between the US and Iran, and a year after President Donald Trump pulled America out of a landmark international deal, INF treaty, which aimed to curb Iran’s nuclear programme in return of sanctions relief.

Iranian officials have on Wednesday said Tehran will ask Japan for its assistance in mediating talks between Iran and the United States in order to ease oil sanctions imposed by Washington, ahead of an official visit by Abe.

On the condition of anonymity, an ex-Japanese diplomat said, “The best that Abe can say is to propose to Iran’s Supreme Leader to sit down with the U.S. president without any pre-conditions.”

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