TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet Iranian Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani on a visit to Tehran this week, the country’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
“Amid rising tensions in the Middle East, we plan to encourage Iran, a regional power, to move toward easing tensions at the top leaders’ meetings,” Yoshihide Suga told a news conference on Tuesday.
Abe had spoken to US President Donald Trump by telephone to discuss Iran, he added, according to Reuters.
Abe will depart on Wednesday for the first visit to Iran by an incumbent Japanese premier in 41 years, although Tokyo and Tehran have friendly ties and mark the 90th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year.
He will meet Rouhani on Wednesday and the Leader the next day, before leaving Tehran.
The plan for Abe’s Tehran visit was first reported last month.
Commenting on those reports during a visit to Tokyo in May, Trump said, “The prime minister (Abe) and Japan have very good relationship with Iran so we’ll see what happens.”
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been rising since Trump withdrew the US from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and imposed unilateral economic sanctions against Iran, mainly targeting its energy dealings on the global market.