TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Japan wants to make every effort to reduce tension between Tehran and Washington before responding to a US proposal to send its navy to guard Middle East oil shipping lanes, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday.
Abe said that before making a decision on joining the United States, Japan would like to fulfill what it sees as a unique role it has to play in reducing tension.
“We have a long tradition of friendship with Iran and I’ve met with its president any number of times, as well as other leaders,” Abe told a news conference a day after his coalition’s victory in an election for parliament’s upper house, Reuters reported.
“Before we make any decisions on what to do, Japan would like to make every effort to reduce tensions between Iran and the United States.”
Japan needed to gather information on what the United States is thinking and what it hoped to accomplish, Abe said.
The remarks came after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on Friday impounded a British vessel named “Stena Impero” at the request of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organization when passing through the Strait of Hormuz, for failing to respect international maritime rules.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also said the country’s military forces captured the British-flagged oil tanker to “uphold international maritime rules”.
The vessel had switched off its GPS locator, in contravention of international regulations, and was sailing into the strait in a wrong traffic pattern.
It was entering the strait from the southern route, which is an exit path, increasing the risk of an accident
Moreover, Stena Impero had not heeded any of the warnings from the Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization.
An informed source said the UK oil tanker was also polluting the Persian Gulf water heavily by dumping crude oil residue.