TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi, held talks on a range of issues, including the latest developments in the Middle East.
During the meeting, held in the US city of New York on Monday on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, Motegi voiced “serious concern” about the situation in the region following recent attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.
“We are very much concerned about the grave situation,” said Motegi, who was meeting Zarif for the first time since becoming foreign minister earlier this month.
He added that Tokyo will continue to work toward stabilizing the region, the Japan Times reported.
The Iranian top diplomat, for his part, said Tehran will seek to avoid war amid heightened tensions in the Middle East, according to the report.
The remarks came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US after the Islamic Republic shot down an advanced US spy drone over its territorial waters and also recent attacks by Yemeni forces on Saudi oil facilities, with Washington and Riyadh claiming Iran was behind them. Iran denies any involvement in the attack.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday reiterated Washington’s plan to build a maritime coalition in the Persian Gulf to deter what he called Iranian threats.
The Yemeni forces on September 14 launched drone attacks on two plants at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, including the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility.
The attacks came in retaliation for the Saudi-led coalition’s continued aggression on the Arabian Peninsula country.