Iran rejects report on Japanese PM’s June visit

Tasnim – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi dismissed as “far from reality” a recent report by Japanese media claiming that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would visit Iran in June.

“Iran and Japan have a historic and friendly relationship, and there has always been dialogue and consultations between the two countries’ officials…,” Mousavi said on Friday.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has already invited Abe to visit Tehran and he has responded that the trip will take place at a proper time, he said.

However, the recent reports claiming that the trip would be paid in June are “far from reality and lacks credibility”, the spokesman added.

Japanese government sources said Friday Shinzo Abe is considering visiting Iran in June for talks with the country’s officials to help ease escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Abe is expected to make a final decision after consulting with US President Donald Trump, who is scheduled to arrive in Japan as a state guest on Saturday, the Kyodo News reported.

As Japan has traditionally maintained amicable ties with Iran, Abe hopes to encourage Tehran to keep its commitments under a 2015 international nuclear deal, according to the sources.

On Friday, Abe met with US National Security Adviser John Bolton at the prime minister’s office and discussed the situation surrounding Iran, a Japanese government source said.

Tokyo, a longtime US security ally, has been put in a difficult position. The United States has ended its sanctions waivers granted to Japan and other buyers of Iranian oil. Iran has traditionally been one of the major oil exporters to resource-poor Japan.