Rouhani heads to Japan as Abe seeks US-Iran deal

Al-Monitor – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took off from Tehran Dec. 17 to visit Malaysia and Japan in what is seen as a major diplomatic push to save an economy severely battered by US sanctions. Rouhani will be in the Malaysian capital for the high-profile Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019 on international development.

But it is the second leg of his trip, taking him to Tokyo, that has grabbed media attention. The Iranian president will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Dec. 20 in a highly anticipated summit expected to revolve around Japan-led mediation between Tehran and Washington.

Ahead of his departure from Tehran, Rouhani appeared cautious, refusing to refer to mediation as a key agenda point. “The US tyrannical pressure and illegal sanctions will not sustain,” he told reporters, adding, “World nations are seeking close and good ties with Iran.”

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