Iran FM hails ‘constructive’ talks with Japan officials

World
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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says he has held “constructive” negotiations with Japanese officials on a range of issues, among them bilateral relations.

In a Japanese language post on his Twitter account on Wednesday, Zarif said that he had met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Taro Kono in Tokyo on the second leg of his three-nation Asian tour. 

He also described as “constructive” his talks on strengthening bilateral ties, alleviating tensions in the Persian Gulf and securing the benefits of the 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement for the Iranian people.

Speaking at the beginning of a meeting with Abe in the Japanese city of Yokohama, Zarif stressed the need to respect for the rights of all countries under international law.

“As our President (Hassan Rouhani) has said, we are not at all seeking heightened tensions,” he said. “We believe every country should be able to enjoy its rights under international law.”

Abe, for his part, said he hopes to continue tenacious diplomatic efforts to help stabilize the Middle East, which is currently grappling with tensions.

On Tuesday, Zarif sat down with Kono in Tokyo, where the latter expressed Japan’s readiness to make diplomatic efforts to help settle regional issues.

The Japanese premier paid a visit to Tehran in June amid heightened tensions between Iran and the US. 

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been rising since President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the nuclear accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and imposed unilateral sanctions against Iran, mainly targeting its oil exports. 

In May, the Trump administration escalated the tensions after it decided to send a US air force bomber task force, including B-52 bombers, and 1,500 troops to the Middle East in response to an unspecified Iranian “threat”.

The top Iranian diplomat visited China on Monday and would travel to Malaysia on Wednesday. He began his Asian tour after a short visit to the French city of Biarritz, where a meeting of the world’s seven top economic powers, known as G7, was held.

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