Japan Could Help Iran Meet Its Interests in Face-Off With West

Japan Could Help Iran Meet Its Interests in Face-Off With West
Japan Could Help Iran Meet Its Interests in Face-Off With West

Japan can help Iran guarantee its interests in dealings with the West thanks to its friendly ties with both Iran and those countries, said a lawmaker. 
“Today, our country needs to direct the western sides toward a path where its interests are met,” Jalil Rahimi said in an interview with ICANA. 
Iran is currently engaged in indirect talks with the United States on how to restore the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. 
Washington abandoned the deal in 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions on Tehran, forcing it to eventually row back on its nuclear commitments.
Iran is now seeking a complete and verifiable removal of American sanctions to regain its JCPOA benefits in negotiations brokered by Europe in Vienna, Austria. 
Japan’s good relations with western countries can be a great help to Iran in this regard, according to Rahimi. 
His remarks come in view of Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi’s possible visit to Iran in mid-August to build ties with the new government in Iran. 
“In this trip, international issues such as the JCPOA and peace in Asia appear to be the main topics of discussion between Japan’s foreign minister and Iranian authorities,” he said.   
Rahimi also said at the moment, Iran needs to share its forthright view on peace and stability with the world, including with Japan.  
Motegi is expected to meet his Iranian counterpart as Japan aims to strengthen its traditionally friendly ties with Iran and discuss issues related to Tehran’s nuclear program with the administration of president-elect Ebrahim Raisi, Japan Times reported, citing diplomat sources. 
Raisi is set to assume his post in early August, following his election victory last month.
His conservative party will replace the moderate government of Hassan Rouhani which could potentially make the Vienna negotiations more complicated and flare up tensions between Iran and the US, according to some analysts. 
Motegi’s visit to Iran is expected to be part of a 10-day trip to the Middle East, which will likely also take him to Egypt and Turkey in a bid to help stabilize tensions in the region, the sources said.
It would be the first visit by a senior Japanese government figure since June 2019 trips by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Taro Kono.

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