Importance of Close Ties With Japan Highlighted

Raeisi said delay in unblocking Iranian frozen assets in Japanese banks is unjustifiable
Importance of Close Ties With Japan Highlighted
Importance of Close Ties With Japan Highlighted

President Ebrahim Raeisi said expansion of relations with Japan is of great importance to Iran, stressing the need to strengthen bilateral cooperation in all sectors, especially economy and trade.    
In a meeting with the visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Sunday, he also expressed appreciation for Japan’s humanitarian aid to Iran’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic by donating vaccine doses. 
He, however, emphasized the necessity of unblocking Iranian frozen assets in Japanese banks, saying any delay in this process is “not justifiable”, reported.  
The Japanese top diplomat congratulated Raeisi on his election, calling for the enhancement of longstanding ties between the two nations. 
“Iran and Japan have had good and friendly relations for long and I have no doubt these ties will continue and further develop under the new administration as well,” he said.
In addition, Toshimitsu said Tokyo has always supported Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers as an international agreement and believes its revival will be in everyone’s interest as it can help address problems through dialogue. 
The deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, has been unravelling since the United States pulled out in 2018 and restored tough sanctions on Tehran, prompting it to scale back its commitments in response. 
Fresh negotiations started in Vienna, Austria, in April to restore the JCPOA by convincing both sides to resume compliance, although the process has been on hold since late June. 
Raeisi pointed out that Iran has complied with all its JCPOA obligations and it is the Americans who violated theirs by exiting the accord and reimposing wide-ranging sanctions. 
European countries also followed suit and refused to fulfill their own commitments, he added. 
“Naturally, a country that has been compliant must be commended and the one who … has not met its obligations must be reprimanded,” he said. 
The president also said Iran has no issue with the concept of negotiation, but sees no justification for the persistence of American sanctions. 



Source of Threat 

The two senior officials also discussed the chaotic situation in Afghanistan after the United States’ irresponsible exit.  
Raeisi said Iran has always supported peace and stability in its neighboring country, while it believes the Afghans themselves must decide their political fate. 
“Interference of foreigners has caused Afghanistan’s problems to continue,” he said, adding that the US presence in the region, including in Afghanistan, has not brought security, but has been a source of threat instead. 
Toshimitsu expressed grave concern about the recent developments in Afghanistan, calling for an end to violence and protection of people’s lives. 
“Tokyo supports regional countries’ diplomatic efforts to ensure peace and stability in the region. Our principled policy is to resolve issues peacefully through dialogue,” he said. 
The Japanese foreign minister, who arrived in Tehran on Sunday, earlier met his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in the morning.
The two diplomats discussed a range of issues including ways to strengthen bilateral ties, the revival JCPOA and the developments of Afghanistan, according to Zarif’s tweet. 
He later held talks with Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani. 
Toshimitsu was also set to meet Amir Abdollahian, Raeisi’s pick for the post of the foreign minister, during his two-day stay. 



Trip’s Motive 

In an exclusive note to IRNA prior to his trip, Toshimitsu described Tehran-Tokyo relations as “friendly, longstanding and unchangeable.” 
He applauded human exchanges between the two countries, including the dispatch of Japanese experts to Iran for technical cooperation and the arrival of Iranian athletes in Japan for the Olympic and Paralympic games.
However, close ties between the governments is also essential for the enhancement of bilateral ties, according to the Japanese foreign minister. 
“For this reason, I decided to travel to Iran to exchange views with the government of Raeisi who has just assumed office at the earliest opportunity,” he said. 
Peace and stability in the Middle East is very important for Japan, which imports 90% of its crude oil from this region, he added. 
“There is no doubt that the role of Iran, as a great country in the Middle East, is very significant.” 
Having friendly ties with Iran, Japan will continue its diplomatic and valiant efforts to defuse tensions and ensure stability in the region, Toshimitsu pledged.

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