Japan Seeks Better Ties After JCPOA

Japan Seeks Better  Ties After JCPOA   Japan Seeks Better  Ties After JCPOA

Japan is keen to help boost bilateral trade after the July 14 nuclear deal goes into force in the coming months, the Japanese prime minister said.

In a meeting with Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, in Tokyo on Thursday, Shinzo Abe also extended an invitation to President Hassan Rouhani for a visit to Japan, IRNA reported.

Pointing to the tense security situation in the Middle East due to the activities of terrorist groups such as the so-called Islamic State, Abe stressed the need for closer Tehran-Tokyo cooperation to help counter terrorism and restore security to the region.

Salehi renewed the call for improving trade relations, especially in the areas of marketing and joint ventures.

The nuclear chief, who arrived in Japan on Sunday to attend the Pugwash international non-governmental conference on nuclear disarmament in the city of Nagasaki, thanked Abe for his cooperation to set up the planned Nuclear Safety Center, as provided for in the nuclear accord.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is formally known, was struck between Iran and P5+1 (the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany) will give sanctions relief to Iran in return for temporary constraints on its nuclear work.

The deal says P5+1, and possibly other states, as appropriate, are prepared to cooperate with Iran to establish a Nuclear Safety Center in Iran, organize workshops and training events in Iran to support interactions between Iranian nuclear regulatory authorities and those from P5+1 and elsewhere to share lessons learned on establishing regulatory independence and implement nuclear safety culture and best practices.

In his address to the Pugwash conference on Wednesday, Salehi said Tehran is keen to increase cooperation with Tokyo on nuclear safety and other related issues, ISNA reported.

  Early Deal Implementation

In an interview with Reuters after a speech on Iran's nuclear future to diplomats and energy executives in Tokyo on Thursday, Salehi reiterated Rouhani's remarks last week that Iran will fulfill its commitments under JCPOA in time to have sanctions lifted by the end of the year.

"We will accomplish whatever the president says," he said.

Foreign analysts estimate that it will take Iran at least four to six months to complete the measures officially adopted on Oct. 18 under the action plan, which is the precondition for the powers to end sanctions, though Rouhani has repeatedly said he expects sanctions to be lifted in December.

Iran's commitments include uninstalling about two-thirds of centrifuges at Natanz and Fordo nuclear facilities and revamping the Arak heavy water reactor.

"With regard to the dismantling of the centrifuges ... we anticipate no particular technical problems, because we have gone through this routine a number of times and our experts and engineers are well prepared," Salehi said during the speech.

Commenting on the Arak reactor, the AEOI chief said Iran was waiting for an official document from the six powers.

"Until that document is produced, we certainly will not take any measures vis-à-vis the Arak heavy water research reactor," he said.