Win-Win Approach Can Help Elevate Tehran-Tokyo Ties

Win-Win Approach Can Help Elevate Tehran-Tokyo TiesWin-Win Approach Can Help Elevate Tehran-Tokyo Ties

A high-ranking diplomat said the adoption of a win-win approach by Tehran and Tokyo can enable them to tap into the enormous potential for cooperation, in line with the two nations' interests.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told Japanese journalists in a news conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo on Thursday that a win-win atmosphere in international relations can greatly benefit the globe.

"Nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers were successful for two reasons: firstly, the other side, especially the US, used the language of respect with the Iranian nation and secondly, both sides employed a win-win approach," IRNA quoted Araqchi as saying.

"We think this is a model that could be used [to help solve] other issues in the international arena."

The July 2015 nuclear deal was the result of two years of negotiations between Tehran and P5+1 (the US, Britain, France, Russia and China, plus Germany). It put an end to a 12-year dispute about the Iranian nuclear activities, with westerners accusing the country of trying to build a nuclear weapon and Tehran stressing its atomic program has entirely peaceful applications.

The accord went into effect on January 16 to remove international sanctions on Tehran in exchange for temporary restrictions on its nuclear work.

Araqchi, a former ambassador to Japan, said he is glad to see that after a period of stagnation in relations, Tehran and Tokyo are trying to develop cooperation, a sign of which is the visit of Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe to Tehran in August, the first Japanese prime minister to visit in 38 years.

"Some of the best fields [to upgrade collaboration] are Iran's oil, gas and petrochemical industries," he said. "We don't want Japan to only buy oil from Iran. We like to see it investing in these industries so the two sides can benefit."

  Call for Nuclear Coop.

The deputy foreign minister also pointed to capacities for nuclear collaboration, saying Iran expects Japan's cooperation in the construction of its planned nuclear power plants.

"Iran, a country as earthquake-prone as Japan, needs Japan's advanced nuclear plant construction technologies," the Japan Times quoted Araqchi as saying. Automotive manufacturing and transit of goods were other possible areas for cooperation that Araqchi mentioned.

Since the Iranian access to the global financial system was eased as part of the nuclear pact, its lucrative market has caught the eyes of many governments and firms from across the world, including Japanese corporations that enjoy a good reputation in the Middle East country.

Japan was a major trade partner of Iran before sanctions. Bilateral trade, mostly due to Japan's oil purchases, reached approximately $20 billion in 2008.

Stunted by the sanctions, trade fell to around $7 billion in 2014, while Japan's exports to Iran totaled $221 million, only about one-seventh as much as a decade earlier. Araqchi was in Japan to participate in a meeting of the Center for International Public Policy Studies, a leading Japanese think tank.

Also on Thursday, the senior diplomat met Japan's Deputy Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama to discuss bilateral relations and international developments.