Asia PacificMiddle East

Meeting Iran counterpart, Japan minister says he hopes to ease Mid-East tension

Japan will try to help ease tension in the Middle East, Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Tuesday at a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Zarif said he looked forward to discussions with Kono as both countries had special interests in the security of the energy market and stability in the Gulf.

“We are worried about tension in the Middle East and we hope to make some diplomatic effort to ease the tension,” Kono told reporters as he stood with Zarif.

Trump said on Monday he would meet Iran’s president under the right circumstances to end the confrontation over the nuclear deal.

But President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would not talk to the United States until all sanctions were lifted.

Tension between Iran and the United States has risen since President Donald Trump’s administration last year quit an international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and began to ratchet up sanctions.

Japan has historically had friendly ties with Iran and is also a close U.S. ally.

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