Jun 14, 2019, 8:20 PM
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Achievement of Abe's visit to Tehran can be Tokyo's int’l credibility: Expert

Tehran, June 14, IRNA - Shinzo Abe's meeting with senior officials of our country on Wednesday and Thursday attracted the attentions of many. A university professor, referring to political intentions such as easing tension in the Middle East region and economic goals, spoke of the Japanese prime minister's motives in raising international credibility.

Many media and analysts refer to the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's meeting with Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei as a turning point in his visit to Iran. 

At a joint meeting of high-ranking Iranian and Japanese delegations, while welcoming the presence of Abe and the delegation in Tehran, Rouhani said on Thursday, "The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches great importance to the development of relations with Japan, and we hope that this trip will be a turning point in the relationship between Tehran and Tokyo.”

The prime minister of Japan also expressed his pleasure in traveling to Tehran, making the remark, "This year is the 90th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries, and it is an honor for me that I traveled to Iran after 41 years as prime minister.”

He called an effort to reduce tension as the most important goal of his trip to Tehran, and expressed, "I strongly hope that my trip to Iran will lead to a reduction in tensions and to establish peace and stability in the region."

The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), in an exclusive interview with "Ardeshir Sanaei", a university professor and expert in international affairs, reviewed these developments.

Acquiring prestige Abe's motives on trip to Iran

“Given to international developments, the trip has to be analyzed and evaluated in connection with the reduction of tensions between Tehran and Washington, which seems to go beyond dialogue and bilateral relations between Iran and Japan. The policy that is hidden on this trip, depends on the changes that have taken place in the international system in recent years; the withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear deal, the imposition of numerous sanctions against the Islamic Republic, the increase in tension between Iran and the United States inside and outside the region and the probability of occurrence of a clash between Iran and the United States. The whole of these issues should be put together to determine whether Mr. Abe's visit has taken place to reduce tensions between Iran and the United States, or an effort to create a new direct or indirect context for dialogue between Iran and the United States," he highlighted.

According to the university professor, there are several reasons for saying that Japan plays the role of mediation; Japan has good relations with Iran and the United States, and has a strong position in the international system. It has a high economic power and diplomatic travels between Japan and the United States have created a special situation for Japan. Given to both domestic and international conditions, Abe was also interested in making the trip as the first official visit of a Japanese prime minister to Iran.

"If Japan could make a new route to reduce the tensions between Tehran and Washington, it will, of course, enjoy an increase in international credibility," Sanaei highlighted.

“Abe's trip is more dependent on the international system and the developments that have developed in Iran-US relations, rather than the bilateral relationship between Iran and Japan.”

According to the expert, given the relationship between Japan and the United States and Japan's superior economic power in the East Asian region, Japan seems to be the best option for mediation and easing tension between Iran and the United States.

The university professor also said, "Japan's economic position in the international arena and relations with the United States can be more successful in mediating than the rest of the world."

Link between Abe's visit to Tehran and fate of JCPOA

The expert on international affairs went on to say, "I have no further hope on the JCPOA and I believe that the agreement does not have the appropriate place that it should have in the relations between Iran and the United States. Therefore, it seems that Mr. Abe has not come to Iran to support the nuclear deal."

He noted that what seems to be is that Mr. Abe carried a special message to the Islamic Republic so that to resolve the crisis in the relations between Tehran and Washington, they should think more seriously to open up the door for the negotiation.

“Abbe probably will also convey the message that the United States has retreated from its earlier positions in recent times, and 12 conditions for negotiations have become one condition, and then a request for negotiation without a precondition was raised," Sanaei expressed.

The university professor reiterated that Donald Trump's emphasis that we are not looking for a regime change in Iran, and that the current system can continue with authority, maybe affect the process of Abe’s talks in Tehran and the fate of tensions.

The expert made the remark that "Given the fact that the United States has exited from the nuclear deal, it does not seem Abe to do anything about the JCPOA, and it is unlikely that he can play an important role in relations and reduce the tensions between the two countries of Iran and America."

In some junctures, Japan has been exempted from the US sanctions on Iranian oil purchases, according to Sanaei, but the in new sanctions Japan's exemption for oil was not extended, and the country gradually began to cut oil purchases from Iran. And it seems that Japan, beyond the tensions debate between Iran and the United States, is keen on extending the exemption to buy Iran’s oil with easing re-tension.

"Japan wants to continue to buy its oil from Iran and is considering its own economic benefits, but it does not seem to be the first priority of Abe's visit to Iran. Abe's trip will be effective in reducing tensions between Iran and the United States, and the tensions between the two sides have diminished in recent days," the professor concluded.


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