Iran will ask Japan to mediate between Tehran and Washington to ease oil sanctions imposed by the United States, Iranian officials said on Wednesday, as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in the country for a two-day visit.
Abe, the first Japanese leader to visit Iran since its 1979 Islamic Revolution, landed in Tehran as a brewing confrontation between Iran and the United States stokes fear of another military conflict in the crisis-ridden Middle East.
“Japan can help in easing the ongoing tension between Iran and America… As a goodwill gesture, America should either lift the unjust oil sanctions or extend the waivers or suspend them,” a senior Iranian official told Reuters.
Iranian state TV broadcast live footage of Abe’s arrival, saying he will later hold talks with President Hassan Rouhani and on Thursday will meet the Islamic Republic’s top authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
On a four-day visit to Japan last month, U.S. President Donald Trump welcomed Abe’s help in dealing with Iran, highlighting what he called the “very good relationship” between Tokyo and Tehran.