Seeking economic support, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani concluded two-day Japan visit

Sunday, 22 Dec, 2019

As a matter of promoting Middle East peace again, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani traveled to Tokyo on Friday, to meet Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. Rouhani's visit is deemed historical as for the first time an Iranian President is visiting Japan in the past 19 years.

The testing of new centrifuges for uranium enrichment is just Iran's latest step away from its atomic accord with world powers since President Trump pulled America out of the 2015 nuclear deal.

"Today, the entire world know [s] that the US' withdrawal from the JCPOA was no [t] to the benefit of anyone, even themselves and their friends", Rouhani said Wednesday, using the initials for the 2015 deal's official name.

Earlier this week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged the Muslim world to join forces and take measures to get rid of the domination of the United States system and the dollar.

The US sanctions "are having a serious impact on every aspect of Iran - people's daily life, the country's finances, and inflation in imported goods", Hitoshi Suzuki, a Middle East scholar at the Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO), told AFP.

According to reports, Rouhani said that he was in a closed-door meeting with Japanese business leaders during which he desired to further strengthen relations between Iran and Japan.

"We had very substantial discussions and negotiated for maybe three to four hours last night", Rouhani said in a statement to reporters upon his arrival in Tehran, which was shown on state TV. Historically Japan is one of the largest buyers of Iran's oil, and would continue to be, except that the United States demanded Japan stop.

This is the second time in this year, that both Iran and Japan have come together to decrease the intensifying tensions in the Persian Gulf.

USA sanctions on Iran, which block it from selling crude oil overseas, have crippled its economy, and Tehran has gradually reduced its commitment to the nuclear deal.

Japan is willing to cement ties with Iran in all fields of mutual interest, Abe added, noting, "We are determined to deepen our ties and cooperation with Iran, especially in consular and technical fields, medical management, disaster management and quake".

Abe, in his opening remarks, urged Iran to fully comply with the agreement and play a constructive role in achieving peace and stability in the region. The French government has pushed for a European security alternative after ruling out taking part in the US-led mission. Japan did not join the US -led coalition due to its close relations with Iran.

In response, Rouhani said he appreciates "the high transparency" of Abe's explanation and understands Japan's intention to secure safety of navigation in the region by dispatching the Self-Defense Forces, the senior Japanese official said.