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Iranian foreign minister meets with Japanese Premier Kishida in Tokyo

August 7, 2023 at 7:09 pm

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian (L) meets with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at Kishida’s official residence in Tokyo on August 7, 2023 [ISSEI KATO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian met with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo on Monday and discussed bilateral cooperation as well as the Iran nuclear deal, reports Anadolu Agency.

Amirabdollahian arrived in the Japanese capital on Sunday evening and is also scheduled to meet with senior government officials to discuss bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues.

“As a supporter of the Iran nuclear deal, Japan is seriously concerned about the expansion of Iran’s nuclear-related activities and requested full and unconditional cooperation in the joint statement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),” Kishida said in a statement released by the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

He also urged Iran to respond in a “constructive” way.

Earlier, the Iranian foreign minister met with his Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi and discussed Japan’s ongoing cooperation in areas such as health care and disaster prevention.

READ: Top Japan diplomat discusses Tehran nuclear issue with Iran counterpart

Hayashi said of the Iran nuclear deal, “Japan, as a supporter of the Iran nuclear deal, is seriously concerned about the expansion of Iran’s nuclear-related activities, and expressed its full and unconditional cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).”

Iran and the world powers reached a nuclear deal in 2015 under which Iran was supposed to enrich uranium up to 3.67% purity in exchange for sanctions relief.

In May 2018, the previous US administration unilaterally withdrew from the landmark deal and reinstated sanctions on Iran, after which Iran ramped up its uranium enrichment, reaching up to 60 percent purity.

Since April 2021, Tehran and Washington have been engaged in indirect talks, facilitated by the EU, to revive the 2015 deal. Despite progress, the process remains stalled since last August over key disagreements.

Hayashi in the meeting with Amirabdollahian also reiterated Japan’s position on Russia’s attack on Ukraine and urged Iran to respond in a “constructive” manner.

The duo also discussed the situation in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Nasser Kanaani, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, said in a statement that Amirabdollahian will also call on Minister of Health, Labor, and Social Welfare Katsunobu Kato.

The discussions between Amirabdollahian and Japanese officials will primarily focus on the current status of bilateral relations as well as developments on both regional and international fronts, said Kanaani.

The Iranian foreign minister’s Tokyo visit coincides with the anniversary of the US atomic bombings in 1945 that inflicted a massive humanitarian catastrophe on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Representatives from the Tehran Peace Museum, as well as veterans injured in chemical attacks during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, are accompanying Amirabdollahian to Japan.

The officials will attend the commemoration of the Hiroshima atomic bomb victims to express solidarity with Japan.

​​​​The two foreign ministers last spoke on the phone on April 12 and discussed Iran’s nuclear deal as well as the situation in Ukraine.

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