Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Iran on June 12-14 and hold talks with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani، Japan’s top government spokesman said Monday night، according to the Reuters news agency.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also told a news conference that Abe and US President Donald Trump had spoken on the telephone earlier to discuss Iran، among other topics.
On a four-day visit to Japan late last month، Trump welcomed Abe’s help in dealing with Iran after public broadcaster NHK had said Japan’s leader was considering a trip to Tehran.
Abe will be the first Japanese sitting prime minister to visit Iran in 41 years، Suga said.
The Japanese premier’s trip to Tehran comes amid increased tensions between Iran and the United States، a year after Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and imposed several rounds of crippling sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Iran announced last month it was suspending some of its commitments under the 2015 deal in response to the US withdrawal in May of last year.
In addition، tensions between the two longtime foes has increased after Washington sent more military forces to the Middle East in a show of force against what US officials say are Iranian threats to its troops and interests in the region.
While Trump has urged Iran’s leaders to talk with him about giving up their nuclear program، he has also made clear he could not rule out a military confrontation with the Islamic Republic.