Japanese FM discusses de-escalation with Iranian officials

Iranian media are reporting that Iran’s president has met with Japan's foreign minister in Tehran and the two discussed the de-escalation of tensions in the region

ByThe Associated Press
August 22, 2021, 11:07 AM
FILE - In this June 29, 2021 file photo, Japan' Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi arrives in Matera, Italy, for a G20 foreign affairs ministers' meeting. On Sunday Aug. 22, 2021, Motegi met Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister in Tehran and
FILE - In this June 29, 2021 file photo, Japan' Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi arrives in Matera, Italy, for a G20 foreign affairs ministers' meeting. On Sunday Aug. 22, 2021, Motegi met Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister in Tehran and the two discussed de-escalation of tensions in the region, Iranian news agencies reported. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, File)
The Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iranian president met Sunday with Japan's foreign minister in the capital of Tehran and the two discussed de-escalation of tensions in the region, Iranian news agencies reported.

The president’s official website, president.ir, said that Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi discussed bilateral, regional and international issues with President Ebrahim Raisi.

The two-day visit is the first by a Japanese official since Raisi became Iran’s new president and the first since the Japanese prime minister visited Iran in 2019. ISNA said Motegi is in Tehran at the official invitation of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The report said Motegi would meet with other Iranian officials, including Raisi's nominated foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian and other high-ranking officials during his two-day visit.

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported Saturday that Motegi’s visit to Tehran is aimed at boosting bilateral relations with Iran and furthering diplomatic efforts to de-escalate and stabilize the Middle East.

During Sunday's meeting, Raisi welcomed efforts by Japan and other countries to help establish peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region. “Iran has always supported peace and stability in Afghanistan. Of course, we believe that Afghans should make their own decisions in Afghanistan.”

Raisi said he is opposed to the creation of insecurity in the region, adding: “The presence of Americans in the region, including Afghanistan, has not provided security.”

Motegi said Tokyo also supports diplomatic efforts by regional countries to achieve peace and stability in the region. He said Japan believes problems should be resolved peacefully and through dialogue.

Earlier on Sunday, Motegi met with Zarif and the two also discussed de-escalation of tensions in the region.

Semi-official ISNA news agency report Sunday said Motegi discussed bilateral, regional and international issues with Mohammad Javad Zarif.

In 2019, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Iran’s top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as an interlocutor for former U.S. President Donald Trump, hoping to ease tensions between Washington and Tehran. But Khamenei did not consider Trump worthy of an exchange of messages.

Recently, Japan donated some 3 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Iran, which has suffered the worst virus outbreak in the Middle East.

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