Abe intends to seek Rouhani’s understanding that Japanese oil distributors are set to halt oil imports from Iran under US pressure, the source said. Iran is the sixth-largest exporter of crude oil to Japan, at around five percent of Japan’s imports, Japan’s leading newspaper The Mainichi reported.
Abe is also set to urge Rouhani to uphold the implementation of the nuclear deal despite the US withdrawal, the source said. Under the deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
Abe and Rouhani are also likely to discuss Japan’s economic cooperation with Iran, it said.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono is mulling visiting Iran around mid-October if he retains the ministerial post in a cabinet reshuffle Abe would hold in early October, the source said.
Japan hopes to maintain ties with Iran, on which it depends for crude oil imports. The two presidents are planning to meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly later this month for the sixth straight year, it said.
President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a 2015 international nuclear deal between Tehran and other major powers, and reinstated some of its sanctions against Iran.
Washington has been calling for a halt to oil imports from Iran by Nov. 4 and intends to impose sanctions on countries that continue to buy oil from the country.
Japan has been asking for a waiver during negotiations with its major ally but has faced difficulties in securing an exemption.