News ID: 252617
Published: 0249 GMT May 10, 2019

Japan hopes to mediate between US, Iran to rescue JCPOA

Japan hopes to mediate between US, Iran to rescue JCPOA
In this photo made available on April 9, 2019 by the Iranian presidential office, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani listens to the head of the Atomic Energy Organization Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, on Nuclear Technology Day in Tehran.

The Japanese government hopes to mediate between Iran and the US in an effort to rescue a landmark 2015 international nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), officials said on Thursday.

“We note that Iran denies it is withdrawing from the nuclear deal,” Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura told a news conference on the same day after Tehran announced the suspension of some of its commitments under the 2015 agreement, reported.

“We intend to contribute to regional peace and stability, utilizing our traditional friendly relations with Iran,” Nishimura added.

Tokyo has consistently supported the deal that terminated sanctions by the US and Europe against Iran in exchange for restrictions on the Middle Eastern country’s peaceful nuclear development activities.

When the US government decided in May last year to withdraw from the accord, Japan acted in concert with European countries and said that it would be extremely regrettable if the decision had a significant impact on the maintenance of the deal.

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump issued an executive order imposing fresh sanctions to prohibit trade in metals, mainly steel, with Iran. Some Japanese officials say Tokyo should urge Washington to exercise restraint.

Amid heightened military tensions marked by the dispatch of a US carrier strike group to the Middle East, Tokyo is seeking ways to facilitate talks between Iran and the US.

“Both sides are seeking dialogue,” a Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs source said.

“There’s a limit, but there’s also a role Japan can play.”



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