News ID: 254218
Published: 0456 GMT June 13, 2019

Iran has 'no intentions' to make or use nuclear weapons, Abe says

Iran has 'no intentions' to make or use nuclear weapons, Abe says

Japanese PM Abe Shinzo said Iran's Leader made the comment during a meeting in Tehran.

Iran's Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has assured Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo  that Iran has no intention to make, hold or use nuclear weapons, while saying that the country will not negotiate with the United States under pressure. 

Abe met Ayatollah Khamenei - Iran's top decision-maker - on Thursday during a trip to Iran in an attempt to ease tensions between the Islamic republic and the US.

Following the meeting, which Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appeared to have also attended, Abe told reporters that Ayatollah Khamenei had told him that Iran "will not and should not make, hold or use nuclear weapons, and that it has no such intentions".

Ayatollah Khamenei referred to Shinzo's remarks that the US intends to prevent Iran's production of nuclear weapons, and said, "We are opposed to the nuclear weapons and my religious fatwa bans production of nuclear weapons but you should know that if we intended to produce nuclear weapons, the US could do nothing and its non-permission was not an obstacle."

He also described stockpiling of nuclear weapons as an unwise measure, and said, "The US is not qualified at all to say which country should have or have not nuclear weapons because the US has several thousand nuclear warheads in its arsenals."

Abe Shinzo said at a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart on Wednesday that his country is ready to play a maximum role in easing tensions in the region.

He also said the way forward is open and wide referring to his country’s attempts to ease tension in the Middle East.

Abe said he is determined not to be disappointed in his efforts. Both countries should make efforts and we need patience in this regard, he added.

He arrived in Tehran on a two-day visit on Wednesday, whose aim has been described as easing tensions between Iran and the US as well as boosting mutual cooperation.

President Rouhani said when US economic war against Iran stops, we will see positive developments in the region and the world.

Rouhani underlined the age-old ties between the two countries and appreciated the Japanese premier for giving a positive response to his invitation to visit Iran.

He further praised constructive ties and consultations with Japan in the past years, and stressed that Tehran welcomes cooperation with Tokyo at bilateral, regional and international levels.

"We discussed investment in Iran's southern port city of Makran," Rouhani said, and added that Japan's willingness to continue buying crude from Iran ensures stability in growing ties between the two countries.

"We also discussed regional security and detente," Rouhani said, voicing pleasure in the two countries' interest in regional stability.

The president ensured his state's policy has been built on peace and security at regional and global stage, however, indicated that Tehran is fully prepared for all scenarios, implying that it would definitely not sit idle if it comes under attack by the US.

"I ensured Mr. prime minister we will not initiate any war with any country in the region, but if war is imposed on us, we will give a decisive response," the Iranian president reiterated.

"Mr. Abe voiced optimism in the present conditions and said he knows that prospects are bright," he added.

Rouhani praised Japan's support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and said he has informed the Japanese premier that Iran is resolved to continue the present path of modifying its undertakings under the nuclear deal based on the contents of "paragraphs 36 and 37" if the merits promised by the signatories to Tehran are not provided.

The president slammed Washington's sanctions on Tehran and said, "I told Mr. Prime Minister that the sanctions imposed on Iran are a clear instance of economic terrorism."

Yet, he appreciated Japan's goodwill and care for regional security and stability, and asked for expansion of nuclear cooperation with Tokyo for peaceful purposes.

The visit comes more than one year after Washington's abrupt withdrawal from the landmark nuclear deal that led to the lifting of economic sanctions on Iran. Japan is not a member of the deal but has been a supporter.

Abe and Trump had a phone conversation on Tuesday about the Japanese prime minister's trip to Tehran.

The Japanese premier appreciated Iran’s warm hospitality during the visit, and said he had wished to visit Tehran all throughout the last three decades after he accompanied his father, the then-foreign minister, during a visit to Tehran.

Noting that this is the first official trip to Iran by a Japanese prime minister after 41 years, he expressed strong willingness to expand cooperation with Tehran in various areas, including medical grounds.

The Japanese premier further voiced concern over instability in the region, and said his country is willing to help to deescalate the present tensions.

He asked Iran to help him advance his mediation efforts., contributed to this story.

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