FILE PHOTO – Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe holds a joint news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump (not pictured), at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan May 27, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
TOKYO (Reuters) – 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 on Tuesday.
Abe’s trip comes after tensions between Iran and the United States have escalated recently, a year after Washington pulled out of a deal between Iran and global powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear program in return for lifting sanctions.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also told a news conference that Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump had spoken on the telephone earlier on Tuesday 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.
Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka and Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim