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Japan’s Prime Minister Abe due in Tehran on historic visit





TEHRAN: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is en route to Iran on a first visit by a Japanese premier to Tehran in more than 40 years, with a plan to help ease tensions between the Islamic Republic and the United States.Prime Minister Abe left Tokyo for Tehran on Wednesday morning.During his two-day visit to Iran, Abe will meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. He is scheduled to meet with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Thursday.The visit is meant to focus on the tensions between Iran and the US, which have spiked since May 2018, when President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from a multilateral deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions.Trump also introduced sanctions on third countries that would do business with the Islamic Republic. Dependent on Iranian oil, Japan is one such country.Political observers believe that Trump is looking to Abe’s talks with Iranian authorities as an opportunity to find a way out of the current impasse created by his own administration.

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