The country’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared that his country is not interested in exchanging messages with the United States. In a meeting with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Iran’s Supreme Leader rejected any form of communications with President Donald Trump – deeming the American leader as “unworthy of dialogue.”
Khamenei was quoted as insisting to the visiting-Japanese leader that “Iran will never repeat the unpleasant experience it had during the previous talks within the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with the United States,” referring to the negotiations Tehran held with the P5+1 – the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain plus Germany – which brought about the 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement (JCPOA).
Earlier in the day, Shinzo Abe – who is the first Japanese Prime Minister to ever visit the Islamic Republic – met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani; during which the two leaders discussed “bilateral relations” and highlighted the “warm relationship” between Tokyo and Tehran.
In a joint Press conference the followed their meeting, President Rouhani insisted that Japan indicated its desire to keep buying Iranian oil, despite crippling international sanctions that were imposed against the Islamic Republic by the United States. According to the Iranian leader: “We greatly appreciate the fact that Iran has been co-operating with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), and we strongly hope that it will continue to observe the Iran nuclear agreement.”
While the Japanese leader did not confirm nor deny Tokyo’s desire to keep buying Iranian oil, he shifted the focus from his statement to the Iranian stand-off with the United States. While Prime Minister Abe termed Iran as a “vitally important country in the region,” he also took the opportunity to urge the Islamic Republic to play a constructive role in the Middle East. Abe said: “There are some experts who have indicated that there is a possibility of unintended clashes in the region. But we must at all cost avoid armed clashes. Iran has long been a vitally important country in the region, and I believe it will continue to be so in future. Amid rising tension, it is essential for Iran to play a constructive role in strengthening peace and stability in the Middle East, so that this region won’t be destabilized further or accidental clashes won’t happen.”
It is important to note that prior to Abe’s visit to Iran, the Japanese Prime Minister held a phone conversation with his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu said that he underscored to Abe the imperative necessity to maintain pressure on the Islamic Republic. According to a statement on his twitter account, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he “made it clear to him that we must continue to pressure Iran in order to block its aggression in the region.”