Fri. 8:29 a.m.: Japan PM mulls Iran visit to mediate crisis

In this photo released by the Foreign Office, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, right, shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif today at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan. Zarif is in Pakistan on a critically timed visit amid a crisis between Tehran and Washington and ahead of next week's emergency Arab League meeting called by Saudi Arabia as regional tensions escalate.(Pakistan Foreign Office via AP)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Japanese media say Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering a visit to Iran next month amid rising tension between Tehran and Washington, and will consult with President Donald Trump about it when he arrives in Tokyo this weekend.

The Kyodo News agency, citing unidentified government sources, said today that Abe’s visit would be likely in mid-June.

Abe, who reportedly hopes to serve as mediator between the U.S. and Iran, will seek Trump’s consent during his upcoming visit, starting Saturday.

The report comes a week after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Tokyo.

Japan was a major oil importer from Iran before the sanctions. If he goes, Abe will be a first Japanese leader to visit Iran since 1978 — before the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran’s foreign minister lashed out at Trump during a visit today to Islamabad, assailing the American president for his tweet this week warning Iran not to threaten the U.S. again or it would face its “official end.”

Mohammad Javad Zarif says “Iran will see the end of Trump, but he will never see the end of Iran.”

Zarif is thought to be seeking Islamabad’s help to help de-escalate the situation in the Persian Gulf amid the crisis between Tehran and Washington.

Zarif also chastised the Trump administration for designating last month Iran’s powerful paramilitary Revolutionary Guard force as a terrorist group — the first such U.S. designation for an entire division of another government.

The semi-official Fars news agency quoted Zarif as saying that though Trump “accused the Iranian nation several times with this title (terrorist), he is the one that deserves it.”

COMMENTS