• Sunday, Nov 27, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Iran's Rouhani welcomes Japan opt-out of US-led naval mission in Gulf

  • Published at 12:51 pm December 22nd, 2019
JAPAN-IRAN-DIPLOMACY
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (L) shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) before a meeting at the prime minister's office in Tokyo on December 20, 2019 AFP

The planned Japanese operation is set to cover high seas in the Gulf of Oman, the northern Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden, but not the Strait of Hormuz

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday welcomed Japan's decision not to join a US-led naval mission in the Gulf and said he had discussions on ways of "breaking" US sanctions on a trip to Tokyo.

Friction between Tehran and Washington has increased since last year when US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with six nations and re-imposed sanctions on the country, crippling its economy.

Washington proposed the naval mission after several attacks in May and June on international merchant vessels, including Saudi tankers, in Gulf waters which the United States blamed on Iran. Tehran denies the accusations.

In July, Iranian forces seized a British tanker in the Gulf after British marines captured an Iranian vessel in the Strait of Gibraltar. Both ships were later released.

"Japan has announced it will not take part in the Americans' plans for security in the (Gulf) region ... which is something we welcome," Rouhani said on state TV after returning from a visit to Malaysia and Japan.

"Japan is sending a surveillance vessel but not to the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz," he said.

Rouhani said his discussions in Japan included ways of "breaking" the US sanctions.

"On breaking the sanctions, the Japanese had a new proposal and we also had a new proposal and we discussed this and it was decided to continue the consultations between the two countries on this issue," Rouhani said, without giving details.

Following his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Rouhani tweeted on Friday: "I welcome any effort that could boost economic exchanges, especially in the energy sector, and increase oil exports."

A Japanese official who gave a briefing to reporters said crude oil purchases were not discussed at the summit meeting. Japan was a leading buyer of Iranian oil for decades before the US-led sanctions.

Japan, a US ally maintaining friendly ties with Iran, is looking to launch its own naval operation rather than joining the US-led mission to protect shipping in the region.

The planned Japanese operation is set to cover high seas in the Gulf of Oman, the northern Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden, but not the Strait of Hormuz.

According to a draft plan approved by parties in the ruling coalition, Japan will deploy a destroyer and a patrol aircraft for gathering information in the Gulf region - which has been the source of nearly 90% of Japan's crude oil imports.

A European operation to ensure safe shipping in the Gulf will get underway next month when a French warship starts patrolling there. The French government has pushed for a European security alternative after ruling out taking part in the US-led mission. 

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail