“Shinzo Abe’ll Persuade Iran to Sit Down at a Negotiating Table with the United States”

Hülya Karahan

Production editor

Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe is scheduled to travel to Tehran on Wednesday, June 12, to visit Tehran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Abe is the first Japanese prime minister to visit Iran in 41 years, before the outbreak of the revolution.

It has been about 40 years for the Japanese Prime Minister to visit Iran. While this visit has the purpose of relieving the growing tensions between the United States and Iran over a nuclear agreement, there is also the possibility that Prime Minister Abe could be an opportunity for an image improvement for future elections, experts Points out.

Why now in Iran?
Japan and Iran will celebrate the 90th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations this year.

But more importantly, this visit will take place shortly after US President Donald Trump’s visit to Japan.

Since President Trump announced its withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear agreement last May, US-Iranian relations have deteriorated rapidly.

The United States has subsequently sent aircraft carriers to the Middle East, raising concerns about combat.

In May 2018, Trump announced that his country had withdrawn from the nuclear deal with Iran after saying that Tehran had not stopped its destabilizing hostile behavior in the Middle East, although it had benefited from the easing of economic sanctions.

In 1362 by Shinatsu Abe, the father of Shinsou Abe, the Japanese foreign minister, who came to Tehran for mediation between Iran and Iraq.

The media reported that Shinzo Abe’s father’s mission failed because of Japan’s “failure to act independently.” A principled expert also said that the differences between Iran and the United States are so deep that “not only Shinzo Abe, but his father and father also are not able to resolve these differences.”

Japan and Nuclear Agreement
The Japanese government has not been involved in the nuclear agreement with Iran, but it has not been totally affected.

Japan used to import oil from Iran, but has stopped importing in the form of new economic sanctions from the United States.

“Japan supports the nuclear agreement in 2015 and does not really think of leaving the United States. It thinks that it is a big mistake,” said Jeff Kingston, director of Asian studies at Temple University.

“But nothing in fact has been asserted. When the US resumed sanctions, I was not surprised that Japan followed.”

So far, Japan has no problem if it does not have oil from Iran, but if there is any friction in the Middle East, oil prices will rise and will have a major impact on Japan.

After World War II, Japan has followed the so-called omnidirectional foreign policy. In other words, for the Middle East, we have secured oil by negotiating with all countries and establishing a friendly relationship.

Is Iran skeptical of Abe?
Experts question whether Prime Minister Abe has the power to change the relationship between the United States and Iran.

Robert Dujaric, director of the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University, told the BBC, “I think that the possibility of being able to mediate the ‘Agreement between the US and Iran is near zero'”.

Professor Kingston also pointed out that although the Japanese have no historical or religious problems with Iran, unlike the western countries, “The Iranian government does not see Abe as a sincere intermediary.”

The condition for a good intermediary role is that there is no bias between the two sides, but Prime Minister Abe just recently met Mr. Trump and boasts his friendship.

Prime Minister Abe and President Trump have a friendly relationship as a politician and as a golfer
“If you look closer to the US government, Iran can not recognize Abe as objective,” said Kingston.

“Iran sees that Japan clearly has links with President Trump and its allies in the United States.”

Therefore, many experts do not expect much from the results of this visit. Foreign Ministry officials are also toning down hopes that they will play an important role in visiting Iran.

Japan’s media, a Foreign Ministry source, reported that Abe is not going to Iran as an intermediary and has no plans to end the US-Iranian crisis as soon as possible.

Does Abe’s approval rating go up by visiting Iran?
Many analysts believe that the real purpose of the visit to Iran lies in domestic politics.

The US-Iranian relationship may not be big, but it is still “good for Abe,” Dujaric explained.

“I’m impressed by the voters as a global politician.”

That is important for Abe. The House of Councilors election is scheduled to be held in July, and there is speculation that the House of Representatives may seek a general election after the House of Representatives is convinced.

Prime Minister Abe took office with a promise to restore Japan in an atmosphere that the Japanese economy was sluggish and the best era was over.

But experts point out that the outcome of international diplomacy has hardly been achieved.

Japan is not involved in the negotiations with North Korea, but also with Russia over the northern territories.

On the other hand, all these diplomatic issues, including the Middle East tensions, are very complicated, but for Abe, there are less risks and less negative aspects.

Fars news agency Mohammad Sadegh Koshkini, a political scientist, wrote on Monday, June 20, that Japan is a symbol of surrendering to the United States, and that Americans by sending him want to “raise the pompous demands of the 13th,” and dictate “compromise and surrender” » The expert added that if anyone called the Prime Minister of Japan a mediator, he played in the “enemy’s psychological warfare”.

The report, which was also reprinted in the Tsunim news agency, considered one of these preconditions to buy Iran’s oil by Japan, and that Japan would help insurers to return to Iran to ensure oil transportation. Japan’s denial of Iran’s boycott of sanctions, the creation of a financial mechanism for financial transactions and, finally, ensuring the transfer of technology and technology to Iran, is another prerequisite for Japan’s acceptance as a mediator.

The Tsunim news agency reported on a meeting in Ramadan with the presence of a senior official from the State Department and some media outlets, saying the diplomacy has said that some initiatives such as the talks are “Netanyahu’s devious thoughts” and, from this angle, changed the field of play He has criticized the “resistance strategy” for “the issue of pressure-negotiation-mediator”.

The Mashreq Nivos site also published a memo from Mohammad Kazem Ambarlooi, in which he emphasized the supporters of Rouhani’s government, who wrote “political moguls” on the visit of Abe to Iran.

Among the media close to the government, special emphasis is placed on the mediation of the Prime Minister of Japan. ISNA news agency reported in an article that the purpose of the visit is to persuade Iran to sit down at a negotiating table with the United States.

IRNA news agency quoted an international relations expert as saying that “Shinzo Abe is about to meet with Iranian and American officials.