Talks With Abe Just a Mirage
Months after Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani after attending the Kuala Lumpur Conference on Friday met Mr. Abe in Tokyo which was a response to Mr Abe’s visit where they held talks. Of course it is considered a diplomatic tradition that when some official comes to visit you, he should be welcomed.
IRAN NEWS POLITICAL DESK
According to the revealed reports from the meeting, both sides conferred any topics like bilateral, regional and international issues, the JCPOA and the U.S. sanctions. After the talks and according to the Japanese media, Mr. Abe had a telephone conversation. Regardless of the telephone conversation with the White House, Japanese media claimed, whether it is right or wrong, Abe during his meeting with Mr. Rouhani said that Japan has started cooperation with three European countries (EU3) on the JCPOA.
In June, the Japanese Prime Minister visited Tehran in order to weigh U.S. President Donald Trump’s goals on change in Iran’s attitude especially on the JCPOA. Of course due to Iran’s emphasis that it cannot trust the U.S. vows, the talks between Iran and Japan were just focused on the bilateral relations and the talks did not progress as the U.S. wished.
The French who had set up a financial mechanism in line with their obligations towards the JCPOA remained inactive like what the U.S. did. Japan Prime Minister’s remarks show that the American side after facing deadlock is trying to find some other parallel channels for changing the topics of talks regarding the JCPOA.
Iranian diplomatic experts are fully aware that Japan is not able to take any step against the U.S. policy for skirting or breaching the U.S. sanctions.
On this issue Japanese newspaper Japan Times in an article pointed to President Rouhani’s visit to Tokyo and wrote, “Japanese experts believe that Tokyo has little diplomatic leverage to sway either Tehran or Washington and warn that Abe may not achieve substantial progress in the upcoming meeting with Rouhani.”
In the article Yasuyuki Matsunaga, professor of international relations at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies said, “Common sense says there is little Japan can do to defy U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran.”
Koichiro Tanaka, professor at Keio University and a noted Iran expert in Japan, largely agrees with Matsunaga’s view. Tanaka in an interview said the Abe-Rouhani meeting planned for Friday “will be rather ceremonial,” with little substantial diplomatic development.
“There is no particular agenda for which (Japan) can expect any progress,” Tanaka said, adding that some critics in Iran have even questioned why Rouhani needs to travel to Japan at this time.
Tehran hasn’t shown any strong opposition to Abe’s plan so far, and Rouhani is likely to give it his approval because the areas in which the SDF operation is planned do not include those around the Strait of Hormuz, Tanaka said.
After his return to Tehran, Mr. Rouhani talked about Japan’s interest for cooperation in Chahbahar Port which can be considered as Tehran’s green light to Tokyo for deployment of its troops. It is clear that Europe will definitely not accept any deal and trade between Iran and Japan to happen and even to let Japan have limited role in ties between Iran and the U.S.
Japan’s decision in military cooperation with Iran, of course upon the demand of the U.S., can deteriorate ties between Iran and Europe. Britain, because of its considerable aids to President Rouhani’s team, will never let Rouhani choose other route than Europe and follow the U.S. demands.
By: Hamid Reza Naghashian
- source : IRAN NEWS