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Iran-Japan discuss nuclear deal ahead of Blinken-Austin Tokyo visit

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also said on Wednesday that the US should take the first step to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

Slowly but surely Iran’s accommodation into the international mainstream, premised on the revival of the Iran nuclear deal, is beginning to take shape. Ahead of the visit to Tokyo of US secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, Japanese foreign minister Japanese Toshimitsu Motegi held a telephonic conversation with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif. The two discussed the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Discussing the latest regional and international developments, the top Japanese diplomat also highlighted the importance of exploring avenues to promote relations between Tehran and Tokyo.

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"He (Motegi) expressed Japan’s support for the JCPOA and stressed the need for all signatories to the deal to live up to their obligations. He also expressed hope as the pandemic situation improves, he will be able to visit Tehran in the near future," the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement today.

Zarif, for his part, welcomed the enhancement of relations between the two countries and the upcoming trip to Tehran by his opposite number.

"He (Zarif) said once the other signatories to the JCPOA keep their side of the bargain and as soon as sanctions are lifted, Iran will deliver on its JCPOA obligations again," the statement mentioned.

Zarif highlighted Iran’s constructive role in harnessing regional crises, and elaborated on the measures adopted, including cooperation with the UN secretary general’s envoy for Yemen.

Meanwhile, Tokyo announced Thursday that Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State of the United States of America, will visit Japan from March 15 to 17. Motegi will hold a foreign ministers meeting with Blinken on March 16.

Additionally, Lloyd Austin, the US Secretary of Defence, will also visit Japan during the same period.  The Japan-US Security Consultative Committee (SCC) will be held at this occasion on March 16.

"The visit to Japan by the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defence as their first overseas travel soon after the inauguration of the Biden Administration demonstrates that the US values the Japan-US Alliance. This will be an opportunity for the ministers to exchange views on the increasingly severe security environment in the region, and conduct consultations on issues including further cooperation to enhance the Japan-US Alliance," Japanese Foreign Ministry said today.