Japan's Shinzo Abe leaves for Iran

Japan's Shinzo Abe leaves for Iran

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is heading to Iran, hoping to ease tensions between the Islamic republic and Washington.

Abe is expected to arrive in Tehran at around 1120 GMT and go straight into talks with President Hassan Rouhani.

"Amid concerns over growing tension in the Middle East and with the attention of the international community on the issue, Japan wishes to do its best towards peace and stability in the region," Abe said in Tokyo before leaving for Tehran.

"Based on traditional friendly ties between Japan and Iran, I would like to have candid exchanges of opinions with President Rouhani and supreme leader Khamenei towards easing tensions," AFP cited him as saying.

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