Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Speaks of New Regional Role During Japan Visit


Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi arrived in Japan on Monday for a five-day visit to promote Japan-Iran relations. Araghchi, who served as Iran’s ambassador to Japan from 2008 to 2011, will meet with leading political and cultural figures during his stay.

The deputy foreign minister garnered international recognition in 2015 as a key member of the Iranian delegation that reached a landmark nuclear agreement with the United States and five other leading powers in July of that year.

Addressing an audience at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation Building in Tokyo on August 8, 2017, Araghchi stressed the Middle East’s importance in the world and spoke of Iran’s burgeoning role in West Asia and the Middle East. Middle Eastern nations must endeavor to build trusting, mutually beneficial relations, he said, if they hope to resolve the pressing issues they face. By way of example, he noted that such an approach was key to the success of the 2015 nuclear talks. He gave high marks to the administration of US President Barrack Obama for not taking a hardline stance in negotiations regarding uranium enrichment, explaining that the willingness of United States to allow for peaceful application of the Iranian nuclear program opened the way for the historic agreement. However, he expressed concern over the Donald Trump government’s move to strengthen sanctions following Iran’s December 2016 test-firing of a medium-range ballistic missile.

During the speech Araghchi also reiterated Iran’s ongoing commitment to fighting terrorism while stressing the solely self-defensive stance of the nation’s military forces. Going forward, he said that Iran will continue to strive for regional stability by seeking dialogue and cooperation with its Middle Eastern neighbors.

(Banner photo: Iran Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi speaks at an event in Tokyo hosted by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation on August 8, 2017.)

diplomacy Iran Middle East