Warning to Japan? Tanker Attacks Stoke Speculation

Politics

Jerusalem, June 14 (Jiji Press)--Thursday's attacks on two tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, including one operated by a Japanese firm, stoked speculation over the perpetrators and reasons, as they coincided with a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Some suggest that the attacks were likely aimed at sending some kind of warning to Tokyo. Japan is working to ease tensions between Iran and the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, which have been escalating since Washington's withdrawal last year from the 2015 nuclear deal, signed between Iran and six major countries including the United States.

In its Wednesday edition, an Iranian newspaper leaning toward conservative hard-liners greeted Abe, who arrived in Tehran on the day to kick off his closely watched visit, with a headline in English and Persian that apparently referred to the United States.

The headline, reading "How Can You Trust A War Criminal, Mr. Abe?" went with a picture of a mushroom cloud, reminding readers of the U.S. atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, in the closing days of World War II.

The message apparently suggested that there is a sense of distrust of Abe among Iranian conservative hard-liners who have strong anti-U.S. sentiment.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press