News ID: 280779
Published: 0613 GMT February 16, 2021

Iran, Japan urge improving bilateral defense ties, contacts

Iran, Japan urge improving bilateral defense ties, contacts

Defense ministers of Iran and Japan have stressed the importance of making efforts to strengthen bilateral cooperation and continue exchange of views between defense authorities of the two countries.

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami held a video teleconference with his Japanese counterpart Kishi Nobuo on Tuesday, Press TV wrote based on a report by Japan’s Ministry of Defense.

The Iranian defense chief congratulated Kishi on his appointment as the defense minister of Japan.

The two ministers also exchanged views on the ongoing developments in the Middle East and concurred in continuing contacts between the two countries’ defense officials.

In October 2019, Hatami held a phone call with his former Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono. The two sides emphasized the need for peace and stability in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

Hatami highlighted the collective nature of security in the Persian Gulf region, adding that no country in the region can enjoy security while its neighbors are in turmoil and suffer from insecurity.

Earlier on Tuesday, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in an interview with Japan’s Kyodo News, called Tokyo an old friend of Tehran.

Referring to Japan’s good relations with the United States, and Washington’s illegal and unilateral sanctions against Tehran, Zarif said Iran expects Japan and the European Union to act like a friend and persuade newly inaugurated US President Joe Biden to lift sanctions imposed on Tehran by his predecessor Donald Trump.

"Since the United States is violating international law, the best role that Japan can play is to show Americans that Japan will not implement their illegal decisions," he added.

Zarif specifically called on Japan to unfreeze Iranian assets frozen in Japanese banks due to US sanctions, as a gesture to Iran by the new government of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who came to power last September.

According to Zarif, frozen assets in Japan - mainly revenues from crude oil exports– is estimated to be under $3 billion.


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