Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asked the Iranian leadership while visiting Iran to release Americans detained by Tehran, at the request of US President Donald Trump. Mr Abe is visiting Iran to and has shown support by asking for the release of four Americans who have been sentenced to 10 years in prison, one is in fact a US Navy veteran.
The Japanese PM, Abe is believed to have requested the release to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday, sources have said. This article was sourced from the Japan Times, with Kyodo/Reuters contributions.
As the first Japanese PM to visit Iran in 41 years, Mr Abe is on a mission to mend ties with Iran and to work behind the scenes to support the US-Iran talks – in short, Mr Abe is brokering dialogue between the two foes just as escalating tensions are overtaking some countries in the Middle East.
However, the Iranian leadership has delivered harsh words for Mr Trump and America. The leadership of Iran has been angry about President Trump imposing sanctions on the Iranian petrochemical sector. Known as one of the most impressive leaders in Japanese history, Mr Abe must use all his tools to persuade the Iranian leadership to work with the US.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is said to have lost faith in all discussions with the US, and with any future deals. Iran has said it will mover forward with nuclear technology buildout.