Japanese PM tried to reconcile Iran and the United States.
The mediation mission with which the Japanese prime minister traveled to Iran ended inconclusively. Shinzo Abe, as some optimists suggested, was supposed to convey a message from U.S. President Donald Trump to Iran’s spiritual leader Ali Khamenei and reduce the degree of tension between Iran and the United States. But the conflict cannot be resolved without clear concessions from one of the parties, and neither Trump nor Khamenei can afford it.
The first visit of the incumbent Prime Minister of Japan to Iran in 41 years did not bring the breakthroughs that were whispered on the sidelines. Formally, the occasion for Shinzo Abe’s trip to Tehran was the 90th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Iran and Japan, which will be celebrated this year.
In practice, the main purpose of the visit was “forcing peace” – Abe, as some experts assumed, was to act as a mediator and try to bring U.S.-Iranian relations out of the phase of sharp confrontation.
On the eve of the visit, many analysts predicted that Abe would bring some message from President Trump to the Iranian leadership. There was a rumor that it would even be an invitation to The Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei to attend the G20 summit in Osaka in late June and meet with the American president in person.
Japanese diplomats, however, refuted this version. Japanese newspapers on the eve of the visit, citing diplomatic sources, claimed that Abe represented no interests other than the Japanese. Iranian media also actively stressed the purely bilateral nature of the visit.