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Japanese PM in Iran for Attempt at Reconciliation

Analysts Weigh in With Risks and Highlights

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13 Jun 2019 (All day)
Japanese PM in Iran for Attempt at Reconciliation
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in Teheran on Wednesday for meetings with President Hassan Rouhani, telling journalists assembled for a joint press conference that "It is essential that Iran plays a constructive role in building solid peace and stability in the Middle East…so that the region will not destabilise any further and that no accidental clash will occur in the midst of recent rising tensions.” Rouhani declared during his own remarks that any tensions that exist are all the fault of America, adding “We will not initiate a conflict in the region, even against the US, but if a war starts against us we will then give a crushing response.”

Meanwhile, reports emerged on Thursday morning that two explosions had occurred impacting oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, further stoking tensions in the region. A US Fifth Fleet spokesperson told reporters the incident is being investigated. It comes followed several days in which mysterious fires burnt cargo ships in several Iranian ports and a large fire did extensive damage to the South pars oil platform. It also came a day after a missile fired at the civil airport in the southwestern Saudi Arabian city of Abha by Iranian-supported Houthi rebels in Yemen wounded 26 people, prompting officials in Riyadh to warn of a “stern” response.

Here is a video giving some further analysis of recent Iranian behavior