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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 14:54 03/09/2007
News Review #336: March 2, 2006

Iran, Japan Discuss Nuclear File: Mottaki

Reviewed by Hitoshi URABE

Iran, Japan Discuss Nuclear File: Mottaki
Islamic Republic News Agency


Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has finished his 3-day visit to Japan. Japan tried to persuade Iran to back off from further nuclear development. But as many had suspected, the efforts did not lead to success.

The article introduced above is apparently based on Mr Mottaki's comments expressed to the Iran's official news agency. During his visit, he conferred with his counterpart, Japanese Foreign Minister Aso, as well as Prime Minister Koizumi. Mr Mottaki also gave a presentation at KEIDANREN (Japan Business Federation) inviting business investments into Iran.

It has been reported that Mr Aso, in accordance with his assigned agenda, explained Japan's view, especially Japan's concern on Iran's nuclear development and the stance of Japan to side with the majority of the international community to discourage Iran's further actions. Mr Koizumi explained Japan's position, as the only country with the experience of being attacked by nuclear bombs, as well as the experience of Japan's isolated position which led to the wretched war. He added that the tragic experience led Japan, after the war, to behave in the way to gain trust and confidence of the international community, which helped significantly in bringing about present prosperity in Japan.

Mr Mottaki must have been aware of Japan's way of thinking, as he was the Ambassador to Japan from 1995 to 1999. But it would have been impossible for him, in the capacity of the Foreign Minister, to make a turnaround on what seems to have become a symbol of identity for Iran, whatever risk it implies in sticking to that vicious agenda.

As explained in the article, Japan and Iran has a long relationship. Japan was one of the few countries which maintained a reasonably good relationship with Iran after its Islamic Revolution in 1979 and the seizure of the US Embassy in Teheran by militant students which followed immediately afterwards. In fact, many in Japan sympathize with the frustration the Iranian people must have. Japan knows how arrogant and offensive the so-called international voice led by the West could become. But Japan also knows, as Mr Koizumi explained to Mr Mottaki, there are times when patience and tolerance are the best tactics, especially in unfavorable winds.

It is true Japan relies heavily on Iranian oil to maintain its economy. Iran is the third biggest supplier of crude oil to Japan after Saudi Arabia and UAE. In turn, more than 25% of Iran's oil export goes to Japan. Development of Iran's Azadegan oil field under the contract signed in February 2004 is also very important for Japan. Indeed, the importance of Iran for Japan is the reason Japan wishes Iran to cope with the concerns expressed by many countries around the world. Japan knows with confidence that for Iran to answer the request from the international community in a positive manner now would lead to a productive relationship with rest of the world, including Japan. That is the best strategy now for Iran to adopt, for its own prosperity, and Japan's.

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