Japan PM Asks Iran’s Rouhani to Stick to Nuclear Deal

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meet in Tokyo, Japan, December 20, 2019. Du Xiaoyi/Pool via REUTERS

TOKYO, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday asked Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to stick to commitments made in a landmark 2015 nuclear deal and said Japan would do what it can to ensure stability in the Middle East.

Abe made the comments at the start of a meeting between the two leaders in Tokyo.

Iran, the United States and other countries in 2015 signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), under which Tehran curbed its uranium enrichment capacity and won sanctions relief in return.

President Donald Trump later withdrew the United States from the deal and ratcheted up sanctions on Iran, aiming to pressure its economy by ending its international sales of crude oil. Japan was a leading buyer of Iranian oil for decades before the sanctions.

At their meeting, Rouhani asked Abe to work with other countries to help keep the nuclear deal in place.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka, Editing by William Maclean)