Abe’s visit expected to ease US – Iran tensions

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Iran on Wednesday amid Iran's subjection to US sanctions due to its nuclear program.

This will be the first visit to Iran by an incumbent Japanese prime minister in 40 years. Tensions between the US and Iran have placed Japan in a difficult position politically, as the US is Japan's security ally and Iran is Japan's key oil provider. A day ahead of the visit, Prime Minister Abe talked to US President Donald Trump on the phone about Iran. Abe earlier said he hoped he could act as a mediator to facilitate US-Iranian dialogue to ease tensions.

Japan gets 85% of its oil and 28% of its natural gas from the Persian Gulf. Analysts speculate that the Japanese prime minister may facilitate communications between the US and Iran but there's little chance it can assuage the increasing tensions.

Source: VOV5