Japanese PM Abe: Iran Has No Intention to Make Nuclear Weapons

Says Iran has a constructive role to play in peace

Speaking after a meeting with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo reported that Iran has no intention to “make, hold, or use nuclear weapons.” This assurance has been made by Iranian officials repeatedly, and Khamenei told Abe this again Thursday.

This is an important point, as while the US has been talking up military confrontation against Iran for years, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accusing Iran of “nuclear blackmail” on Thursday, the evidence doesn’t support these claims, nor indeed convince even close US allies like Abe.

Instead of a war, Abe says he sees Iran as having a potentially very constructive role to play in the peace process. He tried to convince Khamenei to talk with the US, though Khamenei rejected this proposal, seeing nothing good coming out of talks with the US.

US efforts seem mostly centered on convincing Abe not to deal with Iran. Pompeo falsely claimed Khamenei had snubbed a meeting when Abe, when that meeting had already taken place, and accused Iran of attacking a Japanese-owned tanker, without providing any evidence that Iran was behind that attack.

Japan’s interest in Iran is to return to a long-standing trade relationship, buying Iranian oil and providing some services to the Iranian economy. The US, however, has forbidding Japan from doing so, and so far Japan has not shown a willingness to defy US demands.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.