An Iranian naval drill off the Strait of Hormuz last year. (Tasnim)

December 4, 2019

Russia, Iran, and China will hold joint naval maneuvers on December 27, Russia’s TASS news agency cited a senior Iranian naval official as saying on Tuesday. TASS did not report where they would be held.

This coincides with Kyodo news agency announcing that Iran has proposed that President Hassan Rouhani visit Japan, a US ally which also has close relations with Tehran, to try to resolve Iran’s nuclear impasse with Washington.

Citing a senior diplomatic source, Kyodo said Iran’s deputy foreign minister for political affairs Abbas Araqchi had relayed the proposal to Japan during a two-day visit to Tokyo as a special envoy of Rouhani.

“Iran is seen as hoping to realize such a visit at an early date while Japan is expected to examine it carefully,” Kyodo said.

In Tokyo, a Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman said he had no information regarding any possible trip to Japan by the Iranian president, reported Reuters.

Tensions have heightened between Tehran and Washington since last year when President Donald Trump pulled out the US from Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers and reimposed sanctions on the country that have crippled its economy.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has forged warm relations with Trump, traveled to Iran in June to persuade Tehran and Washington to resume direct talks and dial down tension.

Iran has ruled out talks with Washington unless it returns to the nuclear deal and lifts all sanctions.

Asharq Al-Awsat

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.