Iranian leader tells Japan's PM that Trump 'not worthy' of reply to message
Updated: 2019-06-14 07:16:19 KST
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to soothe the increasingly tense relationship between Iran and the United States have failed.
Iran's Supreme Leader declined on Thursday to respond to U.S. President Donald Trump's message that Abe brought with him to Tehran.
For more on this and other news around the world, let's turn to our Hong Yoo.
Yoo, give us the details.
Well, the meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei was aimed at making peace between the U.S. and Iran but was overshadowed by Thursday's attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
The attacks near the entrance to the Persian Gulf were reported early Thursday and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wasted little time saying Iran was responsible.
These attacks come amid escalating tension between the U.S. and Iran due to tighter U.S. sanctions over renegotiating a nuclear deal.
The U.S. and Iran signed a 2015 nuclear accord after having negotiated the matter for 5 to 6 years, a deal which was swiftly abandoned by President Trump who claimed it was a "horrible one-sided deal".
Abe had discussed Iran with Trump in Tokyo last month and had brought a message from the U.S. leader, a message Khamenei said was not worthy of a reply.
He said President Trump was not ready for a honest negotiation.
"None of our problems would be solved be negotiating with America. Americans have been as hostile as they could towards us, and they continue to do so. No free nation will accept negotiations under pressure."
It was seen as crucial for Abe to ease tensions between the two countries as Japan imported most of its oil from Iran until last month, when Washington said countries importing Iranian oil could face sanctions.
Khamenei said Japan should show a firm stance if it wants to expand its ties with Iran.