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Japan urges Iran to abide by nuclear deal as uranium limit nears

  • June 18, 2019
  • , Kyodo News , 2:19 p.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO — Japan on Tuesday urged Iran to observe its obligations under a landmark 2015 nuclear agreement amid the prospect of Tehran exceeding the uranium stockpile limit set in the deal.


“We’d like to strongly encourage Iran to abide by the nuclear agreement,” Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura said at a press conference, adding that Tokyo has been communicating with Tehran at various levels.


The remarks by the government spokesman came a day after Iran said it will exceed its low-enriched uranium stockpile limit on June 27.


A spokesman for the Iran Atomic Energy Organization said that Iran may boost uranium enrichment to up to a concentration of 20 percent, higher than the 3.67 percent allowed under the accord.


Iran had said it would suspend some of its commitments under the nuclear deal and set an early July deadline to negotiate new terms with other signatories of the accord, from which the United States withdrew last year.


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Tehran last week and reiterated Japan’s support for the nuclear deal. He also stressed the need to avoid unintended military conflicts amid a recent U.S.-Iran standoff.


While Abe was in Iran, tensions in the Middle East spiked as two oil tankers were attacked near the Strait of Hormuz, a critical route for oil shipments from the region. The United States blamed Iran for the attacks.


The U.S. government said Monday it will send an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East.


“We are seriously concerned about the escalating tensions in the Middle East,” Nishimura said. “We will keep contact with the United States and Iran and play our role in reducing the tensions and stabilizing the situation.”

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