Iranian Diplomat Knocks Japan-India Nuclear Energy Negotiations

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tokyo -- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Oceanic Affairs Mohammad Ali Fathollahi told Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada on Thursday that Japan's nuclear energy negotiations with non-NPT state India were "regrettable" because they "weaken rules under the NPT regime."

Meanwhile, Japanese diplomats pressed Fathollahi to ensure that the Islamic Republic strictly follow the instructions and regulations of the IAEA, about which the two nations have differing interpretations.

At the same time, however, Tokyo has been quick to add that friendly relations between the two nations should be maintained.

In the UN Security Council, Japan has supported multilateral sanctions against Tehran for its alleged violations of nuclear nonproliferation guidelines.

Additionally, the US government has imposed new unilateral sanctions on the Islamic Republic and is lobbying Japan to follow suit.

This week US Assistant Secretary of Treasury David Cohen visited three major Japanese banks in an attempt to convince them not to do business with Iran.

So far, Japan has not acceded to these demands, as it remains a major trading partner with Iran.

The Ministry of Finance, however, is said to be considering how far they might go in placating Washington on this matter.

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