Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to meet with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in his visit to the country this month, in what would be the first meeting between the two, the Mainichi daily reported, citing an unnamed government source.
The visit is aimed at helping encourage dialogue with the U.S. and ease tensions, according to the Mainichi. Abe plans to travel to Iran from June 12 to 14. The visit will be the first by an incumbent Japanese prime minister since 1978.
During the trip, Abe plans to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on June 12 and Khamenei on June 13, the Mainichi reported.
Abe has been setting himself up as an intermediary between the U.S. and Iran amid mounting strains between the two countries, a position that U.S. President Donald Trump has indicated he supports. Considering the state of heightened tensions, a meeting with both Rouhani and Khamenei was viewed as necessary, the Mainichi reported.
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