Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif , Japan Shinzo Abe

Japan would like to maintain, and develop, its traditionally friendly ties with Iran, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday.

At the start of a meeting in the Japanese capital, Abe also told Zarif that he was concerned about growing tension in the Middle East.

U.S. President Donald Trump has ratcheted up sanctions on Iran since the United States withdrew a year ago from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and global powers by which Tehran curbed uranium enrichment capacity in return for sanctions relief.

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