Explainer: Why is Japan's Abe going to Iran? What can he accomplish?

Explainer: Why is Japan's Abe going to Iran? What can he accomplish?
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Japan is in a unique position as a U.S. ally because it has long maintained close ties with Iran, making Abe an ideal mediator.

U.S.-Iran ties have frayed since President Donald Trump pulled out of an Iran nuclear deal in which it agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions. The United States has also hinted at military confrontation, sending extra forces to the region to counter what it describes as Iranian threats

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