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EghtesadOnline: It is "unreasonable" to expect that trips by foreign dignitaries to Iran could lead to a major breakthrough in Tehran-Washington relations, but they could be seen as an "achievement" if they succeed in removing the shadow of a looming conflict in the region, according to an Iranian daily.

Trips by foreign officials to Iran show that the hostile unilateral policies adopted by US President Donald Trump toward the country have failed, the state-affiliated daily Iran wrote in a recent article, in reference to visits by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.  

America's failure is evident in the fact that Trump welcomed Abe's help in dealing with Iran during a visit to Japan late last month, the article said. 

"The prime minister and Japan have a very good relationship with Iran so we'll see what happens," Trump said when asked about reports that the Japanese leader would visit Tehran in June and hold talks with the country's leadership about lowering tensions, the Guardian reported, according to Financial Tribune.

Tokyo has had a generally positive relationship with Tehran dating back about 70 years, mostly revolving around oil, and the two countries are celebrating the 90th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year.

Japan, a US ally, is keen to see stability in the Middle East as the bulk of its oil imports come from the region, although it recently stopped buying oil from Iran because of US sanctions, Reuters reported.

The visit by Germany's chief diplomat to Tehran was also part of a concerted European effort to preserve Iran's nuclear pact with world powers and defuse rising US-Iranian tensions.



Unrealistic Expectation

It is unreasonable to expect that issues between Iran and the United States will be resolved by the visits of Japanese prime minister and European officials because it is not even clear whether Trump will stick to what he told the Japan's prime minister, the newspaper said.

Iranian officials should have realistic expectations of such developments as ties between Tehran and Washington remain complicated in nature, particularly as long as a president such as Trump is in office, it added. 

However, the article says such diplomatic efforts should not be viewed "pessimistically" and dismissed as "useless". 

If the trip by the Japanese premier could help reduce tensions and lift the shadow of a conflict cast over the region due to US policies, it could be regarded as a "considerable accomplishment".  

"As the Leader has said, Iran is seeking to de-escalate regional tensions. So it will welcome any move toward this end," the daily said. 

US-Iran ties have frayed since Trump pulled out of the 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 military enforcements to the region to counter what it claims are Iranian threats.

"So we should not assume that there is no opportunity in these visits for easing tensions, while not pinning our hopes on them," read the article. 


Iran Shinzo Abe Heiko Maas Visits by Foreign Leaders Balanced Perspective Tehran-Washington relations conflict in the region