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International relations

Abe urges Iran to play 'constructive role' to prevent clash with US

During historic trip, prime minister leverages unique position to ease tensions

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani welcomes Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tehran on June 12. The two leaders discussed the 2015 nuclear deal, among other topics.   © Reuters

TEHRAN -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called peace "necessary" for the Middle East during a historic trip to Iran Wednesday, as he aims to dial back tensions with the U.S. and push Tehran to adhere to the 2015 nuclear deal.

"We must do everything we can to prevent an armed clash," Abe said at a joint news conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani after the two met at the Sa'dabad complex in Tehran, which houses historical palaces, museums and government offices. This is the eighth time the leaders have met, with their last meeting coming in New York in September.

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