News analysis

Abe negotiates minefield of bias as he plays peacemaker

Japan PM's bid to broker peace between US and Iran marred by hit on oil tankers in Gulf

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe travelled to Teheran this week in a high-stakes bid to broker an uneasy peace between Iran and the United States, but ended up being caught in an awkward position after two oil tankers were attacked.

He had been upbeat at first, after a rare meeting with Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, saying that "major progress has been made towards securing peace and stability in this region".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2019, with the headline 'Abe negotiates minefield of bias as he plays peacemaker'. Print Edition | Subscribe