Iran welcomes Japan decision to not join US mission

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, shake hands before their meeting at the prime minister's office in Tokyo. (PTI Photo)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that Tehran welcomes Japan's decision not to join a U.S.-led naval mission in the Gulf, in remarks carried by state television.

"Japan has announced it will not take part in the Americans' plans for security in the (Gulf) region ... which is something we welcome," Rouhani said after returning from a visit to Malaysia and Japan. "Japan is sending a surveillance vessel but not to the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz."

The planned Japanese operation is set to cover high seas in the Gulf of Oman, the northern Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden, but not the Strait of Hormuz. 

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