A senior Iranian official has opposed Japan's plan to dispatch Self-Defense Forces to the Middle East to help ensure the safe navigation of commercial vessels.
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi gave NHK an exclusive interview on Tuesday during his visit to Japan as a special envoy for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Araghchi said Tehran is waiting for Japan's final decision, but it doesn't believe that the presence of any foreign forces in the region would help boost stability, security or peace.
The diplomat noted that he had conveyed Iran's stance to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a meeting.
Araghchi said US policies are the root cause of escalating tensions in the Middle East. He criticized the US for imposing "maximum pressure" on Iran and withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear agreement.
Araghchi also said that if Iran cannot benefit from the nuclear deal, the country will certainly take the next step, including the rejection of the International Atomic Energy Agency's inspections.