Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on a two-day trip to Iran sought to help de-escalate tensions between Washington and Tehran and offered to broker dialogue between the two sides, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

Government officials, however, noted that his bid was rejected by Iran.

Abe, while urging Iran to stick to an international nuclear accord inked in 2015 with six other countries, was keen to offer his help in mediating between Tehran and Washington, he had previously said.

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This was partly due to Japan having friendly ties with both Washington and Tehran, with this year marking the 90th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Japan and Iran.

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Abe’s visit to Iran, in fact, marked the first visit made by a Japanese prime minister since Takeo Fukuda in 1978.

Nevertheless, his efforts to broker dialogue between Washington and Tehran were rejected by the latter.

Abe stated that the standoff in the region remained difficult.

“He said, however, after his talks in Iran, that Japan remained committed to working towards the achievement of peace and stability in the region and the de-escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Iran,’’ the ministry said.