Japan's Abe stresses friendly ties with Tehran amid US request to join anti-Iran coalition

TEHRAN, Jul. 21 (MNA) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Sunday (July 21) he had not yet decided on how to respond to an expected US request to send its navy to join a military coalition to safeguard strategic waters off Iran and Yemen.

"We've started to hear the United States' thinking on this and we want to keep listening carefully," Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on national television as votes were being counted for the Upper House election, according to Reuters.

"At the same time, Japan also has friendly ties with Iran," Abe added.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said in a statement on Friday night that it had captured a British oil tanker for violating international maritime law while crossing into the Strait of Hormuz earlier in the day.

The oil tanker has been transferred to Iranian Bandar Abbas port city to undergo the required legal proceedings.

Yesterday, the Spokesman of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif said that the seized British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz was being escorted by a warship and it was confiscated after ignoring international laws and distress calls.

Sharif further noted that the IRGC, along with other armed forces, on behalf of the Iranian nation, will act decisively in upholding existing international maritime laws and enforcing national sovereignty over territorial waters in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

The IRGC spokesman also warned that the Iranian armed forces will not allow anyone to endanger the Iranian national interests as well as the security of the region.

KI/PR

News Code 147907

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