US President Donald Trump has admitted the possibility of negotiations with Iran at the beginning of a meeting with the Japanese prime minister in Tokyo. Shinzo Abe plans to visit Tehran in June, the local 'media' said.
"I truly believe that Iran would like to speak and if they want to talk, let's talk," said Donald Trump, adding, "Let's see what happens. But one thing is certain for me: the [Japanese] prime minister has a close relationship with the Iranian leaders... nobody wants to see terrible things to happen, especially me. "
These statements come a day after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has argued that the country can hold a referendum on the nuclear program at a time when tensions with the United States are worsening.
The Iranian leader's announcement was made in a speech to the nation and came a year after Donald Trump decided to withdraw the United States from the nuclear deal and resume sanctions against Tehran.
Japanese media have reported that Abe is planning a visit to Tehran next month. The Japanese news agency Kyodo, quoting unidentified government sources, said Friday that Abe's visit could take place in mid-June, after the Iranian Foreign Minister in early May had done a trip to Tokyo.
The US president began a visit to Japan on Saturday with an agenda focused on strengthening bilateral relations and on the impasse of negotiations with North Korea.
Trump was the first foreign ruler to be received by the new Emperor of Japan, Naruhito, who rose to the throne on May 1 following the abdication of his father, the now Emperor Emeritus Akihito.
The US head of state's visit extends through Tuesday and includes official meetings and leisure time with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was in Washington in April.
Trump arrives in Japan when Tokyo and Washington discuss a new trade deal, although no major progress is expected, according to US sources.
The US President returns to Japan at the end of June to attend the G20 summit.