Japan Urges Israel 'Patience' on Iran Sanctionsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Japan's Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba has urged Israel to exercise "patience" on Iran's nuclear program and give sanctions a chance to work, his spokesman said on Wednesday.
Gemba, who arrived in Israel on Tuesday, held a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is in mourning for the passing of his father, and also met with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
On Wednesday, he was to meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
A statement from spokesman Kurokawa Kimiharu said Gemba had told Netanyahu that "patience would be necessary to deal with the Iranian nuclear issue, to which Mr Netanyahu responded by saying that Israel does not want war."
In talks with Lieberman, Gemba said Japan shared the international community's concern over Iran's nuclear program, and said an "unprecedented level of pressure" was being exerted on Tehran, which was beginning to take effect.
"It is important to continue to put effective pressure on Iran as the pressure began to show its effect, to some extent," Gemba told Lieberman.
"Regarding a military option against Iran, Foreign Minister Gemba urged his counterpart to be patient" and suggested that the Jewish state "restrain itself," the statement said.
"Such an option would create new political confusion and tensions in the region as well as giving Iran new excuses to pursue their nuclear program," he told Lieberman.
Israel, widely considered the sole if undeclared nuclear power in the Middle East, believes a nuclear-armed Iran would pose an existential threat to the Jewish state, and has refused to rule out a pre-emptive strike in a bid to halt it.
The international community has slapped a series of tough sanctions on Iran over widely-held suspicions it is seeking a militarized nuclear capability -- a charge which Tehran denies.
But Israel has expressed doubt that the sanctions will work.