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Iran's President Welcomes Abe on Historic Visit

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (R) welcomes Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during a welcoming ceremony at the Saadabad Palace in the capital Tehran on June 12, 2019. (Photo by - / AFP)
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP)

Iran's president has officially welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Hassan Rouhani greeted Abe on his historic visit on Wednesday afternoon in northern Tehran's Saadabad Palace.

An honor guard on horseback holding the flags of Iran and Japan escorted Abe's car.

The Japanese leader is in Tehran on a mission to calm tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

The Trump administration has re-imposed heavy sanctions on Iran after deciding to withdraw from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal a year ago. The U.S. recently deployed an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf.

Abe is also scheduled to meet the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during his two-day visit.