Tokyo, May 16 -- Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono on Thursday called on Tehran to preserve the Iran nuclear deal, despite the United States' decision to withdraw from the agreement and tighten economic sanctions.

This was done to ensure the peaceful nature of the country's nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of western sanctions, in the wake of Tehran's decision to suspend some of its obligations under the deal.

On Thursday, Kono met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. The meeting followed the reported discontinuation of some of Iran's commitments under the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on the same day, reports Sputnik.

Zarif expressed hope that Japan, a key US ...