Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has welcomed Japan’s decision not to join a United States-led naval mission in the Gulf and said he had discussions on ways of “breaking” the US sanctions.

“Japan has announced it will not take part in the Americans’ plans for security in the [Gulf] region … which is something we welcome,” Rouhani said on state TV on Saturday after returning from a trip to Malaysia and Japan.

“Japan is sending a surveillance vessel but not to the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz,” he said.

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