Japan’s daily Nikkei was quoted by Press TV as saying that “Japan is eager to restore amicable relations with Iran and secure stakes in resource development projects there”. Toyo Engineering, which had built refining facilities for Iran in the past, was also looking into returning to Iran, the paper added.

The Nikkei added that executives from major trading houses such as Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui & Co. and Itochu, and plant-engineering giant JGC were also interested.

When questioned about the Nikkie article Shigetoshi Ikeyama a director at Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) told Reuters that a fully-fledged investment agreement has not yet been discussed between Iran and Japan.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would take the lead on any discussions on specific agreements, he said, adding that METI vice-minister Daishiro Yamagiwa previous visit to Tehran “was to avoid being beaten by European and U.S. companies”.