Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday called on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and urged him to stick to the commitments made under the 2015 nuclear agreement, of which the US withdrew last year.

During a meeting Abe and Rouhani in Tokyo, the Japanese Prime Minister expressed his wishes that Iran “play a constructive role” for the maintenance of peace in the Middle East, Efe news reported.

Abe also requested Tehran to fully respect the agreement on the Iran nuclear program that was signed in 2015 by the Iranian government and several world powers.

Rouhani, the first Iranian president to visit Japan in 19 years, told PM Shinzo Abe that the nuclear agreement with world powers remained crucial. Iran, however, has gradually been violating the terms of the agreement.

“The nuclear deal is an extremely important agreement, and that’s why I strongly condemn the United States’ one-sided and irrational withdrawal,” Rouhani said.

“We hope that Japan and other countries in the world will make efforts toward maintaining the agreement”, he added.

Japan, a US ally that has traditionally had friendly relations with Iran also seeks to serve as a mediator between Tehran and Washington. Abe has said such a role is expected by the international community.

Rouhani, who was in Malaysia to attend an Islamic conference, arrived in Tokyo for an overnight visit to meet Abe and have dinner with him.

Tensions have escalated between Tehran and Washington since President Donald Trump’s decision last year to withdraw from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal.

The meeting between Abe and Rouhani follows the one the Japanese prime minister had in Tehran when he visited the city in June, during attempts for Tokyo to mediate the easing of tensions between Washington and Iran.

The efforts were unsuccessful. In fact, tensions between Washington and Tehran resurfaced as two tankers were attacked in the Strait of Hormuz during Abe’s Tehran visit, one of which belonged to a Japanese ship owner.

(With inputs from agency)