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Iranian-Born Songwriter Begins First Journey Back Home

Iranian-born Fred Nassiri travels back to his native country for the first time in more than 26 years. For the songwriter and philanthropist who travels the world with his musical message of peace, it will be an emotional journey. He says he also hopes to be able to mediate between Iran and the United States on the nuclear stand off. For VOA, Sabina Castelfranco reports from Rome.

Since undergoing what he refers to a transformation in 1987, Fred Nassiri has been devoting his life to spreading a message of peace, love and reconciliation through his songs and music.

In Rome, he presented his new album "Love Sees No Color" and was allowed to film part of his music video inside the Vatican. Nassiri has been travelling around the world singing his world peace anthem in 15 different languages.

He says he wants the world to know that the present system of an eye for an eye is not working. There needs to be more sharing and caring. He adds that we have been given a paradise to live in harmony with each other.

The songwriter uses his music to call for a reduction of military budgets. He says nations must stop spending money for the destruction of mankind.

Nassiri was born a Muslim in Iran but immigrated to the United States when he was 20. He became very successful as one of the country's largest wholesalers of designer labels to mass clothing merchandisers.

Despite his wealth Nassiri searched for life's meaning. He converted to Catholicism but says he does not renounce any religion.

"I don't say Muslim is bad. I love Muslim, I love Christian, I have Buddhism because they all want to send the same message so I do not renounce any religion," he said. "I accept all religions. So I am Catholic now but I also go pray with Moslems, I also go to Jewish synagogue. I take a little bit from all those prophets to take me to God."

"I don't say mine is better than yours, it's the same path. Some people follow that If Islam was no good, there would not be two billion people following that," he continued.

Nassiri was traveling back to Iran Tuesday for the first time in over 26 years. He says its very emotional to return to the country of his birth where he plans to stay for a week. He will arrive in Shiraz, in the southwest of the country, where he was born.

But Nassiri says he hopes to also go to Tehran. He says he would like to help mediate between Iran and the United States on the nuclear stand off. He says the world does not need another Iraq.

"I hope to meet the president of Iran, Mr. Ahmadinejad and sit down and talk to him because I could be effective to bring peace in that region, between Iran and the United States," he said.

Nassiri has created what he refers to as a world peace movement. He believes the key to it is helping children and the underprivileged and demonstrating the power of uplifting music that carries a message of love and peace.

His album "Love Sees No Color" is due out in April and all profits will go to the poor and hungry of this world. He says the title of the album is an anthem for peace for years to come.

Nassiri makes clear this is not another music video, or another singer who wants to promote his song or album.

"I don't do music to sell music to make money," he said. "I don't do music just to get name and fame. I do music for love of music and love of humanity."

Nassiri's self-financed world tour, which began in September, will take also be taking him to London and then to New York in a month for the grand finale. There he will sing to peace with children of all nationalities at the Statue of Liberty.