News / Europe

    Pope Urges Iran to Promote Political Solution in Middle East

    Iran's President Hassan Rouhani (R) is welcomed by Pope Francis at the Vatican, Jan. 26, 2016.
    Iran's President Hassan Rouhani (R) is welcomed by Pope Francis at the Vatican, Jan. 26, 2016.
    VOA News

    Pope Francis has urged Iran to use its “important role” to promote peace in the Middle East and help halt the spread of terrorism and weapons trafficking.
     
    The pope made the appeal during a 40-minute closed-door meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the Vatican Tuesday.
     
    A Holy See statement after the meeting pointed to the "relevant role Iran is called on to play" to find political solutions to the problems the Middle East is facing, specifically terrorism and arms trafficking.
     
    Since elected, about three years ago, Pope Francis has emphasized mediation and dialogue as the best way to solve conflicts.
     
    Rouhani's visit to the Vatican marked the first meeting between a pope and an Iranian president since 1999. His trip to Italy is also the first state visit by an Iranian president to Europe in nearly two decades.

    European visit

    Rouhani's four-day visit to Italy and France is seen as part of Iran’s effort to reach out to its old partners following the implementation of the nuclear deal with six nations, including the United States. Rouhani has shown great interest for foreign investment since the lifting of international sanctions that followed the deal.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (l) meets Italian President Sergio Mattarella, upon his arrival at the Quirinale Presidential palace, in Rome, Jan. 25, 2016.
    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (l) meets Italian President Sergio Mattarella, upon his arrival at the Quirinale Presidential palace, in Rome, Jan. 25, 2016.

    Before going to the Vatican, Rouhani told a forum of business leaders in Rome that "Iran is the safest and most stable country of the entire region.''
     
    Rouhani has described the talks leading to the nuclear deal as a potential blueprint to resolve Middle East conflicts, including Syria's civil war.
     
    Iran also wants to end decades of diplomatic distance with the United States and other Western counties.

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    Comments
         
    by: MKhattib from: USA
    January 26, 2016 8:26 PM
    In striking this deal with the devil, the West hasn’t bought security or even credible assurances about Iran’s nuclear project. What it has done is to give a terror-supporting regime the kind of economic boost that gives it the ability to do as it likes without fear of any Western response. As such, the question of whether the Europeans are making wise investments is trivial when compared to one about the end of any hope of restraining Iran’s aggressive ambitions.

    by: Stephen Real
    January 26, 2016 1:09 PM
    I encourage my friends in Rome to sweeten the relationship between the US and Tehran. Syria is a mess. The Middle East is looks about total war; from Damascus,to Yemen, and across the breath of North Africa. It is important Rome (and true friends in London) to act.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    January 26, 2016 1:03 PM
    Iran visiting the Vatican’s mere window-dressing. Iran’s no need for the Vatican or the Christian world except for face-saving mission, hence Iran’s Christian population’s second-class disenfranchised citizenship, slaves in the country they don’t remember how they became citizens of. At a time like this when Saudi-Arabia and its sunni-muslim-world are engaged in full-scale outrage to Islamize the world by force using al-qaida, ISIS and their affiliated terrorist cells, Iran pretends to be reaching out with friendly arms to its hitherto fore designated “enemies-of-god” or infidels trying to hoodwink the gullible that what’s born of the snake can grow out limbs.

    Even at that, Iran and Saudi Arabia have their common ground in avowing enmity with Israel. It doesn’t matter that Rouhani sends “goodwill” message to Jews on their new-year, but the acid test for any Islamic country which must deceive the world that it stands for peace is when they reach out to Israel, not pretentious new-year message to Jews. I think the pope’s message’s misplaced even though he doesn’t mean bad – he grossly misunderstands Iran. But when the use of force and threat failed to bring Iran to its sense, it’s Obama’s worst diplomacy, his regret come January 2017.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    January 26, 2016 4:53 PM
    There are so many new and old Churches and Synagogues in Iran.

    There are NO Churches and Synagogues in Saudi Arabia.

    There are NO new Churches and Synagogues in Turkey, and the old ones are deliberately ignored and left to be destroyed.

    by: Anonymous
    January 26, 2016 11:48 AM
    There are so many new and old Churches and Synagogues in Iran. There are NO Churches and Synagogues in Saudi Arabia. There are NO new Churches and Synagogues in Turkey, and the old ones are deliberately ignored and left to be destroyed.

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