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Iran's Rafsanjani: Pope 'Truly a Man of Peace'

Iran's influential former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, has praised the late Pope John Paul II as a man of peace and offered his condolences to the world's Christians on the loss of the Roman Catholic leader.

Speaking to Muslims at Friday prayers in Tehran, Mr. Rafsanjani praised the pope for opposing the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and his condemnation of the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib jail by some U.S. soldiers.

Mr. Rafsanjani, who has hinted at a comeback in June's presidential election, asked how the Vatican could be indifferent to U.S. policies, which he said dishonor Jesus Christ.

Iran's president, Mohammad Khatami, represented the Islamic Republic at the pontiff's funeral Friday in Rome.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP, AFP.