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Rouhani meets Francis, in warming of Iran relations

28 January 2016 | by Christopher Lamb
 
Pope Francis met the Iranian President at the Vatican this week and urged Tehran to find peaceful solutions for the Middle East and fight terrorism and arms trafficking. Francis and President Hassan Rouhani had a private meeting in the Apostolic Palace that lasted around 40 minutes at the end of which the Pope said he had “high hopes for peace” and asked the president to “pray for him”.Shia Iran is a close ally of the President of Syria, Bashar-Al Assad, with western nations backing Assad’s mainly Sunni opponents in the country’s civil war. Iran is widely accused of funding terrorist groups elsewhere  in the Middle East. The Holy See, however, has good relations with Iran and the Pope is keen to use that influence to bring peace in the Middle East.




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