Pope Francis met with the Iranian president Tuesday, joining in a cordial discussion which touched on the recent nuclear accord and Iran’s role in the region.
Iran President Hassan Rouhani met first with Francis, privately for 40 minutes, and later with other officials.
“I ask you to pray for me,” Rouhani told Francis after. He called the visit by the leader of a Muslim country to the head of the Roman Catholic church “a real pleasure.”
Rouhani’s visit to the Holy See saw the first meeting between a pope and an Iranian president since 1999, and comes as Iran looks to carve out a bigger role in mediating Middle East conflicts.
Rouhani arrived for the late-morning, closed-door meeting in a motorcade of some two dozen limousines. Security, already tight around the Vatican following the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, was even more rigid than usual. Police kept tourists and Romans from walking too close to the colonnade ringing the square before and during the visit.
Tehran is keen on re-establishing energy and other economic ties with Europe, long a dependable trading partner.
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.”
Italy also sees Iran as a potential peacemaker in Syria’s civil war, as the Italian government fears the warfare will further destabilize Libya, just across the Mediterranean from southern Italy, fuel terrorism and jeopardize energy security.
“Italy has always backed the role of Iran as a regional player in resolving tensions in the area, starting with the Syrian crisis,” Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said after meeting his Iranian counterpart, according to his office.
Rouhani’s visit to Italy and France is part of efforts by Iran to reach out to its old partners following the implementation of the nuclear deal, and Rouhani is eager for foreign investment after the lifting of international sanctions. The trip was originally planned for November but postponed because of the attacks in Paris.
The Associated Press contributed to this article
Robert Briggs says
You gotta be kidding me!
That is like asking a rattle snake to bite you so your joints won’t be so stiff!
Well now we know that Jesus sure nuff knew what he was talking about with the
blind leading the blind!
So who is this Pope Dude, that anybody should ask him to pray for them?
He is just another sinner who is going to bust hell wide open if he doesn’t get
saved like all the followers of Jesus, like Peter, Paul, Mark, Luke, & John
just to name a couple of the Bible dudes that one should look at and maybe
listen to what they had to say, and oh! Yea let us not forget that 1Timothy Dude
you can read what he had to say about this subject too. Just open your good Old
King James Holy Bible to Chapter 2 and verse 5 of 1Timothy King James Holy Bible.
Now what does Timothy say? For there is one God, and one mediator between
God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified
in due time.
Now no where in there was any mention of a pope or the Pope; so if you don’t want to
Bust Hell Wide Open then I recon you better ask Jesus Christ to forgive you of all your sins
and save your old rotten soul, just like every Christian has had to do since Jesus went to
that Old Rugged Cross and paid for your and my sins.
Last but not least go tell someone that Jesus saved you when you do get saved, this part is
Read Romans Chapter 10: verses 9,10,11,12, & 13.
This is what Saint Peter did and I’d say if it was good enough for him then it is good enough
for you and me. You don’t need the Pope, Jesus Christ the only one you’ll ever need.
May God pour out his Blessing upon everyone who reads these words of Truth.
MN1 Robert Briggs Vietnam Vet. and USN Retired in TN.
Charles R. Nix says
I think Mr. Robert Briggs needs to remember that Catholicism is one branch of Christianity. Also, the policies of all denominations are put into place by men, and even though they are supposedly scripture based, sometimes they may not be. Therefore all denominations will miss the “mark” at times, because as human beings, we are not perfect. I am a Southern Baptist, but I admire and respect the Pope, because: 1. He is the worldwide leader of a Christian denomination, and 2. he is a man of peace. May God continue to bless him. And, Mr. Briggs, may God richly bless you as well.
Good response, Mr. Nix. Mr. Briggs quotes Scripture but reminds me of the arrogant Pharisee who thanks God he is not like the rest of men. But he misses the central message of the Gospel: Love God and love our neighbor And Jesus answered the question as to who was our neighbor. Mr. Briggs wonders why anyone should ask the pope for his prayers. Yet in every church we pray for our family, and for the sick, and for our neighbors. Didn’t Jesus tell us to bless and pray for others especially those who mistreat us. Instead of welcoming the fact that the president of a Muslim country was asking a Christian religious leader for his prayers he makes his, not only vicious but unChristian comments.
Justin W says
I find the statement that Iran is the most stable country in the region to be scary. The sad part is our military helped make its neighbors less stable.
Well said Mr. Briggs the Pope is not a Christian and he certainly need salvation just like you and me. He is certainly not a man of peace either – we definitely don’t need a Pope we just need Jesus Christ.
I think its a slap in the faces of all Christians around the world for the Pope to even be there. Iran is guilty of many crimes against humanity & Christians. As it is a Muslim nation, Rouhani should ask his Allah to pray for him and the Pope should pray for the rest of the world which will be threatened by the development of Iran’s concentration on developing nuclear weapons. Blindsided leaders, wake up!!!!
Amen. AMEN to that comment. Play with the rattlesnake and you will receive the consequences!!!!
I am astounded at Robert Briggs’ statement. I don’t know who he thinks he is representing but it is certainly not Jesus.
I cannot imagine anyone being drawn to Jesus by that attitude and if he feels that Catholics and Muslims need to be brought into God’s kingdom he should present the gospel (GOOD NEWS) which is that God loves each one and wants us to be part of His family. I fear that Robert’s attitude has been more influenced by his experience of war (his self-chosen label) than his experience of the Prince of Peace. It is humbling to ask someone to pray for you. If we are wanting God’s blessing having humility is a good place to start. As Robert has a handle on scripture I am sure he knows the references – if not he can look up humble and humility in his concordance.
Sorry! Pope Francis can’t speak in Arabic and Jesus, either.
And what for? Iran Prez. And what does Pope Francis response? I wish I could!Maybe.