Iranian leader, saying nation 'stable and safe,' meets pope

VATICAN CITY -- Iran's president has paid a call on Pope Francis at the Vatican during a European visit aimed at positioning Tehran as a potential top player in efforts to resolve Middle East conflicts, including Syria's civil war.

See Full Article

President Hassan Rouhani's motorcade of limousines crossed St. Peter's Square for the late-morning, closed-door meeting Tuesday with the pontiff.

In his nearly three years as pope, Francis has stressed mediation and dialogue as the best way to solve conflicts. That determination inspired his role between Cuba and the United States to pave the way for the Communist-led Caribbean nation to achieve normalization with Washington after decades of strict embargo.

Similarly, Tehran is keen on re-establishing flourishing energy and other economic ties with Europe, long a dependable trading partner. Iran also wants to end decades of diplomatic distance with the West in the wake of the landmark deal with six nations, including the United States, to curb Tehran's nuclear activities and end economic sanctions.

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."

The president is making the first state visit by an Iranian president to Europe in nearly two decades.

Italy also sees Iran as a potential peacemaker for 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, the Italian foreign ministry said.

Rouhani has described the political talks leading to the nuclear deal as a potential blueprint for pursuing peace in the Middle East.

Rouhani's four-day visit to Italy and next, to 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 investments after the lifting of international sanctions. The trip was originally planned for November but postponed by the attacks in Paris.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • French premier steps down to focus on presidential election

    World News CTV News
    PARIS -- French Prime Minister Manuel Valls stepped down Tuesday to focus on running for president in next year's election and was replaced by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, a man who embodies the fight against Islamic extremism. Source
  • Iran president not interested in Trump's views on nuclear deal

    World News CBC News
    Iran's president said on Tuesday that his country will not allow incoming U.S. President Donald Trump to "tear up" Iran's landmark nuclear deal with world powers and also warned Tehran will react to any extension of American sanctions. Source
  • Environmentalists still targeted by Revenue Canada

    Canada News CBC News
    A small environmental group opposed to Liberal pipeline policies is still under threat by the Canada Revenue Agency – almost five years after getting into trouble with the taxman for opposing Conservative pipeline policies. The tax agency has notified Environmental Defence Canada Inc. Source
  • 'A dating website designed by Fidel Castro': Opposition blasts Liberal electoral reform survey

    Canada News CBC News
    Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef mocked the electoral reform committee's final report last week, but several members returned the favour Monday after reviewing the government's new online survey on the topic. Conservative MP Scott Reid said MyDemocracy.ca "feels like being on a dating website designed by Fidel Castro. Source
  • Peak uncertainty: How to navigate this period of economic disorder and confusion

    Canada News CBC News
    We'd like to think we have a pretty good handle on how the world works. For help, we turn to experts who claim to understand the forces at play and the impact they will have on the economy and our lives. Source
  • Spokesman offers few clues on Trump's pipeline stance

    World News CTV News
    United States Marine Corps veteran Frank Russano, of the Outer Banks, N.C., walks through the Oceti Sakowin camp where people have gathered to protest the Dakota Access oil pipeline in Cannon Ball, N.D., Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. Source
  • Music therapist, teacher, teens among warehouse fire victims

    World News CTV News
    OAKLAND, Calif. -- A therapist who used music to help kids cope with trauma. A woman who taught at a Montessori school. An energetic artist who could make friends with anyone. These were some of the people killed when flames ripped through a converted Oakland warehouse during a dance party Friday night. Source
  • Trial of B.C. polygamous sect followers to hear defence's closing arguments

    Canada News CTV News
    CRANBROOK, B.C. - A defence lawyer in a trial involving three people with ties to a British Columbia polygamous community is expected to deliver his closing arguments today. John Gustafson is representing Brandon Blackmore, who is accused of taking a 13-year-old girl into the United States for a sexual purpose in 2004. Source
  • Recovery of Oakland warehouse fire victims winds down; investigation looms

    World News CTV News
    OAKLAND, Calif. -- Some people were able to text loved ones goodbye and "I love you" before they died in an Oakland warehouse fire that claimed three dozen lives, officials said, as heart-rending reports of victims' last moments emerged from the most lethal building fire in the U.S. Source
  • 80 per cent of Filipino youth suffer violence, UNICEF survey says

    World News CTV News
    MANILA, Philippines - A United Nations agency that promotes children's rights says its survey shows a high prevalence of violence against Filipino children, with eight out of 10 suffering some form of physical or psychological abuse, with the highest number of incidents found among lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender youth. Source