Pope Francis welcomed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to the Vatican on Tuesday.
— FRANCE 24 English (@France24_en) January 26, 2016
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The Latin Pope called on Iran to combat terrorism.
That won’t happen.
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church and the President of Iran met Tuesday at the Vatican, a face-to-face encounter that speaks to a changing geopolitical landscape and both men’s significant role in it.
Cameras captured Pope Francis and President Hassan Rouhani shaking hands and sitting down across from each other. No details were immediately available about exactly what they discussed.
No doubt, though, they have a lot to talk about — from the bloody, years-long war and humanitarian crisis in Syria to endangered Christians in the Middle East to the increasing integration of the country officially called the Islamic Republic of Iran into world affairs following the striking of a landmark nuclear deal.
“I think that the meeting of President Rouhani with the Pope is one of the signals of the fact that, after the nuclear deal, we have a possibility of a relevant involvement of Iran in a regional and global framework,” Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
The pair — one a senior Muslim cleric, the other the world’s most recognized Christian leader — had planned to sit down in November, according to official Iranian and Vatican news outlets. But Rouhani postponed that meeting, and his entire trip to Europe, following that month’s coordinated terrorist massacre in Paris.