Pope Hails Iran Nuclear Deal

Speaking Sunday, Pope Francis hailed the pending nuclear deal with Iran as 'a definitive step toward a more secure and fraternal world.'

Yaakov Levi,

Pope Francis
Pope Francis
Uri Lenz/POOL/Flash 90

Speaking Sunday, Pope Francis hailed the pending nuclear deal with Iran as “a definitive step toward a more secure and fraternal world.” The deal, he said in his Easter address, could hail a safer world in a region that was responsible for much of the world's bloodshed.

In the address, which tens of thousands heard live and was broadcast to tens of millions around the world, Francis decried the “ugliness” of world conflicts – and of the gray and rainy day that caused the masses in St. Peter's Square to get soaked – expressing hope that humanity would turn away from violence. “We ask for peace for this world subjected to arms dealers, who earn their living with the blood of men and women,” said Francis.

He also denounced violence throughout the Middle East. About Libya, which is undergoing a civil war between radical ISIS Islamists and gangs of mercenaries, Francis called on all parties to end “the absurd bloodshed and all barbarous acts of violence.” He called on those in Syria and Iraq, where ISIS has conquered large swaths of land, to end “the roar of arms.” And for Yemen, also wracked by civil war, and the latest focus of fighting between Sunni and Shi'ite groups, Francis expressed hope that “a common desire for peace” would prevail.

Two days earlier, on Good Friday, Francis decried the killing of Christians in the Muslim world, especially by ISIS, which has sought to kill all “heretics,” including Christians, in the lands that it has conquered. In February, the group kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians in northeast Syria, leading to strong condemnations by the West. The group later released some of them upon payment of a reansom of $1,700 per person. It is not known what happened to the other hostages.

In the past, Francis has called for “dialogue” with the Islamist fanatics. Speaking last November, Francis said that such dialogue would appear to be "almost impossible,” adding that “I never say 'all is lost,' never. Maybe there can't be a dialogue but you can never shut a door.”




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