Cablegate: New Iranian Ambassador Presents Credentials to the Pope

INFO LOG-00 AF-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00
WHA-00 PDI-00 DS-00 EAP-00 DHSE-00 EUR-00 FBIE-00
UTED-00 VCI-00 H-00 TEDE-00 IO-00 MOFM-00 MOF-00
VCIE-00 NEA-00 NRRC-00 NSAE-00 ISN-00 NSCE-00 NIMA-00
EPAU-00 PER-00 PM-00 GIWI-00 SCT-00 ISNE-00 DOHS-00
SP-00 SSO-00 SS-00 FMP-00 EPAE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00
PRM-00 DRL-00 SCA-00 SAS-00 FA-00 SWCI-00 SRMC-00
SRND-00 SANA-00 /000W

P 041130Z NOV 09


E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) On October 29, Pope Benedict XVI accepted the
credentials of Mr. Ali Akbar Naseri as the new Ambassador of
Iran to the Holy See. As is customary, the Pope and the
ambassador presenting credentials exchanged remarks (in writing)
highlighting their respective priorities for the relation. As
reported in the Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's official
newspaper, the Pope stressed the need to observe international
law and freedom of religion. He also emphasized the importance
of good relations between peoples of different religions and
advocated respect for the free movement of religious workers
across national borders. The Pope also expressed concern for
the rights of Catholics in Iran.

2. (U) Ambassador Naseri's remarks addressed Iran's nuclear
ambitions and criticized what he claimed are the unequal
standards to which Iran's nuclear program is subject. He stated
Iran is a democracy that should be allowed to pursue a peaceful
nuclear program and complained that Iran's legitimate ambitions
have repeatedly been blocked while those of other nations have
been fully supported. He also alleged that Islamophobia is
prevalent in the West and stated that Iran supports peaceful
interreligious dialogue.

3. (SBU) Comment: Iran has five diplomats accredited to the
Holy See, a fairly large number for a Muslim-majority country
hosting a very small Catholic population (about 25,000). Iran,
however, seems to value its diplomatic ties with the Vatican
because the Holy See is only an observer in the UN and could
therefore play an intermediary role in a hypothetical Iran-UN
faceoff. Iran also appreciates that the Holy See is a firm
believer in diplomacy and opposes the use of force except as a
last resort to avoid an even greater evil - a rare occurrence
from the Vatican's perspective. The Vatican finds the Iranian
hierarchical religious leadership a suitable counterpart for
advancing religious dialogue with Shia Muslims. It is not,
however, naove about Iranian pernicious influence in Lebanon and
elsewhere in the region, laments the precarious situation of
Christians in Iran, and wishes Tehran would be more cooperative
in addressing the international community's concerns about its
nuclear program. End comment.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

UN: Decades Of Health Gains At Risk In Brazil Due To COVID-19

Although COVID-19 cases are declining in Brazil, the pandemic is putting decades of public health gains there at risk, the head of the World Health Organization ( WHO ) said on Friday. With global attention and support focused this week ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>