Sunday, 31 December 2006


VATICAN CITY, DEC 27, 2006 (VIS) - Following today's general audience, Benedict XVI received Manouchehr Mottaki and Rahim Mashai, respectively foreign minister and vice president of Iran, who gave the Holy Father a message from the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to a communique from the Holy See Press Office.

"During the meeting," the communique reads, "the Iranian representatives expressed their best wishes to the Pope, and their satisfaction for 50 years of diplomatic relations between Iran and the Holy See.

"For his part, the Holy Father also expressed his best wishes and reaffirmed the role the Holy See intends to play for peace in the world, not as a political but as a religious and moral authority, appealing to consciences so that the problems of peoples are always resolved through dialogue, in mutual understanding and in peace."