ASIA/IRAN - Iranian president Mohammad Khatami sends the Pope “best wishes”

Friday, 4 March 2005

Teheran (Fides Service) - Public opinion in Iran is showing great interest with regard to the health of Pope John Paul II. From Teheran president Mohammad Khatami sent the Pope “best wishes” speedy recovery and local Christians assure their prayers for the Holy Father, Papal Nuncio in Iran Archbishop Angelo Mottola told Fides.
“We are close to the Holy Father. We love him and pray for him always. The Pope is our only hope, he is the one who makes his voice heard to defend the rights of Christians in every part of the world. We are close to him at this time of suffering and pray the Lord to accompany him at this time of trial” the Nuncio told Fides.
Iranian press, civil and political authorities, and ordinary people are showing great interest with regard to the Pope’s health. “President Khatami - said Archbishop Mottola - always recalls the good relations that exist between him and the Pope. During a recent meeting he asked me to forward on his behalf a message of best wishes, health and prosperity for the Holy Father and the whole Church. In Iran the Pope is held in high esteem as a great spiritual leader and defender of human rights”.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 4/3/2005 righe 22 parole 232)