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from issue no. 12 - 2010

The followers of Abraham seek justice together


The exchange of letters between the Iranian President Ahmadinejad and Pope Benedict XVI


Letters between the Iranian President Ahmadinejad and Pope Benedict XVI


Haj Sayyed Mohammad Reza Mir Tajjadini, Vice- president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, presents Pope  Benedict XVI with the letter of President Ahmadinejad, 6 October 2010 [© Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Holy See]

Haj Sayyed Mohammad Reza Mir Tajjadini, Vice- president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, presents Pope Benedict XVI with the letter of President Ahmadinejad, 6 October 2010 [© Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Holy See]

In the Name of God the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

To His Eminence Pope Benedict XVI, Leader of the Catholic Church,

Please accept my warm and intimate greetings. I would also like to express my gratitude for the position taken by Your Eminence and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in condemning the unwise action of a church in Florida of offending the sanctity of the Holy Quran which has grieved the hearts of millions of Muslims.
The special conditions prevailing in the world and the lack of attention paid by humanity to the teachings of monotheistic religions – which have unfortunately stemmed from the spread of currents such as secularism and the extremist western humanism, and also peoples’ materialistic lifestyles, as well as profiteering and carnal desires – have gained prominence and set the stage for the collapse of human societies, family foundations and the youth. Therefore, no one can deny that close cooperation and interaction between the heavenly religions to rein in such destructive developments, has now become a necessity.
The loftiest vocation of the divine prophets has been to invite people to monotheism, and to oppose oppression and administer justice under the patronage of monotheism. Accordingly, the followers of the Abrahamic religions must take the lead in consolidating justice, eradicating oppressions and wrongs and preventing double standard and discriminatory behaviors that have resulted in nothing but the accumulation of hatred and discontent and, hence, conflicts and problems on the international stage.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a religious and democratic establishment, has always considered close collaboration and development of bilateral ties with the Vatican as one of the priorities of its foreign policy and believes that resolving the maladies which have befallen humankind such as offenses against religions and divine prophets, the spread of animosity against religions, Islamophobia and efforts to undermine the pillars and foundations of families, is one of the important issues on which we may consult or interact with each other.
I have a great deal of respect for Your Eminence’s justice-seeking visions and the efforts you have made in disapproving discrimination and violence. I would like to reiterate the high status of religion and divinity in solving the problems afflicting the world today and express the Islamic Republic of Iran’s readiness to make concerted efforts to change the oppressive structures reigning supreme in the world.
I hope that by the grace of God Almighty and with mutual cooperation, we will witness the ever-increasing movement of human communities towards divinity and the establishment of peace and justice in the world.
I pray to God Almighty to grant good health and success to Your Eminence in promoting the divine message of the prophets.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad President of the Islamic Republic of Iran





Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for  Interreligious Dialogue, presents President Ahmadinejad with the letter addressed to him by Benedict XVI, Tehran, 9 November 2010 [© Associated Press/LaPresse]

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, presents President Ahmadinejad with the letter addressed to him by Benedict XVI, Tehran, 9 November 2010 [© Associated Press/LaPresse]

To His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Mr President,
I am writing to acknowledge the courteous words of greeting and the reflections that Your Excellency kindly sent me by the good offices of His Excellency Hujjat al-Islam Haj Sayyed Mohammad Reza Mir Tajjadini, Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
It is my profound conviction that respect for the transcendent dimension of the human person is an indispensable condition for the construction of a just social order and a stable peace. Indeed, one’s relationship with God is the ultimate foundation for the inalienable dignity and sacred character of every human life.
When the promotion of the dignity of the human person is the primary inspiration of political and social activity that is committed to search for the common good, solid and enduring foundations are created for building peace and harmony between peoples.
Peace is, above all, a gift from God, which is sought in prayer, but it is also the result of the efforts of people of good will. In this perspective, believers of every religion have a special responsibility and can play a decisive role, cooperating in common initiatives. Interreligious and intercultural dialogue is a fundamental path to peace.
Strongly convinced of this, the recent Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, which took place in the Vatican from 10 to 24 October 2010, was a significant moment of reflection and sharing on the situation in the Middle East and on the great challenges placed before the Catholic communities present there. In some countries these communities face difficult circumstances, discrimination and even violence and they lack the freedom to live and publicly profess their faith. I am certain that the work of the Synod will bear good fruit for the Church and for the whole of society.
The Catholics present in Iran and those around the world make efforts to collaborate with their fellow citizens to contribute loyally and honestly to the common good of the respective societies in which they live, becoming builders of peace and reconciliation.
In this spirit, I express the hope that the cordial relations already happily existing between the Holy See and Iran will continue to progress, as well as those of the local Church with the civil authorities. I am also convinced that the launch of a bilateral Commission would be especially helpful in addressing questions of common concern, including that of the juridical status of the Catholic Church in the country.
With these sentiments, I avail myself of the occasion to renew to you, Mr President, the assurance of my highest consideration.
From the Vatican, 3 November 2010.

Benedictus PP. XVI


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