10/04/2013, 00.00
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Rouhani appreciated by ayatollah Al Sistani

The Foreign Minister in the new government in Tehran, was immediately received by the Pacific Grand Ayatollah of Najaf. Ahmadinejad asked again and again to meet him, but was always denied a meeting.

Najaf (AsiaNews) - The Najaf theological school (Hawza) appreciates the moderate tone which the new Iranian President is expressing and hopes that the radicalism of past years - those of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - are now over.

The Najaf Hawza is the most important of Iraq, also home of the Grand Ayatollah Al Sistani, a prominent religious figure, whose pacific influence was often decisive in the past to soothe violence and clashes in Iraq.

Although a Shiite personality, Al Sistani has steadfastly refused any political role of the ayatollahs, unlike the tradition established by Khomeini in Iran. In recent years he has often intervened to condemn attacks on Christians and to push Sunni and Shiite factions to engage in dialogue.

As a sign of appreciation for Rouhani's moderate policy, the newspaper Al-Montitor mentions the meeting granted by Al Sistani to the Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, newly appointed last September 8.

The former President, Ahmadinejad, in his four visits to Iraq, had asked each time to be able to meet Al Sistani, but was never granted any meeting.

According to a report approved by the Hawza, during the visit Sistani stressed the importance of working on the Iranian nuclear issue in all openness and clarity. 


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