Pope Praises Iran Deal in Speech to United Nations

In a speech at the United Nations, Pope Francis praised the Iran nuclear deal and decried the persecution of minorities in the Middle East.

“The recent agreement reached on the nuclear question in a sensitive region of Asia and the Middle East is proof of the potential of political good will and of law, exercised with sincerity, patience and constancy,” Francis said Friday to the U.N. General Assembly.

“I express my hope that this agreement will be lasting and efficacious, and bring forth the desired fruits with the cooperation of all the parties involved.”

Francis’ U.N. address, on the fourth day of his United States tour, was his first public reference to the sanctions relief for nuclear restrictions deal reached in July between Iran and six major powers. The Obama administration strongly defends the deal, saying it will keep Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons power. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who opposes the deal, says it leaves Iran on the threshold of obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Francis during his U.S. trip has generally been seen as encouraging a liberal outlook, urging action to address man-made climate change, opposing capital punishment and calling for greater social equity and fettered capitalism in speeches to Congress and in appearances with President Barack Obama.

A range of Jewish groups have embraced his message, with the Reform movement, the American Jewish World Service and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, among others, praising him for speaking out on poverty, climate change and the refugee crisis in Europe.

He has earned some praise from conservatives as well for broadsides against abortion and for calling for the preservation of traditional marriage.

In his U.N. address, Francis also spoke of the persecution by Islamist extremists in the Middle East of Christians and other minorities, as well as moderate of Muslims, saying:

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Pope Praises Iran Deal in Speech to United Nations

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close