Speaking by telephone from Teheran, Archbishop Leo Boccardi, the Papal Nuncio to Iran, describes the tense situation and consequent protests caused by the killing of General Solemaini by an US raid, saying that the arms of negotiation and justice need to be used.
The escalation of the dispute between Washington and Tehran following the death of one of the key figures of the Iranian establishment, General Qassem Soleimani, victim of a US air attack, has raised apprehension in the Holy See. Pope Francis is said to be following the evolution of the situation and is praying for peace. The Apostolic Nuncio to Iran, Archbishop Leo Boccardi, spoke with us by telephone about the situation.
The Archbishop said that the Pope has been apprised of the entire situation after the killing of General Solemaini. All this, he said, creates concern and demonstrates how difficult it is to build and believe in peace. Constructive politics, he said, is at the service of peace to which the entire international community must be committed, not only in the Middle East, but in the whole world as well.
Archbishop Boccardi acknowledged that there is a great deal of tension in Iran at the moment. Disbelief was followed by demonstrations, provoking violence, pain and protests. When asked what is important at this difficult and delicate moment, the Archbishop responded saying that tensions need to be lowered. Not only do all parties need to negotiate, but they also need “to believe in dialogue, knowing from what history has always taught, that war and weapons” do not resolve the problems afflicting the world. “We must believe in negotiation,” he reiterated.
Justice and good will
“Conflict must be rejected”, the Nuncio stated, so that the “weapons of justice and good will” can be taken up instead. This requires that effort be made to “bring the situation in the Middle East to the attention of the international community”, he said. He concluded citing an important rule of diplomacy: Pacta sunt servanda (agreements must be kept). “Everyone must respect the rules of law”.