Tehran: Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad has written a letter to Pope Benedict XVI thanking
him for condemning an American pastor`s threat to burn the
Koran on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
"I thank you for your stance in condemning the unwise
act of a church in Florida, America, in insulting the word of
God which hurt the hearts of millions of Muslims," Ahmadinejad
said in the letter which was posted on the website of his
Ahmadinejad told the pontiff that there was a "need
for a close cooperation of divine religions to restrict
destructive moves such as ignoring of religious teachings,
influencing people to be materialistic which were eroding
human societies, especially families and the young
The letter was delivered yesterday to the pontiff
himself by the Iranian Vice President in charge of
parliamentary affairs Mohammad Reza Mirtajodini.
The pope last month denounced Pastor Terry Jones`
threat to burn the Muslim holy book.
"I pray for the victims and I ask respect for
religious freedom and that the logic of reconciliation and
peace prevail over hatred and violence," the pontiff said at
Jones cancelled the plan to burn Korans after enormous
pressure from world leaders including US President Barack
Obama. But the mere threat to burn the Muslim holy book
sparked riots and protests around the world.
On the eve of the planned destruction of the Korans,
Ahmadinejad had said the plan was part of a "Zionist plot"
that would end up in the speedy "annihilation" of Israel.