January 5, 2020 / 12:00 PM / 21 days ago

Pope calls for dialogue and restraint amid growing US-Iran tensions

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis reacts as he leads a Mass marking the World Day of Peace in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, January 1, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

MILAN (Reuters) - Pope Francis called on Sunday for dialogue and restraint two days after the killing of a top Iranian military commander by the United States.

Speaking at the Sunday Angelus prayer at the Vatican, the pope did not mention Iran by name but spoke of a terrible air of tension that could now be felt in many parts of the world.

“I call on all sides to keep the flame of dialogue and self-restraint alight and ward off the shadow of hostility,” he said.

“War only brings death and destruction.”

On Friday a U.S. drone strike on a convoy at Baghdad airport killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, drawing promises of harsh revenge by Tehran.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Frances Kerry

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