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ICRO head: Inter-religion meeting should go beyond dialogue

Tehran, Feb 21, IRNA - Head of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO) Mahmoud Mohammadi Araqi said that it is now time to go beyond dialogue and put the outcome of past negotiations into practice.

The statement was part of his speech at the one-day inter-religion meeting in Tehran between Muslims and Christians on Tuesday afternoon, which was attended by an American mennonite delegation and Iranian religious intellectuals.

"Individuals usually seek the tangible outcome of these dialogues.

Meanwhile, there are those who benefit from religious conflicts, who make instrumental use of religious discrepancies despite the fact that they are quite natural.

"Religion has a higher potential and capacity to solve the problems currently facing man, those of the Middle East, poverty, corruption, international peace as well as the relevant challenges," he added.

Mohammadi Araqi said that Iran has never launched aggression on any country, adding that neither does it ever interfere in the internal affairs of other countries nor let any power interfere in its own domestic affairs.

"The Iranian nation is standing up to tyranny and has given many victims in confronting atrocity and terrorism. I believe that the great American nation is the same and that many commonalties make the two nations feel close to each other.

"We believe that the American citizens have more faith in religion than any other Western country. Despite the repeated interference of the US governments in Iran's internal affairs since the Mordad 28th (August 19) 1953 coups, the Iranian nation respects the prominent American people, intellectuals as well as scientific and religious figures and warmly welcomes them," he added.

Addressing the American delegation, he said that their presence in the meeting is an example of cultural exchange between the two countries.

Mohammadi Araqi hoped that such dialogues will improve the peaceful life of the Islamic Ummah as well as followers of Christ and promote international peace and stability.

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