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Pope Francis to Meet Iran's President Hassan Rouhani

by F. Brinley Bruton and Claudio Lavanga /  / Updated 

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ROME — Pope Francis will meet Iran's President Hassan Rouhani in the Vatican next month, according to a Catholic Church official.

Image: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sept. 29.TIMA / Reuters

The November 14 gathering will take place during the reformist Iranian leader's visit to Rome — his first to a European capital, according to Reuters. It added that Rouhani will also meet Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President Sergio Mattarella.

European leaders have been courting oil and gas-rich Iran since a deal to curb Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions relief was struck on July 14.

Iran consistently denies that it ever wanted to develop nuclear weapons. The U.S. OK'd conditional sanctions waivers for Iran on Sunday, though it cautioned they would not take effect until Tehran has acted on the nuclear accord.

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