Iran and Iraq are not friendly countries. They persecute Christians which goes unreported by the media you watch.
I think that the above and this post will refute that Iran persecutes Christians.
In October 2010, an Iranian official delivered a letter from President Ahmadinejad
to Pope Benedict XVI
in which the President said he hoped to work closely with the Holy See
to help stem religious intolerance, the breakup of families and the increase of secularism and materialism. A return letter from Pope Benedict was hand-delivered by Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran
, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
, according to Passionist Father Reverend Ciro Benedettini
, Vice-Director of the Vatican Press Office
in a statement issued November 10, 2010. The Papal letter's contents were not disclosed. Cardinal Tauran met with the Iranian leader while Tauran was participating in a three-day meeting on Islamic–Christian relations
, along with Iranian Catholic leaders. The meeting was a joint initiative of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
and the Teheran
-based Islamic Culture and Relations Organization
Early relations began during the reign of Shah Abbas I when the Persian embassies visited the pope. The two countries have had formal diplomatic relations since 1954, since the pontificate of Pius XII
, and have been maintained during Islamic revolution.
Iran has a large diplomatic corps at the Vatican with only the Dominican Republic
having more diplomats accredited to the Holy See.
In 1979 Pope John Paul II sent envoy to Iran to help to solve the Hostage Crisis. In 2008 relations between Iran and the Holy See were "warming", and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
"said the Vatican was a positive force for justice and peace" when he met with the Papal nuncio
to Iran, Archbishop Jean-Paul Gobel
According to an online news story article by Carol Glatz
of Catholic News Service
posted on the CNS website on Thursday, October 7, 2010, President Ahmadinejad "told Pope Benedict XVI
that he would like to work more closely with the Vatican in an effort to stop religious intolerance
and the breakup of families. The president also appealed to world religions to cooperate in the fight against secularism and materialism, Iranian news agencies reported. The appeals came in a letter that was handed to the pope by Iranian Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs Sayyed Mohammad-Reza Mir-Tajeddini
, during a brief meeting Oct. 6 at the Vatican. Vatican spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi
confirmed to Catholic News Service
Oct. 7 that the letter was given to the pope and its contents already published by Iranian media outlets. According to reports, the letter praised the pope and the Vatican for criticizing a U.S. pastor's threats to burn copies of the Qur'an
on September 11". On November 3, the Pope sent the Iranian President a letter in reply, in which he stated that the establishment of a bilateral Vatican-Iranian commission would be a desirable step towards solving the problems of the Catholic Church in Iran