Iranian leader gives pope rug, wants Francis to pray for him - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Iranian leader gives pope rug, wants Francis to pray for him

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Pope Francis and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, share a laugh during their private audience at the Vatican,Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Iran’s president has paid a call on Pope Francis at the Vatican during a European visit aimed at positioning Tehran Pope Francis and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, share a laugh during their private audience at the Vatican,Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Iran’s president has paid a call on Pope Francis at the Vatican during a European visit aimed at positioning Tehran
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, leafs through a book he gave to Pope Francis as a gift, during their private audience at the Vatican,Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Iran’s president has paid a call on Pope Francis at the Vatican during a European visit ai Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, leafs through a book he gave to Pope Francis as a gift, during their private audience at the Vatican,Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Iran’s president has paid a call on Pope Francis at the Vatican during a European visit ai
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, leafs through a book he gave to Pope Francis as a gift, during their private audience at the Vatican,Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Iran’s president has paid a call on Pope Francis at the Vatican during a European visit ai Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, leafs through a book he gave to Pope Francis as a gift, during their private audience at the Vatican,Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Iran’s president has paid a call on Pope Francis at the Vatican during a European visit ai
Pope Francis shakes hands with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, right, on the occasion of their private audience at the Vatican,Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Iran’s president has paid a call on Pope Francis at the Vatican during a European visit aimed at posit Pope Francis shakes hands with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, right, on the occasion of their private audience at the Vatican,Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Iran’s president has paid a call on Pope Francis at the Vatican during a European visit aimed at posit

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Iran's president and Pope Francis have exchanged gifts and wishes for hope and prayers after they met privately at the Vatican.

President Hassan Rouhani brought the pope a red-toned carpet, about 80 centimeters (32 inches) by 1.2 meters (4 feet) and explained that the rug was hand-made in the holy city of Qom. Francis seemed curious as Hassan leafed through a book illustratingIranian artworks, another gift.

Francis shook hands warmly with Rouhani, who is trying to shape a role as regional conflict solver for Iran after the recent nuclear accord led the West to lift sanctions.

The pope's gift had a spiritual spin. Francis bestowed a medal depicting St. Martingiving his cloak to a shivering man, saying the gesture represents a sign of brotherhood.

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This story has been corrected to show the accurate spelling of the city is Qom, not Qhom.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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