Pope Benedict XVI told leaders of the World Jewish Congress that Iran was “an issue of big concern” to him.

At a meeting at the Vatican, the Pope spoke of his concern about rising anti-Semitism and described how he wanted to use educational tools to counter the hatred of the Iranian leadership towards the Jewish people and Israel.

Maram Stern, secretary general of the World Jewish Congress, said after the audience: “We thanked the Holy Father for everything he did for the Jewish people, and more importantly what he will do.”

Speaking to journalists in Rome, he said the Pope had “recognized the question of Iran as an issue of big concern for him.”

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