“The message that is conveyed by this trip and similar trips is that Iraq is secure and that calm has returned" to the country,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Monday.
"The very essence of this journey is that Iraq, owing to the bravery of the Iraqi people and the wisdom of the religious authority and the pure blood which was shed against extremism and foreign conspiracies, has become a safe haven where such a good and constructive journey can be made."
Pope Francis concluded his four-day journey to Iran on Monday.
The pontiff met with Iraq's senior Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani on Saturday, following which two statements were released by their offices, which caught the attention of many observers.
Ayatollah Sistani, according to the statement, laid emphasis on the observance of equity and the role of belief in God in resolving the predicaments which aggrieve humanity.
He touched on the role played by the religious authority in protecting Christians and all those who have suffered from the criminal acts of terrorists over the past years.