Fri, 28 Feb 2020

Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, said in a newspaper interview that he would like to make an official visit to Iran, calling it 'such an important part of the world.'

'Yes, obviously I would like to [go to Iran],' The Sunday Times quoted him as saying in an interview to be published on January 26.

'I know that Iran has been such an important part of the world for so many centuries and has contributed so much to human knowledge, culture, poetry, art. I mean, really remarkable people.'

However, asked about a future royal visit, a spokeswoman for Prince Charles said: 'There are no plans for the Prince of Wales to undertake an official visit to Iran.'

The comments come as tensions remain high between Tehran and the West, particularly with Britain and the United States.

Washington and Tehran engaged in tit-for-tat military strikes earlier this month.

Britain, meanwhile, has demanded that Iran release Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other dual nationals imprisoned there.

Last July, Iran seized a British-flagged oil tanker two weeks after British forces near Gibraltar captured an Iranian oil tanker. Both ships were eventually released.

The British prince told the newspaper that he tries to be a peacemaker and that he has prayed for peace in the Middle East.

'I do think the most important thing is a just and lasting peace,' he said.

Britain's royal family generally steers clear of speaking on political matters in public.

Based on reporting by The Sunday Times and Reuters

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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