Iran dismisses Khomeini link to pope shooting

AP News
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Posted: Dec 25, 2014 8:27 AM

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Iran has rejected claims by Mehmet Ali Agca that late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ordered him to assassinate Pope John Paul II.

The Turkish gunman earlier this week reiterated in a Serbian TV interview the claims he made in his book "They Promised Me Paradise." Agca says he told John Paul of the Iranian connection when he visited him in prison.

The Iranian Embassy in Belgrade on Thursday strongly denied the claims, saying "Imam Khomeini during his rich spiritual life maintained very good relations with different religions, including the pope."

The Vatican had also dismissed the claims Agca made in the book which he has changed many times.

Agca shot and wounded John Paul in May 1981 in St. Peter's Square. He was released from prison in 2010.