The Tehran Times (October 7) reports that Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has criticised the neo-Conservatives of the Bush Administration and accused them of ‘potentially murderous folly’ for suggesting military action against Syria and Iran.

“We do hear talk from some quarters of action against Syria and Iran. I can’t understand what planet such persons are living on, when you see the conditions that are already there”, the Archbishop told the BBC after returning from a visit to Syria and Lebanon.

“When people talk about further destabilisation of the region and you read some American political advisers speaking of action against Syria and Iran, I can only say that I regard that as criminal, ignorant and potentially murderous folly,” he warned.

Williams, who opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, spoke of the human cost of the US-led war, which he said was far worse than is commonly acknowledged. “The events of the past few years have done terrible damage in the whole of this region, and many people, I know, do not see the cost in human terms of the war which was unleashed,” he said after meeting some of the millions of refugees who had fled.

The spiritual leader of the Church of England described the plight of the Iraqi refugees as “heartbreaking and harrowing” and said the suffering shows “Iraq conflict has done much more damage”.

“Every child deserves to grow up in a home that is safe, every child deserves to grow up in a home where there are people around who can be trusted; every child deserves to grow up in a place where they can see there is a future that is peaceful for them,” he said.

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The Reverend Nusratullah Sharfian, who has been priest of the Church of Iran in Isfahan since the 1960s, was installed as a Canon of the Diocese of Iran on August 10. The ceremony took place in Saint Luke’s Church, Isfahan where Canon Sharfian has resumed duties after a break of some years.

Reverend Nusratullah Sharfian (on l.)
Reverend Nusratullah Sharfian (on l.)

The Bishop of Iran, the Rt Rev Azad Marshall, said “This was a great occasion to honour a priest who has given faithful service over many decades. This is the first time that a parish priest has been made a canon in our diocese.”

Services are held at St Luke’s Isfahan every Sunday evening at 5 p.m.