Iran's President Muhammad Khatami, paying tribute to Pope John Paul II's efforts to promote coexistence between religions, has said he will attend the pontiff's funeral on Friday.
Khatami said on Wednesday that it would be a "very great pleasure and honour" to travel to Rome to attend the pope's funeral.
Khatami called the pope "a religious dignitary, a person who sought coexistence, moderation, dialogue between religions, someone who sought dialogue between Islam and
Speaking to a French television channel, he added that he wanted to show his respect for the pope.
John Paul II died on Saturday night after a protracted illness.
He was the first pope in history to set foot in a mosque during a visit to Damascus.
Since his death, he has been widely praised for building bridges with the Islamic world.