1242 GMT February 17, 2020
“Yes, obviously I would like to [go to Iran],” he was quoted as saying.
“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.”
“And I have always been fascinated by Islamic culture and architecture and craftsmanship for a long time.”
Prince Charles’s wish to visit Iran comes at a time of heightened tensions between Tehran and the west.
Charles told the Sunday Times 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 in the interview, echoing comments he made on Friday during a visit to the Holy Land.
Prince Charles believes that he could play an important role in helping to smooth over British relations with Tehran.
Britain’s support of the US decision to assassinate Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani has only soured bilateral relations. The presence of Britain’s Ambassador to Iran Rob Macaire in a protest rally in Tehran also worsened tensions between the two countries.
All this has not deterred the future King from his determination to conduct an official visit to the country, which he hopes can be used to bring about a reconciliation between the two nations.
Royal sources say that the Prince feels he can play a positive role in improving relations between London and Tehran and “encourage the relationship and dialogue between the two countries”.
Prince Charles has previously visited Iran on a private trip in 2004 with the British Red Cross, in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that destroyed large parts of the city of Bam and killed 40,000 people.
The Prince has just completed a two day tour to the Middle East, where he visited Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank.
Britain’s royal family steers clear of politics, though Charles, who will become governor of the Church of England when he ascends the throne, has long spoken out on issues such as inter-faith dialogue and the environment.