Pope Francis meets Iran president Hassan Rohani
ran President Hassan Rouhani (L) exchanges gifts with Pope Francis at the Vatican January 26, 2016 Reuters

Iranian President Hassan Rohani asked Pope Francis to pray for him after they held a 40-minute private conversation in the Vatican.

Rohani is the first Iranian president to visit the Pope since 1999. The talks between the two leaders dealt with the recent nuclear accord Iran reached with the west, Vatican said in a statement.

The pontiff reminded the Iranian leader about "the important role that Iran was called to play" to combat terrorism in the region, the Irish Times said.

"I thank you for your visit and I hope for peace," pope Francis told Rohani at the end of their meeting.

Rohani said it was a pleasure to meet the pope. "I ask you to pray for me," he then said.

Rohani's first European tour is significant as the county came from the cold with the western countries lifting crippling sanctions on Tehran following the nuclear agreement.

Investing in Iran

With Rohani travelling to France, the two countries announced that Iran will buy 100 Airbus aircraft for its state airline.

All along the tour Rohani pitched Iran as an investment destination that offers unique advantages.

"Do not regard us as just one country but as a country at the centre of a much larger market," he told Italian an Iranian businessmen in Rome, according to AFP.

"We have no intention of attacking or invading any other country. We have no intention of interfering in the affairs of any other country," he added.