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Brazil’s Lula Hosts Ahmadinejad, Goes to Iran and Doesn’t Care What You Think

September 26th, 2009

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil, confirmed his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to visit Brazilian capital Brasília in November, while he plans to travel to Teheran in May.

“I have nothing to do with what other presidents think. I do not know whether they like him (Ahmadinejad) or not. I am meeting with him because he is the president of a great nation and we talk as heads of state. This is not a friends’ club” Lula told the daily O Globo.

Lula said that Ahmadinejad had assured him that Iran’s nuclear program only sought peaceful goals.

“I do not take rumors into account … so far there is nothing that can serve to reject the conclusion that Iran wants (nuclear) technology for peaceful ends.”

However, the Brazilian president advised Ahmadinejad to allow international supervision. “International sanctions can be painful and distressing,” he warned.

The two presidents met this week on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Lula also minimized the massive protests against the recent elections in Iran that have been questioned by the opposition and rioting in the streets.

While acknowledging that Iranians had the right to protest the election won by Ahmadinejad, Lula said: “In Brazil we also have people who do not accept electoral defeats. I lost three elections before I won my first one, and I was okay with that. In Iran, 85% of the people voted.”

He added the Iranian opposition can protest as much as they want, “but what right do I have as President of Brazil to question election results in Iran?”

Lula insisted he had no constraints about meeting with his peer Ahmadinejad and said Brazil has many things to negotiate with Iran, “I feel no constraints at all about meeting with Ahmadinejad.”

“Iran is a leading global producer of oil, so we have much to talk about,” said Lula recalling that a delegation of businessmen headed by Development, Industry and Trade minister Miguel Jorge is ready to leave for Teheran “to asses reciprocal investment possibilities and trade opportunities.”


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