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Posts Tagged ‘Ahmadinejad’

Controversial Iranian leader in new Brazil visit

November 23rd, 2009

Photo: karimii,flickr

Photo: karimii,flickr

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is expected to raise human rights issues with Iranian leader Mahmoud, Ahmadinejad, while outlining his continued support for Iran’s nuclear programme, which has sent alarm bells ringing among western nations.

Ahmadinejad makes a stopover in Brazil on Monday, as part of a five-nation trip, including: Bolivia, Venezuela, Senegal and Gambia, aimed at boosting economic ties.

Last week, Iran appeared to reject plans to send most of its stocks of low-enriched uranium abroad, delivering a heavy blow to UN-brokered efforts to ease Western fears it could use the material to make a nuclear bomb.

So far, Brazil has far backed the Islamic state saying it has the right to peaceful nuclear power. President Lula is opposed to international sanctions on Iran.

On a visit to Brazil two weeks ago, Israeli President Shimon Peres called on Brazil to use its influence to challenge Iranian threats against his country.

Though Iran insists its nuclear energy programme is for peaceful purposes, Ahmadinejad’s previous questioning of neighbouring Israel’s right to exist has provoked understandable nervousness.

For the Brazilian government, the visit is seen as an opportunity to boost trade links, while developing an independent foreign policy, including relations with increasingly influential countries.

In May, Ahmadinejad cancelled a visit to Brazil scheduled, staying at home to concentrate on elections, the results of which later sparked widespread protests by opposition groups, amid allegations of fraud.

Ahmadinejad’s new visit, like first one has angered Jewish and human rights groups, leading to protests in Brazil.

Opponents of the visit argue Brazil should not be rolling out the red carpet to a leader who has repeatedly questioned whether the holocaust took place and openly supports the oppression of women and the persecution of homosexuals.

Protestors, waving placards in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, compared Ahmadinejad’s denial of the holocaust with denying the shipment of three million slaves from Africa to Brazil from the 16th to the end of the 19th century.

The treatment of women´s rights and the persecution of gays are seen as other reasons why Brazil should not get involved with Iran.

Opponents also say Lula  — a symbol of Brazil´s struggle to free itself from military dictatorship — should not be rolling out the red carpet to a leader who openly promotes oppression.

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Iran leader cancels Brazil visit

May 4th, 2009

Photo: karimii,flickr

Photo: karimii,flickr

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has cancelled a visit to Brazil scheduled for Wednesday, Agencia Brasil, the country’s government news agency said.

The planned visit, which angered Jewish and human rights groups, led to protests in Brazil.

Before the announcement, opponents of the visit argued Brazil should not be rolling out the red carpet to a leader who has repeatedly questioned whether the holocaust took place and openly supports the oppression of women and the persecution of homosexuals.

Though Iran insists its nuclear energy programme is for peaceful purposes only, western governments are worried about its intentions, given Ahmadinejad has questioned neighbouring Israel´s right to exist.
On April 20, a speech by Ahmadinejad at a United Nations Security Council anti-racism conference sparked a walkout by diplomats from western nations.

The following day, Brazil’s foreign ministry issued a softly-worded statement saying it would use this week’s meeting to raise the issue of discrimination with Ahmadinejad and while it sees dialogue as crucial, the government is concerned about the Iranian leader’s comments “diminshing the significance of the holocaust.”

Ahmadinejad has also dropped plans to visit Ecuador and Venezuela Agencia Brasil, said.

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Iran leader visit provokes protest in Brazil

May 3rd, 2009

Photo: Mario Cardoso

Photo: Mario Cardoso

Protests are being held in Brazil ahead of Wednesday’s visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which has angered Jewish and human rights groups.

For the Brazilian government the visit is seen as a step on the road towards widening its trade links and developing an independent foreign policy, including relations with increasingly influential countries.

Brazilian exports to Iran were put at $1.8 billion in 2007, but this is said to have fallen by about 40% to $1.1 billion last year, after international support for doing business with Iran waned, following a United Nations Security Council resolution.

The government says it wants to increase dialogue and bilateral cooperation in a number of areas, while maintaining a critical distance from Iran.

For the around 1,000 demonstrators who gathered in São Paulo calling for the visit to be cancelled, that distance is nowhere near far enough, if it means offering Amhadinejad, who has repeatedly questioned whether the holocaust took place, a platform for his views in Brazil.

As well as São Paulo, demonstrations were expected to take place in the cities of Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre and Belo Horizonte.

Photo: Mario Cardoso

The treatment of women´s rights and the persecution of gays are seen as other reasons why Brazil should not get involved with Iran.

Opponents of the visit say President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva — a symbol of Brazil´s struggle to free itself from military dictatorship — should not be rolling out the red carpet to a leader who openly promotes oppression.

“Lula got to where he is by fighting for human rights, where are the human rights in Iran?” asked one demonstrator.

Though Iran insists its nuclear energy programme is for peaceful purposes only, western governments are worried about its intentions, given Ahmadinejad has questioned neighbouring Israel´s right to exist.

On April 20, a speech by Ahmadinejad at a United Nations Security Council anti-racism conference sparked a walkout by diplomats from western nations.

The following day, Brazil’s foreign ministry issued a softly-worded statement saying it would use this week’s meeting to raise the issue of discrimination with Ahmadinejad and while it sees dialogue as crucial, the government is concerned about the Iranian leader’s comments “diminshing the significance of the holocaust.”

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