Ahmadinejad to attend Rio+20 confab in Brazil: Official

Press TV, 6/11/12

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will head for Brazil next week to attend the Rio+20 Summit, a major UN-organized international environmental conference.

Mir-Qassem Mo’meni, the head of the Iran-Brazil friendship association, said Monday that President Ahmadinejad, heading a delegation, will leave for Brazil on June 19 to attend the conference, ISNA reported.
He said representatives from some 150 countries will take part in the conference in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.

On the sidelines of the meeting, President Ahmadinejad will also meet with Brazilian officials as well as authorities from participating countries to discuss the expansion of relations, Mo’meni said.

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Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff faces tough presidential task

BBC News, 01/01/2011

With the inauguration on 1 January of Dilma Rousseff, a 63-year-old economist with unproven political skills, Brazil has its first woman president.  PAULO SOTERO , director of the Brazil Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, looks at the challenges she faces in governing Latin America’s biggest nation.

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Brazil’s new leader begins in shadow of predecessor

Alexei Barrrionuevo – The New York Times, 12/31/2010

When Dilma Rousseff assumes the presidency of Brazil on Saturday, she will do so at a time when her country is thriving economically and full of swagger, eager to flex more of its newfound wealth and influence at home and abroad. But Ms. Rousseff, the first woman to be elected president of Latin America’s biggest country, will have especially big shoes to fill, having to succeed the nation’s most popular leader in history, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

While Ms. Rousseff has been eager to show that she is not a political puppet of Mr. da Silva, analysts say the challenge before her is one that her predecessor managed fairly well: balancing an ambitious domestic agenda with securing Brazil’s global position. Since being elected in October, Ms. Rousseff has mostly reassured investors that she is not looking to steer the country further to the left than under Mr. da Silva, who faced those same concerns when he was elected in 2002, before he adopted a pragmatic approach.

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Iran’s adventures in Latin America

Richard Javad Heydarian – Foreign Policy in Focus, 11/18/2010

As the United States continues to isolate Iran over its nuclear program, the Islamic regime is engaging in a foreign policy counter-attack with profound strategic consequences. The theater of strategic warfare between the United States and Iran has expanded well beyond the Middle East.

Under immense short-term pressure from both within and without, the Iranian leadership has chosen to pursue a grand strategy in the most unlikely corners of the world. From sub-Saharan Africa to Latin America, Iran is selling arms, offering aid and investments, and otherwise establishing a new pattern in south-to-south relations as it battles what President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls “Western arrogance.”

Iran’s greatest achievement in Latin America is its strong ties with oil-rich Venezuela and its burgeoning friendship with rising great power Brazil. This bid for greater influence in the U.S. backyard has not yet led to a direct confrontation. But with a nuclear agreement still up in the air, Iran’s “Latin connection” may well pose an unwelcome challenge to the Obama administration.

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Brazil-Iran trade grows

Latin Business Chronicle, 10/06/2010

Brazil remains top exporter to Iran, but Venezuela becomes Iran’s top market in Latin America.

Brazil’s trade with Iran grew last year by 4.3 percent to $1.316 billion thanks to growth in both exports and imports, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Brazil’s exports to Iran increased by 4.1 percent to $1.297 billion, while imports from Iran grew 29.1 percent to $19 million.

Brazil is Iran’s top trading partner in Latin America.

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Iran won’t send woman who faced stoning to Brazil

The Associated Press, 08/16/2010

Iran will not send a woman who had faced death by stoning on an adultery conviction to Brazil, which has offered her asylum, the president said in a TV interview broadcast Monday.

The stoning sentence for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two, has been lifted for now after it prompted an outcry from the United States and other governments as well as rights groups. Brazil, which has friendly relations with Iran, offered her asylum.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told state-run English-language Press TV he did not think there was a need to send her to Brazil and that he hoped the issue “will be solved,” without explaining.

“There is a judge at the end of the day and the judges are independent. But I talked with the head of the judiciary and the judiciary also does not agree” with Brazil’s proposal, Ahmadinejad said. “I think there is no need to create some trouble for President Lula and take her to Brazil,” he added, referring to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

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Brazil’s Caixa to finance $1.3 billion in beef exports to Iran, Valor says

Joshua Goodman – Bloomberg, 08/13/2010

Brazil’s state-controlled Caixa Economica Federal will finance up to 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in beef shipments to Iran after private banks refused to extend credit to exporters, fearing retaliation from the U.S. and European Union, Valor Economico said.

The financing will be backed by Brazil’s Treasury, which will be responsible for collecting payment from the Iranian government, the Sao Paulo-based newspaper said.

Sanctions imposed by the United Nations in June over Iran’s nuclear program, and followed up with tighter restrictions by the U.S. and EU, has led Brazilian banks to reject credit guarantees issued by Iranian banks, the newspaper said.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in a visit to Tehran in May, signed an agreement to finance food exports to Iran, as well as boost investment and expand air connections between the two countries. Annual trade with Iran has more than doubled to $1.2 billion since Lula took office in 2003.

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Brazil will back Iran sanctions

Al Jazeera, 08/11/2010

Brazil’s president has signed a decree stating his country will abide by United Nations sanctions against Iran even though it had worked to avoid them.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the president, signed the decree “because there is a tradition of carrying out [UN] Security Council resolutions, including those we don’t agree with,” Celso Amorim, the foreign minister, told reporters.

The decision to take the formal step of signing a decree also comes after Iran last week dismissed a Brazilian offerto give asylum to an Iranian woman who has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

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Brazil formalizes asylum offer for Iranian woman sentenced to stoning

CNN, 08/10/2010

Brazil has formalized its offer of asylum to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian woman convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning, Brazilian state-run media said Tuesday.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had made a previous offer for asylum, raising Ashtiani’s hopes for survival. Brazil’s ambassador in Tehran has now officially made the offer at Iran’s foreign ministry, according to the state-run news service Agencia Brasil.

Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations Celso Amorim told reporters Tuesday that he spoke last month with his Iranian counterpart, Manouchehr Mottaki, about Ashtiani’s sentence. “I called my Iranian colleague … to say that the action hurt the sensibility of the Brazilian people and that therefore I was making an appeal, I was asking to reconsider the hypothesis. In that moment, actually, the news we had was more about the stoning, which was based on a highly debatable crime in our view of the world.”

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Lula: Stonewalled by Iran

Jackson Diehl – The Washington Post, 08/03/2010

The best friend of tyrants in the democratic world — Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva — has once again been humiliated by one of his clients.

That would be Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the sponsor of terrorism and Holocaust denier whom Lula has publicly embraced — literally. Over the weekend, under pressure from domestic protesters, Lula appealed to the Iranian president to free Sakineh Ashtiani, an Iranian women condemned to death by stoning on charges of adultery, and allow her to go into exile in Brazil.

“If my friendship and affection for the president of Iran matters, and if this woman is causing problems there, we will welcome her here in Brazil,” Lula proclaimed.

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