Ahmadinejad in Brazil: Lula would sign controversial visa agreement
Luis Inacio Lula da Silva plans
to sign a deal with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad involving the entry (in Brazil
and therefore to Latin America) of Iranian citizens without visa
The Brazilian media note the possible consequences of this initiative. “It would open the door to potential terrorists, not only to our country (Brazil) but the rest of Latin America.”
For his part, Iranian Ambassador Mohsen Shaterzadeh, from Brasilia, tried to calm the waters and said that the objective is to extend the agreement for the release of visas to the entire population. “Initially, the benefits will be for diplomats and businessmen, then for the general public. Then will allow Brazilians to remain in Iran for 15 days,” said Shaterzadeh.
In a strongly worded editorial, The New York Times asserts that Brazil’s ambitions to become a major player in the global diplomatic stage interfere in the efforts of the United States and other countries, especially in nuclear issues.
“The visit is part of a larger push by Mr. da Silva to wade into the seemingly intractable world of Middle East politics, and follows visits in the last two weeks by Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, and Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority.” noted the newspaper
“But the visit is drawing criticism from lawmakers and former diplomats here and in the United States, who say it could undercut Western efforts to press Iran on its nuclear program, and consequently chill Brazil’s relations with the United States and damage its growing reputation as a global power.” added the article, stating that “Brazilian officials say the goal of the visit is to strengthen commercial ties between the two countries and help bring peace to the Middle East.”
- By Mohsen Shaterzadeh
- Noticias Español