UNCLAS SAO PAULO 000686
DEPT PASS USTR
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC OIIP BR XM XR KMDR IR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: AHMADINEJAD VISITS BRAZIL
"Better Close than Inaccessible"
Op-Ed in liberal Folha de S. Paulo (11-24) by influential columnist
Eliane Catanhede says: "...The intent [of the visit of Ahmadinejad]
is to do what Brazil has done with Chavez's Venezuela: keep close
enough to have penetration and dialogue, but far enough in order
not to commit to the regimes, the governments and their
decision....having moral strength to criticize them. It is better
to have Iran close and subject to some commitments than to have it
isolated and do whatever it wants.....Those who think that
[receiving the Iranian President] was an act against the U.S are
wrong. On the contrary, it is a very well arranged game."
Article in liberal Folha de S. Paulo (11-24) by Janio de Freitas
notes: "The criticism against Lula for receiving Ahmadinejad....is
conventional and controversial.....The visit can only be positive,
at least for making this president listen to a voice that gives
some importance to him....We don't know.....what Ahmadinejad in
fact said in private conversations with Lula, but no one should
worry about Brazil helping Iran, because there is no way it can
worsen the situation already in place in the Middle East."
"The Gloomy Alignment with Major Powers"
Analysis in liberal Folha de S. Paulo (11-24) by Clovis Rossi says:
"The visit....[of the Iranian President] was a test for Brazil's
diplomacy....[in which] it passed if we look only at acknowledging
Brazil's new weight in the global arena. [Nonetheless] It is worth
noting that the interest in Ahmadinejad's visit had more to do with
Iran's interests than Brazil's..... In July on the margins of the
G8 summit in Italy, Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs said to Folha
that his boss had suggested to Lula that he used the weight of
trade relations between Iran and Brazil to try and convince
Ahmadinejad to follow the Brazilian example of exclusively using
nuclear energy for peaceful ends..... This was exactly what Lula
did....Regarding human rights....the arguments are unassailable
from a moral and ethical point of view. But the "realpolitik" that
commands global diplomacy always prevails - and Barack Obama's trip
to China was just an example of this last week..."