Brazilian Representative Wants to Bar Ahmadinejad from Visiting Congress

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of the Islamic Republic of Ira The Brazilian Congress is scheduled to receive the official visit of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, this Monday, November 23. The presidents of the Lower House, Michel Temer and of the Senate, José Sarney, will welcome the Iranian leader at 3:45 pm in the Senate's Noble Hall, in Brazilian capital BrasÀ­lia.

Target of street protests in Brazil in recent weeks, the Iranian leader's visit has also sparked controvery in the National Congress. House representative Rodrigo Rocha Loures, from the PMDB, a party allied to the Lula administration, vows to request the Chamber to deny Ahnadinejad entrance to the floor.

For Rocha Loures, due to the aggressions against minorities, such as women and Jews, and due to the dictatorial character of the Iranian government, charged with electoral fraud, Brazil should not allow Ahmadinejad to visit the country.

"It is an inopportune call, it brings a shadow to the Brazilian Congress. I am against him being allowed to pay a visit to the Brazilian peoople's House of democracy, among other reasons because his own re-election is being challenged for suspicion of vice and fraud."

The congressman also wonders what would be the agendas that bring Brazil and Iran together. "Is there by chance an interest in developing nuclear weapons? Do we need by any chance their oil, when we have the pre-salt? This is a mistake, and, in case this comes to the Floor, I will file a motion to president Michel Temer to not allow it to happen."

Looking from another perspective representative Maurí­cio Rands, from the ruling Workers Party and member of the Foreign Relations and National Defense committee, says that, in receiving the Iranian government, Brazil is not standing up for Ahmadinejad's attitudes and postures, but only fulfilling an important role as international mediator.

"It is natural that there are tensions, most especially with our brothers from the Jewish community, who feel attacked by Ahmadinejad. On the other hand, the international community itself has been asking Brazil, through president Lula, that it keep the dialog with Iran's regime going, even to make possible a peaceful solution, that would not involve an armed conflict of unpredictable proportions."

Rands informed that president Barack Obama from the United States asked president Lula to talk to Ahmadinejad. "Obviously, both Brazil as Iran, because of the oil, are large economies and need to dialogue."

The professor of International Relations Gunther Rudzit aknowledges that, by receiving the president of Iran, Brazil can take on an important role as international mediator. But he stresses that the situation involves risks.

"If president Ahmadinejad is here in Brazil and gives one of those very controversial declarations of his, that can completely jeopardize this outlook. If the country wishes to have a decisive position in the international system, a power to be respected and consulted, it is going to have to run these risks."

Rudzit says he hopes the preliminary consultations for the visit were well conducted, "exactly to not complicate our position in a so-delicate moment when the world is facing the Iranian nuclear program".

Also for professor Rudzit, an eventual increase in commercial relations with Iran or getting closer to the Iranian nuclezr policy is not worth the risk of being slapped with economic sanctions by the rich countries. He also emphasizes that the government should be ready for new protests against the Iranian president, which certainly will occur during his Brazilian trip.

The Iranian leader is expected to sign in Brazil 23 bilateral agreements involving energy, petrochemicals, food and medications among other sectors.

Alexandre Pôrto works for Rádio Câmara.

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