São Paulo state governor José Serra, the main leader of the Brazilian opposition and a probable presidential candidate at the 2010 elections,Â criticized the Lula administration for receiving Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and recalled that the Iranian Defense minister has been accused of the attack against the Argentine Jewish Mutual, AMIA, in 1994, in Buenos Aires.
Serra from the Social Democrat party, PSDB, said he regretted that the Brazilian government "receives with open arms the man whose minister of Defense is in the wanted list of Interpol because of the bomb attack against the AMIA Jewish organization which left 85 dead and hundreds maimed and injured"
Serra is the current governor of the state of Sao Paulo and leads opinion polls for next year's presidential election with 35% support.
Serra also questioned the fact that Brazil a signatory of the Nuclear Arms Non Proliferation Treaty officially receives Ahmadinejad against whom there are serious claims he is developing nuclear arms.
Ahmadinejad is "a pathetic character who denies the Holocaust" and has implemented a repressive policy similar to that of the "Stalinist processes in Moscow".
For the chairman of the PSDB, party of former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the attitude of the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on receiving Ahmadinejad is "contradictory" since "he is head of a dictatorial and repressive regime", while it refuses to recognize Roberto Micheletti as de facto president of Honduras.
"How would the government of Lula da Silva react if only 10% of the Iranian regime repression was happening in Honduras, where we feel so angry and only condemn the ousting of president Zelaya", pointed out Serra.
However President Lula da Silva argued it was "important" to talk with Teheran as part of the Middle East dialogue.
"If Iran is a major player in all this conflict, it is important for someone to sit with Iran, talk to them so we can return to some sort of normality in the Middle East", he underlined during his radio program.
"It is senseless to isolate Iran. I believe in a balance and I'm convinced it is United Nations that should be doing the negotiations, based on an understanding: the world needs peace, people are tired of death and killings", he added.
"I speak to everybody, I don't accept intolerance", emphasized Lula. "Those who believe there are people with whom you must not talk are as intolerant as those who do not want peace".
The Iranian president currently on a tour of South America and Africa is traveling with a delegation of 280 people, most of them businesspeople.
Finally Lula da Silva underlined "Brazil's diplomatic capacity" pointing out that "there are few countries in the world that in a fortnight have hosted Israeli president Shimon Peres, the president of the Palestinian National Authority Abbas and the leader of Iran Ahmadinejad".
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