As many of you know, I am quite fascinated by Latin America’s sudden “brotherhood” with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Here a Washington Post editorial really hits home the fact that the Lula Administration really miscalculated the politics of playing their Iran angle.
In general, multipolarity is a good thing, and I am all for Brazil having any relationship it wants with any country – further I strongly back UN reform … But for all these upcoming nations who crave respect as emerging powers, it sure would be refreshing for them to start acting like leaders. Naturally we must understand and recognize that Lula’s embrace of Ahmadinejad is motivated by the attempt to balance against the influence of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez in the region, but this race to the bottom can only run for so long.
On Monday Mr. Lula literally gave a bear hug to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who thereby recorded a major advance in his effort to prop up his shaky domestic and international standing. (…)
Mr. Lula had nothing to say about the bloody suppression of Iran’s pro-democracy reform movement, or Mr. Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust and Israel’s right to exist. Instead he declared that Iran has a right to its nuclear program. Mr. Ahmadinejad, in turn, endorsed Brazil’s bid for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.
Mr. Lula showed why the West would be wise to keep that chair on hold.