The Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, says his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has plans to visit Iran in future.
President Ahmadinejad made the remarks after returning home from a five-day tour which took him to five African and South American countries including Brazil.
Describing the whole tour as successful, the Iranian President added that “We had great talks with Brazilian officials. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is scheduled to visit Iran.”
“The development of ties between Iran and Brazil will influence our relations with Latin America,” he explained.
The Iranian chief executive began his tour of Gambia, Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela and Senegal on Sunday, just days after Israeli president Shimon Peres completed a tour to Latin America aimed at rallying support against Tehran.
However, the Israeli president’s visit to Brazil and Argentina, home to the largest Jewish communities, led to angry demonstrations against the trip in both Latin American countries.
Iran’s close ties with Latin America and particularly Brazil are a cause of major concern both to Israel and its staunch ally, the US.
Ahmadinejad’s visit to Latin American and African countries comes also as Washington moves to prepare a new slate of sanctions against Iran over the country’s nuclear issue.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has thrown his weight behind Iran’s efforts to develop a nuclear program aimed at peaceful purposes in September’s UN gathering in New York.
During his stay in Brazil, Peres also met with the Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim who is considered to be one of the strongest men in the Brazilian government.
However, the Israeli leader’s efforts to overshadow Ahmadinejad’s upcoming visit seemed to be in vain as Jobim later asserted that Brazilian authorities would hold talks with whomever they pleased.
Jobim said that no one had the right to dictate to Brazil who to talk to or not, pointing out that the decision was entirely up to the Brazilian government.
Ahmadinejad was greeted by First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, foreign policy adviser to Iran’s Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Ali-Akbar Velayati, and several ministers and members of Parliament upon his arrival in Tehran on Friday morning.