3 Dec 2009
While Western countries hysterically fuss about an impending ‘nuclear threat’ from Iran - threatening war, sanctions and global isolation - Iran is quietly going about building bridges with other powerful countries in our increasingly multi-polar world.
"Luladinejad" is a term coined by journalist Pepe Escobar, to describe the "axis of business" between Brazil and Iran.
Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad travelled to Brazil with 200 Iranian businessmen in late November 2009 to develop economic cooperation between the two countries.
Brazil's Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Ahmadinejad have signed agreements on energy, trade and agricultural research.
Iran wants to invest in the Brazilian oil, petrochemicals, agriculture and property sectors. While Brazil wants to export, meat, grain, sugar, trucks and buses to Iran.
Ahmadinejad's visit to Brazil was complemented by visits to other Latin American countries, including Venezuela and Bolivia as well as five countries in Africa.
According to Escobar, South America is seen as a way out for Iran to dodge Western sanctions.
Brazil is now a business and strategic partner in an arrangement that exemplifies south-south cooperation in a multi-polar world, and Iran sees Brazil as a possible mediator vis-à-vis the West.
Lula says that Brazil supports Iran's access to "peaceful nuclear energy." For Brazil, it is the IAEA that should solve the Iranian nuclear dossier and not the UN Security Council.
Brazil has the 7th largest uranium reserves in the world. The country enriches uranium for its own nuclear energy programme.
Brazil is strongly against unilateral sanctions on Iran.
Lula argues, "It's simple. What we advocate for us, we advocate for others as well."
Ahmadinejad responded by saying that Iran and Brazil "can build partnerships to build nuclear plants."
It appears that Iran is not as isolated as Western propaganda would like people to believe, argues Escobar. For example, Iran is also making energy deals with China and is changing from the use of US Dollars to Euros.
Escobar contends that the Western media malign Ahmadinejad and are not paying enough attention to what he actually says.
At a press conference in Brazil Ahmadinejad said, "We have the conditions to enrich uranium at 20% and we have the legal right to do it, but to create an atmosphere of cooperation, we are ready to buy nuclear fuel."
He also said that Iran is willing to buy enriched uranium abroad. But, the country won't allow suppliers to set the terms. "No independent country would accept this proposal," said Ahmadinejad.
Now, according to Escobar, the question that the UN Security Council needs to debate is the volume of enriched uranium that should leave Iran for Russia and France and come back to the country as nuclear fuel.
For its part, Brazil is seeking a permanent seat at the UN Security Council and more soft power and influence.