AS/COA Online - Lula Raises Middle East Profile

Co-authored with Michal Toiba. As Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prepares for his trip to South America next week, concerns grow about Tehran’s influence in the region. Ahmadinejad, who canceled a trip to Latin America back in May, visits Brazil, Venezuela, and Bolivia next week in efforts to strengthen political and economic relations. With an ally in Venezuela already, Ahmadinejad’s journey offers the chance for Tehran to deepen ties with South American powerhouse Brazil. However, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's hosting of Ahmadinejad could lead to blowback if Brazil fails to join other global powers in pressuring Iran to curb its nuclear goals.
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