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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Was Ahmadinejad snubbed in Latin America and Senegal?

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez seemed all lovey-dovey in Caracas last month, but Amir Taheri claims that things weren't what they appeared to be.
Earlier this month, President Ahmadinejad toured Brazil, Venezuela and Senegal in a bid to secure some of the legitimacy that eludes him at home. It would be an understatement to suggest that in all three countries he was treated with less deference due to being an Iranian president.

Neither the Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva nor his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez took the trouble to go the airport to welcome Ahmadinejad. Neither offered him the routine state banquet that protocol requires. Chavez, who has benefited from Iranian political and economic support, appeared to have lost much of his fraternal sentiments for his Iranian guest.

In Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, Ahmadinejad had to stand to attention while the pre-revolution Iranian national anthem was played instead of the one introduced by the mullahs in 1979.

In Senegal, President Abdullah Wade made sure that Ahmadinejad's state visit had none of the frills that the Senegalese put on show when Empress Farah visited Dakar almost 40 years ago. However, the main problem with Ahmadinejad's failed foreign policy is not protocolary slaps in the face. He has made the nation more isolated and vulnerable than at any time since the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1989.
On the other hand, Brazil and Venezuela both came out in favor of Iran's nuclear weapons program. So did they really snub him?

It seems that he's not getting the respect that a head of state normally would get, but so far it hasn't translated into any serious efforts to stop the nuclear program. But it might. Eventually.


At 3:03 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I think it has to do with Ahmedinejad's legitimacy problem at home. While he is popular with his fellow dictators abroad, it paradoxically highlights his own vulnerability at home. Whether he can translate Iran's standing in the Third World into concrete benefits for the regime remains to be seen.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

In Venezuela Ahmadinejad was definitely not snubbed. Chavez spoke of him as "my brother and my teacher" and proclaimed with great& happy excitement that the twelfth imam was coming back with Christ, how Ahmadinejad had taught him about that & that he still had to study more.


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