Ahmadinejad Visits Brazil, Obama Writes Letter to Brazilian Prez

Last week, President Obama sent a three-page letter to Brazilian leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva restating America’s stance on Iran’s nuclear program a day before Brazil hosted Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Though the letter didn’t criticize the visit, Obama requested that da Silva use this opportunity to encourage Iran to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. This plan falls under a proposal by the International Atomic Energy Agency and asks that Iran export its enriched uranium to be further processed and then used in a medical reactor in Tehran. Iran has turned down the proposal and Brazil supports its right to develop nuclear technology for energy production, which the South American country has been doing as well. Ahmadinejad’s visit, the first time an Iranian leader has been in Brazil in 44 years, was set up by da Silva in the hopes of mediating conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians.

Obama’s letter also covered climate change and American support for a presidential election in Honduras, which took place Sunday, after President Manuel Zelaya was expelled in June. Brazil, on the other hand, has opposed the election and labeled the move as inappropriate after this summer’s coup. And with the majority of western hemisphere countries sharing its views, many refuse to recognize newly elected President Porfirio Lobo. A vote amongst Honduran lawmakers will take place Wednesday to decide whether Zelaya should be restored as head of government until Lobo takes office Jan. 27.