MR
18.06.09
Brazil: Lula Says There Is No Evidence of Fraud in Iran and Wants to Visit the Country
by Pablo Uchoa

BBC Brasil Special Correspondent, Geneva

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said this Monday in Geneva that there is "no evidence" that there has been a fraud in the Iranian elections and affirmed that he wants to set a date to visit the country next year.

"Look, the (Iranian) president (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) received a vote of 61-62%.  It's too big a vote for anyone to imagine that there may have been a fraud," Lula said at the press conference.

"I don't know anyone, other than the opposition, who has disagreed with the elections in Iran.  There is no number, no proof.  For now, it's just, you know, a matter between Flamengo fans and Vasco fans," the president said, making analogy to two of the most popular football clubs in Brazil.

Lula said that the controversy surrounding the re-election of Ahmadinejad does not change the plans of visits between representatives of the two countries.  Ahmadinejad canceled a trip to Brazil scheduled for May this year, saying he wanted to wait till the end of the elections in his country.

"He was coming, he asked us to wait till the end of the electoral process, but he can come any time he wants, and I will welcome him anyway," said Lula.

Questioned whether he intends to go to Iran, the president was also assertive.

"I intend to go to Iran.  I want to set a date next year and make a visit to Iran because we are interested in building partnerships with Iran, in trade with Iran," he said.

"Brazil will go everywhere it needs to go to establish the best relationships with all the countries in the world, including Iran."
The original article "Brasil: Lula diz que não há prova de fraude no Irã e pretende visitar o país" was published by BBC Brasil on 15 June 2009.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi.
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