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Brazil Presidential Election, and Iran

By Farid Marjai

Would the Brazilian presidential election have any significance for Iran and the Persian Gulf countries?
Two years ago Lula da Silva's government held an economic summit for the Arab and the Persian Gulf Council countries signifying Brazil's new direction and confidence as an emerging economy. However, Brazil's diplomacy with respect to (the New Middle East and) Iran, symbolized the multilateralist foreign policy, culminating in the Brazil-Turkey-Iran nuclear agreement, and Brazil voting against sanctions at the Security Council.  This overall Brazilian multilateralist foreign policy was viewed in the region as a challenge to the hitherto hegemony.
The second round of presidential elections in Brazil was held on October 29.  Dilma Rousseff the candidate from the governing Workers Party PT defeated the right wing candidate Jose Serra with a comfortable margin of 56 to 44 percent, giving her a clear mandate to continue Lula's policies.
The success of Lula's government in terms of economic development, and more importantly, the "distribution of development" was undeniable (according to Getulio Vargas Foundation, an independent policy institute, 28 million were incorporated into the middle class).  In that sense, the conservative opposition could not attack the government from the development perspective.  Hence, much of the rightwing campaign had focused on cultural (abortion, minorities, affirmative action) and "foreign policy" issues.  In this presidential campaign, candidate Serra of the conservative opposition criticized Brazil's relationship with Iran and Venezuela as often as he could, and promised an immediate change of direction once elected.  Workers Party presented Serra's stance as subservience to the unilateralism of certain foreign governments, and historically obsolete. 
Because of the conservative religious voting block, Dilma had to change her stance on the legalization of abortion, but on foreign and Middle East policies, Dilma emphasized continuity, stood firm and did not back down.  We have to see if in her government Dilma Rousseff would keep Lula's foreign policy team intact?

... Payvand News - 11/08/10 ... --

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