Iran says Lula visit not connected to nuclear crisis
The presidents of Iran and Brazil held talks in Tehran on Sunday, but Irandownplayed the West's expectations that these talks were the Islamic Republic's last chance to allay mounting tension over its nuclear development. Western sources have said President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's trip was probably the last chance to avoid new U.N. sanctions against Iran.
But Iran's officials and media seemed to ignore the nuclear issue in public and instead focused on mutual relations, Reuters reported. "Your trip enjoys a special importance due to the onset of serious cooperation between the two great nations and also because many countries are awaiting our added cooperation," state television quoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying during a meeting with Lula.
Lula also met Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. "America is angry over the proximity of independent countries like Iran and Brazil...That is why they made a fuss ahead of your (Lula) trip to Iran," state television quoted Khamenei as saying.