September 28, 2007

Evo Morales and Ahmadinejad

MABB © ®

That (left) is how the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saluted the Bolivian people during his five hour visit to Bolivia. He was received with all the military honors protocol dictates. The photo on the right captures the beginning of this relationship, when Ahmadinejad and Morales met in January 2007. Now, it looks like the relationship has grown to the point of establishing formal diplomatic relations.

During this short but fruitful visit (for Ahmadinejad), the two nations signed a series of cooperation agreements and a joint statement. The joint statement expressed their support for the use of nuclear energy for peaceful objectives, their intention to work towards a multipolar world, and to announce a billionaire investment by Iran in Bolivia.

The three areas covered by the cooperation agreements were: hydrocarbons (oil and natural gas, I take), agriculture and industrial development.

The opposition, of course, is skeptical. They ask what is Bolivian gaining by establishing, in so public a manner, diplomatic relations with a country such as Iran. Some even highlight the contradictions when Ahmadinejad praises Bolivian and Iranian women and at the same time officially asks not to allow any women to any reception at his hotel or any ceremony where Iranian officials are present.