Julian Borger, diplomatic editor, and Daniel Howden in Johannesburg The Guardian, Friday 6 December 2013 18.46 GMT
US president, Barack Obama, in South Africa
US president, Barack Obama, in South Africa earlier this year.
Mandela's funeral could provide the backdrop to his first meeting with Iran's leader, Hassan Rouhani. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP World leaders are preparing to converge in unprecedented numbers on South Africa for Nelson Mandela's funeral, likely to be one of the biggest global gatherings of powerful people in modern history. As South Africa embarked on nine days of mourning, comparisons were being drawn with earlier mammoth funeral ceremonies, of Pope John Paul II, Princess Diana, President John F Kennedy and Winston Churchill. But Mandela's appeal was even bro…