Brazil’s Caixa to finance $1.3 billion in beef exports to Iran, Valor says

Joshua Goodman – Bloomberg, 08/13/2010

Brazil’s state-controlled Caixa Economica Federal will finance up to 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in beef shipments to Iran after private banks refused to extend credit to exporters, fearing retaliation from the U.S. and European Union, Valor Economico said.

The financing will be backed by Brazil’s Treasury, which will be responsible for collecting payment from the Iranian government, the Sao Paulo-based newspaper said.

Sanctions imposed by the United Nations in June over Iran’s nuclear program, and followed up with tighter restrictions by the U.S. and EU, has led Brazilian banks to reject credit guarantees issued by Iranian banks, the newspaper said.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in a visit to Tehran in May, signed an agreement to finance food exports to Iran, as well as boost investment and expand air connections between the two countries. Annual trade with Iran has more than doubled to $1.2 billion since Lula took office in 2003.

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Brazil will back Iran sanctions

Al Jazeera, 08/11/2010

Brazil’s president has signed a decree stating his country will abide by United Nations sanctions against Iran even though it had worked to avoid them.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the president, signed the decree “because there is a tradition of carrying out [UN] Security Council resolutions, including those we don’t agree with,” Celso Amorim, the foreign minister, told reporters.

The decision to take the formal step of signing a decree also comes after Iran last week dismissed a Brazilian offerto give asylum to an Iranian woman who has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

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Fight between U.S. and Brazil threatens trade

Brian Winter and Natuza Nery – Reuters, 08/05/2010

The road to rock bottom for relations between Brazil and the United States, a dispute that now threatens business ties between the two Western Hemisphere economic giants, began in Brasilia in March.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was trying to convince Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to drop or postpone his controversial efforts to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran, and support a new round of sanctions instead.

Lula refused. Then, he dropped a diplomatic bombshell, telling Clinton he was worried Iran would become another Iraq — that is, that the United States was on a path to war, according to sources familiar with the exchange.

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Turkey, Iran, Brazil holding talks on nuclear plan

Voice of America News, 07/24/2010

Turkey’s foreign minister says Iran is ready to hold talks on its nuclear program with the European Union after the Muslim month of Ramadan ends in September.

The foreign ministers of Iran, Turkey and Brazil met in Istanbul Sunday to discuss Iran’s next steps for nuclear negotiations.

Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu says Iran will send a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency Monday, asking to start “technical” negotiations on a nuclear fuel swap.

The United Nations Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran in June after the country did not accept a U.N.-backed plan to swap low-enriched uranium for uranium fuel rods needed for an Iranian medical research reactor.  The deal would have reduced Iran’s uranium stockpile and delayed its capability to produce nuclear weapons.

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World powers mull Brazil, Turkey’s presence in Iran talks

AFP, 07/12/2010

World powers have not formally agreed that Brazil and Turkey can sit in on talks over a nuclear fuel supply deal with Iran, but neither have they explicitly ruled out such an arrangement, diplomats said Monday.

An Iranian news report on Sunday quoted Tehran’s foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki as saying that the so-called Vienna group “has accepted” the presence of Brazil and Turkey in talks over a fuel swap.

But diplomats familiar with the dossier said no such formal decision had been made.

Under a deal brokered by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last October, France, Russia and the United States proposed to Iran that it ship out most of its stockpile of low-enriched uranium for processing into fuel rods for a medical research reactor in Tehran.

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Brazil ends role as Iran broker

Daniel Dombey and Jonathan Wheatley – Financial Times, 06/20/2010

Brazil is halting its attempt to broker a deal over Iran’s nuclear programme – an issue that has brought relations between the Lula da Silva government and the Obama administration to a new low.

Celso Amorim, Brazil’s foreign minister, told the Financial Times the country would no longer seek to settle the nuclear dispute after the US rejected a Turkish-Brazilian deal with Iran to exchange half Tehran’s stockpile of enriched uranium for nuclear fuel for a research reactor.

“We got our fingers burned by doing things that everybody said were helpful and in the end we found that some people could not take ‘yes’ for an answer,” said Mr Amorim in a clear reference to Washington.

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