Has Brazil’s Lula become Iran’s useful idiot?

Jackson Diehl- PostPartisan, 05/06/2010

Has Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio “Lula” da Silva become Iran’s useful idiot?

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad clearly thinks so. On Wednesday his website posted a statement saying he had accepted “in principle” a supposed Brazilian proposal to defuse Iran’s standoff with the U.N. Security Council — and prevent the adoption of new sanctions pressed by the United States, Britain and France.

The Brazilian foreign ministry hastily denied that there was a concrete proposal. But that’s irrelevant: Lula, who is planning a trip to Tehran next week, is obviously seeking to position himself as the mediator who can broker a deal between Iran and the West.

Read more…

Iran reactor-fuel swap floated by Brazil, tied to cooperation

BusinessWeek, 04/27/10

Brazil said it may offer its territory as the site for an exchange of uranium that would provide reactor fuel for Iran, provided the country increases its cooperation with United Nations nuclear inspectors.

“We can consider hosting the swap deal if we are asked,” Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim told Iran’s state-run Islamic Republic News Agency during a visit to Tehran. “Iran may need to act more flexibly, even more than what the International Atomic Energy Agency requires, to gain the trust of the other sides that its nuclear program is peaceful.”

The UN’s IAEA has said it can’t confirm that Iran’s atomic intentions are peaceful because the government isn’t cooperating with the agency. The U.S. is pushing for further UN sanctions to stop what it says are Iran’s attempts to develop nuclear weapons.

Read more…

Iran could radicalize with UN sanctions-Brazil

Reuters, 04/07/10

United Nations sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program could make the Islamic Republic more radical and cause its population to revolt, Brazil’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Brazil has urged continued dialogue with Iran even as Western powers push for a new round of sanctions in the U.N. Security Council over a program they believe is aimed at developing nuclear bombs.

“A regime like Iran’s, with sanctions, will tend to radicalize, dig in its heels, joining opposition and government in a position of intransigence,” Foreign Minister Celso Amorim told Brazil’s Senate foreign relations committee.

“The result of growing sanctions is that the country will become more isolated. Sanctions always hit the poorest people … that will cause the population to revolt,” Amorim said.

Read more…

US presses Brazil on Iran sanctions

Matthew Lee-The Washington Post, 02/25/10

The Obama administration is making a face-to-face argument to Brazil to support tough new U.N. sanctions against Iran, with upcoming visits by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and another senior diplomat.

Brazil now holds a voting seat on the U.N. Security Council, and its support is important as the U.S. argues Iran should be penalized for refusing to come clean on its suspect nuclear program. Brazil has been cool to the prospect of hitting Iran with new sanctions.

Read more…