Tehran: Brazil`s President met with Iranian
leaders on Sunday to try to broker a compromise in the
international standoff over Tehran`s nuclear programme, even
as the US says new sanctions are the only way to force Iran`s
Luis Inacio Lula da Silva is trying to use Brazil`s
friendly relations with Iran to show it can be a fair, neutral
broker in the escalating dispute. Since evidence of a
clandestine Iranian nuclear program first emerged in 2003,
negotiations with world powers and visits by UN inspectors
have failed to persuade the US and its allies that Iran is not
pursuing a weapons capability.
"It`s more difficult for someone who has nuclear weapons
to ask someone not to develop nuclear weapons," Silva said in
an interview with Al-Jazeera TV yesterday. "It`s easier for
someone who does not carry nuclear weapons, like myself, to
ask for that."
The Brazilian president is reportedly trying to revive a
UN-backed proposal in which Iran would ship its stockpile of
enriched uranium abroad to be processed further and returned
as fuel rods for a medical research reactor.
Silva began his visit by meeting with Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In the afternoon, he was to meet Iran`s
supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Iran maintains its nuclear work is only for peaceful
purposes, like energy production. But the UN nuclear
monitoring agency says Iran has not fully cooperated with its
investigation to determine whether it has a military
The UN plan, first proposed in October, would deprive
Iran of stocks of enriched uranium that it could process to
the higher levels of enrichment needed in weapons production.
The material returned to Iran in the form of fuel rods could
not be processed beyond its lower, safer levels, which are
suitable for use in the Tehran research reactor.
Iran initially accepted the deal but then balked and
proposed changes rejected by the world powers negotiating with
Tehran: Germany and the five permanent members of the UN
Security Council, which are the United States, Britain,
France, Russia and China.