Rio De Janeiro: Brazilian President Luiz
Inacio Lula da Silva reiterated today his insistence that a
"negotiated solution" be found with Iran over its nuclear
program, as the US and other powers mulled sanctions.
Lula said he "went to Iran in search of a negotiated
solution" to the international standoff over the program,
which the United States claims -- over Tehran`s denials -- is
a cover for building atomic weapons.
The Brazilian president also stated that he saw nuclear
arsenals as "obsolete" and highlighted his country`s
constitutional ban on possessing such arms.
The comments, made at the opening of a UN conference in
Rio promoting cross-cultural understanding, came a day after
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said "we have very
serious disagreements with Brazil`s diplomacy vis-a-vis Iran."
The United States is pushing a UN resolution to punish
Iran with a fourth set of sanctions after deeming that it is
not doing enough to meet international demands to show its
nuclear program is peaceful.
Lula and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on
May 17 extracted an agreement from Iran to deposit around half
its stock of low-enriched uranium in Turkey in exchange,
later, for nuclear fuel enriched to a level for medical -- but
not military -- use.
They hailed the deal as a diplomatic breakthrough, and
said it aligned with demands set out to them by the US
government to avert an escalation against Iran.
But Washington subsequently said the accord did not go
far enough, notably with Iran insisting it would still enrich
its remaining uranium stock, and the sanctions resolution was
submitted to the UN Security Council, upon which Brazil and
Turkey both sit.