Brasilia: The BRIC nations -- Brazil,
Russia, India and China -- are set to wrestle with
international pressure to back sanctions against Iran when
they hold the second-ever summit in Brazil at the end of the
The diplomatic issue is expected to be raised at the
Friday gathering in Brasilia, along with other matters
involving the four countries, which together represent 40
percent of the world`s population and which have emerged as an
increasingly powerful bloc on emerging economies.
The meeting is sandwiched between a Washington summit
early this week on nuclear security, and a looming UN Security
Council vote on whether to broaden sanctions against Iran over
its nuclear program.
The United States, Britain, France and Germany have been
urging the BRICs to support sanctions against Iran.
Most attention in the lead up to the UN vote, expected
within weeks, is likely to be on the UN Security Council
Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States are
the five permanent council members whose power of veto mean
they must support or at least abstain on any sanctions
Brazil is a temporary UN Security Council member with no
veto power, but it is one of Iran`s biggest defenders at the
world body`s top table -- and therefore the focus for lobbying
by the Washington and other Western capitals.
Thus far, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
has shown no sign of acquiescing, even after a trilateral
meeting with US President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday.
Lula, who hosted a visit by Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad last year and who is scheduled to travel to Iran
next month, has resolutely stood by Tehran`s assertion that it
has a right to atomic energy.
The United States and European Union countries claim that
Iran is embarking on a quest for nuclear weapons and can only
be forced to negotiate on the issue by tougher sanctions.
Friday`s BRIC summit will see Lula sit down with his
Chinese and Russian counterparts, Hu Jintao and Dimitri
Medvedev, and Indian Prime Minister Mamohan Singh to thrash
out common ground on several issues.
Also on the agenda: reforming international institutions
such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to give
greater prominence to emerging powers, said Roberto Jaguaribe,
the Brazilian official organizing the summit.
The BRIC nations together accounted for nearly half the
world`s growth this decade, and 16 percent of the world`s
economic output, according to the IMF.
With the exception of Russia, the grouping also handled
the global recession in relatively good shape.