After declarations by Brazil’s Foreign Minister, Celso Amorim, in favor of dialogue with Tehran, the Brazilian minister of Defense, Nelson Jobim, made it public that he also is in favor of further talks with Iran after that country announced it will enrich uranium to 20%.
That announcement caused a strong negative reaction in most of the international community and prompted the threat of sanctions from the United States and France, among others.
Jobim criticized what he called “radicalizing,” and signaled that Brazil may continue to support the Iranian position. “Brazil is not against anybody. We have a tradition of resolving things through dialogue,” said the minister.
Jobim pointed out that enrichment to 20% is necessary for the manufacture of pharmaceutical goods and some kinds of food. Enrichment to 5% is what is used for running a nuclear reactor that generates electricity, which is what Brazil does at its nuclear power plants in Angra dos Reis, he explained.
Asked if Brazil would fight in favor of Iran, Jobim rebutted the question: “I don’t know if that would be in favor of Iran or in favor of ourselves.”
Although Iran has clearly changed the direction of its nuclear program, that country is betting that Brazil will continue to support them.
The Iranian ambassador in Brazil, Mohsen Shaterzadeh, said it was up to the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect the Iranian nuclear program and that the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has left the door open for further negotiations regarding the purchase of fuel from other countries.
Shaterzadeh said he is sure of Brazilian support, although he has not spoken with Brazilian Foreign Minister, Celso Amorim, about the changes in the Iranian program.
“I don’t see any reason to talk to minister Celso Amorim, because I am certain that president Lula is convinced that the Iranian nuclear program, just like the Brazilian program, is for peaceful ends,” said the ambassador.
“We believe completely in Brazil. We have common interests and no country can intervene to undo our collaboration.”