Lula Is All Smiles with Secretary Clinton, But Doesn’t Budge an Inch on Iran

Clinton, Lula and Dilma RousseffThe Brazilian government and Washington could not agree Wednesday over how to rein in Tehran’s suspect nuclear ambitions and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva warned the world not to “push Iran into a corner.”

In talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Lula and his foreign minister Celso Amorim backed continued international negotiations to ensure Iran does not enrich uranium to the point it can build a nuclear bomb.

Lula set the tough tone for the talks with Clinton when he said it is “not prudent to push Iran into a corner. It is prudent to make it so that Iran continues to negotiate.”

In a combative press conference with Brazilian Foreign Affairs minister Celso Amorim, a stern-faced Clinton retorted that the US-led drive to impose a fourth set of UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic was the only way to bring it back to the negotiating table.

“Only after we pass sanctions in the Security Council will Iran negotiate in good faith,” Clinton said in a foreign ministry briefing room. Clinton echoed Amorim when she said both shared the goal of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons country, but said the two differed in how to attain it.

“Once the international community speaks in unison around a resolution, then the Iranians will come and begin to negotiate,” she said, raising her voice.

“So we want to get to the negotiation. We just think the best path is through the United Nations Security Council”. She also appeared to suggest Brazil and other countries were falling for what the US considers is antics by Iran.

“We see an Iran that runs to Brazil, an Iran that runs to Turkey, and an Iran that runs to China telling different things to different people to avoid sanctions,” she said.

Brazil is a current voting member on the 15-strong UN Security Council, though it is not one of the five permanent veto-wielding members.

When asked why Brazil was going against the growing consensus, Amorim responded sharply, “It’s not a matter of Brazil refusing to join a nuclear consensus”. Rather, he said it was a question of determining whether coercive measures like sanctions would work to achieve a consensus.

“Our view is that sanctions, in general, are counterproductive,” he said, adding that Brazil believed diplomacy was “worth the effort.”

“The director of the International Atomic Energy Agency will come to Brazil and I am going to suggest to him that he convene a meeting with the Iranian negotiators, perhaps with the presence of some new interlocutor,” he said.

“Once the international community expresses itself, sends a clear message, by means of a UN resolution, the Iranians will negotiate. And that is why the best path is through the UN Security Council,” he said.

Clinton’s visit to Brazil was preceded Friday by William Burns, the US undersecretary of state for political affairs, who leads US consultations on Iran among the permanent five members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.

Brasília was Clinton’s fourth stop on a six-nation Latin America tour, following visits to Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. She left for Costa Rica and Guatemala.


  • Show Comments (22)

  • a priori

    it is an innocent country stupid…
    peace in our time said chamberlain. you seem more of a propagandist than a political historian/you are naive and apparently have not been to the middle east, but are an armchair authority/every terrorist organization in the middle east is tied to Iran/Hammas, Hezbollah/al Qaeda/Iran is the central banker. Hitler was no threat to anyone/Iran has killed thousands of muslims, because it serves their purpose. Iran is interested in a muslim world governed by the 12th Imam the center being Iran. They seek control of every country in the mid east, saudia arabia, kawait, qatar, abu dabi, iraq, jordan, syria, lebanon, and israel, egypt, tunisia, algeria, yemen, morocco, semalia, afghanistan/ they seek control of all the oil through the straits of hermuz/Iran is a scorpion with great ambition/it is hardly an innocent country “stupid” They are the original Aryian that is the origin of the word Iran/they were allied with Nazi Germany and Aryian superiority is still in their hearts. The scorpion will hend by stabbing you, for it is its nature.

    The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency says Iran possesses chemicals that can induce bleeding, blistering, and choking, as well as the bombs and artillery shells to deliver these agents. U.S. officials say Iran also has an active biological weapons program, driven in part by its acquisition of “dual-use” technologies—supplies and machinery that can be put to either harmless or deadly uses. Weapons experts say the Iranian programs started after the country’s forces were struck by Iraqi chemical attacks in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.

    Iran has hundreds of Scuds and other short-range ballistic missiles. It has also manufactured and flight-tested the Shahab-3 missile, which has a range of 1,300 kilometers—enough to hit Israel or Saudi Arabia. Moreover, Iran is developing missiles with even greater range, including one that it says will be used to launch satellites but that experts say could also be used as an intercontinental ballistic missile. In March 2006, Iran claimed it had successfully tested a missile capable of evading radar and hitting multiple targets.
    Iran is an innocent country, yeh right.

  • dnb

    Please do it Joao!
    [quote]Apologies for my silence.I have been quite busy coming out with a business plan to offer on-line courses on “Laranja Theory” and make some money[/quote]

    Silence this debate going nowhere. 😉 But until folks understand there is a global banking sponsored “shadow government” who these presidents answer to in the end , they won’t get it.
    Good luck! I am sure you will find comprehensive way to get this across.

  • Andrade

    [quote]Now it’s making more sense why Lula wants to hug this dictator.[/quote]

    You were a bit too slow to understand it, eh?

  • hunh?

    Now it’s making more sense why Lula wants to hug this dictator. here is a story from todays’s NY Times about companies still doing business in Iran. There are many multinationals from many nations doing business there including the US, but while many are doing a few dollars in business there, Brazil stood out as the largest (I think) with over 2 billion dollars in business with Iran and Petrobras. I guess Lula will overlook the torture an murder of Iranians by this regime so long as Petrobras is doing a booming business. Now Brazilians loved to denounce the blood for oil wars of the US in Iraq, which I agree that they were right to do. Now I would like to hear them denounce the tainted deals of their own government, tacitly endorsing this regime that has the fresh blood of its citizens on its hands. Ahhh yes, the silence here is deafening. Hypocrites!

    [quote]Petrobras$2 billion On hold

    Petrobras, a state owned oil company in Brazil, invested $100 million to explore Iran’s offshore oil prospects in the Persian Gulf. It has also received a large loan from the Export Import Bank to develop offshore oil reserves discovered off the coast of Brazil. Diogo Almeida, the economic attaché at the Brazilian Embassy in Iran, said the company is in talks with the Iranians about future oil and gas development projects, but first must determine how much of its resources it wants to devote to the Brazilian discovery. I.A. ‘Tony’ Piazza, managing director of Petrobras Middle East B.V. – Iran, confirmed that the company remains interested in doing business in Iran.[/quote]

  • Andrade

    [quote]Lula is either extremely naive,[/quote]

    85% of the Brazilians do not think so. You will discover it reading the Brazilian newspapers. Never before in the history of our country a President has enjoyed such a high popularity rating.

    [quote]but he has not said a word about the ruthless beatings, tortures and repressive acts carried out by the Iranian regime now against a spontaneous groundswell of popular resistance to this regime.[/quote]

    He didn’t say a word about such things occurring in Cuba either when he visited the country last week. He truly believes in not interfering in the internal affairs of another country. He is more neutral than the Swiss.

    [quote]I have much more respect for other voices like people like Paulo Freire, [/quote]

    I aint going to say a word about your admiration for Paulo, as you have every right to decide whom you should or not admire.

    If you are not too happy with the foreign policy of our President or his minister Mr.Amorim, you should organize protest marches in front of the Brazilian diplomatic missions in your country. What is the point in bashing them in this forum which they don’t get to read?

  • hunh?

    King Gringo: I agree with you fully. And yes, like you, I once looked on Lula very favorably, but now I think he is either a moron, or just to score some cheap points with the locals stirring jingoistic nationalism against the US, or he is trying to court Iran for some kind of trade deals, or he thinks that he will look like a great diplomat trying to bargain and talk with Iran before sanctions. In fact the security council members have been trying to do this for a year, and Iran is not interested. This seems to be a way for Lula to get in the limelight by staging his own negotiations with Iran. While he may be scoring points at home with these theatrics, he looks untrustworthy or naive to the rest of the world. I think it is shameful that he is ignoring the abuses of this regime that should be apparent to anyone who can read the BBC online. Can someone please show Lula how to access the BBC in Portuguese online????

  • hunh?

    Nonsense replies all of it. Russia and EU nations had little to do with the theory of WMDs disseminated by GW Bush et al. Get your facts straight. Many European countries and people kept a health distance from it all. The so called “coalition of the willing” was a joke. The unilateral approach of Bush is what made this war a fiasco. Yet this debacle does not justify Brazil ignoring the sound advice and spy intelligence that is monitoring nuclear weapons research and development in Iran. This seems like Lula vying to be a great diplomat, just as he wanted to bring peace to the Israel by having everyone play soccer. I wish it all could be that simple. Lula is either extremely naive, or he is positioning Brazil for some privileged trading position between Brazil and Iran. Either way, both are poor reasons for such an alliance. I am sickened by the fact that Lula plays naive to this country as if everyone is picking on them and “putting them in a corner”, but he has not said a word about the ruthless beatings, tortures and repressive acts carried out by the Iranian regime now against a spontaneous groundswell of popular resistance to this regime. I salute and congratulate the brave Iranian protestors for standing up the thugs of this regime. Do you all have your head in the sand, or do you not get the news in Brazil about Iran??? Check out Youtube or the BBC or even a paper from the Middle East like El Jazeera and you will see countess accounts of torture, beatings, and murders by the secret police and militias against people peacefully protesting rigged elections. Anyone who does not know of this, needs to read the news before they take a position about Iran, and this includes Lula, especially. And anyone who knows of such atrocities, and casually ignores it, cynically and insensitively believing this is a way to speak out against the US, is a pathetic moron, a coward, and deceiving themselves in a situation where they should speak out against oppression. Wake up! Russia is still no great ally of the US: so when the US and Russia can come together on something like this, Many on this site claim to speak for Brazil by supporting Iran. Well, you are only one opinion from Brazil. I have much more respect for other voices like people like Paulo Freire, who would never, NEVER, see this regime as a friend, but would call it as it is: a oppressive regime.

  • João da Silva

    [quote]You’re quiet
    But I think I know why…[/quote]

    Apologies for my silence.I have been quite busy coming out with a business plan to offer on-line courses on “Laranja Theory” and make some money.:D;-)

  • dnb

    You’re quiet:o

    But I think I know why….;-):D

  • Andrade

    [quote]France, Russia, Great Britan, Germany and Russia are fiercely independent of the US, yet they all these nations are in agreement that Iran is a repressive, unstable nation that would destabilize the region as well as Europe with nuclear weapons.[/quote]

    Also they were all in agreement that Iraq had WMDs and Afghanistan poses the greatest threat to the free world.

    [quote]you would think Brazilians would come out here and speak with a bit more gratitude and respect for the US.[/quote]

    Lack of “gratitude and respect” for the U.S. is not a trait common only to the Brazilians. Look at the Iraqis and Afghans. Instead of welcoming their liberators with flowers, they are receiving them with IEDs. What a bunch of uncivilized and ungrateful barbarians.

  • KingGringo

    After witnessing the murder and torture of their own people by this illegitimate Iranian regime does Latin America truly believe Iran gives a damn about their people? Iran is using Latin America as a pawn against America but the banana republics are so blind in their hatred of a US that no longer exists that they can’t see it. We ought to just ignore Latin America and let it become one big Cuba. Lula has proven that Brazil is stil too immature to take a seat at the table with other world powers. Aside from helping Castro murder his own people now Lula is helping Iran build nuclear weapons. I thought he was one of the good guys. I was wrong.

  • hunh?

    If the Iranians don’t want this dictatorial regime, why are the Brazilians insisting so much on supporting them? Why would they rather snub the US, EU and Russia on this? Are all these countries duped by the US? France, Russia, Great Britan, Germany and Russia are fiercely independent of the US, yet they all these nations are in agreement that Iran is a repressive, unstable nation that would destabilize the region as well as Europe with nuclear weapons. Stop all the nonsense silly talk about Iran using these weapons for peaceful purposes like Brazil. There is no similarity between the nations, and it insults the Brazilian researchers who have worked conscientiously to create a transparent nuclear program in Brazil to compare it with this repressive secretive dishonest regime.

  • hunh?

    i read the transcript of Amorim’s replies in the Q & A with the press: it was long and rambling and somewhat vague, but I was disappointed where he mentions Iraq and smoke and mirrors and weapons of mass destruction. Granted, there was deception and smoke and mirrors and no weapons of mass destruction, but this is a new administration with an entirely different agenda. Seems the ambassador is still living on old news. I guess according to this logic we should look suspiciously on Brazil because in the past they traded and courted the Nazi’s and other fascist in WWII. This is not about the dumbass war Bush got the US into in Iraq, it’s about most of the world’s major global players realizing what an unstable country Iran is, and the dangers of it developing nuclear weapons. None of the posts here seem to mention the current mass non-violent protests representing the majority of Iranians who see this regime as corrpt, and repressive; many Iranians are being tortured, arrested and killed by this regime. They make the past dictators of S. America look like angels. Yet Lulas is strangely silent on this, as many of the commentators on this post. This is a case of speaking out against tyrants, and repressive regimes, and celebrating and encouraging a spontaneous and courageous democratic movement that is happening now in Iran, despite the brutality of this regime. Lula wants to hug this dictator, when his own people want him thrown out of power. Sorry, friends, but Lula and any Brazilian who supports this is supporting a vicious dictatorial and repressive regime. While Lula has been a voice for certain progressive initiatives (Zero Hunger, Bolsa de famila) he is on the wrong side of history on this. The world knows this regime for what it is, and if Brazil doesn’t learn what all other democratic nations know, they will look foolish.

  • hunh?

    Andrade: [quote]Our President Lula is 100% correct and he speaks for a large majority of Brazilians who are friendly to all the countries. That includes Iran which we consider to be one of our best friends.

    Mr.Celso Amorim is a great career diplomat with years of experience and thank God, our President is listening to him. [/quote]

    I think Lula is trying to say they do not wish to see Iran gain nuclear arms, and they hope they can reason with them and use diplomacy to make this happen. This in theory seems admirable, but the US and EU have been doing this for over the last year in a multilateral fashion through the UN, and they have been stonewalled by Iran. So Lula and your ambassador are ignoring the efforts of all these other countries, and I am guessing they think this is some way to distinguish themselves in standing up to the US. That is a dumbass way to distinguish your country if this is the case. I guess it would be like making friends with Hitler just to show the other imperialist nations that you are an independent country. Childish diplomacy. I suspect some other motive as well, including making trade deals. I used to respect Lula as well. I am on the far left spectrum with him, but he has run a corrupt administration, and he exploits the nationalistic jingoism of Brazil to stay popular by thumbing his nose at the US. Yet this is just cheap theatrical antics, more like what I expect from Castro and Chavez, but not Lula. The current Obama administration has done so much to distance itself from the arrogant Neo-Con unilateral militaristic posturing of Bush/Cheney: calling for multi-lateral politics (including in dealing with Iran) called for a complete elimination of nuclear arms and is currently negotiating the second substantial reduction of nuclear weapons with Russia, has acknowledged that the US must be accountable for global warming, has been working towards getting the US out of Iraq and Afghanistan, has been working on closing Guantanamo, and called for an end to torture of suspected terrorist that was prevalent in the Bush era,etc, etc.

    Yet, many in S. America are dealing with this administration like it is GW Bush. It is not! This would be a great opportunity for our nations and hemispheres to work more closely together as in the case of the EU, but S America just seems bent of demonizing America. What a waste. I don’t think most Brazilians are so friendly to Iran as you say Andrade. In fact, most Brazilians know so little about world affairs and people they just lump all middle easterners together as “Turcos”, which is lame and racist in itself. Millions of Brazilians, however, live, study, invest, vacation and work in the US, making a better lives for themselves. Despite all the malice expressed here, you would think Brazilians would come out here and speak with a bit more gratitude and respect for the US. I am one of the most critical Americans you could meet here of our government, but when I hear all this mindless, bitter, unfair attacks against the US, I have to call for balance and measured comments, instead of all the loud-mouthed ranting, and ad hominem attacks so common to this sight. You think Iran is your great friend? Try vacationing, investing, studying, living and working there. See how far that will get you and Brazil. On the whole, Americans don’t think much of Brazil, but mostly it is positive feelings people have here towards Brazil. Little do they know that so many are so bitter and hateful of America, Americans and their government. The US is not the demonic force people wish to claim here. Other nations seem to understand that something changed when Obama became president, but Lula would rather hug a dictator from Iran who tortures and oppresses his own people than show warm regard for the US. This seems to be a posture that will only hurt our potential alliance and mutual prosperity.

  • wiseman

    gringo bloggers
    these gringo bloggers are all a bunch of jew sewer rats. my, my, how they drip out of the drain pipes with their indigent bleatings.

    iran with a nuclear capability checkmates the genocidal, criminal, imperial anglo-zionist cabal…;-);-);-)

  • Andrade

    Our President Lula is 100% correct and he speaks for a large majority of Brazilians who are friendly to all the countries. That includes Iran which we consider to be one of our best friends.

    Mr.Celso Amorim is a great career diplomat with years of experience and thank God, our President is listening to him.

    If the Gringo bloggers do not like it, tough luck. End of story. So stop interfering in the domestic affairs of Brazil.

  • KingGringo

    Iran is meddling in every country in the middle east, but for some reasonthey never wanna talk about that. Yes Iran releases the hostages alive, but what about the ones the Quds force murdered in Lebanon and Iraq. Why did Iran keep their nuclear activities secret for 18 years unlike Brazil? Why won’t they cooperate with the IAEA? Why have they sponsored groups who murder Americans? Why are they meddling with the entire middle east? Iran is a joke.

  • Gringo Dingo

    OH yes, the US warning us of another country with WMDs, or looking to obtain them. As far as the history goes between the US and Iran, it’s the US that is the terrorist nation. Who blew up an Iranian passenger jet? You meddled and toppled a national government? Sure, the Iranians help Americans hostage, all we eventually released ALIVE.

    Instead of all this saber-rattling, just let them do what they want. HECK, we herd the same ferocious rhetoric about North Korean, and guess what folks THEY HAVE A NUCLEAR BOMB NOW and still haven’t “bombed anyone”.

    As usual, it’s all smoke and mirrors with the US. You’ve got your own domestic issues to deal with, stop letting Israel dictate your foreign policy.

  • Starker

    Hasn’t attacked any neighbors? You don’t remember the Iran/Iraq war? About 1 million dead? Drop this Iran is the victim attitude, its false. The real issue within Iran right now is freeing itself,that is the persians from Islam and the mullahs. The islamic republic is on a respirator. Lula is being used and it serves no political or economic gain for Brazil.

    But if you insist on dragging Israel into this, in 1947 when it was attacked by arab armies, they needed to drop whistling seltzer bottles from piper cubs to drive back those armies. No nukes used in the 6 day war of 1967, no nukes used when they were nearly overrun in 1973 in the surprise attack by Egypt from the south and Syria from the north.

  • KingGringo

    If Brazil values its relations with Iran’s murderous regime that is their decision, but the US should downgrade all relations with Brazil to include economic,political, and military ties. It should also cease all support for Brazil to ever be a permanent member of the United Nations security council. First Lula sticks up for Cuba and smiles in the face of Castro while he is murdering his own people now he’s sucking up to the number 1 state sponsor of terror in the world while they attempt to develop nuclear weapons. And to think I used to think highly of Lula. What a fraud.

  • ali

    it is innocnt.
    it is an innocent country stupid…iran hasnt attacked any of its neighbors and has taken over 2 million iraqi refugees due to the illegal invasion of iraq,wich didnt even have a un mandate.Secondly,iran has every rigth to develop a nuclear program for peaceful purposes,as does brazil.are you awrae that us refuses iaea inspections of its own nuclear facilities?are you aware that israel has over 400 nukes and refuses to sign onto npt?are you aware its illegal for us to send any aid to israel under symmington ammendment?harkin ammendment?glenn act?leahy law?are you?obviously not.the reality is that iran is not a threat to anyone.israel us gov’s are the threats to world peace.

  • hunh?

    Lula warns the world not to “push Iran into a corner”. Yet, this image implies an innocent country being bullied into a corner. The French have devised a generous diplomatic strategy that would allow Iran to send them their uranium if they were truly uninterested in pursuing nuclear weapons, yet they refused this plan and every other diplomatic option. No one is pushing Iran into a corner. Iran is striking a uncompromising position, and for whatever reason, Lula and his party are supporting them. There is nothing innocent about this regime that is beating and torturing its people on a daily basis. Why has Lula been absolutely silent on this matter as if he is defending some poor nation that is being bullied into a corner. Of course neither Clinton nor the US will openly say it, but this is bullshit. Lula is ignoring what is obvious to the world about this regime. He looks pathetic and untrustworthy in supporting such a dishonorable, repressive and illegitimate reime.

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