Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, along with 43 other world leaders and representatives from four multilateral organizations, is in Washington for the Nuclear Security Summit on Monday and Tuesday.
A note from Brazil’s Foreign Ministry (Itamaraty) says that the Brazilian government considers nuclear security “… a fundamental part of efforts to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy.”
The note also points out that Brazil has solid legislation on nuclear security, which deals with the problem of terrorism and that Brazil is a signatory nation to the main international treaties on nuclear development.
On the eve of the conference, president Lula once again came out in defense of Iran’s right to have its own nuclear program if it is for peaceful objectives. Lula is expected to maintain that position at the conference.
Meanwhile, the president’s special aide for International Affairs, Marco Aurélio Garcia, in a statement on April 9, declared that discussions on the issue of Iran’s nuclear program should be expanded.
“Brazil’s position is clear: we are opposed to the development of nuclear weapons by Iran. We want Iran to have the right to produce nuclear energy for peaceful goals, just as Brazil does, period,” declared Garcia.
He went on to rebut criticism by the international community of Brazil’s position by pointing to the example of what happened in Iraq, which was considered dangerous territory because it supposedly produced chemical weapons and wound up being the target of attacks by the administration of George W. Bush.
“Iraq was also considered unreliable, it was supposed to have chemical weapons and so it was invaded. Hundreds of people died, the country was turned into an inferno and a land of terrorists…. What bothers me is this business of forcing countries into positions that do not have international support. Brazil’s position is sensible. It is a position based on good sense, something that has been lacking recently in the case of problems like Iraq.”
While at the Nuclear Security Summit, the ministers of Defense of Brazil, Nelson Jobim, and the United States, Robert Gates, will sign a new military agreement.
This is a partnership for cooperation in combating drugs and terrorism. The treaty has some significance as it is the first of its kind (military) between Brazil and the US since 1977 (at that time Brazil, run by a military regime, renounced a longstanding military treaty because of Jimmy Carter’s human rights policy).
The present treaty got some headlines in the Brazilian media when it was reported that included in the deal was the installation of American bases in Brazil. That is not the case.