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Lula Presents Brazilian Solution to Atomic Terror: Elimination of All Arsenals

Lula and Sarkozy in WashingtonBrazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva called Monday, April 13,  in Washington, during the second and final day of the Summit of Nuclear Security, that all countries eliminate their nuclear arsenal in order to prevent terrorist organizations from having access to atomic bombs.

“The most effective way to reduce the risk that non-state agents use nuclear explosives is the complete and irreversible elimination of all nuclear arsenals,” the president said, in a meeting with the leaders of 46 other nations participating in the summit.

The nuclear safety summit was convened by the United States, which classify atomic terrorism as “the most serious and imminent threat” to global security. Nine countries have the atomic bomb.

In his presentation, Lula recalled that the Brazilian nuclear program has strictly peaceful purposes and is backed by a “robust, efficient and adequate” legislation to prevent nuclear terrorism.

“Brazil’s commitment to nuclear safety is unwavering,” he said. “Brazil is ready to actively contribute to a safer world in which – in parallel with the elimination of all nuclear arsenals – the fissile materials (highly enriched uranium and plutonium ) and nuclear facilities are protected. “

Brazil maintains a position contrary to that adopted by the United States on a formula to increase the transparency of Iran’s nuclear program, a country that has not been invited to this meeting.

Americans want the UN Security Council to approve new sanctions on the grounds that the Iranians are working secretly to produce nuclear weapons. Iran says the nuclear program is only used for peaceful purposes.

Brazil has joined forces with Turkey in opposition to sanctions against Iran. According to Brazil’s Foreign Minister, Celso Amorim, the idea is to work against sanctions at the UN Security Council.

“If we get stuck in a cycle where there is a reciprocal hardening of positions, where one country says it will apply sanctions and the other says it will not comply under threats or pressure, we go nowhere… We have seen this from past experience, tragic experience. On the other hand, when there are conversations, there is a chance for a solution. We believe there is time for this,” declared Amorim.

The minister said that an understanding could be reached through negotiations regarding Iran’s desire to obtain uranium enriched to 20%. A deal would consist of Iran receiving enriched uranium from the IAEA in exchange for the uranium it already has.

But, Iran says it wants to get the enriched uranium before it turns over the rest of its own uranium and wants more time to do so. Amorim says an agreement on a uranium exchange would reduce the pressure from the United States for more IAEA inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities.

On Monday, Lula and the prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed details of a possible proposal that could work. Both leaders are trying to find a middle ground for an understanding that would bring Iran closer to the IAEA and certain other countries further away from sanctions.

Meanwhile, in another conversation in Washington the Brazilian and American ministers of Defense, Nelson Jobim and Robert Gates, signed a military agreement (the first between the two countries since 1977) and also discussed Iran. Gates asked for Brazilian support in punishing Iran. Jobim said Brazil’s position is based on caution and seeks an “intelligent” exit for the problem.

“They (the Americans) need to take into consideration Iran’s strategic position, after all, it is a country close to other countries that have nuclear weapons. There has to be a guarantee that Iran itself will be safe from attack,” said Jobim.

As for the military agreement with the US, Jobim said that one of the positive points in it was the possibility of the sale of Embraer Super-Tucanos to the Americans (the Super Tucano is a turboprop light attack aircraft that is also a flight trainer). Under the terms of the agreement, Embraer will be able to participate in international bidding to furnish one hundred aircraft to the US Navy.

Iran

The Iranian representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), ambassador Ali-Asghar Soltaniyeh, says that talks at the World Conference on Nuclear Security in Washington are set up in a way to fool public opinion while skirting the really fundamental questions. The ambassador made his comments to the official Iranian news agency, Irna.

Ali-Asghar Soltaniyeh declared that he is upset with the direction of the discussions in Washington and the fact that Iran was not invited.

“We see the event as a Washington happening that is diverting attention from serious threats to peace and international security,” said Soltahiyeh. “In our opinion, nuclear installations must improve security norms and all countries should comply with international standards. Nuclear security, material and installations must not be allowed to get into the hands of people who are irresponsible or terrorists. Nuclear activities in countries should not be disturbed.”

The ambassador declared that the results of the Washington summit should not be taken seriously because they are representative of the opinion of only a few countries. “A selective conference like this does not produce fruit of any special value because the majority of the world’s countries were excluded and any decisions made in Washington will not be valid at the IAEA,” said Soltaniyeh.

Iranians have reacted with vehemence against the sanctions imposed by the United States with support from Britain, France, Germany and Russia. The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, insists that the country’s nuclear program is peaceful, does not hide the production of weapons, even though it is now enriching uranium to 20%.

ABr/Bzz

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