In Iran for political and technical discussions with the Tehran government, Brazil’s foreign minister, Celso Amorim, suggested that the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should show the international community that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and provide proof that there is no reason to suspect otherwise.
Amorim arrived in Tehran for a two-day visit on April 26 following stopovers in Istanbul and Moscow where he also discussed the Iranian nuclear program, sanctions and negotiations. Turkey has joined Brazil in opposing sanctions sought by the West, although Russia says it is inclined to favor what it calls “intelligent sanctions.”
Exactly what ‘intelligent sanctions” means will only be discovered sometime in May when the UN Security Council tries to make a decision on what the international community will do about the Iranian nuclear program as it discusses a fourth round of sanctions.
Brazil’s position remains firmly against sanctions. “All nations, including Iran, have the right to peaceful use of nuclear energy,” declared Amorim following his first round of meetings in the Iranian capital, according to the official Iranian news agency, Irna.
Amorim also said that the problem with sanctions is that they are a threat to all of Iranian society. “There just isn’t anything positive that can come out of this.” Amorim went on to say that international pressure will not sway Brazil from its position in favor of a peaceful Iranian nuclear program. “Brazil is independent and not subject to foreign influence,” said Amorim.
The Iranian minister of Foreign Affairs, Manouchehr Mottaki, declared that “Iranians and Brazilians are a significant presence on the international stage and can play a key role in the establishment of peace and international security.”
One of the principal objectives of the Amorim trip is to prepare the groundwork for a two-day visit by president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, beginning on May 15.
Meanwhile, in the Persian Gulf, near the Strait of Ormuz, where 40% of the world’s petroleum sails by, Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces test fired missiles and carried out military exercises just as Amorim arrived.
“Iran has a plan of defense that will make any enemy who attacks us lament that decision,” declared Massoud Jazayeri, commander of the Revolutionary Guard, according to Irna.
Suspicion of the Iranian nuclear program has been especially strong in the United States, Europe and Israel. Those countries have repeatedly stated that a military attack against Iranian nuclear facilities remains an option.
At the same time they push hard for sanctions “with teeth” in the United Nations Security Council where Brazil and Turkey are rotating members at the moment.