Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Foreign minister, Celso Amorim, continue contacting world leaders to explain the nuclear swap deal signed in Tehran on May 17. Lula and Amorim say they are convinced the deal is an important step forward in negotiating a solution for the controversial Iranian nuclear program.
In a discussion with journalists, Amorim claimed that the deal is something that cannot be ignored. “Even the Financial Times says it opens the door to various possibilities. I think ignoring this agreement is the same as disregarding all chances for a peaceful solution. I just don’t think you can do that,” said the minister.
Amorim criticized the new draft resolution for sanctions against Iran. “On one day you have results like the swap deal and on the next day they have a resolution for sanctions. Well, that shows that the decision was made beforehand, the wait was only a matter of protocol,” said the minister.
As for the announcement by Iran that it intends to continue enriching uranium even if the swap deal negotiated by Brazil and Turkey became operational, Amorim declared that that problem was something to be dealt with in a second stage of negotiations.
“It was never our intention to resolve everything at once. These are complicated talks that will have to include the permanent members of the Security Council. What we have done [Brazil and Turkey] is to set up a chance for a goal. We have passed the ball and now it is up to the permanent members, the strikers, on the Security Council, and technicians at the International Atomic Energy Agency, to make the goal,” declared Brazil’s foreign minister.
Amorim said the continuation of enriching was not a part of the negotiations that led to the May 17 agreement. “We did not invent the agreement. It is based on something that was proposed by the Security Council and the IAEA [in October 2009]. People have to have common sense and understand that what we did was to give peaceful negotiations a chance….
“The agreement should be examined carefully by those who are in favor of new sanctions. By disregarding this chance for peaceful negotiations, by moving toward more sanctions, other nations have to take responsibility for their actions, as we have taken responsibility for our actions.”
Amorim, says that the delivery of a letter from Iran to the International Atomic Energy Agency this week marks the beginning of a second stage of negotiations. Based on the written document, a wide discussion and expanded analysis will be possible, he said. Amorim added that the pressure in favor of more sanctions against Iran led by the United States did not make Brazil uncomfortable or afraid.
What Amorim said was needed was more patience on both sides. “Those in favor of the proposed swap and those in favor of more sanctions have to be more patient,” said the minister.
“We never intended the document signed on May 17, by the presidents of Brazil and Iran, and the prime minister of Turkey, now known as the Tehran Declaration, to resolve all the problems. That document provides us with a measure of security, that is what it does.”
Amorim concluded by saying that he was willing to discuss the issues with the so-called Vienna group, the United States, Russia, France and the IAEA. “If they think we can help, we are more than willing to cooperate,” said Amorim.
Besides providing international authorities with details of the Tehran Document, Iran is supposed to give the IAEA assurances that it will permit inspections of its nuclear facilities so as to remove suspicions that the program is for military purposes.