No Subject
Thu May 13, 2010 23:31

US to 'bump into' Brazil on Iran
Fri, 14 May 2010 01:42:20 GMT
Font size : [Increase] [Normal] [Decrease]
US ambassador to Brazil Thomas Shannon
US ambassador to Brazil Thomas Shannon says the South American country's stance on Iran's nuclear program clashes with that of Washington.

"As Brazil becomes more assertive globally and begins to assert its influence, we are going to bump into Brazil on new issues and in new places such as Iran, the Middle East and Haiti," Financial Times quoted Shannon as saying on Friday.

US officials acknowledge that Brazil's bid to chart a diplomatic path of its own and similar efforts by other rising powers such as Turkey are a new challenge for US foreign policy.

The US envoy's comment comes as Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silvia will visit Tehran at the helm of a 300-member Brazilian delegation to attend the 14th Summit of the Group of 15 that will be held on May 17.

Brazil, a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, has stepped up efforts to find a diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear issue.§ionid=351020101


US companies trying to kill Iran bill
Thu, 13 May 2010 20:26:39 GMT
Font size : [Increase] [Normal] [Decrease]
The US Congress, file photo
Major US firms are warning Congress against passing legislation to impose new sanctions against Iran, saying such sanctions will further damage the US economy.

Boeing Co. and Exxon Mobil Corp. are lobbying to fend off tightened sanctions against Iran that business groups say will cut US exports.

A current legislation before Congress would expand a 1996 law penalizing foreign companies that invest in Iran's oil industry. US firms, already barred from investing Iran, say their sales worldwide could be hurt by provisions that ban doing business with companies in Europe, Russia or China that trade with Iran.

“We are up on Capitol Hill talking about the collateral damage," William Reinsch, president of the National Foreign Trade Council, a Washington-based group that represents Exxon and Boeing, said in an interview.

The US National Association of Manufacturers or NAM is also pitching some alarming findings.

The group says a new round of tougher sanctions on Iran could cost the US, $25 billion in exports.

NAM says it's also likely that up to 20,000 workers are laid off each year, if Congress allows the legislation to become law.



Big US insurers disregard order on Iran
Fri, 14 May 2010 00:26:23 GMT
Font size : [Increase] [Normal] [Decrease]
California State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner
Nearly 300 insurers in California have rejected a state regulator's order to stop making investment in corporations engaged in business ties with Iran.

The insurers, including more than a dozen major firms such as State Farm, Geico and Prudential, are questioning the authority of state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner to impose sanctions on such firms.

On Thursday, Poizner released a list of 296 companies that have rejected his order to stop buying stock in 50 companies that operate in Iran, Los Angeles Times, reported.

Poizner estimates that as of March 31, California insurers held about $6 billion worth of stock in foreign-owned corporations that operate in Iran in the areas of defense and energy.

Companies have been put on notice that those securities would be disqualified from being used as part of an insurer's legally required reserves for paying claims, the Department of Insurance said.



Iran sanctions hang on Lula visit: US
Thu, 13 May 2010 18:00:31 GMT
Font size : [Increase] [Normal] [Decrease]
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
A US official has suggested that next week's nuclear talks between Iranian and Brazilian officials could prevent the imposition of tougher UN sanctions against Tehran.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is slated to visit the country to work closely with Iran on a potential nuclear fuel swap deal.

"I think we would view the Lula visit as perhaps the last big shot at engagement, (before the sanctions)," a senior State Department official speaking on condition of anonymity told reporters on Thursday.

The official went on to stress that while the US has not given up on engagement, Washington is not optimistic about the negotiations bearing fruit.

The US recently accused Iran of seeking to "buy time" through reviving the nuclear fuel swap proposal.

Amid a fierce US drive for slapping a fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, non-permanent UNSC members Brazil an Turkey have been pushing for a diplomatic end to the standoff.

Iran has repeatedly defended its right to a civilian nuclear program as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) -- rejecting Western accusations that it is covertly seeking to develop nuclear weapons.


  • Click here to receive daily updates