Epoch Times
Spain defends Brazil-Iran-Turkey agreement
Sun May 30, 2010 00:05

Spain defends Brazil-Iran-Turkey agreement
by Felipe Santiago (source: The Epoch Times)
Saturday, May 29, 2010

RIO DE JANEIRO—The controversy over the Iranian nuclear swap deal that has caused a diplomatic rift between Brazil and the US took center stage at the UN Alliance of Civilizations Forum May 27-29 in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, or Lula as he is commonly known, took advantage of his role as host to defend the deal signed between Brazil, Turkey and Iran in his speech to open the second day of the forum officially themed “peace through the interconnection of cultures.”

The deal signed on May 17 allows Iran to ship low-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for higher-grade enriched uranium fuel rods that Iran says it will use in a medical research reactor. Brazil endorsed the deal as a bid help avoid a violent conflict in Iran.

"Brazil believes in an understanding that makes the guns silent ... the world needs a peaceful Middle East, and obviously Brazil is not out of this need. We defend a country free of nuclear weapons. We believe that nuclear power should be an instrument for promoting development, not a threat," said Lula in his speech at the Rio forum.

The US disagrees and has sharply criticized Brazil and Turkey for their lack of unity over handling Iran’s nuclear aspirations.

“[W]e have very serious disagreements with Brazil’s diplomacy vis-à-vis Iran,” said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a press briefing in Washington on Thursday.

“[W]e think buying time for Iran, enabling Iran to avoid international unity with respect to their nuclear program makes the world more dangerous, not less. They have a different perspective on what they see they’re doing,” said Clinton, referring to Brazil.

“We think it’s time to go to the Security Council and that it’s only after the Security Council acts that the Iranians will engage effectively on their nuclear program,” said Clinton.

Both Brazil and Turkey are non-permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

Responding to Clinton’s criticism, Lula reiterated that he feels the US position will inevitably lead to violence.

“The theses on a suspected fracture of civilizations in the world, that would lead inexorably to conflict. These theories are criminal when used as a pretext for military actions so-called preventive.”

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, expressed his agreement with Brazil, criticizing the attitude of the West and the US, stopping short of calling them hypocritical.

"When we hear those who speak of preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons, we realize that they themselves possess nuclear weapons," said Erdogan.

At a press conference at the close of the forum’s session on Friday, foreign affairs ministers from Brazil, Spain and Turkey—Celso Amorim, Miguel Angel Moratinos and Ahmet Davutoglu respectively—again defended what they see as a diplomatic resolution to the Iran nuclear conflict.

"I think diplomacy is the only way to solve this important issue ... we're trying to build a new global order, and for that we cannot create a nuclear disorder," said Moratinos from Spain.

"I think the action of Brazil and Turkey in Iran, Tehran's agreement and all that was achieved today at the United Nations ... this is a culture of peace and that is what we are looking for. The rest is the culture of conflict, trying to resolve things in a punitive way," he said.

Brazil’s minister said that what they are promoting is a “culture of peace” and in contrast to a “culture of conflict.”

“We're trying a path of dialogue, a way of talking, a way of understanding, and have indeed produced results; and I think there is a lot of people who became disappointed because it has produced results. Their expectation was that it would not produce them so that to have a justification to continue on same line,” said Amorim.


Lula: 'Nuclear weapons make the world more dangerous, not agreements with Iran'
(source: Buenosaires Herald)
Saturday, May 29, 2010

Brazil and Turkey accused nuclear powers of using a double standard by preaching disarmament without eliminating their own arsenals, as they harshly responded to US statements claiming the world is "more dangerous" after the nuclear agreement signed between the two of them and Iran.

In the midst of a bitter controversy with the United States after the signing of an agreement between Turkey, Brazil, and Iran in order to enrich Iranian uranium on Turkish soil, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan tensed the debate in keynote addresses before the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Forum held in Rio de Janeiro.

"The existence of weapons of mass destruction is what makes the world more dangerous," not agreements with Iran, Lula said before representatives of 119 countries.

Lula responded to strong questioning launched by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday in relation to the signing of an agreement with Iran by Turkey and Brazil, two countries that occupy rotating seats in the United Nations Security Council.

Thanks to this agreement, Iran will give up 1,200 kg of lightly enriched uranium to Turkey and will receive 120 kg of nuclear fuel for a scientific reactor during a year.

"We think that allowing Iran to win time, allowing Iran to ignore the international unity that exists regarding its nuclear programme, makes the world more dangerous and not less dangerous," Clinton said, who also emphasized that there exist "serious disagreements" with Brazil on this topic.

Lula, who in the last few days has demonstrated malaise for the way in which the US received the pact, highlighted that Brazil and Turkey went "to Iran to look for a negotiated solution" for the nuclear programme crisis, and once again defended the search for a way out via dialogue.

The nuclear powers believe that Iran seeks to acquire atomic arms. After the agreement signed between Brazil and Turkey, they sent a new sanctions project against Iran to the United Nations Security Council, which was written by the US and approved by the big nuclear countries that review the issue (China, France, Great Britain, and Germany).

In the mean time, Erdogan questioned the credibility of the nuclear powers to rule on third countries with atomic ambitions.

The Turkish Prime Minister said the atomic powers "should eliminate" their own nuclear weapons in order to be "convincing" in their requirements for Iran.

"When we hear people talking about impeding Iran from getting nuclear weapons, the ones who speak against that idea have their own nuclear weapons!", he exclaimed amid applause from the audience, who listened to his speech with simultaneous translation.

"Those who speak about the issue should eliminate the nuclear weapons of their own countries. (...) It's the only way of being convincing," the Turkish leader added, who was beside the Brazilian leader and the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.

Ban did not make reference to the Iranian issue during his speech, although a day before, he had signalled out that "it would be a great help if Iran would stop enriching uranium at 20 percent."

The United States and Russia had considered that the agreement could be the last opportunity for dialogue for Iran before new sanctions. But the pact did not leave them satisfied, mainly because Iran announced, just hours after signing the agreement, that it would continue enriching uranium.

Brazil and Turkey have been criticizing the search for sanctions against Iran. The Brazilian government argued that the agreement reached follows the line requested by US President Barack Obama in a letter sent to Lula 20 days ago.

The Brazilian press divulged a copy of the letter, where it is clear that Obama's government would seek sanctions against Iran despite the agreement.


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