Brazil Tells World It Won’t Be Swayed on Iran Issue: ‘We’re Independent’

    Ahmadinejad greets minister Amorim in Tehran

    Ahmadinejad greets minister Amorim in Tehran 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 InΓ‘cio 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.

    ABr

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    • Show Comments (14)

    • Joelma

      Poupai-me
      Brazil, global leader in what?
      Street crime, slums/favelas, hookers and badly spoken Portuguese? πŸ˜›

    • Tiger

      There’s a difference between wanting to be perceived as independent and actually being independent. Lula will critcize the West over sanctions, but will absolutely not criticize Iran over its political repression, just as he absolutely will not critcize Cuba over its political repression. Lula does not look at all sides of an issue even-handedly (look at his description of political dissidents in Cuba as the equivalent of “bandidos”). He is a contrarian, at least contrary to the prevailing views of the governments in the U.S. and some European countries. Lula is as blind as any U.S. president, just in a different direction.

    • Paul Wilson

      Lula’s hubris
      David: I couldn’t agree more. Lula looks foolish. We just had an Iranian researcher over for diner this week. She is repulsed by the brutality of the Iranian regime. I have to wonder if Iranians are so appalled by this regime, why Lula needs to suck up to them. They continue to execute people who participated in peaceful street protests. Here is a quote from a story in today’s NY Times about Lula’s hubris:
      [quote]β€œThere is a sense in Washington that a lot of this is a product of the tremendous confidence that Lula has in himself, that he believes he is a wizard that can perform miracles and accomplish what others have tried and failed to do,” said Michael Shifter, the president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a policy research group in Washington.[/quote]

    • David de Clermont

      It may have been mentioned by other commentators, but the so-called position of Brazil regarding Iran is not “Brazil’s” position. It is Lula’s position, plain and simple. Lula is attempting to give Brazil the presence of a global leader. He is somewhat caught between the dominating industrial countries and a neutral position, or playing up to the image of a neutral position. He is placing too much importance on a tactic that has little relevance for the kind of Global Presence that Brazil would want. On this issue he is simply a misguided renegade as regards world politics. Additionally, he plays up to the extreme leftists who believe that Lula’s position on Iran and countries like Cuba and Venezuela, represent some kind of well-meaning unaligned movement to counter-balance the domination of the Western Industrialise countries. It just looks foolish. The new president of Brazil may retreat from Lula’s position and accept a position more closely aligned with the West, either for reasons due to proactive support of the West or due to the belief that it is better for Brazil and its place in the world.

    • Brazuca

      Tried that … didn’t work
      [i]…perhaps the humane thing to do would be to take out the entire Iranian political infrastructure at the the next available moment. With an opposition clearly prepared to take power… [/i]

      Er, ever heard of the green-themed color revolution? Tried that. Didn’t work.

      In fact, this color-revolution thing doesn’t seem to be working any more. I have to admit, it was an innovative and intriguing (and relatively bloodless) way of undertaking regime change.

      But the methodology has been figured out and, it seems, is easily and routinely countered nowadays, as was the case in Iran recently. It didn’t work in Venezuela. It didn’t work with those monks in Myanmar. It didn’t work in Tibet recently. Perhaps this explains why a return was made to the good ol’ fashioned military coup in the case of Honduras rather than with these elaborate, post-modern coups.

    • Leslie from Montana

      Brazilians are liars
      All Brazil wants is free[k] show. πŸ˜₯

    • Paul Wilson

      [quote]No, sir…perhaps you missed the ‘fact’ that both the US and China have invested $10B in Petrobras “after the Iranian contracts were signed”. You mistake commerce with ideology, and that is what the Empire wants to do to confuse you. Petrobras $2B is a drop in an ocean of oil. How does this investment collide with your desire to remove nuclear materials from Iran? The same nuclear materials possessed by Brazil which, again, did not hand over to the US during the recent summit. [/quote]
      From what I understand, the US is now seeking to tighten the sanctions and the loans of the US you mention to Petrobras have recently come into question.
      In terms of Brazil’s nuclear material, the US has never questioned the peaceful uses of nuclear materials by Brazil, so while all your angry ranting, insults and hyperventilating about empire may make you feel righteous ( “…Its like the addict saying he won’t buy from a specific dealer…LIAR!” ), you should take a take a few deep breaths my friend, try a decaf, and present your facts in a more measured and balanced manner. Your breathless ranting may go over big on a melodramatic Brazilian TV novela, but it is unimpressive in a balanced presentation of the actual political context you refer to.

      The current regime in Iran is reckless, brutal and war mongering, and Brazil, now one of the few international investors trying to squeeze profits from this sad state, is attempting to present Iran as a poor helpless country that the US is picking on. I am saying this not from the perspective of supporting US or any other nations ambitions at empire, but more because this is the correct thing to do for any freedom loving individual. Iranians are being hung this week for peacefully protesting in the streets while you post this ridiculous blather justifying the regime.

    • Lloyd Cata

      Paul Wilson
      [b]None of you mention the extensive investments of Petrobras in Iran. Lula is not taking a stand as you try to make it. But simply turning a blind eye to the obvious brutality of this regime so Petrobras can continue to reap big profits.[/b]

      No, sir…perhaps you missed the ‘fact’ that both the US and China have invested $10B in Petrobras “after the Iranian contracts were signed”. You mistake commerce with ideology, and that is what the Empire wants to do to confuse you. Petrobras $2B is a drop in an ocean of oil. How does this investment collide with your desire to remove nuclear materials from Iran? The same nuclear materials possessed by Brazil which, again, did not hand over to the US during the recent summit.

      The Empire wants Iranian oil just as it wants Brazilian oil. Setting the Middle East ablaze will not suit either purpose, but 50 years of embargo against Cuba should be an example of the futility of sanctions. Its like the addict saying he won’t buy from a specific dealer…LIAR! When the price is $200/barrel they’ll still buy from Iran and they’ll still buy from Brazil, just as they still buy from Venezuela.

      Do you really think the Empire is going to allow Israel to throw the West back into the pit of warfare it cannot afford in the name of preventing Iran’s nuclear ambitions? No, my friend, the Empire would hand the Iranians nuclear weapons if it suited their purpose. Just as they allow Israel’s nuclear hegemony in the region, they will allow Iran to have nukes, with the full understanding that ‘first use’ will be ‘last use’. It is, sadly, a situation where Israeli money and their patrons in the US government are inadequate to the task.

      …perhaps the humane thing to do would be to take out the entire Iranian political infrastructure at the the next available moment. With an opposition clearly prepared to take power…

    • Paul Wilson

      Change the dialogue??? Nothing but hot air and dissimulation. None of you mention the extensive investments of Petrobras in Iran. Lula is not taking a stand as you try to make it. But simply turning a blind eye to the obvious brutality of this regime so Petrobras can continue to reap big profits. Wake up smell the coffee as we say up North! There is nothing heroic or innovative in Lula’s perspective. He is only trying to justify the investments of Brazil in Iran. Which is sad and pathetic.

    • JoΓ£o da Silva

      [quote]He can change neither the reality nor the possibility, but he will earn all his recent praise if he could simply change the dialogue.[/quote]

      Everything indicates that the things are going to get out of control very soon and nobody is going to shower him with praise.But..but.., he should be happy that at least he had the guts to try changing the dialogue against all odds, whereas the European “leaders” like Sarko went along with the wind.:sad:

    • Lloyd Cata

      Hands Up! Your Surrounded….
      The present Islamic Republic of Iran has become one of the most merciless dictatorial regimes on the planet. The hard line mullahs at Qom have adopted a more Stalinist government rather than an Islamic Republic, which they at one time professed to be. When Sharia Law becomes the means to the murder of innocent people, or even misguided people, it demeans the Islamic faith. That is the nexus of the clerical split and the secular split within Iran today. The fact that the murderous mullahs are determined to remain in power, and are willing to subject the people to communist practices, makes all their arguments suspect as those of liars and thieves. What comes from their mouths is not to be believed.

      With that established, the Iranians continually and consistently are pursuing the technology and capability of having nuclear weapons. Without a doubt, their progress in producing highly enriched uranium(HEU/U-238) and their increasing missile capability are worrisome to those suspicious of Iranian motives. The Iranian rhetoric, specifically with respect to Israel, only heightens those suspicions and calls into question the mental stability of the Iranian leaders. The very concept that they would allow such technology to fall into the hands of their non-state agents is absolutely unacceptable, and the single largest concern to everyone on the planet.

      Neither world opinion nor the pressure of threatened attack have, or will, dissuade the Iranians from their present course. Outside a strategic pinpoint attack on the Iranian nuclear infrastructure, Iran will have nuclear weapons capability, and the means to deliver those weapons. Even under the best scenario for preemptive attack, there is no assurance of the destruction of their capabilities, and definitely would create a poisonous Islamic reaction around the world. No matter the perception of Iran as a rogue nuclear state, Israel’s covert/overt nuclear capabilities are no less illegitimate, no less the actions of a state persecuting and occupying the Palestinian people. The ‘democratic’ label does no more to justify Israel’s nuclear capabilities given its own atrocities and military subjugation of Palestinians. That Israel is not subject to ‘any’ limits, inspection, or even mention, with regard to its nuclear weapons is also unacceptable in the dialogue that some would rather ignore. That double standard is part of the reality that cannot be overlooked in the analysis of Islamic reaction to a preemptive attack on Iran, either by Israel or in conjunction with Western assistance. To pretend otherwise is to ignore the issues necessary for comprehensive dialogue and the prevention of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

      Coincidentally(?), the War on Terror has placed Iran in a position of being virtually surrounded by US forces, on the east in Afghanistan, on the west in Iraq, and with a massive US naval armada in the Persian Gulf to the south. No matter the justification for such massive Western forces in the region, the realities on the ground are not conducive to peace and the timing of their possible repositioning conflicts with the time-line for Iranian nuclear weapons success.

      The die is cast. The positions are clear. There will be no Iranian compromise that satisfies Israel security and there will be no Israeli compromise that alters its genocidal behavior with respect to the Palestinians. Remember, the Iranians promise the genocide of Jews, yet the Jews are presently practicing the genocide of Palestinians. One a possibility, the other a reality. The only relevant question is whether changing the reality will change the possibility. For 2 societies locked in religious extremism, reality and possibility are seen through the prism of inevitable Armageddon and the personal paradise of death.

      Into this atmosphere steps Luiz InΓ‘cio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil. He can change neither the reality nor the possibility, but he will earn all his recent praise if he could simply change the dialogue.

    • Levoster

      Enought of hypocrisy and double standards!
      What about Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal? … tiny Israel is estimated to have more nukes in its arsenal to destroy a substantial chunk of the World! Let’s start going after the ‘zionist state’, potentially the most dangerous nation on earth. It was Israel and NOT Iran who killed in total disregard to human life a total of 1,500 Palestinians a little over a year ago. The ‘God’s chosen people’ carry on a systematic eradication policy against their Palestinian brethren. The developin World like Brazil, India, Turkey etc need not yield to self-serving Western pressure. A new World is in the making with a mind of its own!

    • Paul Wilson

      much of Amorim’s statements are just rhetoric designed to deflect criticism of Brazils’ pursuit of profits in Iran by Petrobras. Iran is a repressive regime. Brazilians who criticized the US for supporting the dictatorship of Brazil in the 80s, can’t turn a blind eye to a far more brutal dictatorship in Iran.

    • Paul Wilson

      [quote]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.
      [/quote]

      Amorim claims that sanctions are a threat to all Iranian society, but he does not address the fact that these new sanctions have been tailored to strictly have an affect on the military leaders and the Revolutionary Guard which exerts most power in Iran, and are not aimed to impose hardship on most Iranians.

      Brazil won’t be swayed from a position in favor of a peaceful Iranian nuclear program? But this is contradictory and disingenuous. The UN nations supporting sanctions also support Iran’s right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The difference between Brazil and these nations is that Brazil wants to continue to pretend Iran has only peaceful purposes for nuclear technologies. Coming from this perspective, Brazil has not been able to elicit any more evidence that would convince the world community that Iran’s purposes are peaceful. And when Amorim claims Brazil is independent and won’t be swayed the international community, this is an interesting spin on the situation. Of course Brazil like all nations have a right to independent opinion, but if they ignore the obvious intelligence gathered indicating that Iran is attempting to build a nuclear arsenal, it is hard to take Brazil’s stance seriously.

      As most muliti-nationals having been divesting their business in Iran, Brazil, more specifically Petrobras, has over $2 billion invested in Iran and is one of the few major international companies willing to continue doing business there. This article makes no mention of this, nor does Lula nor Amorim. Upton Sinclair once said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” Iran’s president Ahmadinejad continues to make war mongering statements about wiping Israel off the map. He denies that the Holocaust ever happened. This week alone nine additional Iranians were sentenced to death by hanging for participating in peaceful protests, and the opposition party that contested the rigged elections has been banned, thousands have been arrested, beaten, tortured, threaten for involvement in these protests, Is this the peace loving nation Brazil wants to endorse???

      It seems the huge investments of Petrobras is blinding Brazil to the dangers that is obvious to the international community. Or to paraphrase Upton Sinclair, it remains difficult for Brazil to see when its huge investments and profits from Iran depend on Brazil NOT seeing the truth.
      [quote]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.”[/quote]

      So far Brazil has only hampered the international effort to bring Iran to the negotiating table. So far Iran has shown no interest in showing the international community that it is not developing a nuclear arsenal, and recent alliance of Brazil and Iran only makes Brazil a less trustworthy and reliable player on the international stage.

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