Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sanctions resolution is a mistake: Brazil President Lula

Thu, 10 Jun 2010 00:19:14 GMT

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva says that the UN Security Council's decision to impose new sanctions on Iran was "a mistake."

The UN Security Council powers have lost a "historic opportunity" to negotiate a solution by imposing new sanctions on Iran, Lula said in comments broadcast on television during a visit to northeastern Brazil on Wednesday.

"Sadly, this time it was Iran who wanted to negotiate and those who didn't want to negotiate were those who think that force resolves everything," he added.

"It is an episode that undermines the Security Council of the United Nations. The Council represents a balance of power dating back to… when it was created," the Brazilian president said.

He went on to say that the Security Council must be reformed and must allow emerging countries greater representation.

"It makes me sad because everyone is in favor of reforming the Council. Everyone says Brazil must be part of the Council, but (this speech) lasts already 17 years," Lula noted.

In the 12-2 vote at the Security Council, non-permanent members Brazil and Turkey voted against the Iran sanctions resolution and Lebanon abstained.

The foreign ministers of Iran, Turkey, and Brazil signed a declaration in Tehran on May 17, according to which Iran would ship 1200 kilograms of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey to be exchanged for 120 kilograms of 20 percent enriched nuclear fuel rods to power the Tehran research reactor, which produces radioisotopes for cancer treatment.

The nuclear declaration gives Iran a guarantee since the low-enriched uranium is to be stored in Turkey and would be returned if Iran does not receive the 20 percent enriched nuclear fuel within one year.

Despite the fact that Iran agreed to conduct the fuel swap in a third country — a demand by the West that Iran had previously rejected due to guarantee concerns — on June 9 the UN Security Council passed a resolution imposing new sanctions on Iran.

Tehran says it sees the declaration as a confidence-building measure that provides an opportunity for cooperation between Iran and the West.

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