Brazil will oppose, but respect, Iran sanctions

Brazil will oppose, but respect, Iran sanctions
By MARCO SIBAJA (AP)

BRASILIA, Brazil — Brazil’s foreign minister said Tuesday that despite the nation’s strong opposition to any new sanctions on Iran, it would respect them if they are approved.

Foreign Minister Celso Amorim spoke before a Senate committee to explain Brazil’s role in an Iranian nuclear fuel-swap deal it helped broker with Turkey.

“Brazil meticulously respects the sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council against Iran,” he said. “If there are sanctions, even if Brazil is not in favor, we’re going to respect them.”

Both Amorim and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have been outspoken in their opposition to potential new sanctions.

Iran insists its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes, but the West fears it is geared toward nuclear weapons.

Last month, Silva and Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan finalized a fuel-swap deal with Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that was similar to an agreement the U.S. and the International Atomic Energy Agency had pushed for last October, but which Iran at the time rejected.

Under the Brazil-Turkey deal, submitted last week to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran agrees to ship 1,200 kilograms (2,640 pounds) of uranium to Turkey, where it will be stored. In exchange, Iran would get fuel rods made from 20-percent enriched uranium; that level of enrichment is high enough for use in research reactors but too low for nuclear weapons.

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