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  • 5/11/2010

Brazil will explore all options in Iran nuclear talks


Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he would try everything to reach a solution with Iran over its nuclear program, according to a newspaper interview on Sunday.

“I want to exhaust every possibility up until the last minute of finding a pact with the President of Iran so that it can carry on enriching uranium but assuring us that it's only for peaceful purposes,” he told El Pais.

Turkey and Brazil, both non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, have been trying to revive a stalled nuclear fuel deal in a bid to stave off further sanctions against Iran.

Lula will travel to Iran at the end of next week to work with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian leaders towards a negotiated solution with Iran, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim told Reuters on Friday.

Last week Iran voiced optimism about Turkish and Brazilian mediation efforts in its nuclear dispute with the West, saying it welcomed in principle ideas aimed at reviving a stalled nuclear fuel deal with major powers.

Asked about Turkish and Brazilian proposals, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said “new formulas have been raised about the exchange of fuel.”

“I think we can arrive at practical agreements on these formulas,” he said. “That is why we welcomed the proposals in principle ... and left the details for more examination.”

He did not elaborate on the content of the proposals or say when they were presented. Last year's UN-drafted plan revolved around Iran sending uranium abroad for further processing.

Iran's Mehr News Agency said Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan would also be in Tehran on May 16, but his office said there were currently no such plans.

The fuel plan is seen as a way to remove much of Iran's low-enriched uranium (LEU) stockpile while Iran would get specially processed fuel to keep its nuclear medicine program running.

But the proposal broke down over Iran's insistence on doing the swap only on its territory, rather than shipping its LEU abroad in advance, and in smaller, phased amounts, meaning no meaningful cut in a stockpile which grows day by day.

Brazil favors a mooted compromise in which Iran could export its uranium to another country in return for higher-enriched fuel for a Tehran research reactor. Iran has so far insisted the exchange must take place on its territory.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called for flexibility from Iran, while indicating that nations pressing Tehran on its nuclear program may also have to compromise.

“A certain gap remains between the Iran version of this fuel deal and what the (UN nuclear agency) proposed,” he said in a radio interview posted on Russia's Foreign Ministry website.

“For this reason it's necessary to exert additional effort and to show a certain flexibility, including from the Iranian side, in order to find a mutually acceptable solution,” he said.

Photo: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva

Source: tehrantimes.com

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