Brazil to sell Iran raw uranium, expand nuclear ties

Brazilian foreign minister Celso Amorim was in Tehran last week to prepare a state visit by Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva early next year – ten days after president Mahmoud Ahmadienjad was in Brazilia. Last month, both he and Israeli president Shimon Peres visited the Brazilian capital.
Ahmadinejad like Peres faced hostile demonstrations in Brazilila and Rio da Janeiro.
However debkafile‘s diplomatic sources report that President Lula opted for further expanding ties with Tehran and defending Iran’s claim that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
During his visit to Iran, the Brazilian foreign minister was taken around the Isfahan fuel plant by the head of the Iran’s atomic energy commission Ali Akbar Salehi. They are believed to have drafted a contract for the sale of Brazilian raw uranium to Iran ready for signing during Lula’s state visit.
Our sources in Brazilia report that the Brazilian president has spurned every US and Israeli effort to support the international campaign for curbing Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions, openly championing its program and its right to enrich uranium.
While touring Europe last week, the Brazilian president he took issue with Iran’s critics, German chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. When Merkel said Iran was testing the limits of the world’s patience, Lula replied that increasing pressure would do no good and urged more patience to raise the level of conversation with Tehran instead of waving the threat of sanctions. He said he was confident that Tehran would prove suspicions of its nuclear program to be unfounded.
At the South American (Mercosur) trade bloc summit Tuesday, Dec. 8, Lula and Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez decided to work together to help Iran improve its world standing and lift Ahmadinejad’ low repute in international institutions.
A controversial figure at home too, Lula famously said at the G20 summit last month that the international financial crisis was “fostered and boosted by the irrational behavior of people who were white and blue-eyed.”
Another world leader tilting toward Iran, Turkish prime minister Recip Tayyep Erdogan, also spurned US president Barack Obama’s bid to slacken Ankara’s ties with Tehran when they met at the White House Monday, Dec. 7. While officials in Jerusalem try to show that Israel’s relations with Turkey are on the mend, Erdogan assured Obama that his ties with the Iranian president are of the highest strategic importance to his country, so treading in the footsteps of the Brazilian and Venezuelan presidents.
According to International Monetary Fund figures released Sunday, Dec. 6, Iran trebled the volume of its trade with South American countries to $3 billion in 2008, the lion’s share with Brazil and Venezuela.

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