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Brazil undecided on Iran sanctions

26 April 2010 3:27

Brazil has dismissed US claims over Iran’s nuclear program but remained silent on whether the country plans to say “No” to new UN sanctions against Tehran.

In an interview published on Sunday, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim reiterated that he did not believe Iran is close to building a “nuclear bomb” — a charge leveled against Tehran by Washington and its allies.

Amorim declined to answer a question by O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper asking whether Brazil would vote in favor of the US-pursued sanctions.

“I am not going to give that information. We still have to analyze,” AFP cited the text of the interview.

The United States, Britain and France are hoping to persuade member-states of the UN Security Council (UNSC) to increase pressure on Tehran through new, tough sanctions.

For the resolution to pass, the measure requires the affirmative vote of at least nine members, especially that of veto-wielding permanent members — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.

Out of the five, Russia and China have also opted to stay mum on their position, while stressing the need for diplomacy to resolve the issue.

Last week, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Iran is committed to ending the nuclear impasse and would hold talks with all 15 members of UNSC.

Amorim will hold talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran on Monday, ahead of a May 16-17 trip by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Brazil has been a firm defender of Iran’s nuclear program, insisting on Tehran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy.

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