Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has warned that imposing new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program would be a very dangerous step.
Sanctions could isolate Iran so much that tensions would spiral out of control, Lula told AP in an interview on Tuesday.
He suggested that new Iran sanctions might even lead to war.
“We don’t want to repeat in Iran what happened in Iraq,” Lula said, a week after rebuffing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s appeal for Brazilian support for a new round of tough sanctions.
Lula said that Brazil will not support the calls for sanctions, but added that during his visit to Tehran in May, he will try to convince President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to restart negotiations to allay concerns about the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
“I have already told them (Iranian officials) that a war must be avoided at all costs,” Lula said. “In whose interest is a war?”
Lula said Brazil is uniquely qualified to be an intermediary in negotiations with Iran because Brazil has a peaceful nuclear program and its growing economic clout allows it to play a more prominent role on the international stage.