U.S. ambassador concerned about Brazil's nuclear fuel agreement with Iran

11:11, May 19, 2010      

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The agreement signed between Brazil, Iran and Turkey is not sufficient to ensure the transparency of and trust in Iran's nuclear program, U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Thomas Shannon said Tuesday.

"We need to have more safeguards and transparency about the aims of the Iranian program. The agreement is not enough," Shannon said at an entrepreneurial event.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva signed Monday in Tehran an agreement with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the exchange of Iran's low-enriched uranium.

Shannon emphasized that the main objectives of the United States are to call for more openness of Iran, for its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and for evidence that the country's nuclear operations are peaceful.

The U.S. ambassador made the remarks after Washington circulated a draft resolution backed by veto-wielding powers to the UN Security Council on Tuesday that would impose new sanctions on Iran.

However, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Iran's nuclear swap deal with Turkey and Brazil could be a "positive step" if followed by concrete measures.

Ambassador Shannon stressed the role of Brazilian diplomacy, especially in a context in which all countries of the world have a responsibility to promote the goals of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The level of cooperation with the United States should be maintained, contacts should be deepened and a long-lasting dialogue should be ensured, the ambassador said.

"We respect Brazil's interests and objectives with other countries, particularly with regard to Venezuela and Iran, but we will not fail to communicate our differences," he said.



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