Lula criticizes powers for insisting on sanctions against Iran

10:47, May 21, 2010      

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Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Thursday criticized big powers, especially the United States, for insisting on sanctions against Iran despite the nuclear fuel swap deal the country has signed.

At a rally in Brasilia, the Brazilian leader called on the international community to have dialogue with Iran.

"We went to Iran and after 18 hours of meeting we managed to do what the (UN) Security Council had proposed six months ago," he said.

On Monday, a statement signed in Tehran by President Lula, his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan laid the foundation for a negotiated solution to the controversy over Iran's nuclear program.

In the swap deal, Tehran agreed to ship the bulk of its 3.5 percent low-enriched uranium to Turkey for deposit in exchange for 120 kg of 20 percent high-enriched uranium.

Although the agreement was described by Lula as a "victory for diplomacy," it did not prevent Washington from proposing a new round of sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council.

Lula said Iran was "demonized" by the powers. When the country shows willingness to negotiate, developed countries shut the doors, he said.

"The truth is that Iran, which was said to be a demon, decided to sit at the negotiating table. I want to see if others are going to accomplish what they wanted Iran to do."

The president also criticized certain Brazilian media organizations, which said the nuclear issue should not be dealt with by Brazil. "But who said it was an issue for the United States? " Lula asked.

"There are people who cannot do politics if they do not have an enemy. And I am that kind of person who can do politics only making friends," he added.



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