Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Brazil rejects U.N. sanctions against Iran (Updated)

The U.N. Security Council (UNSC) dealt a heavy low against Brazil’s “soft” diplomatic approach towards Iran.

In a 12-2 vote the UNSC approved a package of economic sanctions against Iran as a sort of punishment over the Islamic republic’s nuclear ambitions. The resolution passed by the UNSC was strongly supported by Western countries such as the U.S. whose ambassador to the world body described as a "decisive" move against the “grave threat” of Iran’s nuclear plans.

Along with Turkey, Brazil was the only other UNSC member to vote against the sanctions, which comes as no coincidence since both countries have advocated a more diplomatic approach towards Iran. One key Brazilian representative expressed her disappointment that the sanctions were passed:
Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Brazil's permanent representative to the United Nations, told an open Council meeting before the vote that "the adoption of sanctions runs contrary to the successful efforts of Brazil and Turkey in a negotiated (opportunity) in regards to its trade program."

"The Tehran declaration showed that dialogue and cooperation can do more than punitive action," she said.
The sanctions against Iran includes targeting transactions done by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the entity in charge of running the country’s nuclear program. The resolution also leaves open the possibility of increased nuclear cooperation in exchange for Iran halting uranium enrichment.

It remains to be seen how today’s actions will affect U.S.-Brazilian relations. In a failed attempt to reach unanimous approval of the sanctions U.S. officials met Monday with Brazil's deputy foreign minister. Perhaps the Brazilians did not forget remarks made two weeks ago by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chastising Brazil’s approach towards Iran.

Update: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also criticized the U.N.'s vote which he deemed as "a case of getting even with Iran." In remarks to the local press, Lula added that "instead of bringing Iran to the negotiating table, the U.N. decided to impose sanctions which, in the end, will probably have no effect on Iran."

Image- The Telegraph
Online Sources- The Latin Americanist, Al Jazeera English, Xinhua, New York Times, Americas Quarterly, Voice of America


Anonymous said...

from de Clermont - excellent. Iran is a danger. Unfortunately, Lula is aching to be a big power. But he is neophyte in this type of global issue and is behaving like a little boy that wants to be a man so he puts on his father's shirt. Neither the shirt nor Lula's role as global mediator fit. I hope Serra wins the presidency. No doubt he will be more pragmatic and will wish to build his country's influence through concrete actions and not through stage acting.

Anonymous said...

Serra will be nothing but a lackey to the US. His abusive declarations on neighboring countries - specially Bolivia - shows that, in case he wins the presidential race, his "pragmatic" foreign policy will consist of nothing but the old automatic alignment to the US - a policy that prevailed in the days of the Cardoso regime.

This, I can see in the subservient manner Rubens Ricupero - a foreign policy specialist and an ally to Serra's coalition - recently presented Brazil to a US official.

As for Iran, that country is not a danger for the world. Why would Iran attack the world? Even if we assume Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons, this doesn't mean the country has offensive intentions. It might, instead, be trying to repel a likely US offensive in the future. We know the US is fonding of demonizing countries, listing them as a part of some evil axis, and then attack them with no reason. It did this to Iraq in the 2000s, it almost did this to North Korea in 90s.

Back to Brazil: Brazil has an interest in the Iran issue, for Brazil itself has a nuclear program that is partly concealed from IAEA inspectors. By helping out Iran in such issue, Brazil is trying to preclude nuclear weapon states from setting a precedent that will allow them to interfere on other countries' nuclear programs.