Brazil rebuff for Iran sanctions drive

The Financial Times reports:

Brazil delivered a wounding blow to Washington’s hopes of international consensus for sanctions on Iran on Wednesday when its president declared his opposition to such measures hours before meeting Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state.

In an indication of Brazil’s growing self-confidence on the international stage – and its effort to chart a path independent of Washington – Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva stated his backing for Iran’s nuclear programme, as long as it remained purely peaceful.

The US and its partners say that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons capacity, while the United Nations nuclear watchdog recently suggested Tehran could be working on a warhead.

But in spite of strong condemnation of the nuclear programme by the European Union and Russia in recent days and Mrs Clinton’s visit to Brazil, in which she will focus on the Iran file, Mr Lula da Silva remained unmoved.

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