Lula warns that Hillary “has not been wise in forcing Iran against the wall”
[Translation of an article from Hora do Povo of Brazil for March 5]
President Lula has issued a warning against US pressure to impose sanctions on Iran based on suspicion raised by the US that that country possesses, or is on the verge of possessing, weapons of mass destruction. “It isn’t wise to force Iran against a wall. What is wise would be to initiate negotations,” Lula declared on Wednesday. “What I want for Iran is the same as I want for Brazil: to use the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,” he stressed, emphasizing that Brazil does not support the proliferation of nuclar weapons.
Soon afterward, in an interview together with American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Minister of Foreign Affairs Celso Amorim recalled that in the past there had been claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that based on that lie the US invaded the country. “Notions of that kind can be dangerous,” Amorim said. “I had the opportunity to be ambassador to the United Nations at a critical time for Iraq and I was hearing some of that then too,” the minister asserted. “And the accusation never materialized,” he concluded.
President Lula’s warning, like that of Chancellor Celso Amorim, of the Obama government’s intention to repeat in Iran George Bush’s disaster in Iraq, was in response to the American minister’s insistence on imposing sanctions and on claiming that Iran is lying and is attempting to involve Brazil. She has said that “Iran is going after Brazil, China and Turkey and is telling different stories in order to avoid sanctions.”
Lula responded to the position taken by Hillary. “Brazil maintains its position. Brazil has a clear vision of the Middle East and of Iran. And Brazil understands that it is possible to chart another course,” he said. “If there is any country that can teach moral lessons about peace, that country is Brazil,” the president pointed out. “We don’t just argue for peace here, we practice it,” he continued.
Celso Amorim also raised the question of errors of judgement on the part of the American government. “During the course of events in Iraq, I saw a lot of suffering among the Iraqi people, infant mortality in Iraq increased enormously and I saw that in reality the sanctions had no effect on that,” Amorim said. “There is still a possibility for dialogue,” the minister emphasized. “We don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons, let there be no doubt about that. But they have the right to have a peaceful program, like other countries,” he argued. “What we want is to reach, through peaceful means and through dialogue, the certainty that Iran will not have nuclear weapons,” he added. “We are confident that there is still an opportunity to reach an accord, which may require a little flexibility on one side and the other”…