Middle East
Brazil will back Iran sanctions
President Lula da Silva signs decree despite pushing nuclear fuel swap proposal.
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2010 19:13 GMT
Iran rejected Brazil's offer of asylum to Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani [AFP]

Brazil's president has signed a decree stating his country will abide by United Nations sanctions against Iran even though it had worked to avoid them.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the president, signed the decree "because there is a tradition of carrying out [UN] Security Council resolutions, including those we don't agree with," Celso Amorim, the foreign minister, told reporters.

The decision to take the formal step of signing a decree also comes after Iran last week dismissed a Brazilian offerto give asylum to an Iranian woman who has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

"There seems to be a change of mood between Brazil and Iran in recent weeks," Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri reported from Tehran.

But Mohammad Marandi, a political science professor at the University of Tehran, downplayed the significance of Brazil's decision, calling it "something that is usually done".

"The point is that the Iranians are willing to resolve the [nuclear] issue", Marandi said.

Turkey, which worked with Brazil and Iran on a nuclear fuel swap deal meant to avoid sanctions and, like Brazil, voted against them in the UN Security Council, has also said it will nevertheless abide by UN sanctions.

"We will fully implement UN resolutions, but when it comes to individual countries' demands for extra sanctions, we do not have to," Mehmet Simsek, Turkey's finance minister, told the Financial Times in July.

Spurned deal

In May, Brazil and Turkey brokered a dealwith Iran that would have shipped some of the Islamic Republic's low-enriched uranium out of the country to be exchanged for nuclear fuel, a move designed to avoid sanctions and other unilateral penalties from member states.

But the United States and Europe Union cold-shouldered the offer, saying questions remained about other aspects of Iran's nuclear programme and pointing out that Iran had not promised to stop enriching uranium itself, a violation of previous UN resolutions.

Since the May deal, the UN Security Council, United States and European Union have all passed sanctionsagainst Iran.

Those sanctions, which include penalties on Iran's insurance, banking and gasoline sectors, are beginning to worry Iranians, Al Jazeera's Moshiri reported.

Toyota on Wednesday joined a growing list of companies that have either halted or intend to halt business with Iran, saying that it had not been exporting automobiles to the Islamic Republic since June.

Iran's response to the international community's dismissal of the deal brokered by Brazil and Turkey will be more evident when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, visits the UN General Assembly in New York City in September.

Al Jazeera and agencies
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