Iran says Lula to lobby France, Russia, China over nuke deal
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva plans to seek support from his French, Russian and Chinese counterparts for an Iranian nuclear fuel deal, the Iranian president's website said late Sunday.
Lula told Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a telephone conversation he would hold talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao, in order to get their backing for the May 17 Tehran accord, the website said.
"The Tehran accord has placed the permanent members of the (UN Security) Council in a sensitive position," Lula was quoted as telling Ahmadinejad.
"In order to get support for the deal... I will talk this week to Sarkozy, Medvedev and my Chinese counterpart. The Islamic republic can be definitely assured of complete help from Brazil."
Lula and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on May 17 extracted an agreement from Iran to deposit 1,200 kilograms of its low-enriched uranium in Turkey in exchange, later, for nuclear fuel for a Tehran reactor to make medical isotopes.
They hailed the deal as a diplomatic breakthrough and said it was reached in line with demands set out to them by the US government to avert an escalation against Iran.
The United States is pushing a UN resolution to punish Iran with a fourth set of sanctions after deeming it is not doing enough to meet international demands to show its nuclear programme is peaceful.
Washington said the accord did not go far enough, notably with Iran insisting it would still enrich its remaining uranium stock, and the sanctions resolution was submitted to the Security Council, where Brazil and Turkey are non-permanent members.
Ahmadinejad, meanwhile, said he appreciated Lula's "brave" stance over the deal, the website said.
"We will continue on this path until the end," the Iranian leader was quoted as saying.
"The Tehran accord was a big world action in line with justice, peace and security. The two countries (Brazil and Iran) will stand next to each other against those opposing justice," he said.
© 2010 AFP