Brazil stresses Tehran fuel deal in letter to Obama

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Brazil has sent a letter to US President Barack Obama and the leaders of France, Russia and Mexico stressing the importance of a nuclear fuel swap agreement struck in Iran last week, officials said Wednesday.

The document underlined Brazil's efforts to try to stymie a US-led push in the UN Security Council to impose a new set of sanctions on Iran over its controversial nuclear program.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who wrote the letter, insists that Iran's willingness to engage in a swap of part of its low-enriched uranium for better-enriched fuel showed a readiness for dialogue which made sanctions unnecessary.

Lula's spokesman Marcelo Baumbach told reporters in Brasilia that the letter was delivered Tuesday to Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Mexican President Felipe Calderon and the Union of South American Nations.

Its aim was to promote a diplomatic solution, "so as not to lose the opportunity created by the Tehran declaration," Baumbach said.

Brazil wants to "prevent the door that was opened with the Tehran declaration from closing."

Iran on Monday notified the International Atomic Energy Agency about how it planned to implement the May 17 agreement with Brazil and Turkey.

The United States has dismissed Iran's move as insufficient, saying it did not address concerns -- denied by Tehran -- that it was secretly developing a nuclear arms program.

© 2010 AFP

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