AFP: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday the United States and Brazil had serious differences over how to curb Iran’s nuclear program, even if bilateral ties remain good in other areas.
WASHINGTON (AFP) — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday the United States and Brazil had serious differences over how to curb Iran’s nuclear program, even if bilateral ties remain good in other areas.
“Certainly we have very serious disagreements with Brazil’s diplomacy vis-a-vis Iran,” Clinton said in her most candid remarks yet about how she sees Brazil’s work with Turkey in brokering a nuclear fuel swap deal with Iran.
Clinton and other US officials have said they welcome the role Brazil and Turkey have played in brokering the agreement even thought they have cast doubts on it.
Under the deal, Iran would ship some low enriched uranium to Turkey in return for higher grade fuel for a Tehran research reactor.
Clinton said she has told her Brazilian counterpart Celso Amorim that “we think buying time for Iran, enabling Iran to avoid international unity with respect to their nuclear program makes the world more dangerous, not less.”
Answering questions about the Obama administration’s new national security strategy, she said the Brazilians argue that the US-led push at the UN Security Council for new sanctions against Iran will only lead to conflict.
“We disagree… So we go at it. We say ‘we don’t agree with that, we think the Iranians are using you, we think it’s time to go to the Security Council,” she said.
“But our disagreement doesn’t undermine our commitment to see Brazil as a friend and a partner,” Clinton said, asked how Washington viewed Brazil’s role in global diplomacy.
“We want a relationship with Brazil that stands the test of time,” she added.
She said Brazil has played a key role in Haiti following the earthquake in January and in promoting international agreement in the fight against climate change.
She also said the United States and Brazil enjoyed “a robust” business relationship.