Brazil's FM Celso Amorim
Photo: AFP
Lula da Silva and Turkey's prime minister
Photo: AFP
Brazil dropping role in Iran nuclear dispute
South American country scales back active support of Islamic Republic in nuclear dispute with West following Security Council's decision to impose new sanctions

Brazil's foreign minister said Monday his country's active support of Iran in its dispute with the West over its nuclear program is being scaled back after the UN Security Council decision to move for a fourth set of sanctions.


"We will help whenever we can, but of course there is a limit to where we can go," Celso Amorim told reporters on the sidelines of an official visit to Austria.


Brazil and Turkey last month brokered an Iranian nuclear fuel-swap deal in hopes that they would at least delay new UN sanctions, but the new penalties were imposed nonetheless.


Also on Monday, Iran said it has banned two UN nuclear inspectors from entering the country because they disclosed to the media the contents of a "false" report on the country's disputed nuclear program before the UN nuclear watchdog reviewed it.


A report posted on the website of the state broadcasting company quoted Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, as saying the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, has been informed of the decision to ban the inspectors, whom he did not identify.


The ban is the latest twist in Iran's deepening tussle with the Vienna-based IAEA and the West over its nuclear program. The United States and Israel say Iran's program is geared toward making nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charge, insisting that it is for peaceful purposes only.


Earlier this month, Salehi rejected the report by the agency as "false with the purpose of influencing public opinion."


Pyroprocessing experiments

In January, Iran told the IAEA it had carried out pyroprocessing experiments, prompting a request from the agency for more information - but then backtracked in March and denied conducting such activities.


IAEA experts in May revisited the site - the Jaber Ibn Hayan Multipurpose Research Laboratory in Tehran - only to find out that the electrochemical cell had been "removed" from the unit used in the experiments, according to the report.


Iran said it did not remove any equipment from the laboratory and that the experiment was not related to pyroprocessing, a procedure that can be used to purify uranium metal used in nuclear warheads.


The UN Security Council slapped a forth set of sanctions on Iran earlier this month over its nuclear program. The move followed Iran's refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a process which can be used for the production of fuel for power plants as well as material for warheads if enriched to a higher level.


פרסום ראשון: 06.21.10, 18:57
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