Lula Defends Iran before Nuclear Security Summit

In preparation for today’s Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva declared it unacceptable that “some countries are allowed to be armed to the teeth while other are left unarmed.” The president also said in an interview with El País that he planned to ask tough questions about the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty signed by the U.S. and Russia.  Lula said he wanted to be clear on what exactly is being dismantled, stating that it makes no sense to deactivate weapons that may already be outdated.
Lula defended broader talks with Iran, a country not invited to the summit, stating it is crucial that “the Iranians know they can enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.” He said it is “understandable” that Iran would want to develop atomic weapons because it feels threatened by Pakistan and Israel.
Brazil is currently a member of the U.N. Security Council and opposes the imposition of sanctions on Iran.  Lula plans to make an official visit to Iran in May.

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Tags: Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil-Iran relations, Brazil in the Security Council, START Treaty

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