Brazil Challenges International Order by Backing Iran Fuel Swap

In recent years, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula de Silva has championed his country's civilian and military nuclear programs, providing more funds for new power reactors and approving a new National Defense Strategy that enshrines the importance of building a nuclear submarine and the capacity to enrich uranium on an industrial scale. Lula's promotion of Brazil's nuclear infrastructure and know-how parallels his bid to raise Brazil's and his own profiles in international diplomatic, security, and trade fora. In spring 2010, in the midst of a U.S.-led effort to seek a fifth UN Security Council resolution on Iran's nuclear program, Lula joined with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to attempt to revive earlier proposals for a fuel swap deal with Iran, a country whose declared nuclear ambitions are similar to Brazil's but whose true motives have been called into question by its lack of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and unanswered questions about what appear to be nuclear weapons related activities. While Lula heralded the tentative fuel swap deal as a victory for diplomacy[1] that obviated the need for further sanctions, U.S. officials and others complained that the deal failed to address concerns that had led to the four previous UN sanctions resolutions[2] targeting Iran, and ignored Iran's enrichment progress since a somewhat similar fuel swap deal was first proposed in October 2009. Brazil opposed the fifth round of UN sanctions that were approved on 9 June while the tentative fuel swap was still pending with the IAEA.

Why did Lula jump into the long running fray between Iran and the P-5? This issue brief provides a short history of the forces behind the Brazilian-Turkish fuel swap proposal. It then examines possible reasons for Lula's decision to broker the fuel swap deal, including Lula's personal interest in promoting himself and Brazil as rising stars on the global stage, and Brazil's pursuit of new commercial opportunities with Iran. It also questions whether the terms of the deal might serve Brazil's interest in developing its own nuclear enrichment and propulsion activities. The brief concludes by addressing how the deal might inform Brazil's future nuclear and diplomatic efforts.

History of Fuel Swap Proposals

By the fall of 2009, Iran had been the subject of four sets of UN sanctions aimed at compelling the country to comply with IAEA demands to disclose the full extent of its nuclear program and to stop its uranium enrichment activities. In September 2009, Iran informed the IAEA that it was constructing a second fuel enrichment plant near the city of Qom, but refused to answer all of the Agency's questions about the new plant.[3] At that time, Iran had an estimated stockpile of 1,500 kilograms of low enriched uranium (LEU), enriched to between 3.5 and 5 percent. When Iran announced that it would begin enriching uranium to 19.75 percent because it was running out of fuel for use in its Tehran Research Reactor that produces medical isotopes, the United States, France, Russia, and the IAEA (the "Vienna Group") proposed a fuel swap as a confidence-building measure pending renewed talks with Iran.[4] This proposal called for Iran to ship roughly three-quarters of its then LEU stockpile to Russia and France to be further enriched to nearly 20 percent and then returned to Iran as fuel for its Tehran Reactor.[5] Iran initially expressed interest in the proposal, but then withdrew its support,[6] continued its enrichment activities, and spurned further negotiations with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1).

With the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 stalled, President Lula saw an opportunity to capitalize on his popularity and prove his point that it is easier for non-nuclear weapon states to negotiate nonproliferation agreements. Iranian President Ahmadinejad indicated his interest in Lula's mediation efforts,[7] and the Iranian public reportedly also strongly supported Brazil's and Turkey's new role.[8]According to Hossein Seifzadeh, a researcher at the Tehran University, it is "easier for the Iranian government to sell to its people a proposal made by Lula and Erdogan"[9] than one made by the P5, all nuclear weapon states (NWS). President Lula has endorsed this view, stating "it is more difficult for those who have nuclear weapons to ask others not to develop them."[10]

While the P5 remained dubious about Brazil and Turkey's chances of getting Iran's agreement to send its LEU to a third country pending receipt of uranium enriched to nearly 20 percent for the Tehran Research Reactor, they continued to support these two countries' attempt to convince Iran to agree to the terms of the proposed fuel swap. In particular, President Obama met with Lula and Erdogan at the Nuclear Security Summit in April 2010. He followed up with a letter stating that despite Iran's defiance of UN Security Council Resolutions, the United States would "support and facilitate action on a proposal that would provide Iran nuclear fuel using uranium enriched by Iran...."[11] Obama urged Lula to encourage Iran to accept the still pending IAEA offer to "escrow" its LEU in Turkey as it would be unacceptable for Iran to retain its LEU on its territory until its exchange for HEU. Obama expressed his doubts about Iran's willingness to bargain in good faith, and noted that the United States would continue to pursue sanctions against Iran as its nuclear program poses a challenge to the security of the international community.

In the midst of the NPT Review Conference where it was becoming increasingly clear that the P5 were close to agreement on new sanctions against Iran, Brazil and Turkey announced that Iran had agreed to the fuel swap arrangement with the 1,200 kilograms of LEU to be held in Turkey for a year pending the Vienna Group's delivery of 120 kilograms of HEU for the Tehran Research Reactor.[12] The 17 May Joint Declaration also affirmed Iran's right to pursue all nuclear energy and fuel cycle activities, including uranium enrichment, for peaceful purposes, and touted the nuclear fuel exchange as the beginning of a new era of nuclear cooperation.

Fuel Swap Deal Results in Tension Between Brazil and P5+1

While Brazilian officials celebrated the Joint Declaration as a victory for diplomacy[13] over sanctions, members of the P5 and others saw it as another attempt by Iran to slow the momentum toward a sanctions resolution.[14] Further complicating reactions was the announcement by Ali Akbar Salehi, Director of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency, that Iran would not stop enriching uranium to approximately 20 percent.[15]

Initially, President Lula and other high level Brazilian officials heralded the declaration as evidence that diplomacy by non-nuclear weapon states could succeed where the Western powers negotiations and sanctions strategy had failed. According to Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, the declaration removed the Western powers' justification for imposing sanctions on Iran while continuing negotiations.[16] Marco Aurelio Garcia, Lula's foreign policy advisor, called for P5+1 to expand to P5+3 with the inclusion of Brazil and Turkey at the negotiating table. Using a soccer analogy, he said that both countries accomplished what the P5+1 were not able to because it lacks "two forward players."[17] Salehi's announcement that Iran would continue to enrich to nearly 20 percent took Brazilian officials by surprise[18] and somewhat dampened Lula's enthusiasm for public pronouncements about the deal. Garcia, however, continued to defend Brazil's mediation and declared he did not see any problem with the Iranian announcement.[19]

The United States and other P5 powers, while acknowledging Brazil's and Turkey's efforts to help resolve the issues related to Iran's nuclear program, pointed out the many shortcomings of the fuel swap deal and its suspicious timing during the NPT Review Conference and on the eve of agreement regarding new sanctions. Immediately after the declaration was announced, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev informed Lula during a phone conversation that his suspicions about Iran's nuclear program persisted and that a package of sanctions was almost ready.[20] The following day, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the P5 had agreed to submit a draft of a new sanctions resolution to the UN Security Council. Later she noted that the swap deal had a "number of deficiencies" and was a "transparent ploy to avoid Security Council action."[21] In their official response to the Joint Declaration filed with the IAEA on 9 June 2010, France, the United States and Russia listed several of those deficiencies, including:

  • The Joint Declaration permits Iran to engage in enrichment activities despite several UN resolutions prohibiting such activity.
  • It does not address Iran's production of uranium enriched to 19.75 percent or the stockpile of LEU that Iran has produced since the swap was first proposed in October 2009.
  • The Joint Declaration does not mention Iran's willingness to continue negotiations with the P5+1.
  • It does not indicate when the LEU would be removed from Iran and it allows Iran to maintain ownership of the LEU while it is in Turkey.
  • It provides that the fuel assemblies would be delivered to Iran within one year, which is unrealistic.[22]

Brazilian Foreign Minister Amorim was particularly disappointed with the U.S. reaction to the Tehran joint declaration and said in an interview that he believes the United States was not expecting that Iran would accept the terms of the agreement and was surprised with the outcome.[23] The Brazilian diplomatic team claimed that while the United States publicly encourage Brazil's negotiations with Iran, it privately applied "exceptional pressure" behind the scenes to make sure President Lula's mission would fail.[24] In a 14 June editorial for the International Herald Tribune, Amorim claimed that in brokering the deal, Lula and Erdogan had "followed precisely the script that had been on the table for some months and whose validity had been recently reaffirmed at the highest level."[25] Amorim referred to the letter that Obama wrote to Lula in April 2009 encouraging him to pursue the fuel swap with Iran. Amorim concluded, "the traditional centers of power will not share gladly their privileged status."[26] During a 28 May background briefing, U.S. senior administration officials had tried to deflect this criticism of the Obama administration by emphasizing that while Obama's letter did not spell out all of the U.S. reservations to the fuel swap deal, U.S. officials did raise their concerns at several meetings with their Brazilian counterparts, and the U.S. administration were not given the opportunity to comment on the deal struck with Iran in May.[27] The same officials also noted that the Brazilian government is skeptical about sanctions in general and does not agree with the United States that sanctions can be an effective part of a dual track diplomatic effort. They speculated that Brazil and Turkey saw the fuel swap deal as a means to put sanctions on hold and not as merely a confidence-building measure to encourage negotiations.

Sanctions Adopted While Fuel Swap Being Considered

While Brazil and Turkey had expected that the fuel swap deal would halt the move toward new sanctions, in fact, the announcement of the deal seemed to strengthen the resolve of the P5 to proceed with their new sanctions draft. On 9 June 2010, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1929 again calling on Iran to comply with its IAEA obligations and past UN resolutions and to suspend all reprocessing, heavy water-related and enrichment-related activities. The resolution recognizes the efforts of Brazil and Turkey in trying to achieve a fuel swap agreement with Iran that would serve as a confidence-building measure. It also spells out several prohibitions on foreign transactions related to Iran's nuclear and missile programs. The resolution had the support of all five permanent Security Council members and seven of the 10 temporary members; Lebanon abstained and Brazil and Turkey made a joint decision to vote against it.

Brazilian Ambassador Maria Luisa Ribeiro Viotti protested the negotiations conducted behind closed doors with the participation of Germany, a country not currently a member of the Security Council.[28] Later Amorim said that Brazil had to vote against the resolution to avoid losing credibility.[29] Lula criticized the Security Council saying, "We [Brazil and Turkey] gave a chance for the members of the Security Council to negotiate, but they proved that they don't want to negotiate."[30] He was particularly disappointed with the votes of Gabon and Nigeria, two African countries that received favorable treatment from Brazil in the form of local investments and debt write-off. [31] (Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Uganda's permanent representative to the United Nations, justified his vote on the importance of guaranteeing NPT members' compliance with IAEA safeguards.[32]) While Brazilian officials opposed the sanctions resolution, President Lula told Al Jazeera in an interview that Brazil would comply with them.[33]

Deal a Personal Goal for Lula

Lula's initiative to help settle Iran's dispute with IAEA and to avoid a new round of sanctions has not been successful to date, although Iran has said that it wants the talks on the fuel swap deal to continue with the participation of Brazil and Turkey.[34] But the effort raises the question of why Lula and other Brazilian officials decided to enter the long-running controversy and to champion Iran's right to a complete fuel cycle, while ignoring previous UN Security Council sanctions on Iran and IAEA reports detailing Iran's noncompliance with its safeguards agreement. One possible explanation is Lula's desire to capitalize on his popularity to enhance his image and that of Brazil's as rising international powers in a new world order not dominated by the United States.[35]

There is evidence that Lula sought to defuse the long-running crisis over Iran's nuclear program to burnish his own image as an international statesman as he approaches the end of his presidency.[36] Lula has scored some diplomatic successes during his two-term administration. He is the first Brazilian to participate in a working meeting at Camp David with President George W. Bush and is recognized as one of the leaders that helped shift power from the G-8 to the G-20.[37] He implemented trade policies to make Brazil less dependent on the United States and the European Union by expanding and diversifying agreements with Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. Brazil hosted in 2010 the meetings of two emerging groups: IBSA (India, Brazil, and South Africa) and BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). Enjoying high approval ratings at home[38] and many accolades from abroad, Lula told the European Union-Latin America and Caribbean Madrid summit in Spain that he is having a hard time keeping his ego in check.[39] When he leaves office on 1 January 2011, President Lula has aspirations for an international career that would allow him to keep working for the poor in countries in Latin America, Caribbean and Africa. In an op-ed for the Financial Times, he writes: "I want to continue the efforts my government has made towards creating a multilateral and multipolar world that is free from hunger and poverty." [40]

Le Monde's Man of the Year[41] and Time Magazine's most influential leader for 2010,[42] Lula is determined to project Brazil's power beyond Latin America and obtain membership in a select group of countries that have a permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council. In an Al Jazeera interview, President Lula said that he has been "fighting for that [permanent seat] for eight years."[43] A former Brazilian ambassador to the United States considered that issue to be one of the top priorities of Brazil's current foreign policy.[44] Lula has sought to change global governance by expanding the Security Council's geopolitical makeup to include emerging powers such as Brazil, India, and Japan as permanent members. He has compared the council with a fancy party where a few beautiful people want to block access to everybody else.[45] According to Lula, none of the current permanent Security Council members - all nuclear weapon states - wants to share the power they have.[46]

There is no shortage of domestic criticism for the Lula's foreign policy. Some believe that Brazil tried to play to role of "peace dove" but missed the opportunity to project the image of a neutral mediator by taking the Iranian side in the impasse with the Security Council.[47] Critics, however, believe that the Lula administration has actually decreased Brazil's chance to become a permanent member by developing close ties with, in their view, radical governments and moving Brazilian foreign policy too far to the left.[48] Others call it a "diplomatic suicide" and believe that Brazilian mediation in the Iranian nuclear issue harmed bilateral relations with the United States and jeopardized the country's bid for a Security Council seat.[49] Rubens Barbosa, a former ambassador to the United States, questions Lula's ability to identify issues that are in the Brazilian national interest. He believes the Itamaraty (Brazilian Foreign Service) miscalculated Chinese and Russian strategic interests, ignored internal and external pressures on Obama to get tougher on Iran, and jeopardized Brazil's chance to obtain a permanent seat at the U.N. Security Council by harming relations with the United States.[50] Amorim has already downplayed the importance of a permanent UN seat saying that it would be better for Brazil to "forget the permanent seat if that means being subservient to the other permanent members."[51]

In any case, there is little indication that Lula's foreign policy and his involvement in the Iranian nuclear program will be a political issue during the presidential campaign. Dilma Roussef, his former chief of staff and now the presidential candidate of his Workers Party, has faced criticism from her opponent, center-right candidate Jose Serra, former governor of São Paulo on the issue. Serra has said that the Iranian government is violent and untrustworthy and believes that Brazil should not have been involved in the uranium enrichment issue.[52] The criticism appears to have little public resonance. In the most recent public opinion poll released on 5 July 2010, Roussef and Serra remain tied at 39 percent of likely votes.[53]

More Trade Opportunities for Brazil if Iran Avoids Sanctions

At the core of President Lula's strategy to lessen Brazil's economic dependence on the United States and the European Union is a policy of diversifying Brazil's foreign trade partners. The Middle East has become a region of strategic relevance for Brazil's commercial interests and President Lula has focused his efforts on furthering commercial trade with various governments in the region.[54] Central to Brazil's strategy in the Middle East is Iran, a country with 70 million people, vast oil resources but limited refinery capacity, and potential demand for Brazilian ethanol. Before Resolution 1929 was adopted, Brazil was exploring commercial opportunities in Iran's energy sector.

Lula undertook mediation of the fuel swap agreement to try to avoid further sanctions on Iran and to protect business opportunities for Brazilian companies, particularly those interested in oil exploration, the modernization of Iran's oil sector, and provision of ethanol.[55] In March 2009, Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Manouchehr Mottaki visited Brazil seeking technical cooperation on various projects involving electrical energy, oil and gas, especially generation of electricity from natural gas to be used in the auto industry. (According to Foreign Minister Amorim, export of uranium was not the subject of negotiations.[56])

Brazilian international energy giant Petrobras' activities in Iran had already run afoul of U.S. sanction. Despite making a $100 million investment in Iranian oil exploration in the Persian Gulf, Petrobras received a $2 billion loan from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (U.S. Ex-Im Bank) in April 2009 to finance Petrobras' new exploration and upgrades to existing facilities.[57] Petrobras' investment in Iran put the company in violation of the U.S. 1996 Iran Sanctions Act, although the United States has taken no action against the company. According to a New York Times article, Petrobras had assured the Ex-Im Bank that it had finished its activities in Iran.[58]

Despite Petrobras' scrutiny by the United States, Minister for Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade Miguel Jorge stated that the Iranians were interested in Brazilian ethanol because they were having difficulties buying gasoline in the international market. Jorge had raised the possibility of selling ethanol to Iran during a visit he and a delegation of more than 80 businessmen made to Tehran in April 2010.[59] (The delegation included mostly agricultural companies but the trip raised suspicion among European diplomats that Brazil would be attempting to bypass sanctions to be imposed on Iran.[60]) According to Amorim, the Brazilian delegation was surprised with the number of participants to the negotiations on the Iranian side, about 400 business representatives, and sensed that Iranians were fearful of pending sanctions and were looking for Brazil as a way out of the impasse.[61] Brazilian officials agreed that a new round of sanctions would harm commercial relations between Brazil and Iran, and specifically might deprive Brazil of the lucrative ethanol market. Petrobras, already concerned about U.S. sanctions and possible retaliation against its U.S. interests, announced that it had no plans to export ethanol to Iran.[62]

Resolution 1929, adopted on 9 June 2010, bans Iranian investment in sensitive activities such as uranium mining and enrichment, specifies other measures for preventing Iran from receiving conventional arms or sensitive nuclear or missile items, and blocks any financial transactions that might aid Iran's nuclear proliferation. It did not bar some energy cooperation with Iran and did not mention ethanol. But on 24 June, the U.S. Congress sent a direct message to Brazil by passing the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions act[63] (signed into law by President Obama on 1 July[64]) that imposes new restrictions on companies doing business with Iran and requires the U.S. government to monitor ethanol exports to Iran.[65] According to a congressional source, this could be the first step for an amendment banning export of ethanol to Iran.

The new round of U.S. sanctions forced the Brazilian government to re-evaluate its Iranian export strategy. Reportedly, Brazilian companies have been exporting products to Iran through the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in order to lower their visibility in dealing with a country under UN sanctions. Currently, Brazilian exports to Iran are reported to be valued at $1.2 billion; but the true value could be 40 percent higher since almost half of all trade between the countries is believed to be undertaken through UAE companies.[66] According to an article in O Globo, analysts have proposed that Brazilian companies could avoid the full impact of the new sanctions by increasing the use of UAE companies and transshipment points and by limiting exports to agricultural products in high demand such as beef, corn, soy, and sugar. The same article reported that a confidential Brazilian government report concluded that Brazil is well positioned to compete with other countries seeking business in Iran and identified three competitive advantages: independent foreign policy, willingness to lend credibility to Iran's foreign policy, and production capacity of the products in high demand by the Iranians.[67] Jorge speculated that the new sanctions might actually help Brazilian exports because "several countries should retract (exports) with the sanctions imposed by the UN. This opens a door of opportunity for Brazil."[68] According to Otávio Cançado, President of ABIEC (Brazilian Beef Export Industries Association), Iran has demonstrated interest in making Brazil its main supplier of beef because of Brazil's position on the Iranian nuclear issue.[69]

Brazil has also adopted measures to help Brazilian exporters evade new restrictions on Iran's ability to obtain credit from the international banking system. During his trip to Tehran in May 2010, Lula announced that Brazil would provide a direct line of credit totaling $1 billion to help Iran finance Brazilian food imports. This amount will be released over five years and paid directly to companies in Brazil, thus avoiding the risk that financing could be affected by new international or unilateral sanctions.[70]

Given Brazil's interest in expanding trade with Iran, Lula's negotiation of the fuel swap can be seen as an effort to avoid additional sanctions on Iran that would hamper new commercial opportunities.

Brazil's Nuclear Activities: Some Parallels with Iran's Nuclear Program

Besides furthering Lula's and Brazil's diplomatic and trade agendas, the fuel swap deal also bolstered Brazil's position that all NPT non-nuclear weapons states, including Iran and Brazil, have the right to develop a complete nuclear fuel cycle and to enrich uranium for peaceful nuclear purposes and military naval propulsion. In the past, Brazil had been wary of drawing any international attention to its nuclear activities, including uranium enrichment, because of similarities with Iran's sanctioned activities; in 2006, Brazil delayed the announcement of the start up of its first commercial uranium enrichment plant because the IAEA was in the process of recommending that the UN Security Council sanction Iran for its noncompliance with its safeguards agreement and unanswered questions about its uranium enrichment program.[71] However, more recently, Brazil officials and policies have been explicit about the importance of nuclear materials and technology, including a complete fuel cycle and an indigenously-developed nuclear submarine, to Brazil's national and international security and commercial policies. Brazilian officials have made it clear that they view mastery of nuclear technology as an important attribute of a great power; to that end, they view a domestically produced nuclear submarine both as a deterrent and as a way to project diplomatic power.[72] Brazilian officials' decision to champion Iran's cause has brought more attention to Brazil's nuclear ambitions, and more suspicions that Brazil might again be interested in developing a nuclear weapons capability. (In 1990, then Brazilian President Fernando Collor de Mello renounced the previous military government's efforts to develop peaceful nuclear explosions and perhaps the capability to build a nuclear weapon.[73]) These suspicions have been heightened by recent statements by Brazilian officials and analysts that a nuclear weapon might be in Brazil's best interest.

Adopted in December 2008, Brazil's National Defense Strategy (NDS) portrays nuclear initiatives as a means to enhance Brazil's development, strengthen its defensive posture, and bolster its global standing.[74] To capitalize on the potential strategic value of the nuclear sector, the NDS calls for Brazil to undertake several initiatives, including developing a nuclear-powered submarine and industrial scale enrichment programs; intensifying efforts to mine uranium; and increasing nuclear energy capacity.[75] While the NDS acknowledges Brazil's commitment to nuclear nonproliferation, it states that "Brazil will not subscribe to any additions to the Nuclear Weapon Nonproliferation Treaty, [sic] intended to broaden restrictions established by the Treaty without the nuclear powers having made any progress on the central premise of the Treaty: its [sic] own nuclear disarmament."[76] The text thus enshrines Brazil's decision not to sign the 1997 Model Additional Protocol, which would allow the IAEA greater access to Brazil's nuclear infrastructure, in particular the naval uranium enrichment program.[77] The NDS also supports Brazil's position that all nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) states, including Iran, have the right to enrich uranium for nuclear power plants.[78]

Notwithstanding previous Security Council resolutions mandating that Iran stop its enrichment activities,[79] Lula took it upon himself to fight for Iran to have the same rights as Brazil to develop nuclear technologies for energy and medical uses. When announcing Amorim's trip to Turkey, Russia, and Iran in April 2010 to discuss the fuel swap proposal, Lula said: "I'm going to say it loud and clear: Brazil defends Iran's right to produce nuclear energy for peaceful purposes," and "we want for Iran what we want for Brazil."[80] (During that trip, Amorim left open the possibility that Brazil would enrich uranium for Iran in Brazil.[81]) When addressing the May NPT Review Conference, Amorim reinforced the point: "No country should be denied the right to peaceful nuclear activities as long as it complies with NPT and agreed IAEA requirements."[82] The Joint Declaration signed by Brazil, Turkey and Iran highlighted that the NPT gives all state parties, including Iran, the right "to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy (as well as nuclear fuel cycle including enrichment activities) for peaceful purposes without discrimination."[83] As it was not a member of the UN Security Council at the time, Brazil did not have the opportunity to vote on the resolutions that ordered Iran to stop its enrichment activities pending a settlement of its dispute over compliance with its IAEA safeguards agreement. The Joint Declaration text serves as Brazil's challenge to the UN resolutions and implicitly renews its arguments that as written and applied the NPT is unfair to non-nuclear weapon states.

Brazil is an NPT member, and also a regular critic of the treaty. Most recently at the May 2010 NPT Review Conference, Amorim stated that: "The Nonproliferation Treaty is an intrinsically unfair Treaty, which divides the world between 'haves' and 'have-nots'." He went on to criticize progress towards nuclear disarmament by nuclear-weapon states saying that "Forty years after the entry into force of the NPT, the fundamental goal of a world free of nuclear weapons remains little more than a mirage."[84] Amorim's statement echoed voices in Lula's administration that view Brazil's decision to join the treaty in 1997 as a strategic error and an act of capitulation to the United States.[85] One of these voices is Minister Samuel Pinheiro Guimarães, head of the Strategic Affairs Secretariat and responsible for formulating the country's long term strategic policies for national development including nuclear technology. He is a strong critic of the NPT and firmly opposes any additional restriction to the country's right to enrich uranium.[86] In his assessment, Brazil joined the NPT for two reasons: the right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and the disarmament of the nuclear-weapon states. On disarmament, he does not see progress by the NWS. On the right to technology, he believes the NWS use the Additional Protocol and proposals for nuclear fuel banks as "measures in disguise" to restrict countries like Brazil from developing nuclear technologies and thus participating in the lucrative nuclear fuel market. According to him, "accepting the Additional Protocol and the internationalization of uranium enrichment would constitute a 'crime de lesa-patria'."[87] Brazil repudiated signing the Additional Protocol in its 2008 NDS, and blocked efforts to recognize the Additional Protocol as a mandatory requirement for non-nuclear-weapon states to obtain nuclear material and technology at a Nuclear Suppliers Group meeting in 2009[88] and at the NPT Review Conference in 2010.[89]

Lula does not share the P5+1's suspicion that Iran is enriching uranium for use in a nuclear weapons program. Although Lula has conceded that he has no guarantees that Iran is not enriching uranium for military purposes,[90] he has said he trusts Ahmadinejad's word that the Iranian nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.[91] Brazilian government officials have also stated that they do not believe Iran is developing nuclear weapons. "As far as I know, there is no proof that Iranian uranium enrichment has military purposes," Guimarães said in an interview to TV Brasil.[92] During a Committee on Foreign Relations debate on Iran, Amorim stated, "There is no chance that Iran will produce nuclear weapons with the amount of uranium it possesses."[93] Amorim said that uranium enrichment is an issue of sovereignty for Iran and defended the Middle East country by telling reporters that Iran has never questioned or denied access to IAEA inspectors. Furthermore, he has "no reason to believe that the Iranian nuclear program has a military purpose."[94] Brazil's position on Iran found support in statements made by former IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei in a 29 May interview with Jornal do Brasil;he said that there had been no evidence that Iran was developing nuclear weapons while he was in office.[95] However, two recent IAEA reports concluded that "Iran has not provided the necessary cooperation to permit the Agency to confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities."[96]

Brazilian officials generally support universal nuclear disarmament and have stated that they do not believe Iran has a nuclear weapon program. However, they have also suggested that Iran - and Brazil - might have reasons to develop nuclear weapons for deterrence. In an April 2010 interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais, Lula justified Iran's potential quest for nuclear weapons. "Pakistan has nuclear weapons, so does Israel. It is understandable that those who feel pressured by this situation would think about developing their own [weapons]."[97] A few months later, Vice President José Alencar defended Iran's right to develop nuclear weapons for dissuasive purposes.[98] His statement about Iran was in keeping with his belief that Brazil also has a right to possess a nuclear weapon; referring to Brazil, Alencar said during a conversation with journalists that "a nuclear bomb as a dissuasive weapon is of great importance for a country that has 15,000 km of borders." He said that Brazil needed to use the nuclear technology it has already mastered to go ahead with a nuclear weapon program.[99] Defense Minister Nelson Jobim dismissed Alencar's comments about an Iranian bomb but Sergio Rezende, Minister for Science and Technology, admitted that the relationship with Iran could create an unfavorable international perception of the Brazilian nuclear program.[100] Alencar is not alone in his views. In 2008, General José Benedito de Barros Moreira, military adviser to the Brazilian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva and former advisor to Defense Minister Nelson Jobim, advocated on national television that Brazil develop nuclear weapons to use as a "padlock" to defend the country's natural resources.[101]

Brazil's negotiation of the fuel swap deal and defense of Iran's enrichment activities have heightened concerns about whether Brazil's nuclear ambitions are limited to a nuclear submarine. In spring 2010, the German Council on Foreign Relations published an article that raised doubts about whether Brazil's nuclear intentions are entirely peaceful. The author, Hans Rühle, former director of the planning staff in the German Ministry of Defense, stated that although "there is no definitive proof yet...the country's earlier nuclear weapons programs and the policy of President Lula da Silva's government suggest that Brazil's quest for power and international recognition will ultimately lead her to discard her commitment to non-proliferation and put an end to President Obama's vision of a world free of nuclear weapons."[102] In an interview with Deutsche Welle, Brazilian nuclear physicist Luiz Pinguelli Rosa, refuted Rühle's allegation saying that Brazil has demonstrated it does not have the political will to develop nuclear weapons. He emphasized that Brazil ratified the NPT and the Tlatelolco Treaty, has setup a joint nuclear verification agency (ABAAC) with Argentina, and has a clause in its constitution prohibiting the development of nuclear weapons.[103] However, nuclear physicist and former Brazilian Minister for Education and the Environment Jose Goldemberg, recently stated that President Lula wants to keep open the option of developing a nuclear weapon just as Brazil's former military government did in 1975 when it signed a nuclear deal with West Germany purportedly for peaceful purposes (but then allegedly pursued a covert nuclear weapons program). In an interview to Época Magazine, Goldemberg criticized President Lula for defending the Iranian nuclear program, refusing to sign the Additional Protocol, and allowing members of his inner circle to openly defend building an atomic bomb. "Lula's silence encourages the suspicion that Brazil has intentions to make nuclear weapons to affirm its sovereignty. Brazil wants the bomb," he said.[104]

Whatever Brazil's true nuclear ambitions, it appears likely that Lula negotiated the fuel swap agreement to further his goal of pointing out the inequities in the NPT and emphasizing the right of all states to pursue enrichment programs free from IAEA interference. But Brazil's defense of Iran has increased scrutiny of Brazil's own nuclear activities.

Conclusion: Mixed Results for Lula's Nuclear Diplomacy

Lula undertook the negotiation of the proposed fuel swap deal with Iran for several reasons: to burnish his legacy, to raise Brazil's international standing and challenge the international power structure, to try to prevent additional sanctions that would put a damper on Brazil's expanding trade with Iran, and to defend Iran's - and Brazil's - right to pursue all peaceful nuclear activities, including uranium enrichment. It is questionable whether Lula achieved his goals. The fuel swap deal is still pending with the IAEA and Iranian officials have hinted that they will renew talks with the P5 and others at a later date. But the proposed deal did not stop the United Nations from adopting another sanction resolution or the United States from passing unilateral sanctions that could greatly restrict Brazil's commercial dealings with Iran. The deal put Brazil at odds with U.S. policy again just when the two countries had signed a new defense cooperation agreement in April 2010.[105] While some in the international community expressed appreciation for Lula's negotiating efforts, others questioned whether he had been duped by the Iranians and used as a pawn in an attempt to stall new sanctions. In an interview with the Financial Times, Amorim seemed to realize that Brazil spent too much political capital defending the Iranian nuclear program; he said that Brazil would no longer pro-actively act as mediator in the Iranian nuclear program.[106] However, Brazil and Lula might wade into other difficult international security disputes. Ambassador Arnaldo Carrilho told Reuters that Brazil sees room for nuclear and security dialogue with North Korea;[107] and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, noting that Brazil is an emerging force in the world stage, asked President Lula to facilitate a peace agreement with Israel.[108]

It is not clear whether Brazil's role in negotiating the fuel swap will help or hurt its chances of becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council. What is certain is Brazilian officials' belief that mastering nuclear technology, including a nuclear submarine and even possibly a nuclear bomb, is a prerequisite to great power status. As Lula said, in defending Iran's right to nuclear enrichment, he was defending Brazil's right to the same.[109] At the same time, Brazilian officials once again demonstrated their disdain for the perceived inequities of the NPT and the UN sanctions meant to enforce compliance with NPT obligations. As many commentators noted, Brazil's support for Iran raises concerns about Brazil's nuclear intentions, particularly in light of recent statements by high-level officials that Brazil might need to pursue a nuclear weapon. It seems that until the nuclear weapons states take further steps toward complete nuclear disarmament and agree to share their power at the UN Security Council, rising powers such as Brazil will view military nuclear technology as a necessary tool for challenging the current global power structure.


[1] "Iran Signs Uranium Exchange Deal with Brazil, Turkey," Global Security Newswire, 17 May 2010.
[2] According to the most recent UN Resolution, "Iran has not established full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and heavy water-related projects as set out in resolutions 1696 (2006), 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007) and 1803 (2008)..." UN Security Council Resolution 1929, 9 June 2010.
[3] Report of the IAEA Director General, "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) and 1835 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran," 31 May 2010, GOV/2010/28, p. 2.
[4] Institute for Science and International Security, "Iran's Proposed LEU Deal: Skeptical but Awaiting Clarification," 17 May 2010.
[5] David E. Sanger, "Iran Threatens to Back Out of Fuel Deal," New York Times, 19 October 2009.
[6] Andrew Lee Butters, "Iran's New Nuke Proposal: Progress, or Delaying Tactic?." Time Magazine, 17 May 2010,
[7] "Ahmadinejad, Chavez converse over phone," Presidency of The Islamic Republic of Iran Web site, 5 May 2010,
[8] "Bernard Gwertzman, Shifts in Iran on Nuclear Policy," Council on Foreign Relations, 20 May 2010,
[9] Roberto Simon, "Após Pacto Com Irã, Brasil Reivindica Condição De Porta-Voz Dos Emergentes," O Estado de S. Paulo, 23 May 2010.
[10] "Al Jazeera Interview With Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva," Al Jazeera YouTube channel, 18 May 2010,
[11] Letter from President Obama to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, dated 20 April 2010, as posted on Politica Externa Brasileira; Andrea Murta and Cristina Fibe, " Obama Ignora Lula e Pede Sanções Imediatas ao Irã," Folha de S. Paulo, 14 April 2010.
[12] "Joint Declaration by Iran, Turkey and Brazil,", 17 May 2010,
[13] " Lula Diz Que Acordo Nuclear Com Irã é 'Uma Vitória da Diplomacia," EFE, 17 May 2010,
[14] See, "Background Briefing on Nuclear Nonproliferation Efforts with Regard to Iran and the Brazil/Turkey Agreement," U.S. State Department, 28 May 2010,; "West Dismisses Iran Nuclear Deal,", 17 May 2010.
[15] "Iran to resume uranium enrichment despite Turkey deal," CNN, 17 May 2010,
[16] "Sanction Has No Basis with N-Fuel Swap Agreement: Brazil FM," ISNA, 17 May 2010,
[17] Anelise Infante, "Brasil Quer Integrar Grupo Que Negocia Com Irã, Diz Assessor de Lula," BBC Brasil, 18 May 2010; Fernando Eichenberg, Jailton de Carvalho, Chico de Gois and Roberto Maltchik, " Irã Rejeitará Mudanças No Acordo Nuclear ," O Globo, 25 May 2010.
[18] Andrei Neto, Anúncio Iraniano Pegou Brasil de Surpresa," O Estado de S. Paulo, 20 May 2010.
[19] Anelise Infante, " Descrença Em Acordo é de Países Que 'Satanizam' Irã, Diz Garcia, " BBC Brasil, 17 May 2010.
[20] Assis Moreira, "Nem os Aliados de Ahmadinejad Confiam Nele, Reconhece Lula," Valor Econômico, 21 May 2010.
[21] Matthew Lee, "Clinton: Iran Nuclear Fuel Swap Offer Is 'Ploy'," The Associated Press, 25 May 2010. See also, Hillary Rodham Clinton, "Remarks on UN Sanctions on Iran," U.S. Department of State, 9 June 2010,
[22] "Text: Powers Dismiss Iran Fuel Offer Before U.N. Vote," Reuters, 9 June 1010.
[23] "Vitória da Conversa Amistosa," Jornal do Brasil, 23 May 2010.
[24] Assis Moreira, " Brasil Vê Ação Forte do Governo Obama Contra a Mediação de Lula," Valor Econômico, 19 May 2010.
[25] Celso Amorim, "Let's Hear From the New Kids on the Block," International Herald Tribune, 14 June 2010,
[26] Ibid.
[27] "Background Briefing on Nuclear Nonproliferation Efforts with Regard to Iran and the Brazil/Turkey Agreement," U.S. State Department, 28 May 2010,
[28] "Security Council Imposes Additional Sanctions on Iran, Voting 12 in Favour to 2 Against, with 1 Abstention," UN Security Council, 9 June 2010,
[29] "Os Erros da Política Externa," O Estado de S. Paulo, 12 June 2010.
[30] Sergio Leo, "EUA Ameaçam Brasil Por Ação Contra Sanção Ao Irã," Valor Econômico, 10 June 2010.
[31] "Planalto Lamenta Apoio de Africanos às Sanções," O Estado de S. Paulo, 11 June 2010.
[32] Cyprian Musoke, "Rugunda Explains Stand on Iran Sanctions," The New Vision, 13 June 2010,
[33] "Al Jazeera Interview With Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva," Al Jazeera YouTube channel, 18 May 2010,
[34] "Iran to Continue Nuclear Discussions with Turkey, Brazil," Global Security Newswire, 30 June 2010.
[35] See Roque Planas, "Brazil's Lula Blocks U.S. Agenda, but with a Smile," World Politics Review, 10 June 2010.
[36] Alexei Barrionuevo, "Iran Deal Seen as Spot on Brazilian Leader's Legacy," The New York Times, 24 May 2010; Sara Miller Llana, "Iran Nuclear Fuel Swap Deal: Is Brazil's Lula Now a Diplomatic Big Boy?" The Christian Science Monitor, 18 May 2010; and Alan Clendenning, "Silva's Brazil Star Shines Brighter with Iran Deal," The Associated Press, 18 May 2010.
[37] Luiza Villamea, "O Confronto dos 'Caras'," Isto é Magazine, 25 May 2010.
[38] José Roberto de Toledo, "Popularidade de Lula Impulsiona Dilma," O Estado de S. Paulo, 6 June 2010.
[39] Anelise Infante, "Premiado em Madri, Lula Diz Que Se Preocupa com Ego Diante de Elogios," BBC Brasil, 18 May 2010,
[40] Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, "A Nation's Destiny," Financial Times, 28 June 2010,
[41] "Lula 'lhomme de l'annee 2009," Le Monde, 25 December 2009.
[42] Michael Moore, "Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva," Time, 29 Apr 2010,
[43] "Al Jazeera Interview With Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva," Al Jazeera YouTube channel, 18 May 2010,
[44] Rubens Barbosa, "Erro de Cálculo," O Estado de S. Paulo, 25 May 2010.
[45] "Al Jazeera Interview With Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva," Al Jazeera YouTube channel, 18 May 2010,
[46] Ibid. Note: Speaking in Portuguese, Lula said he has been working for 8 years but it was translated into English as 5 years.
[47] "Quem é Contra o Irã Atômico Levante a Mão ," Veja Magazine, 1 June 2010.
[48] Marcos Coimbra, " Política Externa e Opinião Pública," Carta Capital, 1 June 2010.
[49] Marcelo de Paiva Abreu, "Brasil Fanfarrão," O Estado de S. Paulo, 31 May 2010; " Suicídio Diplomático," O Globo, 24 May 2010.
[50] Rubens Barbosa, "Erro de Cálculo," O Estado de S. Paulo, 25 May 2010.
[51] "Brasil Não Será Subserviente," Jornal do Brasil, 29 May 2010.
[52] João Naves de Oliveira, "Serra Critica Intervenção de Brasil em Favor do Irã," O Estado de S. Paulo, 11 June 2010.
[53] "Pesquisa Dá Novo Fôlego a Serra," Correio Braziliense, 5 June 2010.
[54] President Lula negotiated a free trade agreement between Israel and Mercosul and there are negotiations for a similar agreement with Jordan and the Palestinians. He also sent a commercial delegation to Iran, Egypt, and Lebanon. "Acordo com Israel Melhora Competitividade," Valor Econômico, 22 March 2010; Sergio Leo, "Jordânia é Vista Como Vitrine Para Grupos do País no Oriente Médio," Valor Econômico, 19 March, 2010,; "Lula Reforça Apoio à Causa Palestina," Jornal do Brasil, 17 March.
[55] Fernando Exman, "Brazil Says Likely to Sign Iran Oil Sector Deal," Reuters, 15 May 2010,
[56] "Irã propõe parceria energética," Correio Braziliense, 27 March 2009.
[57] "U.S. Ex-Im Bank approves a Preliminary Commitment to Petrobras," Petrobras Press Release, 29 April 2009,
[58] Jo Becker And Ron Nixon, "U.S. Enriches Companies Defying Its Policy on Iran," New York Times, 6 March 2010,
[59] Patrícia Campos Mello, "Em Recado a Brasil, Texto de Sanções dos EUA ao Irã Inclui Menção a Etanol," O Estado de S. Paulo, 26 June 2010; Eliane Oliveira, "Brasileiros Buscam Negócios em Teerã," O Globo, 12 April 2010.
[60] Jamil Chade, "Empresários do Brasil Chegam Hoje a Teerã," O Estado de S. Paulo, 12 April 2010.
[61] Eliane Oliveira, "Amorim: Sanções Prejudicariam Brasil," O Globo, 27 April 2010.
[62] Patrícia Campos Mello, " Em Recado a Brasil, Texto de Sanções dos EUA ao Irã Inclui Menção a Etanol,"," O Estado de S. Paulo, 26 June 2010.
[63] Kevin Bogardus, "Congress passes Iran sanctions," The Hill, 24 June 2010,
[64] Peter Baker, "Obama Signs Into Law Tighter Sanctions on Iran," New York Times, 1 July 2010,
[65] "Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010," H.R. 2194, The Library of Congress,
[66] Jamil Chade, "Brasil Desafia Pressões e Garante Crédito ao Irã," O Estado de S. Paulo, 13 April 2010.
[67] Roberto Maltchik, "Brasil Procura Saída Para Manter Exportações," O Globo, 11 June 2010.
[68] Renata Veríssimo, "Para Ministro, Sanção Ampliará Exportações," O Estado de S. Paulo, 11 June 2010.
[69] Marcos de Moura e Souza, "Apesar do Risco, Irã Atrai Empresário do Brasil," Valor Econômico, 12 April 2010.
[70] "Lula Anuncia Criação de Linha de Crédito de 1 Bilhão de Euros Para Alimentos," Valor Econômico, 15 May 2010.
[71] Jack Boureston, "Brazilian Nuclear Debate Highlights Parallels and Contrasts with Iran," WMD Insights, July/August 2006,
[72] See, Sarah Diehl and Eduardo Fujii. "Brazil's Pursuit of a Nuclear Submarine Raises Proliferation Concerns," WMD Insights, March 2008,
[73] Michael Barletta, "The Military Nuclear Program in Brazil," CISAC Working Paper, 7 August 1997,; Joseph Cirincione, et al., Deadly Arsenals, Second Edition, (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2005), pp. 393-399.
[74] For a discussion of the National Defense Strategy, see Sarah Diehl and Eduardo Fujii, "Brazil's New National Defense Strategy Calls for Strategic Nuclear Developments," NTI Issue Brief, 30 October 2009,
[75] "Estratégia Nacional de Defesa," Brazilian Ministry of Defense, 17 December 2008.
[76] Ibid.
[77] The Additional Protocol (INFCIRC 540) shifts the focus of safeguards from "detecting diversion" to "establishing the absence of non-declared" nuclear materials and activities by expanding the IAEA's legal authority under INFCIRC 153 to include granting inspectors access to any location in the country not directly involved with the nuclear program including research. There is a debate over whether the IAEA already has legal authority to implement any type of inspection it considers necessary under INFCIRC 153, but according to Matthew Bunn, "in practice the document created an environment in which inspectors were politically constrained to checking the declared information about declared material at agreed points of declared sites, and were strongly discouraged from inquiring into activities elsewhere at the declared sites or at other, undeclared sites." (Matthew Bunn, "International Safeguards: Summarizing 'Traditional' and 'New' Measures," MIT OpenCourseWare Web site,
[78] "Brazil Wants UNSC to Drop Iran Nuclear Case," PressTV, 3 November 2008,; Daniel Lima, "Diálogo é o Caminho Para Resolver Questão Nuclear do Irã, Diz Celso Amorim," Agência Brasil, 2 November 2008,
[79] Security Council Resolution 1696 (2006) [on suspension by Iran of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development]; Security Council resolution 1737 (2006) [on measures against the Islamic Republic of Iran in connection with its enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development]; Security Council resolution 1747 (2007) [on further measures against Iran in connection with its development of sensitive technologies in support of its nuclear and missile programmes]; Security Council Resolution 1803 (2008) [on further measures against Iran in connection with its development of sensitive technologies in support of its nuclear and missile programmes].
[80] Denise Chrispim Marin e Leonêncio Nossa, "Amorim Viaja e Prepara Visita de Lula ao Irã," O Estado de S. Paulo, 23 April 2010.
[81] "Brasil pode processar urânio para Teerã," O Estado de S. Paulo, 28 April 2010,
[82] "Statement by Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim to the 8th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)," United Nations, 3 May 2010,
[83] "Joint Declaration by Iran, Turkey and Brazil," IRNA, 17 May 2010,
[84] "Statement by Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim to the 8th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)," United Nations, 3 May 2010,
[85] Merval Pereira, "Visão Nuclear," O Globo, 20 May 2010.
[86] Marta Solomon, "Ministro Defende que País Exporte Excedente de Urânio," Folha de S. Paulo, 15 December 2009.
[87] Samuel Pinheiro Guimarães, "Mudança de Clima e Energia Nuclear," Valor Econômico, 11 June 2010,
[88] Sarah Diehl and Eduardo Fujii, "Brazil's New National Defense Strategy Calls for Strategic Nuclear Developments," NTI Issue Brief, 30 October 2009,
[89] William Potter, Patricia Lewis, Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova, and Miles Pomper, "The 2010 NPT Review Conference:Deconstructing Consensus," CNS Special Report, 17 June 2010,
[90] "Amorim Viaja e Prepara Visita de Lula ao Irã," O Estado de S. Paulo, 23 April 2010.
[91] Renata Giraldi," Lula : 'Só loucura leva a armas nucleares' "Agência Brasil.
[92] " Irã tem o direito de desenvolver tecnologia nuclear para fins pacíficos, defende ministro," Agência Brasil, 12 November 2009.
[93] "Brazilian Foreign Policy Gets Support in the Committee on External Relations," Agência Senado, 6 April 2010.
[94] Sofia Fernandes, "Para Amorim, EUA se Precipitam ao Insistir em Sanções Após Trato," Folha de S. Paulo, 19 May 2010.
[95] Joana Duarte, "'Sanções Vão Polarizar Hemisférios'," Diz o Nobel Mohamed ElBaradei," Jornal do Brasil, 29 May 2010,
[96] "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007),1803 (2008) and 1835 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran," IAEA, 18 February 2010,; "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions Council resolutions 1737 (2006), 1803 (2008) and 1835 (2008) in Republic of Iran," IAEA, 31 May 2010,
[97] "Lula: 'No Podemos Admitir Paises Armados Hasta Los Dientes y Otros Desarmados," El Pais, 11 April 2010.
[98] Tânia Monteiro, "'Bomba Iraniana Pode Ser Para Defesa', Diz Alencar," O Estado de S. Paulo, 14 April 2010.
[99] "José Alencar Defende que Brasil Tenha Bomba Atômica," Agência Estado, 24 September 2009,
[100] Denize Bacoccina and Guilherme Queiroz, "O Que H á Por Tras Desse Reator?," Isto é Dinheiro, 17 May 2010.
[101] Sarah Diehl and Eduardo Fujii, "Brazil's Pursuit of a Nuclear Submarine Raises Proliferation Concerns," WMD Insights, March 2008,
[102] Hans Rühle , "Brazil and the Bomb," IP Global, 3 May 2010,
[103] " Físico Brasileiro Rebate Declarações Sobre Suposta Bomba Atômica do Brasil," Deutsche Welle at DefesaNet, 14 May 2010.
[104] Peter Moon, "José Goldemberg: 'O Brasil Quer a Bomba Atômica'," Época Magazine, 25 June 2010,
[105] "Assinado Acordo de Cooperação em Defesa Entre Brasil e Estados Unidos," Brazilian Ministry of Defense, 12 April 2010,
[106] Daniel Dombey, "Brazil Ends Its Role as Mediator," Financial Times, 21 June 2010,
[107] Bruno Marfinati, "INTERVIEW-Brazil to Expand Trade, Dialogue with N.Korea," Reuters, 21 June 2010,
[108] Gustavo Chacra, "Presidente da Síria Pede Lula na Negociação com Israel," O Estado de S. Paulo, 27 June 2010.
[109] Denise Chrispim Marin and Tânia Monteiro, "Irã Tem Direito a Energia Nuclear, Defende Lula," O Estado de S. Paulo, 24 November 2009.

July 15, 2010

Sarah Diehl and Eduardo Fujii discuss Brazil's motivation for brokering a new fuel swap deal with Iran amidst multilateral efforts to impose a new round of sanctions on Tehran.

Sarah Diehl

Research Associate, Center for Nonproliferation Studies

Eduardo Fujii

Research Associate, Center for Nonproliferation Studies