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Can Brazil's Lula Mediate the Iran Nuclear Standoff?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Last week, Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was informally tapped to mediate negotiations between Iran and the West over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly told his "brother," Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, that Iran was prepared to accept Brazilian mediation "in principle." The starting point for talks will be the same as last fall's nuclear fuel swap deal, whereby Iran was to ship its enriched uranium to France and Russia for reprocessing, after which the reprocessed fuel would be returned to Iran for use in the Tehran medical reactor.

But while Lula is perceived as among the world's pre-eminent diplomats, in this case he is not an impartial mediator: He firmly opposes further sanctions against Iran. ...

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