Brazil, Iran, and the Road to the Security Council

The attempt by Brazil’s government to participate in the international negotiations over Iran's nuclear program should be viewed in light of the country's overriding ambition to gain permanent membership of the UN Security Council. That goal explains Brazilian officials' recent shift from insisting on dialogue with Iran to mild criticism of its regime.

SAO PAULO – The attempt by Brazil’s government to participate in the international negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program could well be called “A Manual for Candidates to a Permanent Membership of the United Nations Security Council.”

Brazil’s diplomatic efforts with Iran – a country suspected of developing nuclear energy for military purposes – began at a meeting last year between President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva during the G8+5 summit in L’Aquila, Italy.

According to Robert Gibbs, Obama’s press spokesman, and Brazilian authorities, Obama said he had no objections whatsoever to Lula talking to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But Obama suggested using the weight of commercial relations between the two countries to tell the Iranian leader that he should follow Brazil’s example (in Brazil, the ban on nuclear energy for military purposes is enshrined in the Constitution).

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