Brazil rebuffs US, says it will go own way on Iran

BRASILIA, Brazil — Brazil rebuffed a U.S. appeal for new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, vowing during a visit from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton not to “bow down” to gathering international pressure.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva pre-empted Clinton even before she could make the case for new United Nations Security Council penalties. Silva is an outspoken opponent of sanctions, and his country currently sits on the Security Council, which will be asked to approve its toughest-ever penalties on Iran later this year.

“It is not prudent to push Iran against a wall,” Silva told reporters hours before meeting with Clinton. “The prudent thing is to establish negotiations.”

Clinton told a news conference she respects Brazil’s position but thinks if there is any possibility of negotiating with Iran, it would happen only after a new round of sanctions.

Iran has accelerated its disputed nuclear program in the face of previous U.N. penalties, but the United States and other supporters say a renewed demonstration of world resolve could finally push Iran to the bargaining table.

“The door is open for negotiations. We never slammed it shut,” Clinton said. “But we don’t see anybody, even in the far-off distance, walking toward it.”

The Obama administration took office last year pledging to reach out to Iran and make the case that Tehran had more to lose than gain from pressing ahead with nuclear de… >>>

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