Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has not only questioned the intentions of the new START treaty on nuclear disarmament, recently signed by the Presidents of the United States and Russia, but also affirmed that he will ask for *“explanations of what it means”*, from Obama when he meets him, because he believes that the commitment to reduce the number of nuclear warheads to 1,550 each is meaningless.
Brazil, which has a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, opposes the imposition of sanctions on Iran, which other nations suspect is attempting to arm itself with the atomic bomb.
*“We cannot start from the premise that Ahmadinejad is a terrorist who must be isolated. We have to negotiate. I want to talk to him about these issues until the last minute”*, said Lula on the nuclear aspirations of the Islamic Republic, which is determined to develop its uranium enrichment programme despite opposition from the Western superpowers.
*“It is essential that the Iranians know they can enrich uranium for peaceful purposes and that the rest of us can be certain that it is being done only for these peaceful uses”*, the Brazilian President said.
*“The only constraint to Brazil’s position is to respect the United Nations resolutions, which my country will observe”*, he indicated.
Pakistan *“has the atomic bomb, and so does Israel. It is understandable that those who feel under pressure owing to the situation might think about making their own. We do not have the right to put anyone against the wall or to exercise an all-or-nothing tactic”*, said Lula.
Washington, for its part, has announced a new nuclear doctrine that identifies Iran and North Korea as countries that might be targeted by a United States attack.
*Translated from Spanish by Simon Bruni*