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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Brazilian president's 'mission' to Iran last chance to avoid sanctions - Medvedev

RIA Novosti

18:1514/05/2010 MOSCOW, May 14 (RIA Novosti) - The Brazilian president's visit to Iran may be the last opportunity for a diplomatic resolution to the international dispute over the Iranian nuclear program, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is in Moscow and will visit Iran this weekend. He is set to discuss a proposed uranium swap as part of international efforts to settle questions surrounding Iran's nuclear program without resorting to further sanctions.

"I hope the mission of the Brazilian president will succeed," Medvedev said during a news conference with his Brazilian counterpart. He said Lula's visit could be the last opportunity before the UN Security Council makes the "famous decision."

The president said "it would be very good" to persuade Iran to cooperate on the issues concerning the swap of low-enriched uranium to high-enriched uranium.

Asked about the likelihood of the Brazilian president of succeeding, Medevedev said he was an optimist, like Lula, and put the chances of success at about 30%.

The president said the international community did not have serious contradictions over Iran as the "common approaches are constant and almost all the states stick to them."

Medvedev specified several principles that a legitimate Iranian nuclear program would have to adhere to: it should be peaceful in character and supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and Iran should cooperate with the international community and follow the rules of nuclear non-proliferation.

According to Medvedev, Iran will take its place among the nuclear-operating countries if it follows the previously called principles.

The United States and other Western countries suspect Iran of developing nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear energy program and are seeking new sanctions following Iran's move to enrich uranium to 20%.

The Iran Six (France, Britain, Germany, the United States, Russia and China) began on April 19 discussing the text of a draft resolution imposing sanctions on Iran over its controversial nuclear program.

Russia and China, who have the right to veto Security Council's decisions, insist on resolving Iran's nuclear issue peacefully, but the United States, Britain, France and Germany are pushing for harsher sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

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