Has Brazil's Lula become Iran's useful idiot?
Washington Post / Jackson Diehl

Has Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio “Lula” da Silva become Iran’s useful idiot?

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad clearly thinks so. On Wednesday his website posted a statement saying he had accepted “in principle” a supposed Brazilian proposal to defuse Iran’s standoff with the U.N. Security Council -- and prevent the adoption of new sanctions pressed by the United States, Britain and France.

The Brazilian foreign ministry hastily denied that there was a concrete proposal. But that’s irrelevant: Lula, who is planning a trip to Tehran next week, is obviously seeking to position himself as the mediator who can broker a deal between Iran and the West.

His gesture would be as irrelevant as his recent attempt to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- except for the fact that Brazil currently holds one of the rotating seats on the Security Council. Like Turkey, another temporary member, Brazil is stoutly resisting the new sanctions initiative, which is one reason why the measure was not adopted last month, as the Obama administration had hoped.

In other words, Lula is providing Iran with valuable time to delay sanctions, even as it presses ahead with enrichment and prepares a new generation of centrifuges to do it more efficiently.

The Brazilian “proposal” seems to amount to another version of the deal Iran has already rejected repeatedly: an exchange of most of the nuclear material it has already enriched for fuel rods it could use ... >>>

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