May 14th, 2010
09:38 PM ET

Medvedev: Brazilian visit could be last chance for Tehran

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's visit to Iran this weekend could be the last opportunity to reach an agreement with Tehran and to avoid U.N. Security Council sanctions, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Friday.

"Given that my friend President Lula is an optimist, I will also be an optimist, and estimate it [the probability of his successful mission to Tehran] at 30 percent," Medvedev said with a chuckle. He spoke in a televised joint press conference with Lula after Russian-Brazilian talks in Moscow.

"I am very much counting on the mission of the Brazilian president to be successful," he added, switching to a serious tone.

"This could be the last chance before the U.N. Security Council makes the already known decisions," Medvedev said, referring to the U.N. decision on imposing sanctions against Iran.

"Yesterday, we discussed this issue on the phone with the United States president, bearing in mind that we need a consolidated position on this issue. And I said that, in my opinion, it is necessary to give the Brazilian president an opportunity to use the entire set of arguments that the international community has at the moment, to persuade Iran to begin cooperating," Medvedev said.

"If there are no changes [in the Iranian position], if attempts to persuade Iran in favor of relevant forms of cooperation fail, then the international community will be compelled to act according to the approaches that are also being discussed by the sextet. I would not like the situation to develop that way. Nevertheless, I can't exclude it."

The sextet refers to the six nations that have been dealing with the Iran nuclear issue - China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Brazilian president, for his part, said: "I am going there realizing that the dialogue that will take place is vital and I will try to use all my power of persuasion in this dialogue," according to the translation on the Kremlin website. "I will try to do my best to arrive at some sort of an agreement. I am flying to Iran convinced that we will find it."

The Brazilian president said that it is his goal to persuade his counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to cooperate with the international community.

"With every day bringing the talks in Iran closer, I am becoming a greater optimist," Lula said. "I was an optimist yesterday, and I am much more of an optimist today. And probably I will be an even greater optimist after meeting President Ahmadinejad."

Medvedev noted that currently there are few differences among the sextet of mediators on the Iranian nuclear problem, calling their approach a "consolidated" one.

"The general approaches are invariable, and virtually all countries adhere to them," he said.

"Firstly, Iran's nuclear program must be peaceful. Secondly, it should be controlled by the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency]. Thirdly, Iran must cooperate with the international community and the IAEA, and in the fourth place, Iran must observe the rules concerning the non-proliferation of nuclear technologies," Medvedev said.

The Russian and U.S. presidents discussed various bilateral and international issues in a phone call on Thursday that lasted for more than an hour and a half, according to the Kremlin press office. Medvedev and President Barack Obama discussed Iran's nuclear problem in detail, it said.

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Filed under: Brazil • Iran • Nuclear • Russia
soundoff (149 Responses)
  1. Mike

    May I remind all those commenting in favor of Iran that:
    1. Neither Israeli nor the US leaders are denying Iran's right to exist or calling for it's destruction, as Iran publicly desires for Israel and the US.
    2. Although Iran is a member of IAEA, it has been found by the same to be in violation of it's obligations. So the questions is not weather Iran has the right to pursue nuclear research, but rather why is it violating the treaties it is a signatory to?

    May 15, 2010 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. MrA

    The Iranian government relies on fear to govern. It is one of the few governments in the world that actively seeks to undermine the fragile peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians. I see a lot of misguided pride in a nuclear program that is intended primarily for weapons development. What I see in Iran is a government that reminds me of the mindset that lead to World War I. I have several Iranian friends and I feel sorry for them. No country is immune from bad government, but there are degrees to it. The U.S. and Russia ended up developing nuclear weapons because of the horrors of World War II. During the Cold War, neither actively sought the destruction of the other. Rather they each feared that the other may act with aggression and sought to contain what was viewed as aggression. The scars of World War II shaped this policy mindset. The places in the world that were not significantly involved in World War II do not understand this, including Iran. I hope Lula is successful, but I share Medvedev's view that the chances are not high. In part, I think they are not high since a significant portion of the Iranian government wants to keep the U.S. as a bogeyman to deflect attention from the high level of corruption and injustice in Iran as well as the significant lack of economic progress. I see no evidence that the Iranian government is negotiating in good faith.

    May 15, 2010 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tommy S.

    If I were the Iranian president I would say I'll let the IAEA in Iran only if you send it to Israel too and let's call it a deal.

    May 15, 2010 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. bofwisconsin

    I am glad this is being done diplomatically first. It's refreshing we don't have a warmonger in office this time around.

    This does not make us fools. It makes us civilized. Now, if (and probably when) Iran makes a fool of itself once again, it leaves the more reasonable nations in better standing.

    If we act as a warmonger then we appear as a screaming child arguing with another screaming child. Instead, we act like adults, and when Iran responds as a screaming child the more responsible nations will rise up like parents and punish with sanctions.

    This is how civilized nations deal with problems.

    May 15, 2010 at 4:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. jh

    Dont let them posses that technology so that we can control the whole world, tha is the saying of those who have nuke like the us and the friends
    why dont you fast burn the israel nukes because it is the most threat in that region and no one takes it to be serious to non arabs i think its time for arab coutries to wakeup
    evenif am the one you can not tell me to put down my gun while you still holding yours
    look at this it is a crime to kill one israel but it is not a scrime to kill hundreds of parastinians and the so called UN is worching

    May 15, 2010 at 4:24 am | Report abuse |
  6. joe

    the confrontation will come.. its gonna be ugly.. what can anyone do at this point.. Iran is refusing to cooperate.. each side is dug in.. there no way out.. except war.. so we'll have it..

    May 15, 2010 at 4:26 am | Report abuse |
  7. Oriana Rossi

    The fate of all mankind is in the hands of fools !!

    May 15, 2010 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. joe

    Iran probably welcomes some kind of military action.. this will allow them to revel to the world their nuclear bomb program.. they hae to produce the bomb to protect themselves.. either way this plays out.. it will be ugly..

    May 15, 2010 at 4:51 am | Report abuse |
  9. joe

    Iran probably welcomes some kind of military action.. this will allow them to revel to the world their nuclear bomb program.. they have to produce the bomb to protect themselves.. either way this plays out.. it will be ugly..

    May 15, 2010 at 4:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. Iranian visiting UAE

    There is only 1 country in the middle east that has nuclear weapons, is a major threat to world peace, and is an apartheid state that kills innocent civilians, has appalling human rights record and we all know that its NOT Iran.

    May 15, 2010 at 5:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. desert voice

    This sounds like the visit of Lord Chamberlain to Berlin in 1938! The parallels are striking. Lord v. Lula! The former went into history as a Beves and Butthead. How will the latter go? Iran has three chices: to rebel, to cave in, or to play the "peace at any price card"! My hope is that Iran will cave in, rather than saying "yes" only do double the centrifuges next day! That was what Hitler did to Lord Chamberlain: he invaded Czechoslovakia in response to "peace at any price." By the way, Medvedev sounds much like "peace at any price ... for there are no alternatives."

    May 15, 2010 at 5:20 am | Report abuse |
  12. washington medeiros

    it is time for Americans to stop looking for
    own navel and accept the opinion on global issues
    in the east. Not always what is good for Americans is good
    to the world.

    May 15, 2010 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. michael greene

    What a statesman Brazil's Lula is becoming ! At last we have a world leader who believes that common sense is a better solution to the bombs and bullets and stone age brute force we have been trying for far too long.

    May 15, 2010 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
  14. RM

    israeli day of brutality are numbered. Just like nazi's ended so shall zionism.

    Posted by: freepalestine

    I would venture to say it will likely be more like 5 million smoldering muslim terrorists.

    May 15, 2010 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. Leah williams

    What of israel? Where's the pressure on Israel? This rogue terrorist state that is nuked up to the eyeballs but that's OK, let's pick on Iran, let's do israel's dirty work and gang up on Iran.
    It stinks, the whole Iran bashing setup. Was iraq last time, look what happened there, the oil there being stolen left right and center.

    May 15, 2010 at 6:37 am | Report abuse |
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