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BRIC plans move against unilateral sanctions

New York, September 22, 2010

The BRIC nations want the United Nations to rebuke countries that resort to unilateral sanctions not approved by the UN Security Council, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said.

A resolution on that theme, if approved by the UN General Assembly, could contribute to erode the legitimacy of additional sanctions imposed by the United States and other Western powers against Iran's nuclear program.

Amorim said the BRIC group, which includes Brazil, Russia, India and China, discussed the proposed resolution during a meeting of foreign ministers on Tuesday in New York.

"We're beginning to have some political coordination on General Assembly resolutions," the minister, who is in New York to open the UN General assembly on Thursday, told Reuters in an interview.

"In some cases we're even against multilateral sanctions, so for sure unilateral sanctions aren't welcome because they're outside the UN system," he added.

The UN Security Council has extended sanctions against Iran in June for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, which the Islamic Republic says will be used in peaceful generation of electricity but the United States and Western countries fear is for weapons.   

Still, the US Congress passed on July 1 additional unilateral sanctions aimed at squeezing Iran's energy and banking sectors.   

Fearing those tensions could escalate into war, Brazil had earlier tried to avoid the additional sanctions, intermediating a nuclear fuel swap deal between Iran and Turkey. That agreement was largely ignored by the United States.   

Amorim said, however, that relations between Brazil and the United States remain "very good" despite that. He said both countries have the same objective, which is to prevent Iran's access to nuclear weapons, but disagree on strategy.

"Government relations remain very good, but in some issues we're going to disagree," he said. - Reuters




Tags: Iran | UN | Nuclear | BRIC | Brazil | Sanctions |

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