Amorim on Tehran Declaration

Former Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim wrote a “piece”: for the Cairo Review of Global Affairs a while back. It covers a range of topics, including the diplomacy which produced the May 2010 “Tehran Declaration.”:

After citing Brazil’s past work on nuclear issues, Iraq, and the CD, Amorim explains that his government also got involved because of “Brazil was also interested in developing her economic and commercial ties with a country roughly the same size as Turkey and Egypt.”

The article gives a fair amount of background on the negotiations, most/all of which you probably know. But it’s good to get it from another official source.

Perhaps the most interesting addition to the record is Amorim’s assessment of the discussions:

bq. Iran made voluntary concessions regarding three central points that she had been resisting before Brazil and Turkey joined the talks. *It is fair to ask why Brazil and Turkey succeeded where the major powers had consistently failed.* Probably the main reason consists in the fact that *Brazil and Turkey have good relations with Iran.* We talk to her government with respect and understanding. Second, *Brazil and Turkey are non-nuclear states, thus enjoying far greater legitimacy in negotiating issues related to Iran’s nuclear file.* Third, *the two countries did not prejudge that the Iranian nuclear program was necessarily for non-peaceful ends.* Giving the benefit of the doubt is both a powerful encouragement and a valuable bargaining chip in a negotiation. *Finally, Brazil and Turkey have always recognized Iran’s right to a peaceful nuclear program,* to which every member of the NPT is entitled, so long as the clauses of the treaty and the regulations of the IAEA are respected.

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