Clinton says Lula faces uphill climb in Iran

Nov 30, -0001
WASHINGTON: Brazil's president faces an uphill climb in trying to persuade Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions, the United States said on Friday.

Comments by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton illustrate the U.S. skepticism that Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will succeed during his weekend visit to Tehran.

Lula plans to press Iran's leaders to revive a stalled proposal under which Iran would send low-enriched uranium abroad and receive a higher grade uranium in return -- a plan that has gone nowhere since it was floated in October.

The United States and some of its allies accuse Iran of seeking to use its civilian nuclear program as a cover for pursuing nuclear weapons. Iran denies this, saying its program is solely to generate electricity.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told Lula in Moscow that he had a 30 percent chance at best. Lula, in contrast, put his own odds of success at 9.9 on a scale of one to 10.

"The interchange between President Lula and President Medvedev in Moscow today illustrated the hill that the Brazilians are attempting to climb," Clinton told reporters during a news conference with British Minister William Hague.

"I have told my counterparts in many capitals around the world that I believe that we will not get any serious response out of the Iranians until after the Security Council acts," she added, referring to U.S.-led efforts to secure a fourth U.N.

Security Council sanctions resolution against Iran. AGENCIES



Tabool ads will show in this div