Story Highlights

  • Brazil's Lula says Iran nuclear fuel swap deal was a breakthrough
  • Says others can't 'do politics without an enemy'
  • Iran parliament member says Iran 'may cancel nuclear fuel swap deal if UN imposes sanctions'

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday that Iran had showed willingness to negotiate over its contested nuclear program and that other countries now needed to do the same.

"Iran, which had been sold to the world as the devil... sat down at the negotiating table. I want to see the others comply with what they wanted Iran to do," Lula said during a speech to mayors in the capital, Brasilia.

Brazil and Turkey helped broker an agreement announced on Monday under which Tehran agreed to send uranium abroad, reviving a fuel swap plan drafted by the United Nations with the aim of keeping Iran's nuclear activities in check.

But U.S. officials regard that deal as a delaying tactic by Iran and major powers, including China and Russia, presented the UN Security Council with a draft plan to impose tougher sanctions on Iran.

A member of Iran's parliament announced Thursday that Iran would cancel the accord with Turkey and Brazil if the UN Security Council approved a fourth round of sanctions against it.

Brazil had made a contribution to international relations that should be taken into account, said Lula, who returned to Brazil on Thursday after a week-long trip to Russia, Qatar, Iran, Spain and Portugal.

"There are some people who don't know how to do politics without an enemy," he said in a veiled reference to Western powers opposing Iran.

Turkey, Brazil and Iran have urged a halt to talk of further sanctions because of the deal, but critics describe it as only a tactic to avert or delay sanctions.

"If [the West] issues a new resolution against Iran, we will not be committed to Tehran's statement and dispatching fuel outside Iran will be cancelled," prominent lawmaker Mohammad Reza Bahonar was quoted as saying by Iran's Mehr news agency.

"Major powers along with the UN Security Council have reached consensus about Iran and it is highly probable that in the near future the fourth round of resolutions becomes operational against Iran," Bahonar added.

The new sanctions would target Iranian banks and call for inspection of vessels suspected of carrying cargo related to Iran's nuclear or missile programs.

Iran has previously dismissed the draft resolution as lacking legitimacy and unlikely to come to pass. It says its atomic ambitions are purely non-military and refuses to suspend uranium enrichment.

"The Americans will take their wish to harm the Iranian nation to their graves," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as telling military officials on Thursday by state news agency IRNA.