Brazil's Nuclear Program and International Atomic Energy, US Policy
Jon Kofas writes:The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) and the media in Latin America and Europe, have reported that the UN-IAEA has been applying almost as much pressure on Iran as on Brazil to fully disclose its program of developing a nuclear weapons program, although Brazilians insist that they are only interested in nuclear energy. Last summer President Lula visited China to discuss a deal that would allow the Chinese to develop uranium mining in Brazil. Science & Technology Minister Eduardo Campos as well as other officials have denied that Brazil is interested in developing nuclear weapons, but they have not allowed full disclosure to the IAEA any more than the government in Tehran, which is in the same category as far as the UN is concerned. When Secretary Powell visited Brazil last month, he commented that, unlike North Korea and Iran, Brazil is not a "rogue state." Therefore, the U.S., unlike the UN, is not pressuring Lula to allow UN inspections of its facilities and programs. Naturally, U.S. foreign policy allows the Iranians to use the Brazilian card, as well as the Israeli one, to refuse cooperation with the IAEA. According to FAS, France, West Germany, and the U.S. supplied Brazil with reactors, enrichment, and processing facilities. Brazil has argued that Argentina has been interested in a nuclear program as well, and many in the armed forces have historically advocated for the development of nuclear weapons. The problem for the UN is that it cannot do its job on an evenhanded manner, because the U.S. continues to apply policy selectively around the world.
RH: Both Brazil and Argentina are signatories of the Tlatelolco Treaty, making Latin America a region free of nuclear weapons. I regret that their armed services are putting pressure on their governments to disregard the treaty and to spend money which could be much netter used for peaceful purposes.
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