Brazil seeks to maintain good relations with both Israel and Iran, and not get
involved in the complexities of the Middle East, legislator Arolde de Oliveira
said on Wednesday.
Oliveira, a member of Brazil’s lower house, the
Chamber of Deputies, supports Brasilia’s continued trade with the Islamic
Republic, which reached $2.33 billion in 2011.
Oliveira, along with 24
other parliamentarians from 17 nations, are in Jerusalem for the International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation’s conference of pro-Israel members of national
legislatures around the world. They were briefed on the Iranian nuclear threat
and participated in a panel to seek a solution to the issue.
Oliveira, however, Iran’s nuclear capabilities pose no threats.
Brazilian government’s understanding is that Iran is not constructing nuclear
weapons,” he said. “The technology they are developing is only for civilian
In 2010 Brazil voted in the UN against sanctions on Iran, and
signed a fuel-swap deal with Tehran.
Oliveira said he was of the opinion
that Brazil should not sell radioactive minerals to Iran, but emphasized the
importance of commercial ties.
“Our relations with Iran are good for
They have oil and they buy commercial products from
Brazil,” the parliamentarian explained. “We have nothing against Israel – on the
According to Oliveira, Brazil has better relations with Israel
than with Iran because the South American nation is Christian, and as such
shares values with the Jewish state.
He emphasized that Israel was the
only true democracy in the Middle East and had freedom of religion and
expression, like in his own country.
“Brazil is trying to maintain
balance in its foreign policies in the Middle East,” he stated.
issues are complex and Brazil is unable to understand the problems in the
We just want good relations and an absence of war.”
than sanction Iran, Oliveira suggested that democracies around the world work
together to “create mechanisms controlling the development of nuclear weapons.”
Ideally, those mechanisms would be coordinated by the UN.
“If we have a
non-nuclear weapon zone in the Middle East we can guarantee the absence of war,”
Oliveira posited. “If countries agree [not to develop nuclear weapons], we can
start a period of peace, and dialog can move to other questions, like religious