'Iran entitled to nuclear program'

Brazil president meets Ahmadinejad, calls relations "strategic."

Da Silva meets Ahmadinejad 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Da Silva meets Ahmadinejad 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva met with Iranian leaders on Sunday, and called the relationship between the two countries “strategic.”
Speaking in defense of Iran’s right to “independently navigate its course” to seek development and improvement, Silva stressed that a peaceful nuclear research program was within Iran’s sovereign rights.
Silva, who is  in Iran for the Summit of the Group of 15 developing nations, spoke following meetings with Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The Brazilian president went on to say that there were those who hoped his visit would fail.
Ahead of the visit, sources in the US State Department called Silva's visit the last chance for Iran to prevent the next round of sanctions against it. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton predicted that Silva's mediation effort would not succeed, saying new sanctions are the only way to bring Iran around to cooperation.
Brazil hopes to enrich nuclear material for Iran
Silva is reportedly trying to revive a UN-backed proposal in which Iran would ship its stockpile of enriched uranium abroad to be processed further and returned as fuel rods that could not be processed beyond its lower, safer levels, which are suitable for use in the Teheran research reactor.
Iran initially accepted the deal but then balked and proposed changes rejected by the world powers negotiating with Teheran.
Brazil may be hoping to supplant Russia in the original UN proposal as the state that processes the nuclear material for Iran.