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Brazilian President To Iran On Nuclear Diplomacy Mission


Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has arrived in Iran for talks later today with top officials, including President Mahmud Amadinejad.

The Brazilian leader will try to convince the Iranians to accept a nuclear fuel swap deal aimed at allaying Western concerns over Iran's nuclear program.

On Saturday, Iran's Foreign Ministry said "conditions are conducive" for reaching agreement on the UN-backed deal.

Under the deal, Iran would send low-enriched uranium abroad in exchange for higher grade uranium for use in a cancer research reactor.

The deal broke down in October when Iran insisted the swap take place inside Iran.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says Lula has at best a 30 percent chance of brokering a deal.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington doubts Tehran will provide any "serious response" to concerns over its nuclear program until the UN passes a fourth round of sanctions against Iran.

Lula is being accompanied by a delegation of Brazilian business leaders looking to ink deals with the Iranians.

The head of Brazil's energy regulator has told Reuters that the two countries are likely to sign a memorandum which would open the way for Brazilian companies to participate in the modernisation of Iran's oil sector.

compiled from agency reports
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