Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's visit to Iran this weekend may be the last chance for engagement with Tehran over its nuclear program before fresh U.N. sanctions, a senior U.S. State Department official said on Thursday.
"I think we would view the Lula visit as perhaps the last big shot at engagement," the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters. He stressed Washington has not given up on engagement but sees little chance of Tehran curbing its nuclear program absent further Security Council sanctions.
Iran says its program is solely to generate electricity.
Brazil, which holds a rotating seat on the U.N. Security Council, opposes more sanctions against Iran over its uranium enrichment plans, saying such measures usually hit the poor and could push Tehran to radicalize further.
On his two-day trip to Tehran, the charismatic Lula will try to persuade his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to revisit a stalled proposal by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, under which Iran would send low-enriched uranium abroad and receive a higher grade uranium in return.
ReutersLast Mod: 13 Mayıs 2010, 23:53