This week Brazil, as a member of the UN Security Council, voted along with Turkey against imposing further sanctions toward Iran. This unprecedented vote went against known Brazilian allies like the United States and the European Union all favoring more sanctions. Why?
Brazilian President Luiz Inåcio Lula de Silva is excerising his independent streak and growing global assertiveness by voting against further sanctions toward Iran for their growing nuclear arsenal. It was expected that Brazil would vote in line with the U.S. and in taking this stance has garnered U.S.‘s displeasure. It has taken a risk in angering its second-largest trading partner to make a point. Just last month Lula and Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Iran and brokered a deal amongst the three nations that would have Iran sending uranium and fuel rod stock to Turkey. Lula’s administration saw his vote and the Iranian deal part of Brazil “assuming our responsibility to promote peace and security” in the world. Many aren’t sure that can be accomplished with the tricky Iran.
This gesture is another example of Brazil’s growing independence and confidence in its role in global affairs. President Lula’s overwhelming popularity at home and Brazil’s stable and growing economy can be reasons he feels so confident to step outside of the general consensus with this issue. It remains to be seen what the price will be for Brazil in going against its friends.