Cablegate: Visit of Wmd Coordinator Samore to Brasilia
DE RUEHBR #1038/01 2321825
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 201825Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4905
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1595
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 0173
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0319
C O N F I D E N T I A L BRASILIA 001038
DEPARTMENT FOR WHA, T AND ISN. NSC FOR SAMORE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/17/2019
TAGS: KNUP PARM PREL NPT IAEA MNUC BR
SUBJECT: VISIT OF WMD COORDINATOR SAMORE TO BRASILIA
REF: BRASILIA 725
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Lisa Kubiske. Reason: 1.4
1. (C) SUMMARY. NSC WMD Coordinator Gary Samore visited Brasilia August 6-7 to hold discussions with senior Brazilian officials on North Korea, Iran and strengthening international nonproliferation and disarmament efforts. Samore approached the Brazilians as potential partners in nonproliferation efforts, pointing out that Brazil's decision to forego its own nuclear weapons option and concentrate on peaceful uses of nuclear energy gave it high credibility as a counter example to Iran. Brazilian interlocutors were receptive to Samore's message and believed that President Obama's Prague speech was important and opened the way for further dialogue; however, they preferred to focus on the importnace of nuclear weapons states (NWS) disarming rather than engage on nonproliferation. The GOB responded positively to proposals for a nuclear security summit and for consultations on the 2010 NPT revcon. Presidential Foreign Policy Advisor Marco Aurelio Garcia sounded a hopeful note by saying that the Administration's approach to disarmament would be helpful to Brazil in addressing the question of signing an Additional Protocol (AP) with the IAEA and that he thought a solution could be reached. Prof. Garcia agreed to Samore's proposal that a U.S. team of experts would visit Brazil to discuss implementation of the Additional Protocol. The visit provided important clarification of the roles of various GOB agencies on nonproliferation issues. Although there was no indication that Brazil is prepared immediately to play a more positive role on key nonproliferation issues, Samore's visit opened the way to a more robust dialogue that would be important to eventually encouraging Brazil to adopt a more constructive approach. END SUMMARY.
2. (SBU) Samore's discussions included meetings with the Ministries of External Relations (MRE) and Defense (MOD), the Presidency and the Office for Institutional Security, newly designated to oversee security at nuclear installations. His meetings on nuclear energy will be reported septel. While responsibilities for energy are relatively clear cut, Brazil is still developing its nuclear policy formulation process with the MRE Under Secretary for Political Affairs playing a coordinating role. Samore's meeting at the MOD confirmed that protecting Brazil's enrichment program from greater oversight will remain a component of Brazilian policy. All GOB agencies, however, welcomed the opportunity for further dialogue with USG counterparts.
3. (C) Samore raised North Korea with Ministry for External Relations Under Secretary Roberto Jaguaribe who pointed out that working with the North Koreans was often difficult because they always stick to their script. Jaguaribe said he believed the six party talks were the only way to proceed, but urged the USG to also seek increased bilateral dialogue with the DPRK. Samore,s statement that he did not see much short term prospect for North Korea curtailing its nuclear program led to a lengthy discourse from Jaguaribe on the inefficacy of sanctions and the importance of dialogue, particularly via the six party process as this would bring the United States, Russia and China together.
4. (C) Samore encouraged Brazil to use its relatively good relations with Iran to encourage a constructive approach to the international community. Despite offers of dialogue from Washington, Iran had not responded and had not halted enrichment activities. If Iran does not respond soon, the U.S. will have no choice but to turn to sanctions. Foreign Minister Celso Amorim urged engagement with Iran and placing Iran,s nuclear ambitions in the context of the larger Middle East situation. He recommended that a way should be found not to make Iran give up its enrichment activities, but to avoid enriched uranium being used for weapons. Jaguaribe said that Brazil had advised the Iranian government to respond to President Obama,s proposals constructively and believed that Iran,s internal problems might lead to a more constructive approach to the international community. At the same time, both Amorim and Jaguaribe raised Israel,s nuclear program as a primary reason for Iranian behavior. Presidential Advisor Marco Aurelio Garcia went further, citing Israeli disarmament as a precondition for addressing Iranian proliferation. Garcia offered Brazilian assistance in promoting dialogue with both Iran and North Korea, but he would not commit to urging Iran to suspend enrichment activity to allow time for dialogue on the issue.
5. (C) Samore cited the adoption of an Additional Protocol to the NPT as an area in which Brazil can add to its leadership role in the area of nonproliferation. He pointed out that many countries, including the United States, had concerns about protecting proprietary technology and had been able to work out arrangements with the IAEA that allowed them to sign APs. MRE Director for Sensitive Technologies Santiago Mourao said that of the resistance in Brazil to an AP has come from the MOD, which supervises Brazilian enrichment operations run by the Brazilian navy as part of its nuclear propulsion program. MOD Chief of Staff Murilo Barbosa argued that an AP for Brazil was not necessary, because Brazil already belonged to other nonproliferation regimes and maintained that Brazil,s defense strategy (which he helped write) prevented further discussion. Barbosa also pointed out, as evidence of why an AP is not needed, that Brazil (because of navy ownership of enrichment) is the only NNWS with a military facility under safeguards. During Samore,s visit to Rio de Janeiro, Nuclear Energy Commission President Goncalves said that his organization had prepared &technical documents8 on the AP but declined to discuss them absent a political decision to consider an AP. Mourao stated that steps toward NWS disarmament would be a precondition for Brazil to consider an AP. Garcia was slightly more positive on this point when he told Samore that the Administration,s new openness to disarmament would be helpful. &I think we can reach a solution,8 he said. Defense Minister Jobim did not evince such optimism but agreed that there was scope for work on possible technical solutions to Brazil,s concerns. As a follow up to the discussions, Brazilian officials agreed to host a visit by U.S. experts to discuss the Additional Protocol.
Other Issues: NPT RevCon, Nuclear Safety, PSI, Fuel Bank, Nuclear Suppliers Group
6. (C) In each of Samore,s meetings, the Brazilian side praised President Obama,s Prague speech as opening
the way to a more successful NPT revcon in 2010. Amorim expressed interest in discussing the revcon agenda with the P5 and urged greater consultations with the NNWS. Similarly, Amorim and Under Secretary for Political Affairs Machado pushed for an increased Brazilian role in FMCT negotiations and supported U.S.-Brazil bilateral consultations on disarmament (without mentioning nonproliferation). Brazilian responses to the proposed Nuclear Security Summit were positive, though non-committal. Institutional Security Director Felix reacted positively to future discussions on critical infrastructure protection, a new responsibility of his office. Similarly, Machado expressed interest in learning more about the PSI and agreed to U.S. proposal for expert talks on PSI, but gave no indication that Brazil was prepared to join PSI. The Brazilian side indicated it would join consensus in support of IAEA Director General El Baradei,s proposal for a nuclear fuel bank but expressed reservations about discouraging enrichment that could affect Brazil,s nuclear industry. The Brazilian side also said they could &work with8 the proposed Australian language for the Nuclear Supplier Group guidelines for transfers of ENR.
7. (C) COMMENT. Post regards the Samore visit as producing opportunities for further dialogue on nonproliferation issues. Samore's Brazilian contacts expressed themselves to be open to further discussions and were pleased to be approached as an important partner on global issues. That said, it is clear that Brazil's positions will not change in the short term. Brazil will still champion the NNWS and highlight disarmament over proliferation and will prefer to cite Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy rather than focus on the dangers of proliferation in the Middle East. While further dialogue may not produce rapid improvments in these positions, it will be key for developing a long-term relationship in which Brazil becomes a more important global stability partner.
8. (U) This cable has been cleared by WMD Coordinator Samore. KUBISKE