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Cablegate: Brazil: Demarche Response On Iran Universal Periodic Review

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DE RUEHBR #0029 0281957
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R 281957Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0364
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0009
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO

C O N F I D E N T I A L BRASILIA 000029

SIPDIS
AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PASS TO AMCONSUL RECIFE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/01/28
TAGS: IR PHUM PREL
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: DEMARCHE RESPONSE ON IRAN UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW
SESSION

REF: 10 STATE 7242; BRASILIA 9

CLASSIFIED BY: Lisa Kubiske, Charge d'Affaires; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1. (C) The Human Rights Department at the Brazilian Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (MRE) responded favorably to the approach outlined
in reftel A of using Iran's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in the
Human Rights Council (HRC) to pressure Iran on its human rights
performance. MRE Department Deputy Director Nathanael Souza told
poloff that Brazil supports using the forum to urge Iran to fulfill
UN commitments, including the need to finalize the visits from the
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special
Rapporteur for Torture. He described the HRC as a place in which
countries could "be more honest," asking tough questions without
feeling the pressure to vote on specific resolutions.

2. (C) Souza asked if we planned to press Iran in the UPR on
repression of the Baha'i. Poloff encouraged Brazil to question
Iran about the Baha'i during the forum, emphasizing U.S. support
but also suggesting that Brazil could be out in front on the
specific issue of advocating for the Baha'i. Souza told us that
President Lula's Worker's Party (PT) has been and will continue
pushing MRE to raise treatment of the Baha'i with Iran because
several PT politicians and high-ranking party members are Baha'i
converts. Earlier this month, MRE Undersecretary for Political
Affairs Vera Machado met with the Iranian Ambassador in Brazil to
press him on the Baha'i and received a less-than-satisfactory
answer (see ref B).

3. (C) MRE Undersecretary Machado is scheduled to be in Geneva
during the dates mentioned in ref A for NEA Deputy Assistant
Secretary Limbert's visit. Souza expressed interest in scheduling
a meeting in Geneva between senior U.S. and Brazilian officials
working on Iran-related issues, but was not in a position to
comment further. President Lula, who received Iranian President
Ahmadinejad in November, is tentatively scheduled to visit Iran
during the first half of 2010.

4. (C) Comment: Neither past statements in support of the UPR nor
the favorable response by Itamaraty to this demarche should be seen
as presaging hard-hitting criticism of Iran, even if Brazil is
almost certain to raise the Baha'i issue. There is nothing to
suggest that Brazil will move very far off its careful "neutral"
posture vis-C -vis Iran, which the GOB claims is necessary as it
builds rapport with the GOI that will advance Brazil's policy of
continued and intensified engagement with Iran on human rights and
non-proliferation issues. End comment.
KUBISKE

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