UPDATE 2-Brazil’s Lula warns Iran on nuclear arms

* Lula says will caution Iran against nuclear arms

* Iran shouldn’t be punished before further talks

(Adds detail, background)

SAO PAULO, April 14 (BestGrowthStock) – Brazil’s President Luiz
Inacio Lula da Silva said on Wednesday that he will tell Iran’s
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the Islamic Republic would suffer
the consequences if it seeks nuclear arms.

Lula is due to visit Tehran next month.

“I will go there and talk face-to-face to Ahmadinejad. If
he says he will build (arms), he’ll have to pay the price for
his move,” Lula said at a steel conference in Sao Paulo without
giving details.

Latin America’s largest economy has urged continued
dialogue with Iran even as Western powers push for a new round
of U.N. sanctions over a nuclear program they believe is aimed
at developing nuclear bombs.

Lula said Iran should not be punished before further talks
and that he didn’t want a repeat of what happened in Iraq,
which was accused of having arms of mass destruction “that
nobody showed us.”

The Lula administration said this week it was looking to
finance Brazilian exports to Iran, particularly food supplies.

Lula welcomed his Iranian counterpart to Brazil last year
and will visit Tehran despite growing criticism by Brazilian
opposition parties and Western diplomats over the close ties.

Brazil’s Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said last week that
United Nations sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program
could make the Islamic Republic more radical and cause its
population to revolt. But he denied Brazil was pro-Iran, saying
it simply favored negotiated solutions to global problems.

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(Reporting by Carmen Munari; Writing by Raymond Colitt,
editing by Cynthia Osterman)

UPDATE 2-Brazil’s Lula warns Iran on nuclear arms