In an interview with one of the handful of serious newspapers that every informed person should read, Brazil’s Foreign Minister Celso Amorim told the (paywall-protected) Financial Times that Brazil would no longer seek a lead role in the diplomatic dispute between Iran and the United States. “We got our fingers burned,” Amorim told the FT. The Daily News, an English-language Turkish newspaper published by the Hurriyet group, tried to cast doubt on the story, saying that there were ‘conflicting’ reports about the Brazilian position. As the smoke cleared this morning, however, both the AP and Reuters confirmed the FT account.
Brazil’s defection from the ‘axis of fixers‘ leaves Turkey in an uncomfortable place. Limited Israeli concessions on the Gaza blockade have won praise from both the US and Tony Blair without bringing the blockade, including the naval blockade, to an end. The Security Council sanctions against Iran sailed through despite Turkish opposition and, led by the US Treasury Department and the Congress, it is likely that in both the US and the EU new, tougher sanctions will build on what the Security Council laid down.