BRIC nations to meet under Iran sanctions pressure
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The BRIC nations - Brazil, Russia, India and China - are set to wrestle with international pressure to back sanctions against Iran when they hold the second BRIC summit in Brazil at the end of the week.
The diplomatic issue is expected to be raised at the Friday gathering in the capital Brasilia, along with other matters involving the four countries, which together represent 40 per cent of the world's population and which have emerged as an increasingly influential bloc on emerging economies.
The meeting is sandwiched between a Washington summit early this week on nuclear security, and a looming UN Security Council vote on whether to broaden sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.
The United States, Britain, France and Germany have been urging the BRIC countries to support sanctions against Iran.
Most attention in the lead up to the UN vote, expected within weeks, is likely to be on the UN Security Council members.
Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States are the five permanent council members whose power of veto mean they must support or at least abstain on any resolution to impose sanctions.
Brazil is a temporary UN Security Council member with no veto power, but it is one of Iran's biggest defenders and therefore the focus for lobbying by Washington and other western countries.
Thus far, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has shown no sign of acquiescing, even after a trilateral meeting with US President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday.