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Remarks by President Bush and President Lula of Brazil (Part 2 of 2)

Contact: White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 202-456-2580


CAMP DAVID, Mar. 31 /Standard Newswire/ -- The following text is of remarks by President Bush and President Lula of Brazil in a press availability:


(Continued from Part 1 of 2)


So I believe that all of us will reach an agreement that it's necessary and very much so the responsibility and liability in the discussions on climate issues than we have had up until today.  The evil is facing us -- and we see the evil and we feel the evil, but there's no way that we can turn our back to that.


Q    The American government last week manifested a lot of concern with the investments of some foreign companies in the oil industry in Iran.  And this week, the American Ambassador in Brazil made it very clear that this concern also extends to Petrobus investments, that Petrobus considers strategic.  So I'd like to ask President Lula if in his assessment, Petrobus should continue to make businesses with Iran, or should get away from Iran, like the United States would like us all to do?


So, and I would like to ask President Bush, why does the United States want Petrobus to be out of Iran if the country has fulfilled all its sanctions that was passed by the U.N.?


PRESIDENT LULA:  Well, I am convinced that Petrobus will continue to invest in oil prospecting in IranIran has been an important trade partner for Brazil.  They buy from us more than $1 billion, and they almost sell anything to us.  So I'm an advocate that trade, fair trade is the trade that you buy and sell -- you sell and buy.  You can't just sell. 


And then there's also political issues in each country.  Each country faces their own domestic issues.  But up until now, Iran has not been a victim of any sanction that was proposed by the U.N.  I know that there's political divergence on this between Iran and other countries, but with Brazil, we have no political divergence with them, so we will continue to work together with Iran on what is of the interest of Brazil.  I don't see any major issue to do it in a different way.


PRESIDENT BUSH:  Every nation makes the decisions that they think is best in their interest.  Brazil is a sovereign nation; he just articulated a sovereign decision.  And as you mentioned, the trade that you were discussing was not in violation of any U.N. -- in any U.N. mandate. 


Our position is that we would hope that nations would be very careful in dealing with Iran, particularly since Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon, and a major threat to world peace is if the Iranians had a nuclear weapon.  And that is why there are sanctions imposed at the United Nations as a result of collaboration between the United States, EU, China and Russia, to make it clear to the Iranian regime that there is a better way forward other than isolation.


We have no problems with the Iranian people.  As a matter of fact, the United States highly respects the people of Iran.  We respect the history of Iran, we respect the rich traditions of Iran.  We, however, are deeply concerned about an Iranian government that is in violation of international accords in their attempt to develop a nuclear weapon.  And therefore, whatever comments you hear reflect that concern.  And we will continue to work with the international community to say that it is in the world's interest that Iran not develop a weapon.  It is in the interest of peace that they not develop a weapon. 


And I'm hopeful that the people of Iran will be tired of the isolation.  I would hope that there would be some rationality amongst their leaders in choosing a better way forward for the people.  They're depriving their people of a lot of opportunity.


Now, having said that, the United States does believe that it's in our interest that we have people-to-people exchanges.  As I say, we have no problem with the Iranian people.  As a matter of fact, we just sent a wrestling team to Iran, all attempting to make it clear to the Iranian people that we're interested in having a constructive relationship, and it is the decisions of their government that are preventing that from happening.


Thank you.