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Why Tehran courts UN members from Brazil to Bosnia on Iran nuclear issue

Facing a US-led push for fresh Iran nuclear sanctions within weeks, Tehran has launched a diplomatic counteroffensive aimed at smaller UN players who will vote on the issue. Brazilian leaders are in Tehran today.

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Iran has pushed its diplomacy into overdrive as it tries to woo members of the United Nations Security Council away from US-led efforts to impose new sanctions within weeks.

From Brazil to Uganda, Bosnia to China, top Iranian officials are on a charm offensive unlike any in recent memory.

Though Iran may not be able to block a new sanctions vote – heavyweight Russia is expected to back further measures, and American officials are convinced that China won’t block them – Iran’s arguments have have raised the question for several nations of nuclear technology and who can have it.

At the same time, Iran is bidding to resurrect talks on a UN-backed nuclear fuel swap deal on offer last October but since stalled.

“The Iranians have to some extent succeeded in recasting the terms of the debate,” says Shannon Kile, a nonproliferation specialist at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden.

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