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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • January 31, 1977

    Memorandum from Brazilian Foreign Minister Silveira to President Geisel on Jimmy Carter’s “Radical” Nuclear Stance

    Brazilian Minister of State for External Relations, Antonio F. Azeredo da Silveira, comments on the recently elected Carter administration’s nuclear politics. Silveira’s message to President Geisel displays Brazilian frustration over American interference in its nuclear program and relations with Germany.

  • February 25, 1977

    Memorandum from Brazilian Foreign Minister Silveira to President Geisel, US Threats and Promises and Brazilian Responses

    This memo outlines “possible American approaches” and “possible Brazilian reactions” as the US attempts to compel the Brazilians and Germans to cease their nuclear cooperation.

  • March 21, 1977

    Brazilian Embassy Cable, Brazilian Ambassador to Bonn Reports on Soviet Pressure on West Germany

    The Brazilian Ambassador in Bonn reports on a Der Spiegel article, which states, “After the United States, it is now the Soviet Union’s turn to exert pressure for Bonn to revise its controversial atomic agreement with Brazil.” The article shows US-Soviet solidarity against Brazil and Germany’s cooperation in developing nuclear weapons.

  • March 22, 1977

    Letter to Hugo Abreu on a Conversation between Vice-Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Admiral José Calvente Aranda and the Argentine Ambassador Oscar Camilión

    Abreu reports a conversation in which ambassador Camillión revealed President Videla’s desire to visit Brazil, implying that Itaipu was a sensitive issue, but of domestic nature. The Argentine government suggested a joint declaration on nuclear issues to turn away international suspicions on "the production of the bomb."

  • September 07, 1977

    Report, Brazil, 'Official Mission to Washington, DC, While Representing Brazil at the Treaty Signing Ceremonies on the New Agreements Over the Panama Canal'

    Vice-President Adalberto Pereira reports on a meeting with Republican Congressman Paul Findley, who proposed, on a personal basis, the creation of a nuclear mutual surveillance system between Brazil and Argentina, with a view to allaying doubts about a possible arms race. Findley had already presented the proposal to Ambassador Geraldo Holanda Cavalcanti, (aide to Minister Silveira) on the occasion of the visit to Brasília on August 23 1977. According to the agreement he proposed, Brazil and Argentina would renounce the intention to develop a nuclear device and would accept mutual inspections of their respective nuclear facilities.

  • November 30, 1977

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs Information to the President, 'Secretary of State Cyrus Vance's Visit'

    According to a US document left behind by Cyrus Vance, Argentina had agreed to ratify the Treaty of Tlateloco, to accept full scope safeguards and to delay the construction of a reprocessing facility in exchange for US nuclear assistance and Brazil’s acceptance of a moratorium on the construction of a reprocessing facility. Commenting the paper, Foreign Minister Silveira defines US strategy as “irresponsible” and considers it as an encouragement to the rivalry and confrontation between Argentina and Brazil.

  • February 23, 1978

    Memorandum, Foreign Minister Azeredo da Silveira, Information for the President of Brazil, 'Nuclear Issues. Meeting at 13/02/78. Alvorada Palace.'

    Report of a meeting between President Geisel and his top nuclear advisors on the eve of President Carter’s visit to Brazil and Geisel’s trip to West Germany. Issues discussed include: the delay in the construction of the Angra I, II and III nuclear plants; the unreliability of the US and Urenco (mainly due to Dutch reticence) as suppliers of nuclear fuel; the rising costs of the German deal; and the dissatisfaction with the jet nozzle enrichment technology and the possibility of renegotiating with Germany for the purchase of ultracentrifugation technology. Both Foreign Minister Silveira and President Geisel admitted the possibility of acceding to the NPT if necessary to get the technology.

  • January 17, 1979

    Memorandum, Shigeaki Ueki, Brazilian Minister of Energy on Nuclear Energy Cooperation with Iraq

    Minister of Mines and Energy, Shigeaki Ueki, reports to the Secretary-General of the National Security Council, General Gustavo Rego Reis, and to the Foreign Minister, Azeredo da Silveira, the requests made by Iraqi officials in 1978 and the stage of negotiations on the subject. He emphasizes the high value placed by Iraq on the matter and the increased relevance of Iraq as an oil-supplier and recommends that Brazil should satisfy Iraq’s demand.

  • January 30, 1979

    Aviso no. 025/79, Response from Minister Antonio Francisco Azeredo da Silveira and General Gustavo Rego Reis

    In separate replies regarding Iraq's overtures, both Foreign Minister Silveira and Secretary-General of the National Security Council Gustavo Rego Reis suggest that Brazil should not decline explicitly, but avoid making commitments on this issue. General Reis emphasizes Saddam Hussein’s “leftist inclinations” and his ties to the socialist camp and the extensiveness of the proposed agreement. He notes that Brazil had already rejected proposals by Uruguay, Chile and Libya. Silveira merely requested additional time to study the proposal.

  • May 16, 1979

    Cable from Brazilian Embassy in Bonn to Brasilia, 'Nuclear Energy. Hamburg Congress: South African Program'

    Report of a meeting between an official from the Brazilian Embassy in Bonn and the scientific attaché of the South African Embassy on the occasion of a nuclear congress in Hamburg. The South African official informed the Brazilian diplomat about the advancement of the Pretoria nuclear program with regard to uranium enrichment.

  • June 18, 1979

    Notice No. 135/79 from the General Secretariat of the Brazilian National Security Council

    In 1978 the National Security Council identified the most important shortcoming of nuclear cooperation with Germany: the non-transfer of technology for the production of uranium hexafluoride (UF6). The lack of this crucial phase for the production of nuclear fuel led Brazil to decide to develop this method by national means, in view of the unwillingness of France and Great Britain to export said technology without a full scope of safeguards. The document reports how the government decided to create an autonomous nuclear project with regard to cooperation with Germany and free from the international safeguards regime. Coordinated by CNEN and implemented by the Institute of Energy and Nuclear Research (IPEN), this project represented the first phase of the “parallel” nuclear program whose objective was the autonomous mastery of the nuclear cycle.

  • August 20, 1979

    Memorandum DEM/89, Luiz Augosto de Castro Neves, Deputy Chief of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division, 'Brazil-Argentina. Possibilities for Nuclear Cooperation'

    Conversations between Counselor Raul Estrada Oyuela, from the Argentine Embassy in Brasilia, and Luiz Augusto de Castro Neves, Deputy Chief of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division of Itamaraty, on the possibility of nuclear cooperation between Brazil and Argentina.

  • August 23, 1979

    Memorandum, Héctor A. Subiza, Head of the Latin American Department of the Argentinian Foreign Ministry, 'Cooperation with Brazil in the Nuclear Field.'

    In this memo, the Latin American department of the Argentine Foreign Ministry conveys its opinion on the Brazilian interest in including the nuclear issue in the agenda of the Special Brazilian-Argentine Committee on Cooperation (CEBAC), that the issue should be subordinated to the solution of the question of Itaipu.

  • September 19, 1979

    Memoraundum, Minister Saraiva Guerreiro, Information for the President, ''Nuclear Cooperation. Brazil-Iraq'

    In a memo to President Figueiredo, Minister Saraiva Guerreiro advises that Brazil should demonstrate receptivity to Iraq’s proposal but avoid a formal commitment, especially in “sensitive” areas that relate to the Germany-Brazil Agreement. Supply of uranium should be admitted as a possibility if mentioned by the Iraqis. The document emphasizes that the cooperation should be made public and become subject to all international safeguard agreements and regimes.

  • October 29, 1979

    Cable from Brazilian Embassy in Bonn to Brasilia, 'Nuclear energy. South Africa: Uranium Enrichment'

    In October 1979 the scientific attaché of the South African Embassy in Bonn met his Brazilian counterpart in order to propose an exchange of experiences in the nuclear field. The South African diplomat recalled the similarities between the Brazilian and South African enrichment processes and specified that the initiative of a possible cooperation had been taken by the South African Atomic Energy Board and not by the Pretoria Government, because of the cold relations between the two countries. In this cable the Brazilian Ambassador in Western Germany, Jorge Silva, asked for instructions from Minister Saraiva Guerreiro in order to reply to the South Africans.

  • November 05, 1979

    Information from Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs Saraiva Guerreiro to President Figueiredo, 'Nuclear Energy. South Africa'

    The Minister of Foreign Relations, Ramiro Saraiva Guerreiro, asks for instructions from the President of the Republic, João Baptista Figueiredo, in order to reply to a South African proposal of cooperation in the nuclear field.

  • March 23, 1980

    Report from the President of Nuclebrás Paulo Nogueira Batista to Foreign Minister Saraiva Guerreiro, 'Trip to Buenos Aires'

    The document reports that the presidents of CNEN, Hervásio de Carvalho, and Nuclebrás, Paulo Nogueira Batista, had an unplanned meeting with the Argentine Foreign Minister, Pastor, which said “to consider the Brazilian-Argentine understanding [in the nuclear field] a fundamental issue for a inductive strategy of strengthening political and economic stability in the region to the extent that both countries would be in a stronger position to collaborate with their neighbors”.

  • September 30, 1981

    Memorandum of Conversation, Brazilian Foreign Minister Guerreiro and US Secretary of State Haig

    Brazilian Foreign Minister Guerreiro and American Secretary of State Alexander Haig meet in Washington D.C. Haig illustrates a shift in American nuclear policy from that of the Carter administration to a more lenient approach.

  • May 27, 1982

    Memorandum, Minister Saraiva Guerreiro, Information for the President of Brazil, 'Protection to Brazilians. Mendes Junior Workers Detained by Iraqi Authorities'

    Memo to President Figueiredo dealing with the arrest and inadequate treatment applied to three employees of Mendes Jr., a Brazilian company operating in civil construction projects in Iraq, and efforts—mostly frustrated—by Brazilian diplomats to resolve the issue.

  • August 26, 1982

    Memorandum, Information for the President, 'Trade Promotion. Brazil-Iraq. Economic-Commercial Relations'

    Memo to President Figueiredo highlighting the 1,000% increase in Brazil-Iraq bilateral trade between 1971 and 1980, but also points to a non-conducive environment for Brazilian companies in Iraq despite their heroic decision to remain there during the war, unlike other foreign companies. Attached to the document we find a draft of a letter from President Figueiredo to his “great and good friend” Saddam Hussein, in which he is seeking Hussein’s solidarity and understanding the necessity to resolve the issues on the bilateral economic agenda.