US general blasts potential Brazil ethanol sale to Iran - VIDEO

15 June 2010 06:46  [Source: ICIS news]

ST. LOUIS, Missouri (ICIS news)--Retired US general Wesley Clark on Monday blasted talk that Brazil may ship ethanol to Iran, saying such a potential sale would demonstrate how important it is that US does not become reliant on Brazil for imports of the biofuel (see video below).

“Why do we want trade dependence on foreign oil to dependence on foreign ethanol?" Clark said on the sidelines of the annual Fuel Ethanol Workshop in St. Louis, Missouri.

"In both cases you take American dollars and ship countries that not always see eye-to-eye with the US,” he said.

Clark earlier said in a speech that the US need for oil imports was behind the US role in the war in Afghanistan, a conflict that he noted has now passed Vietnam as the longest war in US history.

The retired general and one-time US presidential candidate has become a high-profile advocate of ethanol, co-chairing US ethanol lobbying Growth Energy since January 2009.

Talk that Brazil could ship ethanol to Iran surfaced over the weekend in a Brazilian daily newspaper, which quoted a government official as saying the country would export ethanol to whichever countries it deemed fit to do so.

Exports to Iran would not violate UN sanctions and Brazil's priority was to open new markets, the official said, according to the O Estado de S. Paulo.

However, the same article quoted a Brazilian sugarcane industry official as saying local ethanol makers had no desire to enter the Iranian market, due to the possible consequences that closer ties with Iran would have for the industry's relations with the US.

Brazil is the world's top ethanol exporter, while the US is the largest consumer of the biofuel.

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By: William Lemos
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