Brazil's president says Iran should not be "pushed against a wall" by the international community for its controversial nuclear program.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made the comments just hours before a scheduled meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday.

Clinton is expected to push for Brazilian support for new United Nations sanctions against Iran.

Silva reiterated his nation's position that Brazil believes it is better to negotiate with Iran because sanctions could anger Iranian officials.

Silva also says he wants Iran to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes — as Brazil says it does.