Israel urges Brazil to expel Iranian warships from Rio de Janeiro port. PHOTO/Reuters
TEL AVIV – Israel criticize the decision Brazil to provide an anchorage for two warship Iran in the face of pressure from the United States (US). Israel is also pressing the government of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to order the ship to leave.
The Iranian warships IRIS Makran and IRIS Dena docked in Rio de Janeiro last weekend. Reuters reported that Brazil had refused to admit them in January, in a gesture of goodwill from Lula when he flew to Washington to meet US President Joe Biden.
Also read: Brazil Allows 2 Iranian Warships to Dock, Ignoring US Anger
Israel and Iran have been locked in a Cold War-style conflict for decades, which includes accusations of joint maritime sabotage, even as Tehran faces mounting global pressure over its nuclear program and regional conduct.
Lior Haiat, a spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, called the Brazilian docking for warships a “dangerous and regrettable development”. He accused the Iranian Navy of cooperating with entities hit by sanctions in Tehran.
“It’s still not too late to order the ship to leave the port,” Haiat said on Twitter, Thursday (2/3/2023).
The ships also caused tension with the United States. In a February 15 news conference, the US Ambassador to Brazil had urged Brazil not to allow the ships to dock.
Also read: Environmental Groups Outraged After Brazilian Aircraft Carrier Sinks in Atlantic
On Wednesday, Senator Ted Cruz called for sanctions against the South American country following the docking. He called it a “direct threat to the safety and security of the American people.”
“The Biden administration is obligated to impose relevant sanctions, re-evaluate Brazil’s cooperation with US counterterrorism efforts, and re-examine whether Brazil maintains effective counterterrorism measures in its ports,” Republican Cruz said in a statement.
A February 23 notice in a Brazilian newspaper said the warship had been given permission to dock between February 26 and March 4.
Diplomacy with Iran was one of the highlights of Lula’s efforts to boost Brazil’s international standing during his previous presidency. He went to Tehran to meet President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2010 as he was trying to broker a nuclear deal between Iran and the United States.
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