Tuesday, March 21, 2023

US senator criticizes Brazil over Iran warships, calls for sanctions

US Republican Senator Ted Cruz has blasted Brazil for allowing Iranian warships to dock at a port in Rio de Janeiro. The two warships docked in Brazil over the weekend.

Washington’s efforts to push Brazil not to allow the warships to dock were rebuffed.

“The docking of Iranian warships in Brazil is a dangerous development and a direct threat to the safety and security of Americans,” Cruz said in a statement.

He added the warships were already sanctioned, meaning the Brazilian port where they docked was now at risk of US sanctions.

He also warned that Brazilian and foreign companies that provided the ships with services could be sanctioned.

US President Joe Biden has touted the new Brazilian president as a friend and invited him to visit the White House earlier this year.
Da Silva, a leftist, ousted Javier Bolsonaro, who was seen as close to former US President Donald Trump, in the presidential elections.

“Da Silva himself is a Chavista aligned against the United States and our interests, so either these risks were not conveyed or the Brazilians did not care,” Cruz said of the Iranian warships docking in Brazil.

He called on the Biden administration to impose sanctions and reevaluate US-Brazilian ties.

“If the administration does not, Congress should force them to do so,” Cruz added.

The Brazilian government has permitted a flotilla of Iranian naval ships to berth in Rio de Janeiro in defiance of pressures from the US.

The Iranian Navy’s Makran and Dena warships, which together form the Islamic Republic’s 86th flotilla of military vessels, berthed in Rio on Sunday, the port authority confirmed.

According to Western media outlets, Brazil had initially delayed docking of the ships as the country’s president was flying to Washington to meet with President Biden.

Earlier in February, US Ambassador to Brasilia, Elizabeth Bagley urged Brazil not to allow the ships to dock, saying, “We firmly believe those ships should not dock anywhere.”

However, despite Washington’s calls, the South American country allowed the ships to dock in Rio after the president ended his trip.

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