Brazil vetoes Iranian warships in Rio during the week of Lula’s visit to the US

Brazil vetoes Iranian warships in Rio during the week of Lula’s visit to the US

The government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) vetoed a request made by Iran for warships from the Persian country to dock in Rio de Janeiro on an official visit in the week in which the PT member is meeting with the leader of the United States, Democrat Joe Biden.

The request was seen by Lula’s assistants as an attempt by Tehran to use Brazil to provoke the US – which motivated the decision not to comply with the request on a date so close to the trip to Washington.

On January 13, Brazil even officially authorized the docking of military vessels Iris Makran and Iris Dena in the port of Rio de Janeiro between the 23rd and 30th of the same month. Although there is strong diplomatic pressure from the United States for Latin American countries to deny this type of permission to the Iranian Navy, Itamaraty adopts the principle of not recognizing unilateral sanctions, only those approved by the UN Security Council (United Nations ).

In that sense, there would be no reason to deny Tehran’s request.

Authorizations are officially given by the Navy, which takes care of logistical issues, but they are only confirmed after negotiations between the respective Ministries of Foreign Affairs. According to Navy sources, the space for the vessels was already designated by the port of Rio.

There, the ships would supply, and the crew would spend a few days in the city. The plan passed on to the Navy involved the stay for a short period, until they proceeded to the Panama Canal, for military exercises. Warships, the Iris Makran has missiles and naval cannons and the Iris Dena, used in the logistical support of combat ships, has the capacity to transport up to five helicopters.

In a note, the Brazilian Navy said that “there was no docking in that period [de 23 a 30 de janeiro]”. Sought after, the Iranian embassy in Brasilia did not comment. People with knowledge of the negotiations privately said that the Iranians made a new official request for the ships to be able to dock in Rio, in a period that comprises the end of February and the beginning of March.

The query was taken to the government for evaluation. A Sheet Itamaraty said that the new date agreed with the Persian country is for the ships to berth from February 26th to March 3rd. According to the chancellery, the justification for the official visit is the celebration of 120 years of diplomatic relations between Brazil and Iran.

However, the Sheet found out that then there was an informal management by Iranian authorities to find out if Brazil would agree to anticipate the passage of ships for this week. An officialization of the request would be made only in case of a positive response. After analysis, Lula’s advisors assessed that the gesture would be a provocation by Iran to the US, designed to coincide with the meeting between Lula and Biden.

Thus, the possibility of granting authorization was ruled out.

Questioned about this informal consultation, Itamaraty did not comment. Lula traveled to Washington this Thursday (9) and will meet Biden late Friday afternoon. Earlier in the day, he has meetings with Senator Bernie Sanders and Democratic Party lawmakers. He also has agendas with members of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations union members.

The voyages of Iranian military ships through Latin America are viewed differently by countries in the region. In December, Uruguay reported that it had denied authorization for a vessel from the Persian country to dock in the port of Montevideo. The transfer was scheduled for the end of February.

The arguments used by the government of Uruguay were solidarity with Argentina, due to the suspected participation of senior Iranian authorities in the attack against Amia (Associação Mutual Israelita Argentina), which took place in Buenos Aires in 1994, and the violence of the regime against women in the country .

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