Brazil’s new government has allowed two US-sanctioned Iranian warships to dock in the port of Rio de Janeiro. The first crisis Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had recently returned to power and was increasingly suspicious of White House alliances. The US government has gone so far as to describe the concession granted to the Iranians as “deplorable” and a “shot in the foot” for Lula. Now he is preparing a trip to Beijing at a point of maximum tension between the Chinese dictatorship and Washington.
Despite the apparent rapprochement between Lula and Biden during the Brazilian’s visit to Washington last month, Disagreements They accumulate. The first problem was actually Lula’s reluctance to categorically condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and his insistence that he could broker a peace plan. Ukrainians refuse to hear about such a plan until Russia withdraws from the sovereign territory it occupied for a year.
Lula’s decision comes after both the Ukrainian government and NATO allies condemned Russia’s use of Iranian drones, which act as basic missiles with high casualties. Iran has supplied hundreds of such drones to Russia for use against Ukrainian power grids and energy facilities. Those drone strikes, along with Russian missiles, have left thousands of Ukrainian citizens without heat, electricity or running water during the winter.
Two Iranian warships, the Dena and the logistical support ship Makran, were docked in the port of Rio de Janeiro between February 26 and March 4. In fact they previously asked to stop, but as Brazilian media revealed, the White House delayed the approval because he didn’t want the ships to be in Brazilian waters.
Republicans on Capitol Hill later revealed that one of the ships was involved in an attempt by Macron to sell arms to Venezuela, which was ultimately thwarted. According to Conservative Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, “Iran has long sought to advance further in the region, and President Biden should urge President Lula da Silva to reject further attacks by those ships.”
Last Saturday, at the Republican National Convention in Washington, former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said that “those Iranian ships will not be a problem” if he remains in power. Bolsonaro has left Brazil before the end of his term and is temporarily living as a tourist in Orlando, although he plans to return to his country this month, his children have announced. Over the weekend he won the support of Donald Trump at that annual convention. During their years in government, the two combined to isolate Chavismo and cut ties with Iran. Trump withdrew the US from the nuclear deal with the Islamic regime, which Lula played a partial role in initiating.
Tehran initially demanded that its warships bound for the Panama Canal stop in Rio in January, Brazilian media reported. After Lula’s trip to Washington was made public, the Iranian regime suggested moving the docks to coincide with the visit. It was a provocation for American diplomacy, and Lula was forced to adjourn. The main Brazilian newspaper, ‘Folha de S. As Palo’ revealed, the White House warned Lula that he was “going to shoot himself in the foot” and threatened to cancel the meeting, a rare occurrence.
Lula is going to China
That same week, the United States publicly called Lula’s decision “regrettable,” an unusual move in American diplomacy. In reports to ‘Folha’, Ricardo Zunica, head of the Brazilian portfolio of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, warned that the Iranian regime “not only acts against its own people”, but also “manifests in actions” its influence beyond its borders. reaction For peace and international security. Zúñiga also said he believes Brazil will defend democracy and human rights against the dictatorships of Nicaragua and Venezuela.
The U.S. publicly called Lula’s decision “regrettable” this week, unusual in U.S. diplomacy.
Lula’s visit to Iran’s Russian ally China comes at a time when tensions between Beijing and Washington are at their peak. It will be on March 28 in principle. According to his government, Lula will seek more Chinese investment in Brazil, and again, his proposal for a peace plan for Ukraine will be circulated in Beijing. As the conflict drags on, China has drawn closer to Russia and even the White House has denounced it as considering sending munitions, given the high costs of an invasion for Putin’s regime.
Taking advantage of its rapprochement with regimes in Venezuela and Cuba, the Iranian regime is slowly expanding its presence in the United States. In recent years, Tehran has sent Venezuela’s military advisors, and in the face of criticism from the US government, offered to sell the country’s crude oil in exchange for gasoline. After a brief trial, they were acquitted.