Exclusive: Lula postpones Brazil’s docking of Iranian warships due to pressure from the US

By Gabriel Stargardter; Edited by News Gate Team

Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends a breakfast with journalists at Planalto Palace in Brasilia January 12, 2023. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

Reuters, Feb. 9, Rio de Janeiro – When Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was organizing his trip to Washington to meet with American President Joe Biden, Brazil capitulated to American pressure and rejected an Iranian request for two of its warships to dock in Rio de Janeiro, sources stated.

After deteriorating under Jair Bolsonaro, Lula’s far-right predecessor, Brazil made a move toward better ties with the Biden administration. The action was taken despite Lula’s long-standing support for a neutral foreign policy and opposition to American sanctions against Tehran.

According to a notice in the official government gazette, Brazil authorized the IRIS Makran & IRIS Dena ships to dock in Rio’s port from January 23–30 on January 13.

The ships are now permitted to port between February 26 and March 3, according to a statement from Brazil’s foreign ministry.

Before Lula’s meeting with Biden on Friday, a U.S. official with intimate knowledge of the situation indicated that the possibility of Iranian warships in Rio “was something unpleasant we wanted to avoid.”

The person said, adding that it was excellent news that the dates would no longer overlap, “There were a lot of behind-the-scenes conversations about this at many different levels.”

A military source in Brazil confirmed that the Iranian ships were not allowed to dock when the federal government, acting through the foreign ministry, changed the dates.

Under the condition of anonymity, the insider stated, “It’s true that the government had a veto.” “During this time, the Iranian ships could not arrive.”

According to a representative for Brazil’s foreign ministry, asserting that Washington had put pressure on the country was a “false assumption.”

The timeline was changed to February 26–March 3 because of the ships that weren’t expected to arrive between January 23–30, according to the spokeswoman. “No connection to the US.”

An inquiry for comments was not immediately answered by the US State Department.

One of Lula’s initiatives to improve Brazil’s worldwide position during his first term as president was diplomacy with Iran.

He went to Tehran to meet with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2010, hoping to mediate a nuclear agreement between Iran and the US.

Because Brazil is neutral in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and favors diplomacy to bring about peace, Lula has refrained from taking a position in response to U.S. sanctions against Iran.

By Gabriel Stargardter; Edited by News Gate Team

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