Two Iranian warships are in the port of Rio de Janeiro. The government of the socialist Lula da Silva gave them permission to dock on its coast. President Biden has not said anything about it, although he recently met with the Brazilian president. However, voices such as that of Senator Ted Cruz warn about the grave danger of allowing this type of Iranian presence in Latin America.
“The docking of Iranian warships in Brazil is a dangerous development and a direct threat to the safety and security of Americans(...) These Iranian warships are already sanctioned, and so the port in Rio de Janeiro where they docked is now at risk of crippling sanctions, as are any Brazilian companies that provided them services or accepted payments", Cruz said today after it became known that the warships were already in Brazilian port.
Makran and Dena are the names of the two warships now in Brazilian territory. The Makran is the largest of the entire Iranian navy and the fact that they are now in Brazilian territory is a historic event for the Iranians, Iran never had the capacity to travel so far. It also appears that the Iranian regime's plans are to move the ships from Brazil to the Panama Canal, which is a vital passage for all of Latin America and so important that it connects 6% of the world's trade.
Earlier this year, the commander of Iran's navy expressed: "We have been present in all the strategic straits of the world (...) In one of which we will be present this year and we plan to be present in the Panama Canal".
On the absent actions of President Biden regarding this historic event Senator Cruz was also blunt: "President Biden calls Brazilian President da Silva his friend and said he was honored to host him at the White House, and 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. Nevertheless, our anti-terrorism laws are designed to protect Americans and are not optional."
Regarding the level of threat posed by the presence of these ships in Latin America, counterterrorism expert and executive director of the Center for a Secure Free Society, Joseph Humire, told Americano Media:
"Iran's warships berthing in Brazil is the evolution of Iran's strategic penetration of South America. It began decades ago with erecting intelligence and terrorist networks in Latin America under the guise of cultural exchange. That turned into greater diplomatic and economic outreach at the turn of the century almost doubling its embassies in Latin America from six to eleven in less than six years (2004-2010). And now that South America has shifted to the radical Left, Iran is capitalizing by sending Naval warships to begin destabilizing the maritime borders of the region."
Senator Cruz also urged the current administration to impose sanctions in the wake of this development, "The Biden administration is obligated to impose relevant sanctions, reevaluate Brazil’s cooperation with U.S. antiterrorism efforts, and reexamine whether Brazil is maintaining effective antiterrorism measures at its ports. If the administration does not, Congress should force them to do so."
Deputy Editor in Chief. Economista. Podcaster. Analista política.