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Brazil Allows Two Iranian Warships to Dock in Rio Despite U.S. Pressure

Iranian military ship Iris Makran navigates on the coast of Rio de Janeiro as a Brazilian flag flutters in Copacabana Beach, Brazil, February 27, 2023. REUTERS
Iranian military ship Iris Makran navigates on the coast of Rio de Janeiro as a Brazilian flag flutters in Copacabana Beach, Brazil, February 27, 2023. REUTERS

Two Iranian warships docked in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday after Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s government granted permission despite pressure from the United States to bar them.

The IRIS Makran and IRIS Dena warships both arrived on Sunday morning, Rio’s port authority said in a statement.

Reuters earlier this month reported that Brazil had bowed to U.S. pressure and declined Iran’s request for the vessels to dock in Rio in late January, in a gesture from Lula as he flew to Washington to meet U.S. President Joe Biden.

However, with Lula’s trip over, the ships have been allowed to dock. Vice Admiral Carlos Eduardo Horta Arentz, the deputy chief of Brazil’s Naval Staff, gave his approval for the ships to dock in Rio between Feb. 26 and March 4, according to a Feb. 23 notice in the official gazette.

The U.S. Embassy in Brasilia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Brazilian Navy authorizes a foreign vessel to dock in Brazil, but only after authorization from the foreign ministry, which takes into account the requesting embassy’s petition and logistics.

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