‘Dangerous and Regretful’: US, Israel Concerned Over Iranian Warships in Brazil

The two Iranian warships recently authorized by Brazil’s government to dock in Rio de Janeiro have sparked concern among Israel and the United States.

Brazil’s government, which is now under the leadership of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, authorized the two Iranian naval ships—the Iris Dena and Iris Makran—to dock in January.

Both of the ships are part of the Iranian Navy, which works closely and synchronizes its actions with the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps fleet) Navy, which has been designated a terror entity by the United States.

In February, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated both ships for sanctions.

However, Brazil is allowing the warships to stay until Saturday, and on Thursday one ship was spotted offshore Rio’s world-famous south zone of beaches, while the other was docked downtown.

Following the sighting of the warships on Thursday, the spokesperson of Israel’s foreign relations ministry, Lior Haiat, said on Twitter that Israel sees the docking of the ships as a “dangerous and regretful development.”

Iran Regime a ‘Terror Entity’

“Brazil should not grant any prize to a malign state, responsible for numerous violations of Human Rights against its own citizens, executing terror attacks all over the world,” Haiat continued. “And proliferating weaponry to terrorist organizations all over the Middle East. The Iranian regime has executed dozens of terror attacks against ships, putting in danger the maritime freedom of navigation. Two of the attacks occurred in recent weeks.”

Haiat described Iran as a terror entity.

“It is still not too late to order the ships to leave the port,” Haiat added.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a press conference on Wednesday that Washington wanted to make sure that the IRGC, and Iran more broadly, are not able get a foothold in the Western Hemisphere.

“It is certainly not the case that the Brazilian Government or the Brazilian people would want to do anything that would in turn assist, that would aid a government, a regime that is responsible for a brutal crackdown and violent repression against its own people,” Price said.

Brazilian authorities have not commented on the statements from the United States or Israel.

Israel Bolstering Nuclear Program

In February, Mojtaba Babaei, a spokesperson for the Iran mission at the United Nations, told Fox News Digital that Iran’s presence in international waters is “in accordance with international laws and to gain knowledge, experience and increase capabilities, not against any country.”

The arrival of the warships in Brazil comes after Iran’s navy commander, Rear Admiral Shahram Irani, announced in January that Tehran plans to extend its area of operation to the Panama Canal that divides South and North America, citing a “geopolitical advantage.”

Washington had previously said it was monitoring the possible attempt by Iran to establish a military presence in the Western Hemisphere.

Their arrival also comes as both Washington’s and Israel’s relations with Iran have become increasingly strained amid reports that Tehran is continuing to bolster its nuclear program and enrich uranium close to weapons-grade levels.

In November, Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, the head of Israeli military intelligence, warned that Iran is moving closer to reaching 90-percent-enriched uranium, and in February, the U.N. nuclear watchdog—the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)—said it was in communication with Tehran after inspectors found particles with a purity of higher than 60 percent in Tehran.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, downplayed the alleged findings in a statement at the time.

“The existence of a uranium particle or particles with a purity of over 60 percent in the enrichment process does not mean that there has been enrichment over 60 percent,” he said.

From The Epoch Times

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