The Israeli Foreign Ministry condemned on Thursday the docking of two Iranian warships in Brazil, calling on Brasilia to not grant any “prizes” to Tehran.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Navy’s IRIS Makran forward base ship and IRIS Dena light frigate docked in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday despite pressure from the United States to bar them.
“Israel sees the docking of Iranian warships in Brazil a few days ago as a dangerous and regretful development,” the Foreign Ministry wrote in a statement. “Those ships were specifically designated by the United States only a few weeks ago, and they are part of the Iranian Navy, which works closely and synchronizes its actions with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a designated terrorist entity.”
The ministry noted that the Islamic Republic is a hostile state “responsible for human rights violations against its own citizens, executing terror attacks all over the world and proliferating weaponry to terrorist organizations all over the Middle East.
“This is the time to follow the steps taken by the E.U., U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan and many other countries, and single out the Iranian regime as what it really is: A terror entity. It is still not too late to order the ships to leave the port,” added the statement.
Brazil had reportedly responded to U.S. pressure and declined Iran’s request for the vessels to dock in late January, when Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva traveled to Washington to meet with President Joe Biden.
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 February 26 and March 4, according to Reuters.
In a Feb. 15 press conference, U.S. Ambassador Elizabeth Bagley urged Brazil not to allow the vessels to dock.
“In the past, those ships facilitated illegal trade and terrorist activities, and have also been sanctioned by the United States. Brazil is a sovereign nation, but we firmly believe those ships should not dock anywhere,” she said.