US concerned over Iranian warships in Rio De Janeiro
Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols described Brazil's decision to permit Iranian warships in Rio as "deeply disappointing".
The United States expressed concern over Brazil's decision to permit two Iranian warships to dock in Rio de Janeiro last month describing it as "deeply disappointing", Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols said in a congress during a hearing on Wednesday.
"The sovereign decision of Brazil to allow the Makran and the Dena to dock in February and their subsequent departure on March 4 is deeply disappointing," Nichols told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
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Nichols added that "[Iranian warships] have no place in our hemisphere" and the State Department has liaised with the western hemisphere governments in this regard.
When Senator James Risch brought up the ineffectiveness of sanctions, Nichols's only comment was that the State Department would continue discussions with Brazil and other governments of the hemisphere to discuss the prospect of responding to Iran.
Two Iranian warships had docked in Rio de Janeiro on February 27th, after President Lula had returned from a trip to Washington.
In early March, Ted Cruz said that allowing Iranian warships to dock in Brazil "is a dangerous development and a direct threat to the safety and security of Americans."
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Under the Lula government, tables have been turned whereby Brazil is attempting to bolster its ties with Iranian officials, despite repeated calls from US officials to tow the same anti-Iranian lines as the US and its allies.
Back in January, Iran had started working up its naval presence in the Panama Canel after cementing ties with Venezuela
Iranian ships have docked in Venezuela more regularly as Iran frequently delivers fuel to Venezuela and often helps it sell its oil abroad since Iran possesses the necessary refineries to turn crude oil into high-value consumer products such as gas.
Read more: Iran to establish military presence in Panama Canal