senator threatens Brazil with ‘crippling sanctions’


Ted Cruz was furious after Iranian warships docked in Rio de Janeiro over US objections

Washington should punish anyone connected to the visit of two Iranian warships to Brazil, Senator Ted Cruz said Tuesday. “a direct threat to the safety and security of Americans.”

The Iranian naval frigate Dena and the supply ship Makran are on a mission to circumnavigate the world. They arrived in Brazil on Sunday, intending to resupply before continuing to the Panama Canal. The US has previously demanded Brazil not allow them to dock, citing unilateral US sanctions against Tehran.

“These Iranian warships have already been sanctioned, so the Rio de Janeiro port where they docked is now at risk of crippling sanctions, as are all Brazilian companies that have provided services to them or accepted payments – and so are all foreign companies entangled in the port or those Brazilian companies in the future”, Cruz said in a statement.

Insist on US anti-terrorism laws “not optional”, the senator demanded that of President Joe Biden “impose relevant sanctions” and re-evaluate whether Brasilia is working adequately with Washington. “If the government doesn’t, Congress should force them to.”

The Texan Republican sits on the Foreign Relations Committee and is a leading member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Although his party is outnumbered in the Senate, it currently controls the House of Representatives.

Cruz also described Brazilian President Luiz Inacio as Lula da Silva “aligned against the US and our interests”, and said that Biden had not communicated US concerns to him when he received Lula at the White House, “or the Brazilians didn’t care.”

Glenn Greenwald, an American journalist living in Brazil, pointed out that Cruz’s statement illustrates American hypocrisy on the world stage.

“The US officially considers all of South America its own and sees itself as the supreme ruler of the entire region,” Greenwald tweetedadding that this is why Brazil and many other countries “Smile in Biden’s face” when he talks about “the US war in Ukraine” is about defending sovereignty.

“If Ukraine has the right to host all of NATO right on the Russian border, then Brazil can host all the ships it wants.” added Greenwald.

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