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US sends envoys to Brazil to discuss Iran’s influence, Tehran reacts

US sends envoys to Brazil to discuss Iran’s influence, Tehran reacts

The presence of the US government ambassador in Brazil to discuss sanctions and Iran’s activities in the region with officials from the Luis Inacio Lula da Silva government has angered Tehran. Iranian diplomats expressed their discomfort with the visit of the representative of the State Department, Abram Paley, to the country this Friday, the 21st, and questioned the objectives of their meetings in Brasilia.

The Deputy Special Envoy for Iran, Abram Paley, was an adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris on the Middle East. He is a career diplomat with extensive prior experience in the field, having served in embassies in Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Iraq, and as the Yemen director on the National Security Council.

In a discreet trip, he was in Brasilia this week and maintained contacts with federal officials. The special envoy’s visit to Brasilia was announced on Tuesday, the 18th, which surprised Iranian officials in that country and prompted complaints against a possible increase in sanctions and trade restrictions.

“I just returned from Brazil, where I had constructive meetings with officials about our concerns about Iran’s destabilizing activities and its proxies in the region, economic sanctions, counter-terrorism cooperation and our shared non-proliferation goals,” he said. Diplomat, in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Carlos Duarte, Secretary of Africa and the Middle East, told Itamaraty Estadão that he met with the Biden government envoy on Monday, the 17th, and that he was invited to discuss the situation in the Middle East. The US embassy declined to release further information on the matter.

Tehran’s senior representative in Brazil characterized the US visit as an example of Washington’s “maximum pressure” policy and “barbaric behavior” against the Iranian people, with political motives. He linked the presence of government ambassador Joe Biden to efforts to limit bilateral cooperation and trade between Brazil and Iran: “Why are they trying to reduce Brazilian exports – meat and grain – to Iran”?

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During the Lula government, there were signs of reconciliation at the highest political level, including a presidential dialogue between Brazil and Iran. forums. Brazil failed to vote at the United Nations in favor of an investigation against Tehran for violating women’s rights.

After the historic airstrikes with drones and missiles against Israel, the Brazilian government did not condemn the unprecedented bombing – it issued an official statement that only President Mauro Vieira would do after demands and negative consequences.


Last year, the U.S. government unsuccessfully appealed to Lula’s government to prevent two Iranian warships from anchoring in the Brazilian coastal waters. Iran has denied the allegation.

On that occasion, the Navy approved the ships’ docking at the port of Rio, and military and diplomatic officials from Brazil and Iran boarded Iranian ships to celebrate 120 years of ties. Itamaraty and the Palácio do Planalto ignored pressure from the North American Embassy.

During Jair Bolsonaro’s government, Iran had to appeal to the Federal Supreme Court to get approval to refuel US-sanctioned ships bringing urea and returning to the country with loads of corn.

Despite the restrictions, bilateral trade between Brazil and Iran has grown in recent years and reached US$4.4 billion last year. Iranians cite even higher figures, due to the indirect flow of products that first pass through other countries to avoid sanctions. Ingredients like corn, soy, beef and chicken, and sugar are the basics. Brazil has been in surplus for the last 20 years.

However, sanctions still limit the expansion of trade and cause problems for Iran, for example, unable to open a million-dollar purchase of Embraer jets. Iran faces difficulties in replacing the air force that operates domestic commercial flights and problems in carrying out aircraft maintenance.

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Last month, the country’s then-President Ibrahim Raisi and then-Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdullahian were killed in a helicopter crash in bad weather.

The tragedy is still under investigation, but the country’s authorities have already admitted a technical error. Elections were announced for the following Friday, June 28, under the orders of the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.