by Benjamin Weinthal
The United States is tracking warlike announcements by Iran’s regime that it deployed two military ships to Brazil that are also headed for the Panama Canal, where Tehran declared it will establish a military presence.
A U.S. State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital on Tuesday, “We are aware of these claims by Iran’s navy. We continue to monitor Iran’s attempts to have a military presence in the Western Hemisphere.”
The Iranian regime-controlled news outlet Tehran Times reported Saturday that “Iran’s 86th flotilla warships is now sailing along the western shores of Latin America, the Navy second-in-command said.”
Fox News Digital learned on Tuesday from a Western security source that Iranian warships have not yet docked in Brazil.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told Fox News Digital in a statement that “Iran’s growing presence in the Western Hemisphere should come as no surprise as the Biden Administration has a history of appeasement and engaging with authoritarian regimes. Tehran’s ability to expand its military presence in our hemisphere should be a warning sign, especially as it seeks to support the left-wing Marxist regimes that will undermine peace and stability throughout the region.”
Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., told Fox News Digital, “Iran has been aggressively strengthening its ties to the Western Hemisphere through like-minded socialist regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. They are also looking for opportunities elsewhere, and it’s no coincidence that Iranian ships are docking in Brazil just a month after a socialist retook power in the country.”