Tehran Summons Brazilian Envoy after Bolsonaro’s Remarks on Soleimani

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro delivers a speech during the appointment ceremony of the new heads of public banks, at Planalto Palace in Brasilia on January 7, 2019. - Brazil's Finance Minister Paulo Guedes appionted the new presidents of the country's public banks (Photo by EVARISTO SA / AFP) ORG XMIT: ESA037
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TEHRAN/BRASILIA – The Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned Brazil’s chargé d’affaires in Tehran after President Jair Bolsonaro expressed support for the US assassination of Lieutenant-General Qassem Soleimani.

“We inform you that Brazil’s chargé d’affaires in Tehran, and representatives of other countries that spoke about the events in Baghdad, were summoned by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, within the usual diplomatic practices,” the Brazilian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement said the conversation was calm and cordial, adding that the ministry would not comment on the details of the meeting. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro had expressed support for the United States in the “fight against the scourge of terrorism” following the assassination of General Soleimani in a US drone strike in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Soleimani was killed in a targeted assassination attack by US drones at Baghdad International Airport early on Friday morning. Five Iranian and five Iraqi soldiers were killed by missiles fired by a US drone at Baghdad International Airport.

The airstrike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashad al-Shaabi. The two were killed in an American airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the road to the airport. The attack came amid tensions that started by the US attack on PMF units that killed 28 Iraqi Popular Forces soldiers. A day later, Iraqi people attacked the US embassy in Baghdad.

The targeted assassination attack represents a dramatic escalation by the US toward Iran after months of tensions. The tensions take root in Trump’s decision in May 2018 to withdraw the US from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, struck under his predecessor.

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