Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro offered his support to US counterpart Donald Trump on Monday amidst widespread criticism for the killing of a top Iranian commander.
As thousands of mourners in Tehran paid their respects to the slain head of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, and Iran vowed severe revenge, Bolsonaro backed Trump's fight against terrorism.
We don't accept terrorism. If we have a terrorist in Brazil, we would deliver him to justice, Bolsonaro told journalists in Brasilia.
However Bolsonaro's words and the foreign ministry statement supporting Trump and fighting terrorism did not go unnoticed to Iran, which summoned the Brazilian ambassador in Teheran for an explanation of Brazil's position.
The issue is not simple since Iran is one of Brazil's main trade partners in the Middle East. In the absence of the ambassador, on vacation, the chargé d'affairs, a lady, attended the Iranian ministry and apparently the meeting took place in very polite terms.
While many countries called for a de-escalation of tensions in the Middle East, Brazil was one of the few to back Trump over the drone attack.
Bolsonaro also played down the surge in oil prices and a slump in stocks provoked by the rising US-Iran tensions.
I admit that prices have gone up in service stations, he said, but it seems that... the impact hasn't been that great. It seems to be stabilizing.
Populists Trump and Bolsonaro have been allies since assuming power in their respective countries. Bolsonaro has also backed Trump to win a second term in US elections in November.
Trump will be re-elected. Does anyone doubt it? he said. The country is doing very well.
Another thing the two leaders have in common is a distrust of the mainstream media, which is often critical of them. But Bolsonaro, 64, expects to outlast the press.
Those who don't read the newspapers are uninformed and those who read them are misinformed. You have to change that. You're an endangered species, said Bolsonaro, joking that he would have to put journalists under the protection of Brazil's environment institute.