The Brazilian government admitted Monday that its top intelligence agency spied on diplomatic targets from several countries including the United States, the New York Times reported.
The admission came in response to a report published Monday in Folha de Sao Paulo. The Brazilian newspaper revealed that the Brazilian Intelligence Agency, also known as Abin, followed the movements of Russian and Iranian diplomats and monitored a property leased by the U.S. embassy in the country’s capital, according to the Times.
Brazil’s Institutional Security Cabinet said in a statement translated by the Times that the intelligence operations it oversees involve basic surveillance of diplomats within Brazil and are in “absolute compliance” with the law. Intelligence officials also insisted that Abin’s surveillance was conducted in the interest of “national sovereignty,” as translated by the Times.
The revelation of Brazil’s spying on diplomatic targets comes after President Dilma Rousseff and President Barack Obama agreed to postpone a state visit to the White House, scheduled for October, over reports that the National Security Agency monitored Rousseff’s personal communications.