(posted March 8, 10:30 a.m.)- U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, yesterday pushed a step further legislation calling on the State Department to develop a strategy to counter Iran’s increasing presence in the Western Hemisphere.
On March 7, the Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously adopted H.R. 3783, the Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act of 2012, authored by U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC).
“Over the past years, we have witnessed the Iranian regime expand diplomatic and economic ties with rogue regimes in our Hemisphere,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “Last January, Iran’s Ahmadinejad completed a four-country ‘Tour of Tyrants’ to Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Ecuador. The aggressive actions undertaken by the IRGC, the Qods force, and Iran’s proxies like Hezbollah have the potential to give Iran the platform that it needs in the region to carry out attacks against our homeland.”
In a separate Committee hearing on March 6, SOUTHCOM Commander General Douglas Fraser testified about the potentially dangerous connections between Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas in the Western Hemisphere.
Said Ros-Lehtinen, “This legislation (would) require the Secretary of State to use existing funds to create a tailored strategy to fight the aggressive activities of Iran and its proxies in the Western Hemisphere, thereby establishing a strong U.S. policy stance and protecting U.S. security interests.”