Statement by Congressman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen on H.R. 3783

March 7, 2012

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • Iran

(WASHINGTON) - U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today held a Committee meeting to consider legislation calling on the State Department to develop a strategy to counter Iran's increasing presence in the Western Hemisphere. The 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). Ros-Lehtinen made the following statement in support of the bill:

"H.R. 3783 seeks to promote U.S. security interests in the Western Hemisphere, while protecting U.S. citizens here at home. Over the past years, we have witnessed the Iranian regime expand diplomatic and economic ties with rogue regimes in our Hemisphere. 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.

"Just yesterday, SOUTHCOM Commander General Fraser testified regarding the Iranian threat in the Hemisphere that 'connections with Hezbollah and Hamas who have been in the region for a number of years primarily still focused on supporting, conducting illicit activity to provide funding support and logistic support back to parent organizations within the Middle East.'

"The failed plot to assassinate a Saudi ambassador on U.S. soil and the U.S.-led investigation into the Lebanese Canadian Bank illustrate the potential links between Iran and Hezbollah with drug trafficking organizations in the Hemisphere. This legislation requires 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."