Duncan Holds Hearing on Iranian Threat to the Homeland

Jul 9, 2013 Issues: Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC), Chairman of the Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee, held a hearing entitled, “Threat to the Homeland: Iran’s Extending Influence in the Western Hemisphere.”

Today’s hearing follows the release of a June State Department report, required by legislation Congressman Duncan authored last Congress, which became Public Law 112-220.  The unclassified summary of the report found that “Iranian influence in Latin America and the Caribbean is waning.”  This finding neglected to include the input of American allies in the region and disregarded the recent investigation from the General Prosecutor of the AMIA Case, Mr. Alberto Nisman, which found that Iran has established terror networks throughout the hemisphere for the strategic long-term.

“Nisman’s investigation revealed that not only was Iran behind the 1994 AMIA bombings in Argentina, Iran was the mastermind of an attempted attack in 2007 to blow up JFK airport in New York,” said Duncan. “Despite supposedly seeking justice with its ‘Truth Commission,’ Argentina’s decision to disallow Nisman from sharing his findings with U.S. Members of Congress speaks volumes.  Argentina will not gain long-term from deepening ties with Iran.”

“Experts testified today of Iran’s steady patience in building networks within the Western Hemisphere, pointing to Iran’s ability to penetrate countries through mosques, embassies, cultural centers, recruit over a thousand students in Latin America to travel to Iran for training, obtain fraudulent passport documentation, cooperate closely with drug cartels and criminal networks in the region, and exploit free trade zones and loose border security measures.”

“Although Iran has publicly stated that ‘the promotion of all-out cooperation with Latin American countries is one of its ‘top priorities,’ and ‘among the definite and strategic policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran,’ this Administration refuses to see Iranian presence in the Western Hemisphere as a threat to U.S. security.”

“We cannot reject the notion that Iran may be planning more attacks in this hemisphere within U.S. borders in the near future.  We cannot continue to downplay the threat from Iranians seeking to exploit loopholes in loose border security measures.  We need leadership, a stronger U.S. border security plan, and closer ties to our neighbors because we all face repercussions if Iran should mobilize its operatives around the region.”

You can view the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIIwqiY9pT4

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Background on this topic can be found HERE & HERE