U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement in response to a State Department report on Iranian activities in the Western Hemisphere. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"We should not underestimate the Iranian influence and presence in the Western Hemisphere. We cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that many individuals have been sanctioned, indicted, and prosecuted due to their involvement with the Iranian regime, or its proxy Hezbollah, in this region of the world.
"We know that terrorist cells are working throughout the Hemisphere to fundraise and finance their illicit and nefarious activities. The AMIA bombing conducted by Hezbollah in 1994 serves as a somber reminder of the threat the Iranian regime poses to our allies in the region and our own national security, and the regime openly touted this connection when Supreme Leader Khamenei selected two individuals intimately connected with the bombing as final candidates in this month's presidential elections.
"Whether it's the foiled plot by an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps member to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador on U.S. soil, or the DEA-led investigations into the Lebanese Canadian Bank money laundering scheme to finance terrorism using drug money, or Operation Titan which helped to dismantle Hezbollah activities in South America, it is clear that the Iranian regime is supporting operatives in the region. We must remain vigilant and do whatever is in our means to counter this growing threat."