South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan's bipartisan legislation concerning the Iranian government's activities in the Western Hemisphere cleared a major hurdle Thursday when it passed through the House Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade. The legislation, which currently has 63 cosponsors will now move to the full Committee on Foreign Affairs for further consideration.
"The support of the subcommittee shows that Congress recognizes the seriousness of the threat that Iran poses to Americans here at home and to our allies in the Western Hemisphere," said Duncan.
"The U.S. has vital political, economic, and security interests in this hemisphere, and Iran's penetration into the region represents a threat to the U.S. as well as to the rest of the neighborhood. We've seen evidence of Iranian activity through Hezbollah in countries throughout the hemisphere, including Mexico, Canada, and within the U.S."
"With tensions building between Iran and the United States, we have a responsibility to take steps now to guard against the very real threats that Iran could pose to Americans on U.S. soil. This bill is a necessary first step to redoubling efforts to better understand the extent of Iranian activity in our neighborhood. I believe the U.S. needs to do a better job of engaging with our friends in the region, developing broader cooperation on threats posed to the entire hemisphere, protecting American interests in the region, and securing our borders to ensure Iranian operatives cannot enter our country. It's been thoroughly documented that Iran has extensive ties to one of the most "technically capable' terrorist networks in the world. It is vital that we start identifying potential threats to the homeland now, so we can be prepared to confront any dangers we may face in the future."