A U.S. House of Representatives committee voted to work to limit Iran’s influence in the Western Hemisphere.
The foreign affairs committee unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday calling on the government to work with nations in Latin and South America to combat terrorism and limit Hezbollah’s growing influence on nations in the Western Hemisphere.
The resolution now awaits a vote on the House floor.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has begun providing aid to Bolivia and Nicaragua, and direct airline flights between Tehran and Caracas started this year. Ahmadinejad has long been an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Iranian companies oversee much of Venezuela’s oil production, and Iran has agreed to assist in that nation’s nuclear program.
The resolution called on the U.S. government to eliminate financing for Hezbollah in the region where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet, to pursue a cooperative anti-terrorism agreement with the governments in the Western Hemisphere and create joint counterterrorism operations with these nations.
“Iran’s history in Latin America is ominous, as we all remember the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Jewish Community Center, which killed 85 innocent people,” said Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.), who along with Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) drafted the proposal. “Argentines are still waiting for justice, and warrants are out for the arrests of several Iranians and members of Hezbollah.”