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july 11 2013 image description
by: JD Gordon 0 Comments

SFS Executive Director Testifies In Congress on Iran’s Extending Influence in Latin America

WASHINGTON, D.C.– On Tuesday, July 9th, 2013, SFS Executive Director Mr. Joseph M. Humire testified in Congress at the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee hearing on “Threats to the Homeland: Iran’s Extending Influence in the Western Hemisphere,” and released the findings of his years long investigation at a press conference earlier that morning at the National Press Club.
 
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), sponsor of the Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act, chaired the subcommittee hearing and remarked, “Iran’s willingness to conduct operations in the Western Hemisphere and on American soil is clear.”
 
The hearing was held in response to the June 26th release of the U.S. State Department’s declassified annex of a largely classified report on Iran’s influence in Latin America. The State Department’s conclusion contradicted Argentine Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s highly detailed 502-page report published in late May, which asserts Iran has systematically built a “clandestine intelligence network” throughout the region over the last thirty years “designed to sponsor, foster and execute terrorist attacks.”
Rep. Duncan also noted:  
 
“in contrast to the U.S. State Department’s recent assessment that Iran’s influence in Latin America and the Caribbean is ‘waning,’ Nisman’s investigation revealed that Iran is deeply embedded within countries in Latin America and is ready to exploit its position to ‘execute terrorist attacks when the Iranian regime decides to do so.”
 
Read Rep. Duncan’s official response to the U.S. State Department here
 
U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) expressed his concern over Argentina’s refusal to allow Prosecutor Nisman to appear before the Congressional hearing, and along with Rep. Duncan, sent a letter to Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on Monday noting their displeasure.  
 
In addition to Joseph Humire’s testimony, other witnesses included Douglas Farah,president of IBI Consultants; Ilan Berman vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council and Blaise Misztal of the Foreign Policy Bipartisan Policy Center.
 
At the press briefing in the morning attended by major international news services Efe, Notimex, AFP as well as Voice of America and the Washington Free Beacon, a short introduction was given by Ms. Leah Soibel, Director of Fuente Latina, followed by brief opening remarks by counterterrorism expert and Fox News commentator, Dr. Walid Phares.
 
Joseph Humire’s report delves deeper into the Nisman dossier, revealing new details that challenge the State Department’s claim that Iranian influence in Latin America and the Caribbean “is waning.”  The investigation shows that Tehran is expanding its regional operations there by exploiting travel visas, free trade zones and indigenous groups in order to bypass sanctions and deepen its regional footprint.
 
Excerpts of key coverage included:
 
 
 
 
 
Several other Spanish media outlets also covered the hearing and the press briefing, to include: Voice of America (Latin America division), Clarin (Argentina), Cronica (Mexico), El Diario (El Salvador) and even Iran’s state-controlled Spanish language broadcast HispanTV covered the event. 
 
A good friend of SFS, Carolina Barros also released a note on her leading English paper in Argentina, Buenos Aires Herald, and the Cristian Broadcast Network released a short video. 
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