GOP lawmaker concerned with Iran involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan

The United States and European Union both have enacted stricter sanctions this year in an attempt to persuade Iran to curb its nuclear program. The sanctions have had an effect on Iran’s oil exports, and the country has responded by attempting to evade the sanctions.

The governments of Tuvalu and Tanzania had recently reflagged Iranian-based ships in an attempt to evade sanctions, but U.S. officials persuaded both countries to register the oil tankers.

In Iraq, where the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq last year has led to predictions of greater Iranian influence, Ros-Lehtinen asked the administration to determine whether joint Iraqi-Iranian oil fields were subject to sanctions.

She expressed concerns that in Afghanistan the “widespread corruption and lack of financial controls” could be taken advantage of to circumvent sanctions and “inadvertently provide Tehran greater leverage over the Afghan government.”