Iran’s growing ties and meddling influence in Latin America is a grave concern for the U.S. and the entire Western Hemisphere.  What troubles me the most is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s close, personal friendship with self-proclaimed Communist Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.  I firmly believe that Iran is seeking to do in Venezuela what the former Soviet Union did in Cuba: establish a base of operations in the Western Hemisphere in order to spread hatred and instability throughout the region.

I was very pleased to see that the House passed H.Res.435 yesterday, which I introduced with Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.).  Our resolution expresses Congress’ strong concerns with Iran’s growing influence in Latin America and the need for the United States to take action to combat terrorism in the region.  Further neglect on the part of the U.S. to address this dangerous influence will allow Iran and other rogue nations to grow their terrorist networks in our own back yard.