U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today announced that he will request a Congressional hearing on the threat to the United States posed by Iran’s diplomatic and espionage activities in Latin America first thing next year in his capacity as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. The hearing will examine the growing influence of Iran in Latin America and the implications for the U.S. and its allies in the region. The hearing follows the Iranian assassination attempt on the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the U.S., an investigative documentary aired on Univision last night on the topic, and a growing volume of reports about the Iranian’s effort to collaborate with certain governments and criminal organizations to launch cyber and other attacks on U.S. territory.
“The reported links between Chavez, the Castros, hemispheric criminal organizations, and the Iranian government are immensely troubling. If Iran is using regional actors to facilitate and direct activities against the United States, this would represent a substantial increase in the level of the Iranian threat and would necessitate an immediate response by the United States” said Senator Menendez. “As the Chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, I plan to conduct a hearing as soon as possible to investigate these very serious allegations and the U.S. response to Iranian aggression.”
The Univision investigation presented well-documented information, including videos, audio recordings and interviews showing a conspiracy involving the governments of Iran, Venezuela and Cuba to launch cyber and other attacks against U.S. territory.