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ICYMI: The Iranian Threat In The Western Hemisphere

Mar 9, 2012 | Press Releases

The Iranian Threat in the Western Hemisphere
By Sen. Marco Rubio
National Review Online
March 9, 2012

This week, Vice President Joe Biden completed a two-stop tour of Mexico and Honduras. This was a welcome though, in my opinion, long overdue sign of engagement with two key allies.

However, I am concerned by the vice president’s suggestion that the United States need not be worried by Iran’s intentions in the region and his guarantee that “Iran will not be able to pose a hemispheric threat to the United States.”

The greatest threat the world faces today is a nuclear Iran. We have seen this problem coming for years. Now, despite a series of recent sanctions, Iran continues advancing in its nuclear-weapons program. As a result, an emboldened Iran has turned to Latin America to help pursue its goals, with the threat manifesting itself in the region in several alarming ways.

We need to take the Iranian challenge — everywhere and particularly in the Western Hemisphere — more seriously. We need more than tough talk to prevent the Iranian threat from gaining momentum in Latin America. We need a real strategy to deal with this threat. That’s why, in the near future, I will be introducing a bill requiring the secretary of state to develop a comprehensive strategy countering Iran’s growing presence and hostile activities in the Western Hemisphere, an idea first put forth in the House by Rep. Jeff Duncan.

The Obama administration needs to refocus on Latin America — on strengthening our friendships with key allies, promoting economic opportunities in the region, and defending democracy when it’s assaulted. When the United States fails to take a leadership role in our hemisphere, our enemies are eager to pounce and exploit the opportunity. It is time to wake up about the growing challenges and missed opportunities in Latin America.


Read the full op-ed here