Text: H.R.3783 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 112-220 (12/28/2012)

 
[112th Congress Public Law 220]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



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          COUNTERING IRAN IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE ACT OF 2012

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Public Law 112-220
112th Congress

                                 An Act


 
   To provide for a comprehensive strategy to counter Iran's growing 
 hostile presence and activity in the Western Hemisphere, and for other 
            purposes. <<NOTE: Dec. 28, 2012 -  [H.R. 3783]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Countering Iran 
in the Western Hemisphere Act of 2012. 22 USC 8701 note.>> 
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Countering Iran in the Western 
Hemisphere Act of 2012''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) The United States has vital political, economic, and 
        security interests in the Western Hemisphere.
            (2) Iran is pursuing cooperation with Latin American 
        countries by signing economic and security agreements in order 
        to create a network of diplomatic and economic relationships to 
        lessen the blow of international sanctions and oppose Western 
        attempts to constrict its ambitions.
            (3) According to the Department of State, Hezbollah, with 
        Iran as its state sponsor, is considered the ``most technically 
        capable terrorist group in the world'' with ``thousands of 
        supporters, several thousand members, and a few hundred 
        terrorist operatives,'' and officials from the Iranian Islamic 
        Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force have been working in 
        concert with Hezbollah for many years.
            (4) The IRGC's Qods Force has a long history of supporting 
        Hezbollah's military, paramilitary, and terrorist activities, 
        providing it with guidance, funding, weapons, intelligence, and 
        logistical support, and in 2007, the Department of the Treasury 
        placed sanctions on the IRGC and its Qods Force for their 
        support of terrorism and proliferation activities.
            (5) The IRGC's Qods Force stations operatives in foreign 
        embassies, charities, and religious and cultural institutions to 
        foster relationships, often building on existing socioeconomic 
        ties with the well established Shia Diaspora, and recent years 
        have witnessed an increased presence in Latin America.
            (6) According to the Department of Defense, the IRGC and its 
        Qods Force played a significant role in some of the deadliest 
        terrorist attacks of the past two decades, including the 1994 
        attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, by 
        generally directing or supporting the groups that actually 
        executed the attacks.
            (7) Reports of Iranian intelligence agents being implicated 
        in Hezbollah-linked activities since the early 1990s suggest

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        direct Iranian government support of Hezbollah activities in the 
        Tri-Border Area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, and in the 
        past decade, Iran has dramatically increased its diplomatic 
        missions to Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Argentina, 
        and Brazil. Iran has built 17 cultural centers in Latin America, 
        and it currently maintains 11 embassies, up from 6 in 2005.
            (8) Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies with a presence in 
        Latin America have raised revenues through illicit activities, 
        including drug and arms trafficking, counterfeiting, money 
        laundering, forging travel documents, pirating software and 
        music, and providing haven and assistance to other terrorists 
        transiting the region.
            (9) Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Venezuela 
        expressed their intention to assist Iran in evading sanctions by 
        signing a statement supporting Iran's nuclear activities and 
        announcing at a 2010 joint press conference in Tehran their 
        determination to ``continue and expand their economic ties to 
        Iran'' with confidence that ``Iran can give a crushing response 
        to the threats and sanctions imposed by the West and 
        imperialism''.
            (10) The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration concluded in 
        2008 that almost one-half of the foreign terrorist organizations 
        in the world are linked to narcotics trade and trafficking, 
        including Hezbollah and Hamas.
            (11) In October 2011, the United States charged two men, 
        Manssor Arbabsiar, a United States citizen holding both Iranian 
        and United States passports, and Gholam Shakuri, an Iran-based 
        member of Iran's IRGC Qods Force, with conspiracy to murder a 
        foreign official using explosives in an act of terrorism. 
        Arbabsiar traveled to Mexico with the express intent to hire 
        ``someone in the narcotics business'' to carry out the 
        assassination of the Saudi Arabian Ambassador in the United 
        States. While in the end, he only engaged a U.S. Drug 
        Enforcement Agency informant posing as an associate of a drug 
        trafficking cartel, Arbabsiar believed that he was working with 
        a member of a Mexican drug trafficking organization and sought 
        to send money to this individual in installments and not in a 
        single transfer.
            (12) In February 2011, actions by the Department of the 
        Treasury effectively shut down the Lebanese Canadian Bank. 
        Subsequent actions by the United States Government in connection 
        with the investigation into Lebanese Canadian Bank resulted in 
        the indictment in December 2011 of Ayman Joumaa, an individual 
        of Lebanese nationality, with citizenship in Lebanon and 
        Colombia, and with ties to Hezbollah, for trafficking cocaine to 
        the Los Zetas drug trafficking organization in Mexico City for 
        sale in the United States and for laundering the proceeds.
SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

     It shall be the policy of the United States to use a comprehensive 
government-wide strategy to counter Iran's growing hostile presence and 
activity in the Western Hemisphere by working together with United 
States allies and partners in the region to

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mutually deter threats to United States interests by the Government of 
Iran, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the IRGC's 
Qods Force, and Hezbollah.
SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Western hemisphere.--The term ``Western Hemisphere'' 
        means the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, South 
        America, and Central America.
            (2) Relevant congressional committees.--The term ``relevant 
        congressional committees'' means the Committee on Foreign 
        Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
        Foreign Relations of the Senate.
SEC. 5. REQUIREMENT OF A STRATEGY TO ADDRESS IRAN'S GROWING 
                    HOSTILE PRESENCE AND ACTIVITY IN THE WESTERN 
                    HEMISPHERE.

    (a) In General.--Not <<NOTE: Deadline. Assessment.>> later than 180 
days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State 
shall conduct an assessment of the threats posed to the United States by 
Iran's growing presence and activity in the Western Hemisphere and 
submit to the relevant congressional committees the results of the 
assessment and a strategy to address Iran's growing hostile presence and 
activity in the Western Hemisphere.

    (b) Matters To Be Included.--The strategy described in subsection 
(a) should include--
            (1) a description of the presence, activities, and 
        operations of Iran, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard 
        Corps (IRGC), its Qods Force, Hezbollah, and other terrorist 
        organizations linked to Iran that may be present in the Western 
        Hemisphere, including information about their leaders, 
        objectives, and areas of influence and information on their 
        financial networks, trafficking activities, and safe havens;
            (2) a description of the terrain, population, ports, foreign 
        firms, airports, borders, media outlets, financial centers, 
        foreign embassies, charities, religious and cultural centers, 
        and income-generating activities in the Western Hemisphere 
        utilized by Iran, the IRGC, its Qods Force, Hezbollah, and other 
        terrorist organizations linked to Iran that may be present in 
        the Western Hemisphere;
            (3) a description of the relationship of Iran, the IRGC, its 
        Qods Force, and Hezbollah with transnational criminal 
        organizations linked to Iran and other terrorist organizations 
        in the Western Hemisphere, including information on financial 
        networks and trafficking activities;
            (4) a description of the relationship of Iran, the IRGC, its 
        Qods Force, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations linked 
        to Iran that may be present in the Western Hemisphere with the 
        governments in the Western Hemisphere, including military-to-
        military relations and diplomatic, economic, and security 
        partnerships and agreements;
            (5) a description of the Federal law enforcement 
        capabilities, military forces, State and local government 
        institutions, and other critical elements, such as 
        nongovernmental organizations, in the Western Hemisphere that 
        may organize to counter the threat posed by Iran, the IRGC, its 
        Qods Force, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations linked 
        to Iran that may be present in the Western Hemisphere;

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            (6) a description of activity by Iran, the IRGC, its Qods 
        Force, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations linked to 
        Iran that may be present at the United States borders with 
        Mexico and Canada and at other international borders within the 
        Western Hemisphere, including operations related to drug, human, 
        and arms trafficking, human support networks, financial support, 
        narco-tunneling, and technological advancements that 
        incorporates--
                    (A) with respect to the United States borders, in 
                coordination with the Governments of Mexico and Canada 
                and the Secretary of Homeland Security, a plan to 
                address resources, technology, and infrastructure to 
                create a secure United States border and strengthen the 
                ability of the United States and its allies to prevent 
                operatives from Iran, the IRGC, its Qods Force, 
                Hezbollah, or any other terrorist organization from 
                entering the United States; and
                    (B) within Latin American countries, a multiagency 
                action plan, in coordination with United States allies 
                and partners in the region, that includes the 
                development of strong rule-of-law institutions to 
                provide security in such countries and a 
                counterterrorism and counter-radicalization plan to 
                isolate Iran, the IRGC, its Qods Force, Hezbollah, and 
                other terrorist organizations linked to Iran that may be 
                present in the Western Hemisphere from their sources of 
                financial support and counter their facilitation of 
                terrorist activity; and
            (7) <<NOTE: Plans.>> a plan--
                    (A) to address any efforts by foreign persons, 
                entities, and governments in the region to assist Iran 
                in evading United States and international sanctions;
                    (B) to protect United States interests and assets in 
                the Western Hemisphere, including embassies, consulates, 
                businesses, energy pipelines, and cultural 
                organizations, including threats to United States 
                allies;
                    (C) to support United States efforts to designate 
                persons and entities in the Western Hemisphere for 
                proliferation activities and terrorist activities 
                relating to Iran, including affiliates of the IRGC, its 
                Qods Force, and Hezbollah, under applicable law 
                including the International Emergency Economic Powers 
                Act; and
                    (D) to address the vital national security interests 
                of the United States in ensuring energy supplies from 
                the Western Hemisphere that are free from the influence 
                of any foreign government that would attempt to 
                manipulate or disrupt global energy markets.

    (c) Development.--In <<NOTE: Consultation.>> developing the strategy 
under this section, the Secretary of State shall consult with the heads 
of all appropriate United States departments and agencies, including the 
Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, the 
Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of the Treasury, the 
Attorney General, and the United States Trade Representative.

    (d) Form.--The <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>> strategy in this section 
may be submitted in classified form, but shall include an unclassified 
summary of policy recommendations to address the growing Iranian threat 
in the Western Hemisphere.

[[Page 126 STAT. 1600]]

SEC. 6. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    It is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of State should keep 
the relevant congressional committees continually informed on the 
hostile actions of Iran in the Western Hemisphere.
SEC. 7. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

     Nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit the rights or 
protections enjoyed by United States citizens under the United States 
Constitution or other Federal law, or to create additional authorities 
for the Federal Government that are contrary to the United States 
Constitution and United States law.

    Approved December 28, 2012.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 3783:
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CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 158 (2012):
            Sept. 19, considered and passed House.
            Dec. 12, considered and passed Senate, amended.
            Dec. 18, House concurred in Senate amendment.

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