Text: H.R.3783 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)
Public Law No: 112-220 (12/28/2012)
[112th Congress Public Law 220]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
COUNTERING IRAN IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE ACT OF 2012
[[Page 126 STAT. 1596]]
Public Law 112-220
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
[[Page 126 STAT. 1597]]
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
(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
(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
[[Page 126 STAT. 1598]]
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
(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;
[[Page 126 STAT. 1599]]
(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
(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
(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
(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:
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.