ON-Lion Letter
In July, American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) vice president Ilan Berman warned of Iran's and Russia's roles in Latin America. 

In testimony before the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, Berman overviewed Iran's activities and strategy in the region. 

"Iran's presence in Latin America and its partnership with regional radicals represents far more than simply an 'axis of annoyance,' as some scholars have contended," Berman said.  "Rather, Iran's inroads are part of a systematic, long-term strategy on the part of the Islamic Republic to expand its influence and capabilities in the Western Hemisphere.  Moreover, irrespective of temporary setbacks, these efforts have steadily expanded in recent years, as the Iranian regime has been progressively squeezed both politically and economically in its immediate periphery.

"As Iran's presence in the region continues to grow," he concluded, "so too will its ability to hold at risk America’s regional allies, its interests in the Hemisphere, and even the U.S. homeland itself.  We ignore this gathering threat at our peril."

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on the same day, Berman wrote of Russia's beachhead in Nicaragua.

"Russia, which has significantly expanded its foreign espionage in recent years, may be using Nicaragua to bolster its intelligence collection capabilities in the region," according to Berman.  "Or it could simply be leveraging its inroads with [President Daniel] Ortega's sympathetic regime to stick a finger in the eye of the U.S.

"Whatever the reasons, Russia's involvement in Nicaragua today is worth watching, and it is growing.  As it does, it will inevitably raise questions about Moscow's larger strategic objectives in the Americas, and whether they might someday pose a threat to the U.S. and its interests."

Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation supports AFPC, which is in Washington, D.C.
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