The State Department says Iran's influence in Latin America is "waning," but some say that assessment is wrong.
Experts who testified before the House Homeland Security Committee Tuesday said the radical Islamic regime is still cultivating a vast terrorist network in Latin America, which threatens the United States.
"In effect, what the Iranian regime is doing is, as it has been constrained in its immediate periphery, it has begun to look further afield for allies in various regimes of the world," Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, told the panel.
Missing from the hearing was the star witness, Argentine Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was prevented from traveling to Washington by his government.
In May, Nisman announced that Iran has infiltrated several countries in Latin America, including Brazil, Chile, and Colombia, for the purpose of setting up intelligence networks to carry out more terrorist attacks in the region.
Nisman was the prosecutor who brought charges against Iranian officials for masterminding the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center that killed 85 people and injured hundreds of others.
Meanwhile, members of the House panel sent a letter to the Argentine government protesting its decision to prevent Nisman from attending the hearing. That in itself could be a sign of Iran pressuring a Latin American country.