WASHINGTON, DC — Iran has “converted and radicalized thousands of Latin Americans” throughout the years by dispatching imams to the region and establishing mosques and “cultural centers” that Hezbollah used as recruiting tools, an expert on the Islamic Republic indicated while testifying before a House panel.

On Tuesday, Emanuele Ottolenghi of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) think tank told a House panel via written testimony:

Since its establishment, the Islamic Republic of Iran has viewed Latin America as a fertile ground for the export of its revolution. Tehran wants the Western Hemisphere to become a hotbed of anti-Americanism and a forward operating base for Iran.

To this end, over nearly four decades, Tehran has built a network of mosques and cultural centers across the region.

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