Representative Yvette Herrell wrote a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) last week signed by eight more conservative congressmembers calling on the DOJ to increase efforts to root out potential and current Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) violators in an attempt to defend the U.S. against Iranian nationals illegally operating within its borders.
Herrell doubled down on her efforts yesterday, tweeting out the letter and adding “The DOJ must do more to confront the threat of Iranian influence in the U.S.”
The letter was written in response to the January arrest of Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi, a political scientist who is being charged with acting on behalf of the Iranian regime on U.S. soil, in violation of FARA, a law implemented in 1938 that requires foreign agents to publicly disclose their connections and political activities in relation to “the foreign principal,” according to the DOJ.
Herrell praised the DOJ for taking proper action in response to Afrasiabi; however, she emphasized that Afrasiabi is only one example of a more widespread problem within the U.S., which requires new efforts and greater resources to adequately address.
“I believe this action by the DOJ was the right one to take and I applaud you and members of your team for taking this action. Sadly, there are many more individuals like this who are posing as academics and researchers,” reads the letter.
Several other Republican congressmembers are strongly supporting Herrell’s effort, including one of the letter’s signatories Rep. Jim Hagedorn (MN-01) who sees the regime’s illegal influence in the U.S. as a threat that must be confronted with the justice system’s full force.
“Any individual being secretly paid to promote one of the world’s largest state sponsors of terror represents a danger to America and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Hagedorn to The Foreign Desk.
The Conservative push to protect the U.S. from Iranian nationals operating within its borders is a welcomed effort for many who hope to see the regime’s power and international influence crumble in favor of a secular democratic Iran that upholds human rights.
“We were thrilled to learn about this letter from Fox News that Representative Herrell and her colleagues sent to the Department of Justice (DOJ). We believe their letter sends a strong message to the DOJ that American lawmakers will not stand on the sidelines as Iranian nationals continue to operate illegally on U.S. soil as unregistered agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said Iranian Americans for Liberty executive director Bryan Leib to The Foreign Desk.
“We are confident that if an official investigation is launched by the DOJ, more unregistered agents of the Islamic Regime will be identified. We expect appropriate measures will be taken, from prosecution all the way to expulsion, and rescinding of permanent residency status or citizenship to be pursued,” Leib said.
The letter’s signatories include Rep. Yvette Herrell, Rep. Lee Zeldin, Rep. Fred Keller, Rep. Jeff Van Drew, Rep. Marjorie Taylore Greene, Rep. Brian Babin, Rep. Jim Hagedorn, Rep. Rick Crawford, and Rep. Paul A. Gosar.