Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews
Credits: ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY
US President Barack Obama recently signed a bill that calls on American officials to get Canadian and Mexican input over the next six months to help assess Iran's growing terrorist, criminal and diplomatic presence in Central and South America, and develop a plan to counter it.
A spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says Canada was helping the US on these issues even before Obama signed the new bill.
"Canada's position on the regime in Iran is well-known," Julie Carmichael wrote in an e-mail to QMI Agency. "We continually assess threats while co-operating with international partners, including the US, to address threats to our common security."
The U.S. legislation notes that Iranian operatives could be working in Canada and Mexico near the American border.
Security expert David Harris of Insignis Strategic Research says that's a real threat that's easy to forget about.
"It should re-awaken our concerns about the documented infiltrating of Canada by... agents of Iran," Harris said.
American officials are also alarmed by other Iranian activity.
"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," the legislation says.