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U.S. Firms' Work With Iran, Syria Targeted

 
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 7:58 am    Post subject: U.S. Firms' Work With Iran, Syria Targeted Reply with quote

U.S. Firms' Work With Iran, Syria Targeted
April 22, 2004
The Associated Press
Devlin Barrett


WASHINGTON - Sen. Frank Lautenberg accused American companies on Thursday of collecting "blood money" by doing business with terror sponsors and said he would push for legislation to stop it.

Lautenberg, D-N.J., made his comments alongside New York City comptroller William Thompson, who as manager of employee pension funds is fighting several companies' over their business dealings with Iran and Syria.

Under current law, U.S. firms are not allowed to do business with nations deemed by the United States to sponsor terrorism. But the law does not specifically bar foreign subsidiaries from such business.

Lautenberg said he would offer a measure that would bar any firm controlled over 50 percent by an American parent company from doing business with terror states.

Lautenberg and Thompson singled out three companies Halliburton Co., ConocoPhillips, and General Electric Co. for exploiting what they said was a loophole in the law.

ConocoPhillips, the nation's third-largest oil company, has already promised to pull out of Syria once a contract expires next year.

Representatives for the other two companies say they are carefully following the present law, and would comply with any changes made by Congress.

Thompson, a Democrat, invests $80 billion of New York pension money, including funds for firefighters and police officers. He said that if Congress does move to end companies' business with terror sponsors, other pension managers around the country are considering joining his effort.

The government has identified Iran, Syria, Libya, Cuba, Sudan and North Korea as sponsors of terrorism. Libya is working to have its sanctions dropped.

Through a foreign subsidiary, GE has provided hydroelectric equipment, medical equipment, and oil and gas equipment in Iran, where a Halliburton subsidiary is involved in oil refining and transportation.

Congress ordered the Security and Exchange Commission in January to identify all U.S. public companies operating in terrorism-sponsoring states and ensure that information is disclosed to stockholders.

"We have careful compliance processes to ensure adherence to U.S. law," said GE spokesman Gary Sheffer. "If Congress decides to change these provisions we will certainly comply."

Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall said, "All of Halliburton's business is clearly permissible under applicable U.S. laws and regulations. ... If Congress decides to change the laws and provisions, Halliburton will, of course, comply."

Sam Falcona, a spokesman for ConocoPhillips, declined to comment.
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Joined: 17 Jul 2003
Posts: 4250
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is he like Senator Joseph Biden which first has signed the Iran Democracy Act with Sen. Sam Brownback and then had a dinner with regime's members in Geneva?
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