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Companies and their investors that deal with Iran directly support and strengthen a dangerous regime that is developing nuclear weapons, brutally repressing its own people, and sponsoring terrorism worldwide. Therefore, U.S. state governments which manage trillions of dollars of taxpayer money, should divest from and deny contracts to companies that do business in Iran. Ultimately, all corporations should have to choose between the Iranian regime and American taxpayers.
View and click on the interactive map to learn which states have enacted legislation or policies to ensure that taxpayer funds do not go to companies doing business with Iran.
In July 2011, UANI launched unprecedented Iran contracting legislation for adoption and presented it to legislative leadership in all U.S. states. Such legislation would bar companies and financial institutions from doing business in U.S. states and receiving U.S. state government contracts if they continue "business as usual" in Iran. The prospect of debarment is one of the most effective ways to compel corporations to end their Iran business. Collectively, state governments offer billions of dollars in contracts every year. No responsible and profit-driven company would jeopardize millions if not billions of dollars of government contracts by continuing to do business in Iran. 11 states - California, Florida, New York, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Michigan, Rhode Island, Connecticut, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania - have subsequently passed legislation that precludes all public entities from renewing or entering into contracts with companies invested in sensitive sectors of Iran’s economy.
30 states and D.C. have enacted divestment legislation or policies. These measures have resulted in billions of dollars being pulled out of international corporations that do business in Iran. These companies and their investors that deal with Iran directly support a dangerous regime. Considering that in 2006 U.S. state and local pension funds held combined assets of nearly $3 trillion, the economic costs for these companies to continue to do business with in Iran in the face of such losses can compel them to end their support of the Iranian regime and pull out of the country. The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act ("CISADA"), enacted in July 2010, gives state and local governments express legal permission to divest from companies that do business with Iran's energy sector.
UANI also supports efforts by the U.S. states to compel banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions to divest themselves of all Iran business. U.S. financial institutions and insurance companies are regulated by the respective states in which they are licensed. Florida is the first state to take such action the Iran Banking Certification Act, which gives the state authority to mandate that all state-chartered banks certify that their correspondent banks are not engaged in proscribed activities with Iranian linked financial institutions.
States can also take action to require that insurance companies licensed by the State Insurance Commissioner will not hold stocks in or bonds of any foreign company actively engaged and invested in the Iranian energy sector, or any aspect of developing Iran’s military or nuclear programs. The sentiment behind these measures is clear: banks and insurance companies with ties to the Iranian regime should not have access to U.S. states financial markets and/or U.S. financial institutions.
State Authorization Legislation
Overall, states and local communities are inspired to take meaningful action to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. UANI has therefore proposed model legislation, for adoption by the federal government that would explicitly authorize a state or local governments to adopt and enforce measures to economically isolate the Iranian regime. Specifically, states would be authorized to determine how their funds or assets are allocated to entities with Iran business activities, and be given authority to support and further U.S. national policy on sanctioning Iran as memorialized in federal Iran sanctions law.
UANI Model Legislation
- UANI's July 14, 2011 Letters to All 50 U.S. Governors and Majority and Minority State Congressional Leaders, Urging Them to Pass State Certification Legislation
- "UANI Applauds Michigan for Passing Iran Debarment Law" (December 20, 2012)
- "UANI Applauds New Jersey for Passing Iran Debarment Legislation" (August 3, 2012)
- "UANI Applauds State of Maryland for Unanimously Passing Iran Debarment Legislation" (April 9, 2012)
- "UANI Applauds Indiana General Assembly for Passing Iran Contract Debarment Law" (February 23, 2012)
- "UANI Applauds Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, State Lawmakers for Introducing Iran Debarment Legislation" (February 9, 2012)
- "UANI Applauds Indiana General Assembly for Introducing Iran Contract Debarment Law" (January 18, 2012)
- "UANI Applauds New York's Iran Contracting Act of 2012" (January 9, 2012)
- "UANI Applauds New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for Introducing State Certification Legislation" (October 27, 2011)
- "UANI Urges New York Assembly and Senate to Pass Iran Debarment Legislation" (October 26, 2011)
- "UANI Calls on States and Municipalities to Pass Legislation Debarring Contractors Doing Business in Iran" (July 14, 2011)
- "UANI Applauds State of California for Pressuring ABB to End Its Oil and Gas Business in Iran" (July 7, 2011)
- "UANI Applauds Layher, California Contractor, for Ending Its Business in Iran" (June 29, 2011)
- "In Case You Missed It: UANI's California Debarment Legislation Featured in Financial Times" (June 27, 2011)
- Wall Street Journal: "Uniting States Against Iran" (March 8, 2013)
- Washington Jewish Week: "Maryland targets Iran" (April 11, 2012)
- Wall Street Journal: "New York Legislature Passes Iran Sanctions Bill" (January 9, 2012)
- The Forward: "State Lawmakers Ramp Up Anti-Iran Push" (November 24, 2011)
- UPI: "Iran sees trade booming despite sanctions" (July 15, 2011)
- Financial Times: "California tightens screw on trade with Iran" (June 27, 2011)