FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2010
Contact: Kimmie Lipscomb, [email protected]
Phone: (212) 554-3296
UANI Calls on the SEC to Take Definitive Action to Require Companies to Disclose Their Iran Business
New York, NY -
United Against Nuclear Iran
today called on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to take
action to require companies to disclose their Iran business.
proposes two options that would allow the SEC to take such definitive
staff interpretative release or a new SEC regulation.
Such action is necessary not only for investors to make informed
about the companies in which they are investing, but also for the U.S.
Government to make informed decisions about the companies with which it
In a letter to SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro as well as to Senator Lieberman and Senator Collins, the leadership of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, UANI outlined the needs for such action as well as a proposed course of action.
In the letters UANI President, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace wrote:
In the course of our requests to various companies to cease doing business in Iran a theme of response emerged. The typical response was that because a company's work in Iran was relatively de minimis to such company's balance sheet, the company argued that the Iran work was not "material" under the U.S. Securities laws. The companies would conclude that they were not obligated to disclose their Iran business in their public regulatory filings. We believe that this analysis is wrong and that the failure to disclose Iran business is a violation of U.S. law.
Investors have made it clear that information regarding a company's business in Iran is important to their decision whether or not to invest in a company's securities and is, therefore, by definition, material. A number of pension funds and other institutional investors have divested their portfolios of companies that do business in Iran or announced that they will make no further investments in such companies.
If the SEC
takes definitive action to require companies to
disclose their Iran business, no matter if apparently de minimis
their balance sheets,any misconception that businesses operating in
avoid public disclosure and the harsh light of such exposure will be
We ask that this committee and the U.S. Congress call on the SEC to require companies to disclose any and all business that they conduct in Iran in their public regulatory filings.
UANI urges the SEC to require formally the disclosure of Iran business by: (1) issuing a staff interpretive release, which would clarify existing SEC regulations that require detailed disclosure regarding the extent of a company's business in Iran, or (2) adopting a new regulation under Regulation S-K in substance similar to the model regulation that is attached to this letter in Appendix 2.
Public regulatory disclosure of Iran business will facilitate the thorough identification of all companies that are doing business in Iran. Those companies should be ashamed of their decision to put short-term profits ahead of the important national security imperative of isolating the Iranian regime. Those companies should not be permitted to do business with the U.S.
Through the Iran Disclosure Project UANI has targeted a number of companies that have failed to disclose their business in Iran.
Click here to read the full text of the letter to Senator Lieberman and Senator Collins.
Click here to read the full text of the letter to SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro.
Click here to read UANI's proposed SEC regulation.
Click here to send a message to the SEC.
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