June 25, 2017

Lautenberg Measure To Penalize U.S. Companies Doing Business With Iran Introduced

Senator Takes Action To Make American Companies Like Halliburton Cut Business Ties With Iran

Michael Pagan (202) 228-6393
Wednesday, March 28, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced a measure to deter subsidiaries of U.S-controlled companies from doing business in Iran.

“We cannot knowingly allow U.S. companies to do business with terrorist states like Iran. Period. My proposal would close a loophole that companies are exploiting to skirt U.S. sanctions law and do business with Iran,” said Sen. Lautenberg. “We cannot allow companies to put corporate profits ahead of our national security.”

Sen. Lautenberg’s measure, included in a larger bill on Iran, would strengthen existing sanction provisions in the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which prohibits American companies from conducting business with nations that sponsor terrorism. Some American companies have exploited a loophole in the law by creating foreign subsidiaries to do business with rogue nations like Iran. Many of these “shell” foreign subsidiaries are often formed and incorporated overseas for the specific purpose of bypassing U.S. sanctions.

For example, Halliburton owns a foreign subsidiary called Halliburton Products and Services, Ltd. The company is registered in the Cayman Islands with offices located in Dubai and Tehran. This Halliburton subsidiary provides Iran with oil drilling equipment and services. The company’s sole client is Iran. The Senator’s measure is included in the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007, S.970, legislation he co-sponsored that would institute broad economic sanctions against Iran for its development of a nuclear program. The bill would block preferential trade treatment or World Trade Organization membership for countries that offer export credit guarantees to companies investing in Iran; would encourage foreign governments to cease investing in Iran’s energy sector and urges their companies to do the same; calls for Federal and State pension plans to divest their holdings from companies and entities that invest in Iran’s energy sector; and blocks Iranian state-owned banks from using the U.S. banking system.

“Economically isolating terrorists and the governments that support them will go a long way in fighting the war on terror,” said Lautenberg. “Money is the lifeblood of terrorist operations. Corporations that provide Iran with revenue that could be used to finance terrorist activity must divest or face stiff penalties.”

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(View Source – U.S. Senate)