May 05, 2010

At Gillibrand’s Urging, Senate Homeland Security Committee To Hold Hearings Next Week On Companies Doing Business With Iran

74 Companies Worldwide In Business with Iran, Funding Iran’s Nuclear Development

Washington, DC – Days after U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined with a coalition of New York leaders to declare Iran’s attendance at Monday’s conference at the United Nations a “sham” and called for Senate hearings to investigate all companies that do business with Iran, the Senate Homeland Security Committee has announced that a hearing will take place on Wednesday, May 12. Companies that do businesses with Iran’s oil and gas industry are helping fund the hostile nation’s nuclear ambitions and enable terrorism. Senator Gillibrand is also calling for immediate passage of tough new sanctions laws to cut Iran off from the global economy as it continues to ignore its obligation to the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.

“It’s time for Iran to make a real choice about its future, and it’s time for these companies to make a choice about theirs. These companies can either continue to invest in Iran and threaten our security, or remain integrated with the global economy. These companies cannot and will not have it both ways,” Senator Gillibrand said. “Their business in Iran funds the development of nuclear weapons that pose an imminent threat to America, Israel, and our other allies. We can’t allow these businesses to put their profits before our safety.”

In March, the New York Times uncovered 74 businesses in America and around the world that are doing business both with the American government and with Iran’s oil and gas sector. America has awarded over $100 billion in contracts and grants to businesses that invest in Iran’s fossil fuel industry, including $15 billion in companies potentially violating current American sanction laws.

Due to recent public exposure, nearly 20 companies have recently disinvested from Iran, including 15 that stopped selling gasoline to the nation. But for every business that has divested, more than three continue enabling Iran’s nuclear ambitions that threaten Israel, America and countries everywhere.

Senator Gillibrand has also called on Congress to immediately pass a new Iran sanctions law that would allow President Obama to impose tougher sanctions and checks against companies tied to Iran, including blocking federal contracts to violators and imposing a three year ban on government contracts against companies who falsely claim they do not conduct business with Iran.