Iran Divestment bill passes State Senate


    Albany, N.Y. – The New York State Senate earlier this week passed the Iran Divestment Act of 2012 (S5917A), prohibiting companies that provide goods, services or credit worth $20 million or more to Iran’s energy industry from entering into or renewing state and local government contracts.

    “It is important that the State take the necessary steps to prevent awarding government contracts to private companies with ties to Iran,” said Senator Ranzenhofer.  “The actions by Iran’s tyrannical government – its nuclear weapons program and support for terrorist organizations – continue to pose a threat to our national security.  The Iran Divestment Act of 2012 sends a strong message that the country’s actions are unacceptable.”

    Senator Ranzenhofer is a co-sponsor of the bill.

    The legislation directs the Office of General Services to create a list of people, corporations and other organizations with investments greater than $20 million in the Iranian energy sector. Those identified on the list would be excluded from bidding on government contracts.  The bill requires individuals or entities to certify that they are not on the list when they submit bids to state and local agencies.

    Federal law authorizes state and local governments to divest from companies whose interests in Iran’s energy sector directly or indirectly support its pursuit of nuclear weapons.  The divestment would apply to companies engaged in oil or natural gas development in Iran, as well as any company found to be directly involved in nuclear power.

    Similar to legislation in California, the bill was composed with help from the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. The legislation passed unanimously both in the State Senate and State Assembly.  The bill will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.